Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-ix

List of Figures and Tables

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pp. xi-xiii

A Note on Orthography

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p. xv

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xix

Death and the Classic Maya Kings is a book about the ties between what is archaeologically observed—the “death” in material culture as represented by burials, funerary architecture, and grave furniture—and what was recorded by the Classic Maya scribes. In the course of writing this book, an adaptation of my Ph.D. dissertation, numerous foundations and institutions provided me...

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One: Celebrations for the Dead

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pp. 1-16

Rituals surrounding death are informed not only by biological concerns but also by social and religious norms of behavior. As a primary focus in sociocultural anthropology, the study of death witnessed an explosion in theoretical refinement and scope over the last few decades of the twentieth century, expanding far beyond its modest nineteenth-century origins in the study...

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Two: Death and the Afterlife in the Lowlands

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pp. 17-60

As observed by Alfredo L

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Three: Royal Funerals

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pp. 61-104

As can be expected, funerary rites are not generally depicted from start to finish. Perhaps the best encapsulation of behaviors associated with death, burial, and rebirth comes from the aforementioned Berlin vessel (Figure 31). On it, a deceased lord is wrapped within a bundle inside a funerary temple, with mourners outside crying and gesturing toward the pyramid. Although his...

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Four: Death and Landscape

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pp. 105-141

Patricia McAnany has observed that creating a “genealogy of place” has been of historic concern to Maya communities. The establishment and recognition of land rights, in both colonial- and modern-era Yucatán, seems to have involved questions of inheritance, habitual encroachment, or primary occupancy. McAnany has suggested that similar ideas existed in pre-Hispanic times, with...

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Five: Entering the Tombs of the Classic Maya Kings

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pp. 142-169

Royal ancestors played a vital role in religious and political life, actively taking part in a variety of activities ranging from accessions to birthday celebrations. Dead kings occasionally “saw” or “witnessed” the activities of their descendants, overseeing events from celestial or similar positions in the manner of Classic Maya gods. Caracol Stela 6 (Figure 57), for example, mentions...

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Six: The Dead King and the Body Politic

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pp. 170-183

As Peter Metcalf and Richard Huntington have pointed out, divine kings and their relatives are natural symbols of the perpetuity and authority of the social order.1 Nowhere in Classic Maya society was this perpetuity more important than in the personage of the king; the divine king embodied a force ultimately responsible for the maintenance of his polity religiously as well as politically...

Guide to Appendixes

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pp. 185-187

Appendix 1

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pp. 188-193

Appendix 2

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pp. 194-201

Appendix 3

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pp. 202-207

Notes

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pp. 209-226

References

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pp. 227-259

Index

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pp. 261-281