Maya Palaces and Elite Residences
An Interdisciplinary Approach
352 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 91 b&w illus., 6 tables
Sales Date: June 1, 2003
Maya "palaces" have intrigued students of this ancient Mesoamerican culture since the early twentieth century, when scholars first applied the term "palace" to multi-room, gallery-like buildings set on low platforms in the centers of Maya cities. Who lived in these palaces? What types of ceremonial and residential activities took place there? How do the physical forms and spatial arrangement of the buildings embody Maya concepts of social organization and cosmology?
This book brings together state-of-the-art data and analysis regarding the occupants, ritual and residential uses, and social and cosmological meanings of Maya palaces and elite residences. A multidisciplinary team of senior researchers reports on sites in Belize (Blue Creek), Western Honduras (Copan), the Peten (Tikal, Dos Pilas, Aguateca), and the Yucatan (Uxmal, Chichen-Itza, Dzibilchaltun, Yaxuna). Archaeologist contributors discuss the form of palace buildings and associated artifacts, their location within the city, and how some palaces related to landscape features. Their approach is complemented by art historical analyses of architectural sculpture, epigraphy, and ethnography. Jessica Joyce Christie concludes the volume by identifying patterns and commonalties that apply not only to the cited examples, but also to Maya architecture in general.
~David Freidel, Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology, Southern Methodist University
This volume will become a standard reference in the literature of Maya studies and, more broadly, Mesoamerican archaeology. . . . Collectively, the articles touch on a wide range of epistemological, theoretical, and historical issues that have been recently raised concerning Maya palaces.
~Heather McKillop, The Journal of Latin American Anthropology
The volume provides insightful discussions and basic data on Maya palaces that will be devoured by Maya archaeologists in their quest to interpret, explain, and just describe the vast array of large stone buildings at Maya sites referred to generically as palaces. The papers in the volume make one think and ask more questions about power, authority, and their architectural expression in the ancient world.
- 1. Elite Residences at Blue Creek, Belize (Thomas H. Guderjan, Robert J. Lichtenstein, and C. Colleen Hanratty)
- 2. At Court in Copan: Palace Groups of the Early Classic (Loa P. Traxler)
- 3. A Multipurpose Structure in the Late Classic Palace at Copan (E. Wyllys Andrews V, Jodi L. Johnson, William F. Doonan, Gloria E. Everson, Kathryn E. Sampeck, and Harold E. Starratt)
- 4. Palaces of the Royal Court at Tikal (Peter D'Arcy Harrison)
- 5. The Political Acquisition of Sacred Geography: The Murciélagos Complex at Dos Pilas (Arthur Demarest, Kim Morgan, Claudia Wolley, and Héctor Escobedo)
- 6. Where Did Elites Live? Identifying Elite Residences at Aguateca, Guatemala (Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan)
- 7. Access Patterns in Maya Royal Precincts (Rodrigo Liendo Stuardo)
- 8. Evidence for the Functions and Meanings of Some Northern Maya Palaces (Jeff Karl Kowalski)
- 9. The Function of a Maya Palace at Yaxuna: A Contextual Approach (James N. Ambrosino)
- 10. Palace and Society in the Northern Maya Lowlands (Edward B. Kurjack)
- 11. The Tripartite Layout of Rooms in Maya Elite Residences: Symbolic Centering, Ritual Mediating, and Historical Governing (Jessica Joyce Christie)
- 12. Conclusions (Jessica Joyce Christie)
- Notes on Contributors
The publication of Maya Palaces and Elite Residences was made possible by the support of the The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies.