Champotón 6 - The Terminal Classic Period
In contrast to Champotón 5, the Champotón 6 complex reflects some continuity in links between sites in the Río Champotón drainage, Edzná and the Chenes region. Champotón 6 includes several groups within the Muralla complex at Edzná, including Acapulquito Unslipped, Muna Slate, Ticul Thin Slate, Carpizo Red: Chenvega, Chablekal Fine Grey, Altar/Balancan Fine Orange, and Hontun Grey (Figure 7.37). This repertoire of ceramic groups reflects at least peripheral participation in the Cehpech sphere, with closest modal similarities with sites in the Chenes Region and Western Cehpech materials.
The main departure of Champotón 6 from the contemporary Muralla complex at Edzná is in the relative rarity of Cehpech sphere slate and red wares. Cehpech Slates make up a very small percentage of the ceramic repertoire at all sites in the region expect San Dimas (Table 7.13). The most common Champotón 6 redware, Carpizo Red: Chenvega, occurs in smaller quantities and different form repertoires than Teabo Red, the contemporary Cehpech redware analog in Chenes and Puuc sites. Carpizo Red: Chenvega forms include both large and small jars (Figure 7.26 X-FF), with fewer bowl forms than contemporary Teabo Red from Edzná and other Cehpech sphere sites. Also notable is the absence of polychrome ceramics, which serves as a clear differentiation between Champotón 4 and Champotón 6 at inland sites. At Champotón, fine paste ceramics seem to fill the niche of favored serving wares beginning in the Terminal Classic period. Don Forsyth has pointed out that the prevalence of fine paste wares in the serving ware sub-assemblage, in place of monochrome redwares, is one of the defining characteristics in late ceramic assemblages at Champotón through the Postclassic Period (Forsyth 2004). It would seem that this pattern emerged during Champotón 5 and was relatively well established in Champotón 6.
The transition between the Terminal Classic and Postclassic Periods is problematic due to our current inability to clearly differentiate early and late facets of the latter period. However, in contrast to the overlap and clear continuities between the Champotón 4, 5, and 6 complexes, the transition to the Postclassic Period was abrupt both in terms of ceramic similarities and regional demography. Evidence of Postclassic Period occupations are ubiquitous in the region, particularly surrounding the modern city of Champotón. However, there is little or no continuity between the Terminal Classic and Postclassic periods, and the ceramic assemblage of the latter is typologically distinctive in all respects: pastes, form repertoires, and links with other well-documented ceramic assemblages.