Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World

Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World

by Lynn V. Foster, Peter Mathews
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195183630

ISBN-13: 9780195183634

Pub. Date: 05/15/2005

Publisher: Oxford University Press

The ancient Mayan civilization of southern Mexico and northern Central America has long been described as "mysterious," even though scholars have been studying this culture for hundreds of years. Our view of the Maya has changed dramatically based on the various findings of these scholars; what were once thought of as "vacant ceremonial centers,"

Overview

The ancient Mayan civilization of southern Mexico and northern Central America has long been described as "mysterious," even though scholars have been studying this culture for hundreds of years. Our view of the Maya has changed dramatically based on the various findings of these scholars; what were once thought of as "vacant ceremonial centers," inhabited by only a few calendar priests and used as places of ritual by the surrounding peasant farmers, have now been redefined as ancient thriving cities of thousands of Maya. Hierogliphic inscriptions, once thought to be astrological mumbo-jumbo, now read as names of historical individuals and the cities they ruled.
The Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World provides a comprehensive and accessible reference to the greatest and most mysterious of civilizations, hailed for its contributions to science, mathematics, and technology. The book focuses on recent groundbreaking discoveries while presenting the civilization's earlist beginnings to its conquest by the Spanish in the 16th Century. Each chapter is supplemented by an extensive bibliography as well as photographs. original line drawings, and maps. Different sections include civilization and archaeology, evolution, geography, society and government, astronomy and the calendar, funerary beliefs and customs, and many more,

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195183634
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
05/15/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsvi
Forewordvii
Introductionxi
List of Mapsxiii
List of Illustrationsxiii
List of Tablesxiv
1Maya Civilization and Archaeology1
Developments in Maya Archaeology5
Source Materials8
Reading13
2Evolution of Maya Civilization15
Summary of Major Periods17
Lithic Period (c. 12,000-7000 B.C.E.)18
Archaic Period (c. 7,000-1200 B.C.E.)19
Early Preclassic Period (c. 1200-1000 B.C.E.)23
Middle Preclassic Period (c. 1000-300 B.C.E.)29
Late Preclassic Period (c. 300 B.C.E.-250 C.E.)34
Early Classic Period (c. 250-600)43
Late Classic Period (c. 600-900)49
Terminal Classic Period (c. 800-1000)60
Early Postclassic Period (c. 900-1200)68
Late Postclassic Period (c. 1200-1524)72
The Spanish Conquest to the Present80
Reading85
3Geography of the Pre-Columbian Maya89
Greater Mesoamerica91
Maya Geography and Mythology91
Maya Regional Diversity92
Changing Environment97
Geography and Civilization99
Settlements and Agricultural Beginnings100
Place-Names of Maya Cities103
Reading116
4Society and Government117
Chiefdoms vs. States119
Cities vs. Ceremonial Centers119
Sociopolitical Evolution of the Maya State121
City-States, Regional States, and Superpowers127
Classic Period Maya Rulership134
Postclassic Multepal Government137
Conclusion139
Reading140
5Warfare141
Ruler as Warrior143
The Military144
Kinds of Warfare147
War Tactics150
The Supernatural in War155
Reading156
6Religion, Cosmology, and Art157
The Structure of Cosmic Space159
The Identities of the Gods163
The Unfolding of Creation171
The Sacred City: An Example from Palenque174
The Role of Kings and Shamans178
The Sustenance of Life: Popol Vub183
The Purpose of Ritual Performance187
Conclusion197
Reading197
7Funerary Beliefs and Customs201
Souls and the Afterlife203
Burials207
Ancestor Worship and Legitimacy211
Reading212
8Architecture and Building213
Masonry Architecture and Labor215
Architectural Development216
Architectural Traits218
Temporal Stylistic Shifts222
Regional Variations223
Site Plans226
Cosmology, Politics, and Architecture229
Types of Construction230
Materials and Techniques238
Reading243
9Arithmetic, Astronomy, and the Calendar245
Cyclical History247
Maya Arithmetic248
Origins of the Calendar250
Cycles of Time251
The Long Count255
Other Cycles259
Astronomy260
Summary262
Reading263
10Written Evidence265
History of Maya Hieroglyphic Decipherment267
Mayan Languages and Writing273
Decipherment of Hieroglyphs277
Deciphered Hieroglyphs281
Inscriptions on Public Monuments285
Maya Vase Writing293
Name-Tagging and Ownership of Objects295
The Maya Codices296
Postconquest Literature299
Reading304
11Economy, Industry, and Trade305
Agriculture307
Other Food Production311
Craft Production314
Trade319
Reading326
12Daily Life327
Diversity of Population329
The Family330
Crimes and Punishment332
The Maya Household333
Food and Drink335
Medicine and Health336
Personal Appearance337
Entertainment340
Reading342
Chronological Chart343
Bibliography347
Index367

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