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Classic Maya Provincial Politics: Xunantunich and Its by Lisa J. LeCount, Jason Yaeger

By Lisa J. LeCount, Jason Yaeger

Most remedies of enormous vintage Maya websites equivalent to Caracol and Tikal regard Maya political association as hugely centralized. simply because investigations have interested by civic constructions and elite palaces, even if, a serious a part of the image of vintage Maya political association has been missing.

The members to this quantity chart the increase and fall of the vintage Maya middle of Xunantunich, paying unique awareness to its altering relationships with the groups that comprised its hinterlands. They learn how the altering relationships among Xunantunich and the bigger nation of Naranjo affected the neighborhood inhabitants, the site in their farms and homes, and the diversity of financial and subsistence actions during which either elites and commoners engaged. additionally they study the methods universal humans seized possibilities and met demanding situations provided through a altering political landscape.

The wealthy archaeological information during this e-book convey that incorporating topic groups and people—and protecting them incorporated—was an on-going problem to old Maya rulers. beforehand, archaeologists have lacked built-in neighborhood info and a fine-grained chronology during which to rfile momentary shifts in web site occupations, subsistence ideas, and different very important practices of the everyday life of the Maya. This e-book offers a revised photo of Maya politics—one of alternative methods of governing and alliance formation between dominant facilities, provincial polities, and hinterland communities.

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Extra info for Classic Maya Provincial Politics: Xunantunich and Its Hinterlands

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Transactions involve the exchange of rewards given by the patron for services performed by clients; dealings are considered contractual, since specific agreements are reached between patron and client with particular goals in mind. These relations are largely limited to interaction among polity leaders, although clients can mobilize other members of their polity to fulfill obligations. Although local leaders gain status and wealth from external ties, they can easily undermine their own internal support base by exploiting their supporters in an effort to meet demands.

We envision Maya political organization as fluid and changing instead of fixed, and thus we seek to understand the processes and dynamics by which Maya polities were created and transformed (de Montmollin 1988, 1989a; Fox et al. 1996; Iannone 2002; Marcus 1998). To that end, we dedicate the second half of this chapter to a cross-cultural analysis of the strategies that powerful states have employed to form political networks with weaker polities, involving varying degrees of political subordination.

We continued to receive support through the years from archaeological commissioners, acting commissioners, and Department of Archaeo­ logy personnel, including Allan Moore, Jaime Awe, Brian Woodeye, and George Thompson. Teresa Batty has also facilitated our work greatly and with unfailing good humor. Throughout the field and lab seasons, we were able to count on the commitment of the Department of Archaeology (now the Institute of Archaeology) to Belize’s archaeological heritage. This research would not have been possible without the many staff members who added intellectually to the project.

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