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In this lively survey, Guy D. Middleton critically examines our ideas about collapse - how we explain it and how we have constructed potentially misleading myths around collapses - showing how and why collapse of societies was a much more complex phenomenon than is often admitted.
Definitively tracing the evolution of the Maya civilization from the arrival of migrating 'first peoples' to the end of the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican World with the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century AD. A span of some thousands of years are concisely covered in one volume in a thorough study of the evolution of a complex Maya society. A new world of understanding about the ancient Maya civilization has opened up from new archaeological discoveries and studies. The mystery of 'Maya Blue' revealed and an understanding of Maya Arithmetic presented in simplified ways to quickly understand the Maya system with a method to count and do math calculations using a Maya abacus or only using four fingers on each hand. Easy to read and very interesting, providing first an overview, then a chapter by chapter journey through major events in Maya history, concluding with a separated portion of highlighting major aspects in Maya knowledge and ancient ways.
The Bioarchaeology of Space and Place investigates variations in social identity among the ancient Maya by focusing on individuals and small groups identified archaeologically by their inclusion in specific, discrete mortuary contexts or by unusual mortuary treatments. Utilizing archaeological, biological and taphonomic data from these contexts, the studies employ a variety of methodological approaches to reconstruct aspects of individuals’ life-course and mortuary pathways. Following this, specific mortuary behaviors are discussed in relation to their local or regional cultural setting using relevant archaeological, ethnohistoric, and/or ethnographic data in an effort to interpret their meaning within the broader social, political and economic contexts in which they were carried out. This volume covers a number of topics that are currently being debated in Maya archaeology, including identification and discussion of the role and extent of human sacrifice in Maya culture, the use of ancestors for maintaining political power, the mortuary use of caves by both elites and non-elites, ethnic distinctions within urban areas and the extent of movement of people between communities. Importantly, the papers in this volume attempt to test and move beyond static, dichotic categories that are often employed in mortuary studies in an effort to better understand the complex ways in which the Maya conceptualized and manipulated social identity. This type of nuanced case-study approach that incorporates historical, archaeological and theoretical contextualization is becoming increasingly important in the field of bioarchaeology, providing valuable sources of data where small, diverse samples impede populational approaches.
Thanks to powerful innovations in archaeology and other types of historical research, we now have a picture of everyday life in the Mayan empire that turns the long-accepted conventional wisdom on its head. * Includes numerous illustrations and drawings plus depictions of important artifacts such as the murals of Bonampak and the hieroglyphic stairway of Copan * Provides detailed maps of major Maya cities as well as other research sites
"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.
Deep in the dense rainforests of Central America lie the turbulent stories of the Maya monarchy, stories brought vividly to life in Chronicles of the Maya Kings and Queens, which is newly available in paperback. Describing many of their own discoveries, two of the worlds leading experts in Maya hieroglyphs take the reader into a once-hidden history, setting out the latest thinking on the nature of Maya divine kingship, statehood and political authority, and describing all the most recent readings and archaeological finds. Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens combines groundbreaking research with a highly readable history, offering the reader a front-row seat in one of the most exciting and fast-developing areas of world archaeology.

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