Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. v

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

In 1990 (the year I began my studies of ancient Maya art in graduate school) my dissertation advisor, the late Linda Schele, and anthropologist David Freidel released their book A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya. Using hieroglyphic texts as a foundation, this book endeavored to pave the way for a distinctly humanistic understanding of the ancient Maya, in which the...

Acknowledgments

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p. xi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-34

I was naturally anxious and expectant on this my first visit to a Central-American ruin, but it seemed as though my curiosity would be ill satisfied, for all I could see on arrival was what appeared to be three moss-grown stumps of dead trees covered over with a tangle of creepers and parasitic plants, around which the undergrowth had been cleared away for the space of a few feet. However, a closer inspection showed that these were...

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1. LIFE AT THE CROSSROADS: Quirigua before K’ak’ Tiliw

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pp. 35-56

When K’ak’ Tiliw assumed the throne as ruler of Quirigua in a.d. 725, the site over which he ruled bore little resemblance to the ruins we see today. Penetrations of the acropolis undertaken by the University of Pennsylvania Quirigua Project revealed that the complex was very small prior to the eighth century. In fact, before his accession, few architectural groups existed in the vicinity...

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2. A RESTIVE VASSAL: The Early Reign of K’ak’ Tiliw

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pp. 57-75

Today an astonishing array of late-eighth- and early ninth- century stone sculptures dominates the site of Quirigua. These were erected by rulers during an era in which economic conditions favored lavish patronage of the arts. The monuments of K’ak’ Tiliw stand tallest in this group and were all carved after the approximate midpoint...

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3. REBELLION AND REVIVAL: The First Stelae of K’ak’ Tiliw

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pp. 76-121

The inhabitants of Quirigua in the late 730s had reason to praise the ancestors. The population was expanding, and the surplus from agriculture and trade was being transformed into monumental architecture and sculpture in the site core. Presiding over this time of plenty was the ruler K’ak’ Tiliw, whose monumental commissions simultaneously expressed the cultural bond with Copan and asserted the eminence of the local...

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4. DREAMS OF POWER Stelae: F, D, and E

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pp. 122-157

Of central importance in the promulgation of the divine personae of K’ak’ Tiliw during the last twenty years of his sixty-year reign was a program of six colossal stone sculptures, including five stelae and one zoomorphic throne. Continuing the tradition of monument dedications every hotun, these monuments were arranged in a rectangular pattern, marking off twenty-five tuns of...

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5. FOUNDATION OF THE COSMIC HOUSE: Stelae C and A and Zoomorph B

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pp. 158-185

The three monuments erected for the last two hotun celebrations of K’ak’ Tiliw’s reign constitute the climax of the Platform 1A-1 program. They also stand as one of the most remarkable statements of the divinity of a Maya ruler known from the Classic period. Although Stelae C and A were dedicated as a pair on 9.17.5.0.0 and Zoomorph B five tuns later, these three sculptures constitute a...

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6. IN HONOR OF A GREAT WARRIOR: The Legacy of K’ak’ Tiliw

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pp. 186-204

The dedication of Zoomorph B in the year 780 saw Quirigua at its apogee. Over the course of the eighth century the regional population had reached its peak, and extensive building projects both within the site core and in the surrounding valley attest to a robust economy. Zoomorph B and the other monuments of Platform 1A-1 seem to express this climate of growth and prosperity...

Appendix A: Rulers of Quirigua

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p. 205

Appendix B: Historical Events Recorded in the Texts of Quirigua

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pp. 207-209

Appendix C: Selected Historical Events from the Texts of Copan

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pp. 211-212

Appendix D: Transcriptions and Translations of the Monumental Inscriptions Commissioned by K’ak’ Tiliw

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pp. 213-230

Notes

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pp. 231-238

Bibliography

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pp. 239-254

Index

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pp. 255-265