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Classic Maya Political History

Hieroglyphic and Archaeological Evidence

Edited by T. Patrick Culbert

Ancient Maya civilization once flourished in the rainforests of what is today southern Mexico and Central America. It possessed the only full system of writing ever to be developed in the Americas. The pace of decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing has accelerated in the last few years, and half of the inscriptions from the sites of the Classic Period (AD 250–900) have now been read. Much of the newly available information consists of historical records of the careers of Maya rulers of the time.

This volume is the first to present in detail the results of decipherment and to consider the implications of a Classic Maya written history. Contributors examine the way in which the Maya elite created the kinship, alliance, warfare, and ceremonial networks on which the civilization was founded. Drawing upon important material just recently made available, they have transformed our understanding of the Maya.

1991. 576 pp., Figures, tables, maps, notes, references, index., 6 x 9

Contributors: T. Patrick Culbert, William L. Fash, Norman Hammond, Christopher Jones, Peter Mathews, Linda Schele, Peter R. Schmidt, Robert J. Sharer, David S. Stuart, Gordon R. Willey, Linnea H. Wren, Norman Yoffee

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List of figures
List of Tables

  1. Introduction
    Norman Hammond
  2. Classic Maya Emblem Glyphs
    Peter Mathews
  3. Prehistoric polities of the Pasion region: hieroglyphic texts and their archaeological settings
    Peter Mathews and Gordon R. Willey
  4. An epigraphic history of the western Maya region
    Linda Schele
  5. Cycles of growth at Tikal
    Christopher Jones
  6. Polities in the northeast Peten, Guatemala
    T. Patrick Culbert
  7. Dynastic history and culutral evolution at Copan, Honduras
    William L. Fash and David S. Stuart
  8. Diversity and continuity in Maya civilization: Quirigua as a case study
    Robert S. Sharer
  9. Elite interaction during the Terminal Classic period: new evidence from Chichen Itza
    Linnea H. Wren and Peter Schmidt
  10. Royal visits and other intersite relationships among the Classic Maya
    Linda Schele and Peter Mathews
  11. Inside the black box: defining Maya polity
    Norman Hammond
  12. Maya elite interaction: through a glass, sideways
    Norman Yoffee
  13. Maya political history and elite interaction: a summary view
    T. Patrick Culbert
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