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Life and Politics at the Royal Court of Aguateca

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Copyright: 2014
Trim: 8½ x 11
Pages: 424 pp.
Illustrations: 85 illus., 104 figures, 46 tables, 38 maps



Life and Politics at the Royal Court of Aguateca

Artifacts, Analytical Data, and Synthesis

Edited by Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan

Volume Three of Monographs of the Aguateca Archaeological Project First Phase

Archaeology / Anthropology

Aguateca is a Classic Mayan site located in the Petexbatun region of Guatemala. It was unexpectedly attacked around AD 810, its central area was burned, and its residents fled or were taken captive. In this volume, Takeshi Inomata, Daniela Triadan, and their team examine the life of the Mayan royal family, nobles, and their retainers through the analysis of numerous complete and reconstructible artifacts left in the site’s elite residential area.

Because of the surprise nature of the attack, most artifacts were left in their original locations, providing unprecedented views of the daily life of the Classic Maya. Detailed analyses of these objects and their distribution has shown that Mayan elites stored some of their food in their residences and that they also conducted various administrative duties there. The presence of numerous precious ornaments indicates that many of the Maya elite were also skilled craft producers.

Life and Politics at the Royal Court of Aguateca is the third and final volume of the monograph series on Aguateca. It presents the analyses of items not covered in the first two volumes, including figurines, ceramic laminates and masks, spindle whorls, ground stone, and bone artifacts, as well as hieroglyphic texts and plant and animal remains. It discusses the broad implications of this remarkable data set and provides a summation of the project.

Takeshi Inomata is co-director of the Aguateca Archaeological Project and associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona.

Daniela Triadan is co-director of the Aguateca Archaeological Project and associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona. She is also a research associate with the Smithsonian Institute.

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables

1. Introduction ~ Takeshi Inomata

PART A: Artifacts, Ecological Studies, and Conservation

2. Figurines ~ Daniela Triadan

3. Worked Sherds and Other Ceramic Artifacts ~ Takeshi Inomata

4. Spindle Whorls ~ Takeshi Inomata

5. Grinding Stones and Related Artifacts ~ Takeshi Inomata

6. Stone Ornaments and Other Stone Artifacts ~ Takeshi Inomata and Markus Eberl

7. Ceramic Laminates ~ Harriet F. Beaubien

8. Bone and Shell Artifacts ~ Takeshi Inomata and Kitty Emery

9. Aguateca Animal Remains ~ Kitty Emery

10. Food, Farming, and Forest Management at Aguateca ~ David L. Lentz, Brian Lane, and Kim Thompson

11. Artifact Conservation ~ Harriet F. Beaubien

PART B: Monuments and Hieroglyphic Texts

12. Monuments ~ Stephen D. Houston

13. Miscellaneous Texts ~ Stephen D. Houston

PART C: Synthesis and Conclusions

14. Synthesis of Data from the Rapidly Abandoned Buildings ~ Takeshi Inomata

15. Conclusions ~ Takeshi Inomata

Appendix: Radiocarbon Dates from Aguateca ~ Takeshi Inomata

Praise and Reviews:

“This is a tour de force. Each author has clearly explained the subject of each chapter. The contextual analyses are unprecedented in their detail as a result of the special circumstances of preservation in the site core. The final syntheses are lucid and persuasive, written in the best tradition of Maya research.”
—David Freidel, Washington University at Saint Louis

“This is writing of the highest caliber. There is no other publication in the Maya area that describes and interprets the activities of elites in such fine-grained detail, based on unusually well-preserved data. This volume will be consulted by scholars for many decades, and by generations of students.”
—Payson Sheets, University of Colorado, Boulder

“I highly recommend this volume to scholars interested in Mesoamerica, complex societies, religion, politics, public performances, and craft specialization.”
—Journal of Anthropological Research

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