Water and Ritual

The Rise and Fall of Classic Maya Rulers

Author: Lisa J. Lucero

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 9780292778238

Category: Social Science

Page: 269

View: 6143

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In the southern Maya lowlands, rainfall provided the primary and, in some areas, the only source of water for people and crops. Classic Maya kings sponsored elaborate public rituals that affirmed their close ties to the supernatural world and their ability to intercede with deities and ancestors to ensure an adequate amount of rain, which was then stored to provide water during the four-to-five-month dry season. As long as the rains came, Maya kings supplied their subjects with water and exacted tribute in labor and goods in return. But when the rains failed at the end of the Classic period (AD 850-950), the Maya rulers lost both their claim to supernatural power and their temporal authority. Maya commoners continued to supplicate gods and ancestors for rain in household rituals, but they stopped paying tribute to rulers whom the gods had forsaken. In this paradigm-shifting book, Lisa Lucero investigates the central role of water and ritual in the rise, dominance, and fall of Classic Maya rulers. She documents commoner, elite, and royal ritual histories in the southern Maya lowlands from the Late Preclassic through the Terminal Classic periods to show how elites and rulers gained political power through the public replication and elaboration of household-level rituals. At the same time, Lucero demonstrates that political power rested equally on material conditions that the Maya rulers could only partially control. Offering a new, more nuanced understanding of these dual bases of power, Lucero makes a compelling case for spiritual and material factors intermingling in the development and demise of Maya political complexity.

Collapse

How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive

Author: Jared Diamond

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141976969

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 6816

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From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations. Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future. What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island? What happened to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, Jared Diamond's Collapse also shows how - unlike our ancestors - we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors. 'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race' Daily Mail 'Riveting, superb, terrifying' Observer 'Gripping ... the book fulfils its huge ambition, and Diamond is the only man who could have written it' Economist 'This book shines like all Diamond's work' Sunday Times Jared Diamond (b. 1937) is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.

The Maya and Their Central American Neighbors

Settlement Patterns, Architecture, Hieroglyphic Texts and Ceramics

Author: Geoffrey E Braswell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 131775607X

Category: Social Science

Page: 458

View: 8555

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The ancient Maya created one of the most studied and best-known civilizations of the Americas. Nevertheless, Maya civilization is often considered either within a vacuum, by sub-region and according to modern political borders, or with reference to the most important urban civilizations of central Mexico. Seldom if ever are the Maya and their Central American neighbors of El Salvador and Honduras considered together, despite the fact that they engaged in mutually beneficial trade, intermarried, and sometimes made war on each other. The Maya and Their Central American Neighbors seeks to fill this lacuna by presenting original research on the archaeology of the whole of the Maya area (from Yucatan to the Maya highlands of Guatemala), western Honduras, and El Salvador. With a focus on settlement pattern analyses, architectural studies, and ceramic analyses, this ground breaking book provides a broad view of this important relationship allowing readers to understand ancient perceptions about the natural and built environment, the role of power, the construction of historical narrative, trade and exchange, multiethnic interaction in pluralistic frontier zones, the origins of settled agricultural life, and the nature of systemic collapse.

Gender and Power in Prehispanic Mesoamerica

Author: Rosemary A. Joyce

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292779739

Category: Social Science

Page: 287

View: 4544

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Gender was a fluid potential, not a fixed category, before the Spaniards came to Mesoamerica. Childhood training and ritual shaped, but did not set, adult gender, which could encompass third genders and alternative sexualities as well as "male" and "female." At the height of the Classic period, Maya rulers presented themselves as embodying the entire range of gender possibilities, from male through female, by wearing blended costumes and playing male and female roles in state ceremonies. This landmark book offers the first comprehensive description and analysis of gender and power relations in prehispanic Mesoamerica from the Formative Period Olmec world (ca. 1500-500 BC) through the Postclassic Maya and Aztec societies of the sixteenth century AD. Using approaches from contemporary gender theory, Rosemary Joyce explores how Mesoamericans created human images to represent idealized notions of what it meant to be male and female and to depict proper gender roles. She then juxtaposes these images with archaeological evidence from burials, house sites, and body ornaments, which reveals that real gender roles were more fluid and variable than the stereotyped images suggest.

Metaarchaeology

Reflections by Archaeologists and Philosophers

Author: Lester Embree

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401118264

Category: Philosophy

Page: 343

View: 2531

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An idea of the philosophy of archaeology can best be gained by showing what it is, what the issues are, who is working in the field, and how they proceed. Reading Lester Embree's Metaarchaeology provides the best possible introduction to the field, since in it several leading archaeologists show how accessible and interesting the current archeological literature is, and currently active philosophers of archaeology reveal something of the current state of discussion on the subject. Bibliographies have also been developed of the philosophy of archaeology as well as of selected parts of the component that can be called metaarchaeology. Finally, an historical introduction has been included to show the variety of metascientific as well as orientational standpoints that philosophers of archaeology have had recourse to for over two decades, followed by speculation about the future of the discipline within the philosophy of science.

Supply-Side Sustainability

Author: Timothy F. H. Allen,Joseph A. Tainter,Thomas W. Hoekstra

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231504071

Category: Science

Page: 440

View: 8758

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While environmentalists insist that lower rates of consumption of natural resources are essential for a sustainable future, many economists dismiss the notion that resource limits act to constrain modern, creative societies. The conflict between these views tinges political debate at all levels and hinders our ability to plan for the future. Supply-Side Sustainability offers a fresh approach to this dilemma by integrating ecological and social science approaches in an interdisciplinary treatment of sustainability. Written by two ecologists and an anthropologist, this book discusses organisms, landscapes, populations, communities, biomes, the biosphere, ecosystems and energy flows, as well as patterns of sustainability and collapse in human societies, from hunter-gatherer groups to empires to today's industrial world. These diverse topics are integrated within a new framework that translates the authors' advances in hierarchy and complexity theory into a form useful to professionals in science, government, and business. The result is a much-needed blueprint for a cost-effective management regime, one that makes problem-solving efforts themselves sustainable over time. The authors demonstrate that long-term, cost-effective resource management can be achieved by managing the contexts of productive systems, rather than by managing the commodities that natural systems produce.

Palenque

Recent Investigations at the Classic Maya Center

Author: Damien B. Marken

Publisher: Rowman Altamira

ISBN: 0759113858

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 6232

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Collection of articles on recent excavations and studies of one of the best known Maya archaeological sites

Empires of the Maya

Author: Jill Rubalcaba,Angela Keller

Publisher: Infobase Publishing

ISBN: 1438129521

Category: Mayas

Page: 161

View: 5467

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Long before European boats reached the shores of the Americas, sophisticated civilizations had already developed throughout the continents. The empire of the Maya, located in modern Mexico and Central America, influenced civilization there for centuries. The ancient Maya had fully developed the idea of the calendar, detailed a writing system, pioneered new ideas in agriculture, and built towering palaces and temples that still stand today. Empire of the Ancient Maya gives a brief summary of the history of the empire, placing it within the context of its time period and geographical location, and then explores the evolution of Maya civilization from its origin through the classic period to the Spanish conquest. Delving into daily life, the book includes Maya achievements in mathematics, astronomy, technology, political organization, commerce, architecture, and the arts.

Prehistoric Mesoamerica

Author: Richard E. W. Adams

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 9780806137025

Category: History

Page: 521

View: 5547

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An up-to-date overview of Mesoamerican cultures from early prehistoric times through the fall of the Aztec Empire, Prehistoric Mesoamerica, Third Edition will be useful and appealing to readers interested in Mesoamerican art, society, politics, and intellectual achievement.

Ancient Maya

The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization

Author: Arthur Demarest

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521533904

Category: History

Page: 373

View: 3555

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Ancient Maya comes to life in this new holistic and theoretical study.

Space and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology

Author: University of Calgary. Archaeological Association. Conference,Elizabeth C. Robertson

Publisher: UNM Press

ISBN: 9780826340221

Category: Social Science

Page: 406

View: 4757

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The archaeology of space and place is examined in this selection of papers from the 34th annual Chacmool Archaeological Conference.

The World of the Ancient Maya

Author: John S. Henderson

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801482847

Category: History

Page: 329

View: 6410

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"General overview of the ancient Maya begins with summary discussions of the history of Maya studies, the environment and geography of the Maya world, and the European invasion. Text is devoted primarily to a synthesis of the history of Maya cultural traditions based primarily on archaeological data and complemented by epigraphic and ethnohistorical information"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

The Petexbatun Regional Archaeological Project

A Multidisciplinary Study of the Maya Collapse

Author: Arthur Andrew Demarest

Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press

ISBN: 9780826514431

Category: History

Page: 211

View: 339

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This overview and introduction to the multi-volume Petexbatun project series describes the objectives, structure, personnel, and major findings of the seven-year multidisciplinary investigation. The previous research, issues, and problem-orientation of the project are reviewed, and an unusually frank history of the 1989-1996 field investigations is presented. Final results of the dozen Petexbatun subprojects are previewed, including summaries of site-specific studies of centers and subordinate kingdoms and the regional disciplinary subprojects exploring osteology, ecology, faunal studies, ceramics, epigraphic history, settlement patterns, defensive systems, caves, and other aspects of Classic period civilization and culture change. Then, based on the project's findings, Demarest presents interpretive reconstructions of the linked histories of the Pasion River kingdoms and correlates these interpretations with the variable evidence and culture-histories of other regions of the Classic Maya lowlands. He points out that only through linking such accurate regional culture-histories can we begin to understand the eighth- through tenth-century changes in Classic Maya civilization. The volume describes how the Petexbatun project addressed this challenge in its research design, structure, and large, multicentered zone of study. Building on the previous twenty years of Harvard research in adjacent zones, the Vanderbilt projects succeeded in reconstructing events and processes throughout the Pasion River Valley, the largest single inland trade route of the ancient Maya world. In its conclusions, this first of the Petexbatun volumes of multidisciplinary studies, evidence, analyses, and interpretations, provides answers to some long-standing questions about the "Classic Maya collapse," as well as a new, preliminary culture-history of the abandonment, decline, or transformation of the Classic Maya kingdoms of the western Peten. It is an exciting preview and summary of a decade of evidence on the debate over the fate of the Classic Maya civilization, one of the great controversies in the history of Pre-Columbian archaeology. VIMA Series #1

The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands

Collapse, Transition, and Transformation

Author: Arthur A. Demarest,Don S. Rice

Publisher: Univ Pr of Colorado

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 676

View: 4481

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This book revisits one of the great problems in Mayan archaeology -- the apparent collapse of Classic Maya civilisation from roughly AD830-950. During this period the Maya abandoned their power centres in the southern lowlands and rather abruptly ceased the distinctive cultural practices that marked their apogee in the Classic period. Archaeological fieldwork during the past three decades, however, has uncovered enormous regional variability in the ways the Maya experienced the shift from Classic to Post-classic society, revealing a period of cultural change more complex than acknowledged by traditional models. Featuring an impressive roster of scholars, the book presents the most recent data and interpretations pertaining to this perplexing period of cultural transformation in the Maya lowlands. Although the research reveals clear interregional patterns, the contributors resist a single overarching explanation. Rather, this volume's diverse and nuanced interpretations provide a new, more properly grounded beginning for continued debate on the nature of lowland Terminal Classic Maya civilisation.

Ancient Maya

The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization

Author: Arthur Demarest

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521533904

Category: History

Page: 373

View: 5362

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Ancient Maya comes to life in this new holistic and theoretical study.

The Way the Wind Blows

Climate Change, History, and Human Action

Author: Roderick J. McIntosh,Joseph A. Tainter,Susan Keech McIntosh

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231505787

Category: Science

Page: 448

View: 8038

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Scientists and policymakers are beginning to understand in ever-increasing detail that environmental problems cannot be understood solely through the biophysical sciences. Environmental issues are fundamentally human issues and must be set in the context of social, political, cultural, and economic knowledge. The need both to understand how human beings in the past responded to climatic and other environmental changes and to synthesize the implications of these historical patterns for present-day sustainability spurred a conference of the world's leading scholars on the topic. The Way the Wind Blows is the rich result of that conference. Articles discuss the dynamics of climate, human perceptions of and responses to the environment, and issues of sustainability and resiliency. These themes are illustrated through discussions of human societies around the world and throughout history.

The First Maya Civilization

Ritual and Power Before the Classic Period

Author: Francisco Estrada-Belli

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136882499

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 2973

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When the Maya kings of Tikal dedicated their first carved monuments in the third century A.D., inaugurating the Classic period of Maya history that lasted for six centuries and saw the rise of such famous cities as Palenque, Copan and Yaxchilan, Maya civilization was already nearly a millennium old. Its first cities, such as Nakbe and El Mirador, had some of the largest temples ever raised in Prehispanic America, while others such as Cival showed even earlier evidence of complex rituals. The reality of this Preclassic Maya civilization has been documented by scholars over the past three decades: what had been seen as an age of simple village farming, belatedly responding to the stimulus of more advanced peoples in highland Mesoamerica, is now know to have been the period when the Maya made themselves into one of the New World's most innovative societies. This book discusses the most recent advances in our knowledge of the Preclassic Maya and the emergence of their rainforest civilization, with new data on settlement, political organization, architecture, iconography and epigraphy supporting a contemporary theoretical perspective that challenges prior assumptions.