Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



2012 Richards-Rissetto, H. “Studying Social Interaction at the Ancient Maya Site of Copán, Honduras: A Least Cost Approach to Configurational Analysis. Least Cost Analysis of Social Landscapes: Archaeological Case Studies, editors Devin A. White and Sarah Surface-Evans, pp. 109-127. University of Utah Press: Salt Lake City.

This chapter was peer-reviewed.


Copyright 2012, University of Utah Press.


In this article, I employ least cost paths using GIS to measure the relationship between site configuration and social connectivity at the ancient Maya site of Copan, Honduras. I investigate two questions. First, did people of different social classes experience varying degrees of social connectivity? Second, did people living in different parts of the city experience difference degrees of social connectivity? Ultimately, the goal is modify traditional configurational analysis using least cost analysis (LCA) to identify how social hierarchy was embedded in landscapes and how ancient people may have strategically manipulated landscapes to structure social interaction and community organization.