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As portals to the supernatural realm that creates and animates the universe, caves have always been held sacred by the peoples of Mesoamerica. From ancient times to the present, Mesoamericans have made pilgrimages to caves for ceremonies ranging from rituals of passage to petitions for rain and a plentiful harvest. So important were caves to the pre-Hispanic peoples that they are mentioned in Maya hieroglyphic writing and portrayed in the Central Mexican and Oaxacan pictorial codices. Many ancient settlements were located in proximity to caves. This volume gathers papers from twenty prominent Mesoamerican archaeologists, linguists, and ethnographers to present a state-of-the-art survey of ritual cave use in Mesoamerica from Pre-Columbian times to the present. Organized geographically, the book examines cave use in Central Mexico, Oaxaca, and the Maya region. Some reports present detailed site studies, while others offer new theoretical understandings of cave rituals. As a whole, the collection validates cave study as the cutting edge of scientific investigation of indigenous ritual and belief. It confirms that the indigenous religious system of Mesoamerica was and still is much more terrestrially focused that has been generally appreciated.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Chapter 1: Introduction: A History of Mesoamerican Cave Interpretation
  2. pp. 1-17
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  1. Part 1: Central Mexico
  2. p. 19
  1. Chapter 2: Rites of Passage and Other Ceremonies in Caves
  2. pp. 21-34
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  1. Chapter 3: The Cave-Pyramid Complex among the Contemporary Nahua of Northern Veracruz
  2. pp. 35-68
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  1. Chapter 4: Constructing Mythic Space: The Significance of a Chicomoztoc Complex at Acatzingo Viejo
  2. pp. 69-87
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  1. Part 2: Oaxaca
  2. p. 89
  1. Chapter 5: Pre-Hispanic Rain Ceremonies in Blade Cave, Sierra Mazateca, Oaxaca, Mexico
  2. pp. 91-116
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  1. Chapter 6: Sacred Caves and Rituals from the Northern Mixteca of Oaxaca, Mexico: New Revelations
  2. pp. 117-152
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  1. Part 3: The Maya Region
  2. p. 153
  1. Chapter 7: Some Notes on Ritual Caves among the Ancient and Modern Maya
  2. pp. 155-185
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  1. Chapter 8: Shamans, Caves, and the Roles of Ritual Specialists in Maya Society
  2. pp. 186-222
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  1. Chapter 9: Cave Stelae and Megalithic Monuments in Western Belize
  2. pp. 223-248
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  1. Chapter 10: A Cognitive Approach to Artifact Distribution in Caves of the Maya Area
  2. pp. 249-268
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  1. Chapter 11: Cluster Concentrations, Boundary Markers, and Ritual Pathways: A GIS Analysis of Artifact Cluster Patterns at Actun Tunichil Mukna., Belize
  2. pp. 269-300
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  1. Chapter 12: Ethnographic Notes on Maya Q’eqchi’ Cave Rites: Implications for Archaeological Interpretation
  2. pp. 301-327
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  1. Chapter 13: A Lacandon Religious Ritual in the Cave of the God Tsibana at the Holy Lake of Mensabok in the Rainforest of Chiapas
  2. pp. 328-341
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  1. Chapter 14: Beneath the Yalahau: Emerging Patterns of Ancient Maya Ritual Cave Use from Northern Quintana Roo, Mexico
  2. pp. 342-372
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  1. Chapter 15: Caves, Karst, and Settlement at Mayap
  2. pp. 373-402
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  1. Chapter 16: Concluding Comments
  2. pp. 403-411
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 413-438
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780292797352
Related ISBN
9780292705869
MARC Record
OCLC
606125759
Pages
448
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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