Typological systems are used in many disciplines as a way to sort, categorize, and interpret data. In archaeology, they are commonly used to identify ceramic assemblages, lithic material, ritual remains, and more. This study focuses on the use of typologies for identifying ritual material in the archaeological record. In particular, it explores the use of the problematical deposit as a miscellaneous category for ritual material that falls outside of the imagined boundaries for the limited range of other established types. The problematical deposit was a term first coined in the early years of excavation at Tikal to serve as a temporary “catch all” type to categorize material that was not immediately identifiable in the field. Presently, this category is used by archaeologists, though some have performed more in-depth analysis to further interpret such deposits. This study provides a comparative analysis of three problematical deposits, and of three caches, then explores how the similarities and differences within these selections compare to one another to draw conclusions regarding the validity of typologies as grouping with interpretive bases.


Navarro-Farr, Olivia C.




typologies, categories, ritual, Maya, archaeology, theory, theoretical, typological

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2019 Hannah Elizabeth Bauer