The archaeology of Henequen Haciendas
The transition from the 19th to the 20th century was accompanied by widespread industrial, economic, and social transformations on the Yucatan Peninsula. This era, commonly known as the “Gilded Age,” saw the immersion of large sectors of the region’s population into global capitalism. One key aspect associated with this period is the conversion of haciendas into a new type of agro-industrial production units. Over the past two decades, historical archaeology has increasing focused on the reconstruction of Yucatan’s Gilded Age. In this chapter, we summarize our work at San Pedro Cholul, a henequen hacienda located at the outskirts of the modern city of Mérida. Our main objective was to shed light on the lives of the peon families that represented the hacienda’s workforce. Here, we focus specifically on data regarding settlement patterns, residential site structure, material culture remains, and chemical residue analyses.