In this Book
Drawing on archaeological findings from the Maya lowlands, War Owl Falling shows how innovation and creativity led to social change in ancient societies. Markus Eberl discusses the ways eighth-century Maya (and Maya commoners in particular) reinvented objects and signs that were associated with nobility, including scepters, ceramic vessels, ballgame equipment, and the symbol of the owl. These inventions, he argues, reflect assertions of independence and a redistribution of power that contributed to the Maya collapse in the Late Classic period.
Eberl emphasizes that individual decision-making--the ability to imagine alternate worlds and to act on that vision--plays a large role in changing social structure over time. Pinpointing where and when these Maya inventions emerged, how individuals adopted them and why, War Owl Falling connects technological and social change in a novel way.