Ancestral Maya Economies in Archaeological Perspective

Author: Patricia A. McAnany
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521895189
Release Date: 2010-01-29
Genre: Social Science

The decipherment of Maya hieroglyphs has enabled scholars to better understand Classic society, but many aspects of this civilization remain shrouded in mystery, particularly its economies and social structures. How did farmers, artisans, and rulers make a living in a tropical forest environment? In this study, Patricia McAnany tackles this question and presents the first comprehensive view of ancestral Maya economic practice. Bringing an archaeological approach to the topic, she demonstrates the vital role of ritual practice in indigenous ecologies, gendered labor, and the construction of colossal architecture. Examining Maya royalty as a kind of social speciation, McAnany also shows the fundamentality of social difference as well as the pervasiveness of artisan production and marketplaces in ancestral Maya societies. Her analysis of royal iconography and hieroglyphic texts provides evidence of a political economy dominated by tribute extraction, thus lifting the veil of opacity over the operation of palace economies. Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book situates Maya economies within contemporary social, political, and economic theories of social practice, gender, actor-networks, inalienable goods, materiality, social difference, indigenous ecologies, and strategies of state finance.

Ancient Maya Commerce

Author: Scott R. Hutson
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 9781607325550
Release Date: 2017-03-01
Genre: Social Science

Ancient Maya Commerce presents nearly two decades of multidisciplinary research at Chunchucmil, Yucatan, Mexico—a thriving Classic period Maya center organized around commercial exchange rather than agriculture. An urban center without a king and unable to sustain agrarian independence, Chunchucmil is a rare example of a Maya city in which economics, not political rituals, served as the engine of growth. Trade was the raison d’être of the city itself. Using a variety of evidence—archaeological, botanical, geomorphological, and soil-based—contributors show how the city was a major center for both short- and long-distance trade, integrating the Guatemalan highlands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the interior of the northern Maya lowlands. By placing Chunchucmil into the broader context of emerging research at other Maya cities, the book reorients the understanding of ancient Maya economies. The book is accompanied by a highly detailed digital map that reveals the dense population of the city and the hundreds of streets its inhabitants constructed to make the city navigable, shifting the knowledge of urbanism among the ancient Maya. Ancient Maya Commerce is a pioneering, thoroughly documented case study of a premodern market center and makes a strong case for the importance of early market economies in the Maya region. It will be a valuable addition to the literature for Mayanists, Mesoamericanists, economic anthropologists, and environmental archaeologists. Contributors: Anthony P. Andrews, Traci Ardren, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Timothy Beach, Chelsea Blackmore, Tara Bond-Freeman, Bruce H. Dahlin, Patrice Farrell, David Hixson, Socorro Jimenez, Justin Lowry, Aline Magnoni, Eugenia Mansell, Daniel E. Mazeau, Travis Stanton, Ryan V. Sweetwood, Richard E. Terry

The Ancient Maya Marketplace

Author: Eleanor M. King
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 9780816500413
Release Date: 2015-11-12
Genre: Business & Economics

"The Ancient Maya Marketplace, edited by Eleanor M. King, reviews the debate on prehispanic Maya markets. The volume's contributors challenge the model of a non-commercialized Maya economy and offer compelling new evidence for the existence and identification of ancient marketplaces among the Maya"--Provided by publisher.

Maya Figurines

Author: Christina T. Halperin
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 9780292709874
Release Date: 2014-04-21
Genre: Social Science

Rather than view the contours of Late Classic Maya social life solely from towering temple pyramids or elite sculptural forms, this book considers a suite of small anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and supernatural figurative remains excavated from household refuse deposits. Maya Figurines examines these often neglected objects and uses them to draw out relationships between the Maya state and its subjects. These figurines provide a unique perspective for understanding Maya social and political relations; Christina T. Halperin argues that state politics work on the microscale of everyday routines, localized rituals, and small-scale representations. Her comprehensive study brings together archeology, anthropology, and art history with theories of material culture, performance, political economy, ritual humor, and mimesis to make a fascinating case for the role politics plays in daily life. What she finds is that, by comparing small-scale figurines with state-sponsored, often large-scale iconography and elite material culture, one can understand how different social realms relate to and represent one another. In Maya Figurines, Halperin compares objects from diverse households, archeological sites, and regions, focusing especially on figurines from Petén, Guatemala, and comparing them to material culture from Belize, the northern highlands of Guatemala, the Usumacinta River, the Campeche coastal area, and Mesoamerican sites outside the Maya zone. Ultimately, she argues, ordinary objects are not simply passive backdrops for important social and political phenomena. Instead, they function as significant mechanisms through which power and social life are intertwined.

Living with the Ancestors

Author: Patricia A. McAnany
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521719353
Release Date: 2014-03-20
Genre: History

Contains an entirely new introduction that synthesizes scholarship on practices of ancestral veneration that has emerged since the 1995 publication of the first edition.

Gendered Labor in Specialized Economies

Author: Sophia E. Kelly
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 9781607324836
Release Date: 2016-10-03
Genre: Social Science

Prehistoric economic relationships are often presented as genderless, yet mounting research highlights the critical role gendered identities play in the division of work tasks and the development of specialized production in pre-modern economic systems. In Gendered Labor in Specialized Economies, contributors combine the study of gender in the archaeological record with the examination of intensified craft production in prehistory to reassess the connection between craft specialization and the types and amount of work that men and women performed in ancient communities. Chapters are organized by four interrelated themes crucial for understanding the implications of gender in the organization of craft production: craft specialization and the political economy, combined effort in specialized production, the organization of female and male specialists, and flexibility and rigidity in the gendered division of labor. Contributors consider how changes to the gendered division of labor in craft manufacture altered other types of production or resulted from modifications in the organization of production elsewhere in the economic system. Striking a balance between theoretical and methodological approaches and presenting case studies from sites around the world, Gendered Labor in Specialized Economies offers a guide to the major issues that will frame future research on how men’s and women’s work changes, predisposes, and structures the course of economic development in various societies. Contributors: Alejandra Alonso Olvera, Traci Ardren, Michael G. Callaghan, Nigel Chang, Cathy Lynne Costin, Pilar Margarita Hernández Escontrías, A. Halliwell, Sue Harrington, James M. Heidke, Sophia E. Kelly, Brigitte Kovacevich, T. Kam Manahan, Ann Brower Stahl, Laura Swantek, Rita Wright, Andrea Yankowski

Textile Economies

Author: Walter E. Little
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 9780759120631
Release Date: 2011-10-16
Genre: Social Science

The economy of textiles provides insight into the fabric of social relations, local and global politics, and diverse ideologies. Textile production and exchange represent a key node for the intersections of multiple aspects of ancient and modern economies, including social-class relations, gender, tourism, exchange, commerce, and transpolity relationships. A political economy of textiles, discussed from a broad interdisciplinary perspective, offers ways to understand cloth and clothing as parts of mutually constitutive processes that shape and reflect economic practices, cultural ideologies, and sociopolitical rank.

Perspectives on Ancient Maya Rural Complexity

Author: Gyles Iannone
Publisher: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
ISBN: STANFORD:36105111864737
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Social Science

Settlement archaeology in the Maya area has focused much of its attention on the polar extremes of the settlement continuum. As a result of this urban/rural bias, a whole range of complex rural settlements remain under-explored. The chapters in this volume highlight the variable quality of these "middle level settlements".

Ancient Maya

Author: Arthur Demarest
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521592240
Release Date: 2004-12-09
Genre: History

In this new archaeological study, Arthur Demarest brings the lost pre-Columbian civilization of the Maya to life. In applying a holistic perspective to the most recent evidence from archaeology, paleoecology, and epigraphy, this theoretical interpretation emphasises both the brilliant rain forest adaptations of the ancient Maya and the Native American spirituality that permeated all aspects of their daily life. Demarest draws on his own discoveries and the findings of colleagues to reconstruct the complex lifeways and volatile political history of the Classic Maya states of the first to eighth centuries. He provides a new explanation of the long-standing mystery of the ninth-century abandonment of most of the great rain forest cities. Finally, he draws lessons from the history of the Classic Maya cities for contemporary society and for the ongoing struggles and resurgence of the modern Maya peoples, who are now re-emerging from six centuries of oppression.

Property in economic context

Author: Robert C. Hunt
Publisher: Univ Pr of Amer
ISBN: UOM:39015043102717
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Business & Economics

Co-published with the Society for Economic Anthropology, Property in Economic Context presents fifteen original essays examining the definition and organization of property in the context of economic organization.

Questioning Collapse

Author: Patricia A. McAnany
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107717329
Release Date: 2009-09-28
Genre: Social Science

Questioning Collapse challenges those scholars and popular writers who advance the thesis that societies - past and present - collapse because of behavior that destroyed their environments or because of overpopulation. In a series of highly accessible and closely argued essays, a team of internationally recognized scholars bring history and context to bear in their radically different analyses of iconic events, such as the deforestation of Easter Island, the cessation of the Norse colony in Greenland, the faltering of nineteenth-century China, the migration of ancestral peoples away from Chaco Canyon in the American southwest, the crisis and resilience of Lowland Maya kingship, and other societies that purportedly 'collapsed'. Collectively, these essays demonstrate that resilience in the face of societal crises, rather than collapse, is the leitmotif of the human story from the earliest civilizations to the present. Scrutinizing the notion that Euro-American colonial triumphs were an accident of geography, Questioning Collapse also critically examines the complex historical relationship between race and political labels of societal 'success' and 'failure'.

Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya Theory comparison and synthesis

Author: Takeshi Inomata
Publisher:
ISBN: UOM:39015049637583
Release Date: 2001
Genre: History

The two volumes of Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya provide current archaeological perspectives on Maya courts conceived as vital, functioning social groups composed of lords, courtiers, scribes, priests, and entertainers, among many others. In addition to archaeological data on the architecture and other spatial attributes of courts, the studies in the two volumes bring to bear on the topic the most recent evidence from inscriptions, vase paintings, murals and friezes, and ethnohistoric records in order to flesh out a portrait of the actors and roles that made up Maya courts through time and across space. The attributes of courts are explored in the Maya highlands and lowlands, from the origins of early kingship through the Classic period to the Postclassic and Terminal epochs. Pertinent comparisons are also drawn from the Aztecs and other ancient and contemporary societies. Volume 1: Theory, Comparison, and Synthesis establishes a carefully considered framework for approaching the study of courts and their functions throughout the world of the ancient Maya. Volume 2: Data and Case Studies provides authoritatively current data and insights from key Maya sites, including Copán, Tikal, Caracol, Bonampak, and Calakmul.