In the first millennium AD, the Classic Maya created courtly societies in and around the Yucatan Peninsula that have left some of the most striking intellectual and aesthetic achievements of the ancient world, including large settlements like Tikal, Copan, and Palenque. This book is the first in-depth synthesis of the Classic Maya. It is richly informed by new decipherments of hieroglyphs and decades of intensive excavation and survey. Structured by categories of person in society, it reports on kings, queens, nobles, gods, and ancestors, as well as the many millions of farmers and other figures who lived in societies predicated on sacred kingship and varying political programs. The Classic Maya presents a tandem model of societies bound by moral covenants and convulsed by unavoidable tensions between groups, all affected by demographic trends and changing environments. Focusing on the Classic heartland but referring to other zones, it will serve as the basic source for all readers interested in the civilization of the Maya.
Stephen Houston is the Dupee Family Professor of Social Sciences at Brown University. The author of numerous books and articles, he is also an archaeologist who has excavated and mapped Classic Maya cities for more than 25 years. A MacArthur Fellow, Houston is also the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.
Takeshi Inomata is Professor in Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He has conducted archaeological investigation at the Maya Center of Aguateca and at Ceibal in Guatemala. His numerous publications examine Maya political organization, warfare, architecture, households, and social change.
Part I. Setting: 1. Introduction; 2. Sociality; 3. Beginnings; 4. The Classic period; Part II. Social Actors: 5. Kings and queens, courts and palaces; 6. Nobles; 7. Gods, supernaturals, and ancestors; 8. Farmers; 9. Craftspeople and traders; 10. End of an era; Epilogue.