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243 Several groups of archaeologists working in the lowland Maya area currently are practicing what they label “conjunctive” approaches (e.g., Fash and Sharer 1991; Chase and Chase 1996, 2009; Sharer et al. 1999; Fash and Fash 2009). Some have advocated conjunctive research for the whole of lowland Maya archaeology (e.g., Culbert 1991;Fash 1994;Marcus 1995;Golden and Borgstede 2004a,2004b;Sharer and Golden 2004; Buikstra, Miller, and Wright 2009; Yaeger 2009) and interest in conjunctive archaeology has spread within Americanist research (e.g., Rupp 1997; Dunning et al. 1998; Anaya Hernandez, Guenter, and Zender 2003; Joyce et al. 2004; Millaire 2004). There are two main focal points of conjunctive research in the Maya region: highland Guatemala (focused on the Postclassic period,AD 900– 1524) and the Maya lowlands (focused mainly on the Classic period,AD 300–900). The conjunctive trend in the highlands is intriguing (e.g., Carmack and Weeks 1981; Fox 1987) and, as Yaeger and Borgstede (2004: 274) note, deserves its own analysis. Because it does not claim Walter Taylor as its progenitor, however, the highland phenomenon is largely unexamined in this chapter. The focus here is on the conjunctive archaeology of the Maya lowlands, its origins, character, and efficacy. My larger goal is to explore critical moments in the history of Maya archaeology that have shaped, and in some cases curtailed, the growth of theory Walter Taylor’s Conjunctive Approach in Maya Archaeology Chapter sixteen Allan L. Maca Allan L. Maca 244 encouraged decades ago by Taylor and Clyde Kluckhohn. Closing sections of this chapter propose that the conjunctive archaeology we are seeing is an unusual yet traceable expression of the Carnegie Institution’s legacy in Maya archaeology. Introduction Two relatively recent edited books, one on the Maya archaeology of Copan, Honduras (Bell, Canuto, and Sharer 2004) and another on Maya archaeology in the new millennium (Golden and Borgstede 2004a), claim Walter Taylor’s (1948) conjunctive approach as their operational model and baseline for future research. Both volumes were produced by the “Pennsylvania group” in Maya archaeology, led by University of Pennsylvania professor Robert Sharer and consisting of other University of Pennsylvania luminaries and Sharer’s former students.1 Their foregrounding of Walter Taylor’s conjunctive approach represents a new development in lowland Maya archaeology, that is, the adoption and support of a single, apparently coherent, archaeological framework with a known and named founder.2 This trend was apparent at a 2009 SAA session honoring Robert Sharer, in which numerous presenters (the Chases, J.Yaeger, the Fashes, and J. Buikstra and colleagues) included the term “conjunctive” in their paper titles. This conjunctive school is building currency and can be considered a movement or possibly an emergent paradigm. Joyce Marcus (1983, 1995) and William Fash (1994), both of whom were doctoral students of Gordon Willey at Harvard University, are participants in the conjunctive phenomenon as well. This highlights the existence of another conjunctive school, a “Harvard group,” and suggests that tracing the origins of this movement requires exploration of scholarly work and time periods beyond the obvious and present. It seems surprising that the brainchild of a marginalized mid-twentieth-century scholar has emerged as a standard in current Maya archaeology. Historical aspects of this trend may seem even more surprising. For example, in their sporadic references to the conjunctive approach in the Maya area between 1965 and 1994, the senior members of the Pennsylvania and Harvard groups, including Willey (Willey et al. 1965), never cited Walter Taylor as its progenitor. Why was this the case? And what has changed? This chapter seeks to address these and other questions and to fill in a number of gaps in this hazy segment of the intellectual history of Maya studies. No one has yet inquired as to how and why the conjunctive model entered Maya archaeology, or why it might possess staying power sufficient to emerge as a paradigm . Nor has anyone considered whether or not at Copan, for example, archaeologists are actually implementing the conjunctive protocols as Taylor envisioned them or if they are merely doing what seems necessary to validate research in an era when colleagues, native peoples, and host governments are questioning archaeology’s aims and uses. More importantly, no one has explored whether and 245 Walter Taylor’s Conjunctive Approach in Maya Archaeology how it is appropriate to exercise a research strategy that dates to the pre–World War II era and that was both controversial and poorly understood at that time. I...


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