Cover Art

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Front Matter

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Linda Schele inspired all of us in many ways, but she was particularly instrumental in my own career: she accepted me as her doctoral student in the Department of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin and thus paved my way to becoming a Mayanist, which has been one of the most fortunate developments in my life. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

This volume brings together scholars in archaeology, anthropology, art history, and epigraphy.They will investigate residential architecture at a number of different Maya sites, but they all will analyze architectural form and associated artifacts, as well as iconographic and epigraphic information, with the goal of reconstructing use and function of specific rooms and houses and what such reconstructions might reveal about ancient Maya ...

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Chapter One: Elite Residences at Blue Creek, Belize

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pp. 13-45

The purpose of this chapter is to examine elite residences at the site of Blue Creek in the upper R

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Chapter Two: At Court in Copan: Palace Groups of the Early Classic

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pp. 46-68

The Acropolis of Copan preserves generations of royal architecture and represents one of the best archaeological case studies for the evolution of a Classic Maya center. Each major construction phase consistently emphasized specific locations within this royal precinct (Sharer, Fash, et al. 1999; Fash 1998). Two locations, Structure 10L-16 and Structure 10L-26, figure ...

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Chapter Three: A Multipurpose Structure in the Late Classic Palace at Copan

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pp. 69-97

Behind a facade of shared symbolic culture at lowland Maya sites lies a confounding variety of royal and elite architectural remains. This diversity of building forms and arrangements must reflect different patterns of royal behavior. Architectural and spatial contrasts among Maya sites may, therefore, help us to understand how social, political, and religious organization varied from one Maya site to another. Some differences may derive from ...

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Chapter Four: Palaces of the Royal Court at Tikal

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pp. 98-119

This chapter will deal with a number of aspects of the analysis of palace architecture in general, with specific examples drawn from the city of Tikal.1 The first topic is analysis by form in the quest for identification of function. Second is a consideration of the nature of residence and its varied manifestations. Third is an examination of the reality of a royal court for the ...

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Chapter Five: The Political Acquisition of Sacred Geography: The Murci

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pp. 120-153

Many recent studies have emphasized the role of ideology and cosmology in pre-Columbian site planning and perception (e.g., Benson 1981; Aveni and Hartung 1986; Ashmore 1986, 1989, 1991; Berlo 1993; Carlson 1981; Freidel and Schele 1988a; Freidel 1986; Miller 1988; Sugiyama 1993). Contemporary ethnography (e.g., Vogt 1981) and ancient epigraphy (e.g., Stuart ...

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Chapter Six: Where Did Elites Live? Identifying Elite Residences at Aguateca, Guatemala

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pp. 154-183

Architecture is one of the most important sources of information for archaeologists about social organization, lifestyle, and worldviews. In particular, residences of elites provide critical data concerning the nature of social stratification, administrative mechanisms, and dominant ideologies. Our understanding of Maya elite residences, however, is still limited. ...

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Chapter Seven: Access Patterns in Maya Royal Precincts

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pp. 184-203

This chapter examines the notion that architectural space is more than a mere representation of society; it is one of the primary means through which society is constituted. Following this idea, I try to highlight some aspects of social control in Classic Maya society by applying an analysis of access patterns (Hillier and Hanson 1984; Foster 1989; Moore 1992; Ferguson 1996; Blanton 1995) to a sample of prehispanic Maya royal compounds. ...

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Chapter Eight: Evidence for the Functions and Meanings of Some Northern Maya Palaces

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pp. 204-252

In Maya studies, a long-lived distinction has been made between ‘‘palaces,’’ which are typically defined as large, range-type, vaulted masonry multiroom structures, or as architectural groups composed of several such multiroom structures surrounding small plazas or patios, and ‘‘temples,’’ which are smaller structures with more restricted interior space constructed in more inaccessible locations atop high ...

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Chapter Nine: The Function of a Maya Palace at Yaxuna: A Contextual Approach

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pp. 253-273

In the study of archaeological materials, we commonly find it necessary to classify objects according to similar attributes in order to manage the massive amounts of data available to us. Classification has been fundamental to archaeology since the beginning of the discipline.While classification can be quite useful in organizing information, there remains the nagging question of the meaning or significance behind the resulting classes or types. ...

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Chapter Ten: Palace and Society in the Northern Maya Lowlands

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pp. 274-290

The houses of the ancient Maya nobility were carefully made of durable masonry, so some of the structures still stand with their roofs intact. Nineteenth-century explorers referred to these buildings as palaces or castles if the buildings were situated on hilltops. Archaeological surveys encounter hundreds of elite dwellings in various states of collapse, as well ...

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Chapter Eleven: The Tripartite Layout of Rooms in Maya Elite Residences: Symbolic Centering, Ritual Mediating, and Historical Governing

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pp. 291-314

The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the pattern of a tripartite floor plan in Maya palaces and elite residences of the Late Classic and to show its symbolic significance. Based on comparisons with Classic Maya imagery and ethnohistoric sources, possible functions and uses of these rooms will be reconstructed, as well as the kinds of events that took place in them. ...

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Chapter Twelve: Conclusions

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pp. 315-336

Given the large amount of data about palaces and elite residences and the multidisciplinary approaches in this volume, the conclusions will attempt to isolate patterns and discuss points of agreement and disagreement among the authors. I do not think that it is possible to identify specific patterns that would apply to all Maya elite residential architecture. Nevertheless, the Maya shared strong enough cultural ties regarding their political ...

Index

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pp. 337-340