Continuities and Changes in Maya Archaeology: Perspectives by Charles W. Golden, Greg Borgstede

By Charles W. Golden, Greg Borgstede

This ebook provides the present country of Maya archaeology by means of concentrating on the background of the sector for the final a hundred years, today's study, and ahead having a look prescription for the path of the sphere.

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Coercion, too, need not have been military, but could also have taken the form of exclusion from exchange systems under the control of Maya kings. Much of the wealth represented by elite status markers, such as finely painted polychrome vessels, were produced by elite artists, and the distribution of their work was very likely to have been controlled by rulers (see Foias in this volume for an extended discussion). The k’uhul ajaw also controlled the output of sculptors. Thus, the rulers of Piedras Negras allowed Kingship and polity: Conceptualizing the Maya body politic 27 their artists to sculpt some of the fine pieces of representational art at El Cayo, and the king of Yaxchilán similarly supported a number of his subordinate nobles with panels carved by the same sculptors who produced the texts and images Fig.

Continuities and changes in Maya archaeology 26 The Bases of Authority in Maya Polities To understand the form and integrative mechanisms of Classic Maya polities, we must understand the nature and meaning of authority for the Maya, and not draw a priori notions of authority from cross-cultural models. Since lineage and other kin-based relationships were not the bases of authority for Classic Maya rulers (Chase and Chase 1996; Marcus 2003), the foundations of power clearly lay elsewhere. The Classic Maya were no more, and no less, warlike than people in other preindustrial states, and there is no question that Maya kings possessed and used coercive power in the same manner as kings of many other states.

Houston 2001; Houston and Taube 2000; Inomata 2001a; Schele and Freidel 1991; Schele and Miller 1986; Stuart 1996, 1998a; Taube 1988, 1998). The subordinate nobility were, in turn, dependent on their successful performance of expected roles in similar, albeit lesser, displays often linked directly with the performances of the primate ruler. We note, however, that performance in these roles was only one means used by Maya kings to define their authority. Also reminiscent of the “weak” state model, in some cases subordinate Maya lords were able to break away from their former overlords and form new independent polities Continuities and changes in Maya archaeology 24 (Anaya 2001; Demarest et al.

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