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Timely Assets

The Politics of Resources and Their Temporalities

Edited by Elizabeth Emma Ferry and Mandana E. Limbert

Oil is running out. What’s more, its final depletion, once relegated to a misty future, now seems imminent. In all the more or less apocalyptic discussions of oil and similar depleted resources, nature, labor, and time converge. This volume focuses on how resources, resource-making, and resource-claiming are entangled with experiences of time. Particular expressions of “resource imaginations” often have a strongly temporal aspect: they frame the past, present, and future in certain ways; they propose or preclude certain kinds of time reckoning; they inscribe teleologies; they are imbued with affects of time: nostalgia, hope, dread, spontaneity, and so on. Examining resources as various as silver in Mexico, “diversity” in an American university, and historical documents in Indonesia, the contributors to this volume ask several questions: Under what conditions and with what consequences do people find something to be a resource? What kinds of temporal experiences, concepts, or narratives does thinking of things as resources entail? How does the making and imagining of resources assume or condition particular understandings of past, present, and future? How do understandings of time shape the ways resources are named, managed, or allocated?

2008. 298 pp., 18 illustrations, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Courtney Childs, Paul K. Eiss, Elizabeth Emma Ferry, Richard Handler, Mandana E. Limbert, Celia Lowe, Erik Mueggler, Paul E. Nadasdy, Huong Nguyen, Karen Strassler

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“Overall, the volume is a substantial effort which summarizes our current understanding of the Tikal data… Well-suited for the specialist, this volume also offers plenty to interest the general reader… Archaeologists and Maya enthusiasts alike are always looking for new sources to synthesize what is currently known about major sites. This volume … accomplishes that task for Tikal.”
—Dr. Debra S. Walker, Journal of Latin American Anthropology

“Tikal certainly must occupy a central place in any approach to lowland Maya civilization — because of its impact on the development of the Classic Maya World, because of its political prominence in that world, and because it is the most extensively investigated of the great Maya cities — [this] is a welcome contribution to our understanding. [It features] new data and new interpretation. … Scholars interested in archaic states and complex societies as well as Maya specialists and other Mesoamerican archaeologists will welcome the volume.”
—Dr. John S. Henderson, Cornell University

“This group of presentations is focused on the relationship of the dynastic interpretations and construction history of Tikal … The mix of topics makes specific data and individual investigations a cumulative compilation and worthy contribution to appreciating the unique qualities of Tikal in the story of the ancient Maya.”
—Anabel Ford, Anthropos 100 (2005)


  1. In Line of the Founder: A View of Dynastic Politics at Tikal
    Simon Martin
  2. The Ceramics of Tikal
    T. Patrick Culbert
  3. Beyond the Catalog: The Chronology and Contexts of Tikal Artifacts
    Hattula Moholy-Nagy
  4. Settlement, Society, and Demography at Tikal
    William A. Haviland
  5. The Peripheries of Tikal
    Robert E. Fry
  6. The Central Acropolis of Tikal
    Peter D. Harrison
  7. The Tikal Renaissance and the East Plaza Ball Court
    Christopher Jones
  8. The North Acropolis: Monumentality, Function, and Architectural Development
    H. Stanley Loten
  9. Plaza Plans at Tikal: A Research Strategy for Inferring Social Organization and Processes of Culture Change at Lowland Maya Sites
    Marshall Joseph Becker
  10. Thirty Years Later: Some Results of Recent Investigations in Tikal
    Juan Pedro Laporte
  11. Tikal and the Copan Dynastic Founding
    Robert J. Sharer
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.

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