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Investigating Activity Patterns In Prehispanic Plazas: Weak Acid-Extraction ICP–AES Analysis of Anthrosols at Classic Period El Coyote, Northwestern Honduras

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Abstract

Weak acid-extraction ICP–AES analysis was performed to obtain multi-elemental characterizations of anthropogenic sediments from plaza spaces that no longer contain artefacts and adjacent trash deposits at the prehispanic site of El Coyote in northwestern Honduras. Multivariate quantitative assessments of the anthrosol chemical data, along with associated inventories of midden materials, are examined to derive signatures for activity areas and refuse dumps that can be linked across portions of the site. The findings of this study permit the reconstruction of activity patterns in the site's main plaza and in its environs. This has important implications for understanding the relationship among ritual practice, craft production and political economy during the Late and Terminal Classic periods, c. ad 600–1000.

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