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Mortuary Landscapes Of The Classic Maya

Author: Andrew K. Scherer
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 1477300511
Size: 79.70 MB
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From the tombs of the elite to the graves of commoners, mortuary remains offer rich insights into Classic Maya society. In Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya: Rituals of Body and Soul, the anthropological archaeologist and bioarchaeologist Andrew K. Scherer explores the broad range of burial practices among the Maya of the Classic period (AD 250–900), integrating information gleaned from his own fieldwork with insights from the fields of iconography, epigraphy, and ethnography to illuminate this society’s rich funerary traditions. Scherer’s study of burials along the Usumacinta River at the Mexican-Guatemalan border and in the Central Petén region of Guatemala—areas that include Piedras Negras, El Kinel, Tecolote, El Zotz, and Yaxha—reveals commonalities and differences among royal, elite, and commoner mortuary practices. By analyzing skeletons containing dental and cranial modifications, as well as the adornments of interred bodies, Scherer probes Classic Maya conceptions of body, wellness, and the afterlife. Scherer also moves beyond the body to look at the spatial orientation of the burials and their integration into the architecture of Maya communities. Taking a unique interdisciplinary approach, the author examines how Classic Maya deathways can expand our understanding of this society’s beliefs and traditions, making Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya an important step forward in Mesoamerican archeology.

Before Kukulk N

Author: Vera Tiesler
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816537437
Size: 48.36 MB
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This volume illuminates human lifeways in the northern Maya lowlands prior to the rise of Chichén Itzá. This period and area have been poorly understood on their own terms, obscured by scholarly focus on the central lowland Maya kingdoms. Before Kukulkán is anchored in three decades of interdisciplinary research at the Classic Maya capital of Yaxuná, located at a contentious crossroads of the northern Maya lowlands. Using bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, and culturally sensitive mainstream archaeology, the authors create an in-depth regional understanding while also laying out broader ways of learning about the Maya past. Part 1 examines ancient lifeways among the Maya at Yaxuná, while part 2 explores different meanings of dying and cycling at the settlement and beyond: ancestral practices, royal entombment and desecration, and human sacrifice. The authors close with a discussion of the last years of occupation at Yaxuná and the role of Chichén Itzá in the abandonment of this urban center. Before Kukulkán provides a cohesive synthesis of the evolving roles and collective identities of locals and foreigners at the settlement and their involvement in the region’s trajectory. Theoretically informed and contextualized discussions offer unique glimpses of everyday life and death in the socially fluid Maya city. These findings, in conjunction with other documented series of skeletal remains from this region, provide a nuanced picture of the social and biocultural dynamics that operated successfully for centuries before the arrival of the Itzá.

The Gifted Passage

Author: Stephen Houston
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300228961
Size: 26.55 MB
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In this thought-provoking book, preeminent scholar Stephen Houston turns his attention to the crucial role of young males in Classic Maya society, drawing on evidence from art, writing, and material culture. The Gifted Passage establishes that adolescent men in Maya art were the subjects and makers of hieroglyphics, painted ceramics, and murals, in works that helped to shape and reflect masculinity in Maya civilization. The political volatility of the Classic Maya period gave male adolescents valuable status as potential heirs, and many of the most precious surviving ceramics likely celebrated their coming-of-age rituals. The ardent hope was that youths would grow into effective kings and noblemen, capable of leadership in battle and service in royal courts. Aiming to shift mainstream conceptions of the Maya, Houston argues that adolescent men were not simply present in images and texts, but central to both.

Death And The Classic Maya Kings

Author: James L. Fitzsimmons
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 029271890X
Size: 17.46 MB
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Like their regal counterparts in societies around the globe, ancient Maya rulers departed this world with elaborate burial ceremonies and lavish grave goods, which often included ceramics, red pigments, earflares, stingray spines, jades, pearls, obsidian blades, and mosaics. Archaeological investigation of these burials, as well as the decipherment of inscriptions that record Maya rulers' funerary rites, have opened a fascinating window on how the ancient Maya envisaged the ruler's passage from the world of the living to the realm of the ancestors. Focusing on the Classic Period (AD 250-900), James Fitzsimmons examines and compares textual and archaeological evidence for rites of death and burial in the Maya lowlands, from which he creates models of royal Maya funerary behavior. Exploring ancient Maya attitudes toward death expressed at well-known sites such as Tikal, Guatemala, and Copan, Honduras, as well as less-explored archaeological locations, Fitzsimmons reconstructs royal mortuary rites and expands our understanding of key Maya concepts including the afterlife and ancestor veneration.

Uncovering Identity In Mortuary Analysis

Author: Michael Heilen
Publisher: Left Coast Press
ISBN: 1611321859
Size: 10.10 MB
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This volume presents a sophisticated set of archival, forensic, and excavation methods to identify both individuals and group affiliations—cultural, religious, and organizational—in a multiethnic historical cemetery. Based on an extensive excavation project of more than 1,000 nineteenth-century burials in downtown Tucson, Arizona, the team of historians, archaeologists, biological anthropologists, and community researchers created an effective methodology for use at other historical-period sites. Comparisons made with other excavated cemeteries strengthens the power of this toolkit for historical archaeologists and others. The volume also sensitizes archaeologists to the concerns of community and cultural groups to mortuary excavation and outlines procedures for proper consultation with the descendants of the cemetery’s inhabitants. Copublished with SRI Press.

Encyclopedia Of The Ancient Maya

Author: Walter R. T. Witschey
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0759122865
Size: 30.38 MB
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Encyclopedia of the Ancient Maya provides an A-to-Z overview of the ancient Maya culture from its inception to the Spanish Conquest. Exploring Maya society, celebrations, and achievements, as well as new insights into Maya culture and collapse, this is a sophisticated yet accessible introduction suitable for students and general readers.

The Memory Of Bones

Author: Stephen Houston
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292756186
Size: 52.33 MB
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All of human experience flows from bodies that feel, express emotion, and think about what such experiences mean. But is it possible for us, embodied as we are in a particular time and place, to know how people of long ago thought about the body and its experiences? In this groundbreaking book, three leading experts on the Classic Maya (ca. AD 250 to 850) marshal a vast array of evidence from Maya iconography and hieroglyphic writing, as well as archaeological findings, to argue that the Classic Maya developed a coherent approach to the human body that we can recover and understand today. The authors open with a cartography of the Maya body, its parts and their meanings, as depicted in imagery and texts. They go on to explore such issues as how the body was replicated in portraiture; how it experienced the world through ingestion, the senses, and the emotions; how the body experienced war and sacrifice and the pain and sexuality that were intimately bound up in these domains; how words, often heaven-sent, could be embodied; and how bodies could be blurred through spirit possession. From these investigations, the authors convincingly demonstrate that the Maya conceptualized the body in varying roles, as a metaphor of time, as a gendered, sexualized being, in distinct stages of life, as an instrument of honor and dishonor, as a vehicle for communication and consumption, as an exemplification of beauty and ugliness, and as a dancer and song-maker. Their findings open a new avenue for empathetically understanding the ancient Maya as living human beings who experienced the world as we do, through the body.

Killing Civilization

Author: Justin Jennings
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 0826356613
Size: 42.78 MB
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Killing Civilization uses case studies from across the modern and ancient world to develop a new model of incipient urbanism and its consequences.

Violence Ritual And The Wari Empire

Author: Tiffiny A. Tung
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780813037677
Size: 13.76 MB
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"A ground-breaking study that provides one of the best case studies we have in the bioarchaeology of violence. A must-read for anyone interested in the origin and evolution of aggression and violence in human societies."--Debra L. Martin, University of Nevada "In this exciting new work, Dr. Tung provides the first comprehensive view of life and the bodies inside ancient Peru's Wari Empire. Situating the study of archaeological human remains where bioarchaeology and the contemporary archaeology intersect, Tung focuses on the lived experience of Wari inhabitants to explore the creation of bioarchaeological narratives, the ways that bodies become material culture, and the influence of imperial control."--Christina Torres-Rouff, Colorado College The Wari Empire thrived in the Peruvian Andes between AD 600 and 1000. This study of human skeletons reveals the biological and social impact of Wari imperialism on people's lives, particularly its effects on community organization and frequency of violence of both ruling elites and subjects. The Wari state was one of the first politically centralized civilizations in the New World that expanded dramatically as a product of its economic and military might. Tiffiny Tung reveals that Wari political and military elites promoted and valorized aggressive actions, such as the abduction of men, women, and children from foreign settlements. Captive men and children were sacrificed, dismembered, and transformed into trophy heads, while non-local women received different treatment relative to the men and children. By inspecting bioarchaeological data from skeletons and ancient DNA, as well as archaeological data, Tung provides a better understanding of how the empire's practices affected human communities, particularly in terms of age/sex structure, mortuary treatment, use of violence, and ritual processes associated with power and bodies. Tiffiny A. Tung is associate professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University. A volume in the series Bioarchaeological Interpretations of the Human Past: Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives, edited by Clark Spencer Larsen

Masks Of The Spirit

Author: Peter T. Markman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520064188
Size: 79.16 MB
Format: PDF
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"This illustrated study guides the reader through the long history of Mesoamerican mask-making. It explores many themes associated with one of the least understood yet fascinating religious and mythological traditions."--Amazon.