Writers on the Storm: A Terminal Classic Maya Scribal Household.
Josalyn M. Ferguson - New York State Division of Historic Preservation
Despite the fact that images of Maya scribes in Classic period art are not uncommon, and it is widely known that the Maya were avid recorders of calendrics, their history and religion; the identification of scribes and their households/workshops has been infrequent within the archaeological record. The association of several utensils typically correlated with scribal toolkits with a prominent house mound at the site of Strath Bogue in northern Belize, has prompted the identification of a scribal household of this otherwise small community. The presence of a scribe (or scribes) at a relatively small site is somewhat surprising, however I believe the presence of such a prominent societal figure here is directly related to the community having been settled in the wake of the Maya “collapse,” as peoples were moving across the landscape, reestablishing themselves and attempting to foraging a new existence.
Josalyn Ferguson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University at Albany (SUNY), and a Historic Preservation Specialist with New York State’s Division of Historic Preservation (SHPO). Josalyn has been a practicing archaeologist for over two decades, contributing to the discipline of archaeology as a field archaeologist, an educator, mentor and researcher. Primarily trained as a Mayanist, Josalyn has extensive field experience in Mexico and Belize, as well as in New York, Vermont, British Columbia and Ontario. She was formerly a Field Director and an Assistant Director of the Belize Postclassic Project, and a Supervisor and Field Director with the Western Belize Regional Cave Project and the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project. Her current research interests focus on the Terminal Classic period Maya (A.D. 750-1050) of northern Belize, the migration of peoples in the wake of the Maya “collapse,” and the resilience of Maya commoners. Josalyn received her Masters and Bachelor of Arts degrees at Trent University in Canada.