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Grant number like: RZ-260752-18

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Brown University (Providence, RI 02912-9100)
Stephen Douglas Houston (Project Director: December 2017 to present)
Thomas G. Garrison (Co Project Director: December 2017 to present)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$200,000 (approved)
$140,661 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2022

Citadels and Surveillance: State Defense at the Classic Maya Fortresses of La Cuernavilla

Archaeological investigation at the ancient Maya site of La Cuernavilla near Tikal, in present-day Guatemala. (36 months)

Proposed excavations at La Cuernavilla, Guatemala, target a defensive system of unprecedented scale for the ancient Maya. On current evidence, its dates align with an incursion by the Mexican metropolis of Teotihuacan. Attested in texts and imagery, that incursion may now have its martial “footprint”: a chain of elevated citadels and moated redoubts extending at least 17.6 km, siege features such as rock-cut reservoirs, rapid-response ramps from citadel summit to base, and evidence of surveillance over wide swathes. This research will test whether these facilities were built at one time and whether they are special-purpose garrisons and defensive bulwarks that served the city of Tikal, Guatemala.