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This volume illuminates human lifeways in the northern Maya lowlands prior to the rise of Chichén Itzá. This period and area have been poorly understood on their own terms, obscured by scholarly focus on the central lowland Maya kingdoms. Before Kukulkán is anchored in three decades of interdisciplinary research at the Classic Maya capital of Yaxuná, located at a contentious crossroads of the northern Maya lowlands.

Using bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, and culturally sensitive mainstream archaeology, the authors create an in-depth regional understanding while also laying out broader ways of learning about the Maya past. Part one examines ancient lifeways among the Maya at Yaxuná, while part two explores different meanings of dying and cycling at the settlement and beyond—ancestral practices, royal entombment and desecration, and human sacrifice. The authors close with a discussion of the last years of occupation at Yaxuná and the role of Chichén Itzá in the abandonment of this urban center.

Before Kukulkán provides a cohesive synthesis of the evolving roles and collective identities of locals and foreigners at the settlement and their involvement in the region’s trajectory. Theoretically informed and contextualized discussions offer unique glimpses of everyday life and death in the socially fluid Maya city. These findings, in conjunction with other documented series of skeletal remains from this region, provide a nuanced picture of the social and biocultural dynamics that operated successfully for centuries before the arrival of the Itzá.
 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Foreword by Traci Ardren
  2. Traci Ardren
  3. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xx
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  1. Introduction: The Bioarchaeology of Yaxuná
  2. pp. 3-16
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  1. Part I. Living at Yaxuná
  1. 1. Yaxuná in Context
  2. pp. 19-43
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  1. 2. Individual Movement, Migration, and Population Dynamics in the Northern Maya Lowlands
  2. pp. 44-70
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  1. 3. Growing Up in Yaxuná: Demography, Lifestyle, and Health in a Classic Period Capital
  2. pp. 71-88
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  1. 4. Foodways, Diet, and Nutrition
  2. pp. 89-123
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  1. 5. Physical Embodiment and Social Identities at Yaxuná
  2. pp. 124-146
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  1. Part II. Yaxuná’s Dead
  1. 6. Passing, Mourning, and Procuring Permanence
  2. pp. 149-183
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  1. 7. Eternal Performance: The Royal Tombs
  2. pp. 184-217
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  1. 8. Feeding the Gods in Yaxuná: Sacrifice and Human Caches
  2. pp. 218-234
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  1. 9. The Cycling of an Era: Chichén Itzá and the Decline of Yaxuná
  2. pp. 235-254
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 255-258
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  1. References
  2. pp. 259-300
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 301-306
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  1. About the Authors
  2. pp. 307-308
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  1. Image Plates
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816541713
Related ISBN
9780816532643
MARC Record
OCLC
1012344216
Pages
400
Launched on MUSE
2017-12-06
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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