MESOAMERICAN PLAZAS ARENAS OF COMMUNITY AND POWER

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Mesoamerican Plazas

Author : Kenichiro Tsukamoto
ISBN : 9780816598793
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 31.71 MB
Format : PDF
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Until now, archaeological and historical studies of Mesoamerican plazas have been scarce compared to studies of the surrounding monumental architecture such as pyramidal temples and palaces. Many scholars have assumed that ancient Mesoamericans invested their labor, wealth, and symbolic value in pyramids and other prominent buildings, viewing plazas as by-products of these buildings. Even when researchers have recognized the potential significance of plazas, they have thought that plazas as vacant spaces could offer few clues about their cultural and political roles. Mesoamerican Plazas challenges both of these assumptions. The primary question that has motivated the contributors is how Mesoamerican plazas became arenas for the creation and negotiation of social relations and values in a community. The thirteen contributions stress the significance of interplay between power relations and embodied practices set in specific historical and material settings, as outlined by practice theory and performance theory. This approach allows the contributors to explore broader anthropological issues, such as the negotiation of power relations, community making, and the constitution of political authorities. Overall, the contributions establish that physical interactions among people in communal events were not the outcomes of political machinations held behind the scenes, but were the actual political processes through which people created, negotiated, and subverted social realities. If so, spacious plazas that were arguably designed for interactions among a large number of individuals must have also provided critical arenas for the constitution and transformation of society.
Category: Social Science

Political Strategies In Pre Columbian Mesoamerica

Author : Sarah Kurnick
ISBN : 9781607324164
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 28.26 MB
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Political authority contains an inherent contradiction. Rulers must reinforce social inequality and bolster their own unique position at the top of the sociopolitical hierarchy, yet simultaneously emphasize social similarities and the commonalities shared by all. Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica explores the different and complex ways that those who exercised authority in the region confronted this contradiction. New data from a variety of well-known scholars in Mesoamerican archaeology reveal the creation, perpetuation, and contestation of politically authoritative relationships between rulers and subjects and between nobles and commoners. The contributions span the geographic breadth and temporal extent of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica—from Preclassic Oaxaca to the Classic Petén region of Guatemala to the Postclassic Michoacán—and the contributors weave together archaeological, epigraphic, and ethnohistoric data. Grappling with the questions of how those exercising authority convince others to follow and why individuals often choose to recognize and comply with authority, Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica discusses why the study of political authority is both timely and significant, reviews how scholars have historically understood the operation of political authority, and proposes a new analytical framework to understand how rulers rule. Contributors include Sarah B. Barber, Joanne Baron, Christopher S. Beekman, Jeffrey Brzezinski, Bryce Davenport, Charles Golden, Takeshi Inomata, Arthur A. Joyce, Sarah Kurnick, Carlo J. Lucido, Simon Martin, Tatsuya Murakami, Helen Perlstein Pollard, and Víctor Salazar Chávez.
Category: Social Science

The Early Olmec And Mesoamerica

Author : Jeffrey P. Blomster
ISBN : 9781316943069
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 36.29 MB
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The Early Formative Olmec are central in a wide variety of debates regarding the development of Mesoamerican societies. A fundamental issue in Olmec archaeology is the nature of interregional interaction among contemporaneous societies and the possible Olmec role in it. Previous debates have often not been informed by recent research and data, often relying on materials lacking archaeological context. In order to approach these issues from new perspectives, this book introduces readers to the full spectrum of the material culture of the Olmec and their contemporaries, relying primarily on archaeological data, much of which has not been previously published. For the first time, using a standard lexicon to consider the nature of the interaction among Early Formative societies, the authors, experts in diverse regions of Mesoamerican art and archaeology, provide carefully considered contrasts and comparisons that advance the understanding of the Early Formative origins of social complexity in Mesoamerica.
Category: Social Science

Urbanization And Religion In Ancient Central Mexico

Author : David M. Carballo
ISBN : 9780190251062
Genre : History
File Size : 79.81 MB
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This volume examines the ways in which urbanisation and religion intersected in pre-Columbian central Mexico. It provides a materially informed history of religion and an archaeology of cities that considers religion as a generative force in societal change
Category: History

Archaeology Of Performance

Author : Takeshi Inomata
ISBN : 9780759114401
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 36.23 MB
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Collection of original articles exploring theatricality in the ancient world and how it affected social life and politics.
Category: Social Science

Water Cacao And The Early Maya Of Chocol

Author : Jonathan Kaplan
ISBN : 0813056748
Genre : History
File Size : 73.87 MB
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In describing what was, in effect, a lost Maya city, the book highlights the many important research findings to date of long-term field research at the city, including a very early, yet extraordinarily sophisticated ancient water control system, and evidence for cacao arboriculture, to explain its rise to wealth and power as a "kingdom of chocolate"; also detailed are the ancient city's sculpture and ceramics and the ethnohistory of the modern Maya community lying atop it.
Category: History

Houses In A Landscape

Author : Julia A. Hendon
ISBN : 9780822391722
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 83.27 MB
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In Houses in a Landscape, Julia A. Hendon examines the connections between social identity and social memory using archaeological research on indigenous societies that existed more than one thousand years ago in what is now Honduras. While these societies left behind monumental buildings, the remains of their dead, remnants of their daily life, intricate works of art, and fine examples of craftsmanship such as pottery and stone tools, they left only a small body of written records. Despite this paucity of written information, Hendon contends that an archaeological study of memory in such societies is possible and worthwhile. It is possible because memory is not just a faculty of the individual mind operating in isolation, but a social process embedded in the materiality of human existence. Intimately bound up in the relations people develop with one another and with the world around them through what they do, where and how they do it, and with whom or what, memory leaves material traces. Hendon conducted research on three contemporaneous Native American civilizations that flourished from the seventh century through the eleventh CE: the Maya kingdom of Copan, the hilltop center of Cerro Palenque, and the dispersed settlement of the Cuyumapa valley. She analyzes domestic life in these societies, from cooking to crafting, as well as public and private ritual events including the ballgame. Combining her findings with a rich body of theory from anthropology, history, and geography, she explores how objects—the things people build, make, use, exchange, and discard—help people remember. In so doing, she demonstrates how everyday life becomes part of the social processes of remembering and forgetting, and how “memory communities” assert connections between the past and the present.
Category: Social Science

Understanding Collapse

Author : Guy D. Middleton
ISBN : 9781107151499
Genre : History
File Size : 26.81 MB
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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.
Category: History

Mesoamerican Architecture As A Cultural Symbol

Author : Jeff Karl Kowalski
ISBN : UOM:39015047441319
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 57.4 MB
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In this collection, prominent scholars provide new interpretations and useful syntheses of many of the most significant Mesoamerican architectural traditions from the Preclassic to the Postclassic periods. The essays examine the built environment as a carrier of cultural meanings. The many pyramid-temples, palaces, and ballcourts comprising Mesoamerican centers were constructed in the context of hierarchical societies, and provided monumental expressions of elite authority. The design of individual buildings, as well as the layout of site plans, often embodied Mesoamerican beliefs about the structure of the cosmos, natural forces, or the numinous power of landscape forms, thus providing sanction for the sociopolitical order.
Category: Architecture

Ritual Play And Belief In Evolution And Early Human Societies

Author : Colin Renfrew
ISBN : 9781108548618
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 53.37 MB
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The origins of religion and ritual in humans have been the focus of centuries of thought in archaeology, anthropology, theology, evolutionary psychology and more. Play and ritual have many aspects in common, and ritual is a key component of the early cult practices that underlie the religious systems of societies in all parts of the world. This book examines the formative cults and the roots of religious practice from the earliest times until the development of early religion in the Near East, in China, in Peru, in Mesoamerica and beyond. Here, leading prehistorians, biologists, and other specialists bring a fresh approach to the early practices that underlie the faiths and religions of the world. They demonstrate the profound role of play ritual and belief systems and offer powerful new insights into the emergence of early societies.
Category: Social Science