Settlement Scaling in the Northern Maya Lowlands: Human-Scale Implications

Scott R. Hutson, Adrian S.Z. Chase, Jeffrey B. Glover, William M. Ringle, Travis W. Stanton, Walter R.T. Witschey, Traci Ardren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Settlement scaling theory predicts that higher site densities lead to increased social interactions that, in turn, boost productivity. The scaling relationship between population and land area holds for several ancient societies, but as demonstrated by the sample of 48 sites in this study, it does not hold for the Northern Maya Lowlands. Removing smaller sites from the sample brings the results closer to scaling expectations. We argue that applications of scaling theory benefit by considering social interaction as a product not only of proximity but also of daily life and spatial layouts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-245
Number of pages8
JournalLatin American Antiquity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 3 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Society for American Archaeology.


  • ancient Maya
  • daily life
  • settlement scaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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