9780292705692

Maya Political Science : Time, Astronomy, and the Cosmos

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780292705692

  • ISBN10:

    0292705697

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-11-30
  • Publisher: Univ of Texas Pr

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Summary

"Just when you thought you had heard every possible model of Maya political organization, along comes Rice's book. Unsatisfied by "foreign" models (Mediterranean city-states, African segmentary states, Aegean peer-polities, Thai galactic polities, and Bali theater states), Rice draws on ethnohistoric, epigraphic, and archaeological data to develop a native Maya model in which the rotation of political seats of power conformed to calendar cycles of 256 years. This ambitious book is sure to provoke comments from the notoriously contentious field of Maya scholars." --Joyce Marcus, Elman R. Service Professor of Cultural Evolution, University of Michigan How did the ancient Maya rule their world? Despite more than a century of archaeological investigation and glyphic decipherment, the nature of Maya political organization and political geography has remained an open question. Many debates have raged over models of centralization versus decentralization, superordinate and subordinate status--with far-flung analogies to emerging states in Europe, Asia, and Africa. But Prudence Rice asserts that neither the model of two giant "superpowers" nor that which postulates scores of small, weakly independent polities fits the accumulating body of material and cultural evidence. In this groundbreaking book, Rice builds a new model of Classic lowland Maya (AD 179-948) political organization and political geography. Using the method of direct historical analogy, she integrates ethnohistoric and ethnographic knowledge of the Colonial-period and modern Maya with archaeological, epigraphic, and iconographic data from the ancient Maya. On this basis of cultural continuity, she constructs a convincing case that the fundamental ordering principles of Classic Maya geopolitical organization were the calendar (specifically a 256-year cycle of time known as the may ) and the concept of quadripartition, or the division of the cosmos into four cardinal directions. Rice also examines this new model of geopolitical organization in the Preclassic and Postclassic periods and demonstrates that it offers fresh insights into the nature of rulership, ballgame ritual, and warfare among the Classic lowland Maya.

Table of Contents

Preface xv
Note on Orthography and Dates xix
Acknowledgments xxi
Introduction: Approaches to Maya Political Organization
1(21)
Explanation, Analogy, and the Direct-Historical Approach
1(6)
Sources for a Direct-Historical Approach: A Critical Review
7(12)
Classic Period Hieroglyphic Inscriptions
7(2)
Native Texts of the Postclassic and Colonial Periods
9(5)
Spanish Colonial Documents
14(2)
Dictionaries
16(1)
Modern Ethnography
17(2)
Maya Cosmology and Worldview
19(3)
Previous Reconstructions of Classic Maya Political Organization
22(34)
Early Thoughts
22(3)
The Political Geography of the Yucatan Maya
25(3)
Twentieth-Century Ethnography
28(3)
Site Size and Size-Hierarchy Models
31(5)
Inscription-based Models
36(15)
The Importance of Emblem Glyphs
40(3)
Emblem Glyph--based (and Other) Decentralized Models
43(4)
Emblem Glyph--based Centralized Models
47(4)
Time and Its Cycles
51(5)
Maya Politico-Religious Calendrics
56(29)
Maya Cosmology and Calendrical Science
56(19)
Maya Calendars
57(10)
Calendrical Origins
67(7)
Calendrical Transformations
74(1)
The Postclassic Maya May
75(8)
The May and Its Seats
76(3)
The Books of the Chilam B'alams and Rituals of the May
79(4)
Overview
83(2)
Tikal as Early Seat of the May
85(36)
Preclassic Ritual Architecture and K'atun Seats
86(6)
Early Classic Tikal and Its Rulers
92(14)
The Institution of Kingship
92(2)
Tikal's Dynastic Founding
94(4)
Tikal's Name and Emblem Glyph
98(2)
The Dynasty Continues
100(2)
The Central Mexican Presence
102(4)
Tikal in the Middle Classic Period
106(5)
The Meaning of the Middle
111(4)
Overview
115(6)
Tikal's Late and Terminal Classic Seating of the May
121(47)
Tikal as Late Classic May Ku
121(30)
Twin-Pyramid Groups
121(5)
Tikal's Late Classic Monuments
126(18)
Late Classic Period--ending Monuments in Tikal's Realm
144(2)
Interpretations: Tikal's Late Classic Mav Seating
146(5)
Tikal and Its May Realm in the Terminal Classic Period
151(15)
Monuments and Themes
152(4)
Other Sites in Tikal's Terminal Classic May Realm
156(10)
Overview
166(2)
Other Classic Period May-based Realms
168(36)
Copan, Honduras, and Quirigua, Guatemala
168(14)
Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico
182(9)
Other Sites and Regions
191(9)
Caracol, Belize
191(3)
Palenque and Tonina, Chiapas, Mexico
194(3)
Dos Pilas, Peten, Guatemala
197(3)
Overview
200(4)
New Terminal Classic May Realms
204(39)
The Southern Lowlands
204(16)
Seibal as May Ku: Structure A-3 Monuments
206(9)
Lake Peten Itza
215(3)
Ucanal
218(2)
The Northern Lowlands
220(17)
The Puuc Region
221(5)
Chich'en Itza, Yucatan
226(8)
Dzibilchaltun and Coba
234(3)
Overview
237(6)
Implications of the May Model
243(32)
Identifying the May
243(2)
Calendrical Rituals Involving Fire
245(7)
Burner Rituals
246(2)
New Year's Ceremonies
248(3)
Fire Walking
251(1)
Ballcourts and the Ballgame
252(6)
Maya ``Warfare''
258(7)
Dual Rulership
265(5)
Overview
270(5)
Conclusion
275(16)
Origin and Operation of the May System
280(4)
The Classic Maya: A Theocratic State
284(7)
Bibliography 291(42)
Index 333

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