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date: 14 October 2019


  • David M. Jones


Site of Pre-Columbian Cakchiquel Maya fortress capital in the Guatemalan highlands near Lake Atitlán. It flourished during the Post-Classic period ( 900–1521) and was captured by the Spanish in 1524. Iximché was visited by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in 1840 but was otherwise ignored until 1887, when Alfred Maudslay surveyed it and made a plan. Ceramics were studied by Robert Wauchope in the 1940s, excavation and restoration were done by G. F. Guillemín in the 1950s and 1970s, and a small museum (Iximché Archaeol. Mus.) was established in Tecpán near by.

In the Late Post-Classic period ( 1200–1521) the Guatemalan highlands were in turmoil as numerous noble families sought to enhance their power. Civic centres were fortified and located or relocated on mountaintops. Architectural embellishment became more restricted and regressed from the grand to the utilitarian, as did sculpture and ceramics. Copper, silver, and gold objects were imported from central Mesoamerica. Lineage and inherited rights for civic leaders, priests, craftsmen, merchants, and farmers became extremely structured. The ...

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