MESOAMERICAN PLAZAS ARENAS OF COMMUNITY AND POWER

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Mesoamerican Plazas

Author : Kenichiro Tsukamoto
ISBN : 9780816598793
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 82.8 MB
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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

Urbanization And Religion In Ancient Central Mexico

Author : David M. Carballo
ISBN : 9780190251062
Genre :
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"Urbanization and Religion in Ancient Central Mexico examines the ways in which urbanization and religion intersected in pre-Columbian central Mexico, with a primary focus on the later Formative period and the transition to the Classic period. The major societal transformations of this interval occurred approximately two-thousand years ago and over a millennium before Mexico's best known early civilization, the Aztecs. David M. Carballo presents a synthesis of data from regional archaeological projects and key sites such as Teotihuacan and Cuicuilco, while relying on the author's own excavations at the site of La Laguna as the central case study. A principal argument is that cities and states developed hand in hand with elements of a religious tradition of remarkable endurance and that these processes were fundamentally entangled. Prevalent religious beliefs and ritual practices created a cultural logic for urbanism, and as populations urbanized they became socially integrated and differentiated following this logic. Nevertheless, religion was used differently over time and by groups and individuals across the spectra of urbanity and social status. This book calls for a materially informed history of religion, with the temporal depth that archaeology can provide, and an archaeology of cities that considers religion seriously as a generative force in societal change"--
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Real Fake

Author : Justin Jennings
ISBN : 9780888545237
Genre : History
File Size : 79.39 MB
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What makes a museum object "real" or "fake"? This publication explores this question through the intensive study of a single object. In Real Fake: The Story of a Zapotec Urn, ROM researchers and their colleagues take us from life in Mexico's Valley of Oaxaca during the fifth century CE to present-day analyses conducted in cutting-edge laboratories on two continent. Understanding this urn meant exploring ancient tombs, diving into archives, and opening the storerooms of the world's greatest museums. Yet, these efforts only yielded a fraction of the story. Much of the urn's truths still remained trapped within the clay, pigment, adhesives, and metal from which it had been cobbled together. The end result is the account of a Frankenstein, an object hidden away for decades in the ROM's vaults that was created by combining new pieces with millennia-old spare parts.
Category: History

Archaeology Of Performance

Author : Takeshi Inomata
ISBN : 9780759114401
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 74.67 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

Classic Maya Polities Of The Southern Lowlands

Author : Damien B. Marken
ISBN : 9781457197246
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 45.66 MB
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"Classic Maya Polities of the Southern Lowlands investigates Maya political and social structure in the southern lowlands, assessing, comparing, and interpreting the wide variation in Classic period Maya polity and city composition, development, and integration. Traditionally, discussions of Classic Maya political organization have been dominated by the debate over whether Maya polities were centralized or decentralized. With new, largely unpublished data from several recent archaeological projects, this book examines the premises, strengths, and weaknesses of these two perspectives before moving beyond this long-standing debate and into different territory.The volume examines the articulations of the various social and spatial components of Maya polity—the relationships, strategies, and practices that bound households, communities, institutions, and dynasties into enduring (or short-lived) political entities. By emphasizing the internal negotiation of polity, the contributions provide an important foundation for a more holistic understanding of how political organization functioned in the Classic period."
Category: Social Science

Gender And Power In Prehispanic Mesoamerica

Author : Rosemary A. Joyce
ISBN : UVA:X004471160
Genre : History
File Size : 23.97 MB
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Gender was a fluid potential, not a fixed category, before the Spaniards came to Mesoamerica. Childhood training and ritual shaped, but did not set, adult gender, which could encompass third genders and alternative sexualities as well as "male" and "female." At the height of the Classic period, Maya rulers presented themselves as embodying the entire range of gender possibilities, from male through female, by wearing blended costumes and playing male and female roles in state ceremonies. This landmark book offers the first comprehensive description and analysis of gender and power relations in prehispanic Mesoamerica from the Formative Period Olmec world (ca. 1500-500 BC) through the Postclassic Maya and Aztec societies of the sixteenth century AD. Using approaches from contemporary gender theory, Rosemary Joyce explores how Mesoamericans created human images to represent idealized notions of what it meant to be male and female and to depict proper gender roles. She then juxtaposes these images with archaeological evidence from burials, house sites, and body ornaments, which reveals that real gender roles were more fluid and variable than the stereotyped images suggest.
Category: History

The Life Giving Stone

Author : Michael T. Searcy
ISBN : 9780816529094
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56.79 MB
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In The Life-Giving Stone, Michael Searcy provides a thought-provoking ethnoarchaeological account of metate and mano manufacture, marketing, and use among Guatemalan Maya for whom these stone implements are still essential equipment in everyday life and diet. Although many archaeologists have regarded these artifacts simply as common everyday tools and therefore unremarkable, SearcyÕs methodology reveals how, for the ancient Maya, the manufacture and use of grinding stones significantly impacted their physical and economic welfare. In tracing the life cycle of these tools from production to discard for the modern Maya, Searcy discovers rich customs and traditions that indicate how metates and manos have continued to sustain lifeÑnot just literally, in terms of food, but also in terms of culture. His research is based on two years of fieldwork among three Mayan groups, in which he documented behaviors associated with these tools during their procurement, production, acquisition, use, discard, and re-use. SearcyÕs investigation documents traditional practices that are rapidly being lost or dramatically modified. In few instances will it be possible in the future to observe metates and manos as central elements in household provisioning or follow their path from hand-manufacture to market distribution and to intergenerational transmission. In this careful inquiry into the cultural significance of a simple tool, SearcyÕs ethnographic observations are guided both by an interest in how grinding stone traditions have persisted and how they are changing today, and by the goal of enhancing the archaeological interpretation of these stones, which were so fundamental to pre-Hispanic agriculturalists with corn-based cuisines.
Category: Social Science

Adela Breton

Author : Mary Frech McVicker
ISBN : 0826336787
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 64.8 MB
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The life and work of the adventurous Victorian gentlewoman who became internationally recognized for her paintings of Pre-Columbian sites and images.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

San Rock Art

Author : J.D. Lewis-Williams
ISBN : 9780821444580
Genre : Art
File Size : 22.87 MB
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San rock paintings, scattered over the range of southern Africa, are considered by many to be the very earliest examples of representational art. There are as many as 15,000 known rock art sites, created over the course of thousands of years up until the nineteenth century. There are possibly just as many still awaiting discovery. Taking as his starting point the magnificent Linton panel in the Iziko-South African Museum in Cape Town, J. D. Lewis-Williams examines the artistic and cultural significance of rock art and how this art sheds light on how San image-makers conceived their world. It also details the European encounter with rock art as well as the contentious European interaction with the artists’ descendants, the contemporary San people.
Category: Art

Where The Wind Blows Us

Author : Natasha Lyons
ISBN : 9780816529933
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 20.71 MB
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"This volume unites critical practice with a community-based approach to archaeology and presents an extended case study with the Inuvialuit community of the Canadian Western Arctic, using a multivocal approach that integrates archaeology, ethnography, oral history, and community interviews, and actively working to hear Inuvialuit voices speak about their rich and textured history"--Provided by publisher.
Category: Social Science