Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Karla L. Davis-Salazar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

E. Christian Wells, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lori D. Collins, Ph.D.


Mesoamerica, Archaeology, Community, Water, Settlement


The spatial relationships that exist between ancient and modern settlement and natural resources have the potential to suggest ways in which humans organized themselves into communities. This study evaluates the applicability of the concept, "quebrada community," for understanding human-environmental relationships in northwest Honduras during the Late Classic period (AD 650-900). Existing archaeological, quantitative, and geological evidence for quebrada communities are linked with spatial data on two contemporary local communities, Palmarejo and Palos Blancos. A geographic information system (GIS) is constructed and implemented in order to achieve this goal. It is argued that there are specific relationships that exist between ancient and modern populations, their environment, and quebradas and that these relationships support the hypothesis that organization around water resources is present at the level of the community.