“Skillfully integrates the social histories of city development.”—Vernon L. Scarborough, writer of The circulate of strength: historic Water platforms and Landscapes
“Any student attracted to city making plans and the outfitted surroundings will locate this ebook attractive and useful.”—Lisa J. Lucero, writer of Water and Ritual
For greater than a century researchers have studied Maya ruins, and websites like Tikal, Palenque, Copán, and Chichén Itzá have formed our realizing of the Maya. but towns of the jap lowlands of Belize, a space that used to be domestic to a wealthy city culture that endured and developed for nearly 2,000 years, are taken care of as peripheral to those nice vintage interval websites. the new and humid weather and dense forests are inhospitable and make protection of the ruins tough, yet this oft-ignored region finds a lot approximately Maya urbanism and culture.
utilizing information amassed from diverse websites in the course of the lowlands, together with the Vaca Plateau and the Belize River Valley, Brett Houk provides the 1st synthesis of those specific ruins and discusses tools for mapping and excavating them. contemplating the websites in the course of the analytical lenses of the equipped atmosphere and historic city making plans, Houk vividly reconstructs their political historical past, considers how they healthy into the bigger political panorama of the vintage Maya, and examines what they let us know approximately Maya urban building.
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Extra info for Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands
When you consider the architectural openness of the ceremonial core of Maya cities alongside their dispersed settlement, it is no wonder that Maya cities are considered “among the most open structures in Mesoamerica” (Hansen 2008:75). Michael Smith (2008:4) and Bruce Trigger (2003:12), among others, espouse a functional definition of the city. Cities perform specialized economic, administrative, political, and religious functions that affect their hinterlands. Towns, too, are urban centers, but they are smaller than cities and perform fewer urban functions (Smith 2007:5).
To facilitate an understanding of how we read Maya maps, this chapter concludes with a discussion about how archaeologists collect and portray mapping data. The Built Environment and Site Planning: Approaches to Studying Maya Cities As mentioned in Chapter 1, this book views the cities of the eastern lowlands through two analytical filters: the built environment, which is perhaps best suited to studying the development of an individual city, and ancient urban planning analysis, which can be used to examine the relationship between cities (Houk and Zaro 2012a).
The kings of these Classic period city-states, we now know from deciphered hieroglyphic texts, practiced a wide range of activities to establish, maintain, and manipulate political relationships. Gift giving, royal visits, marriage, and shared ritual activities maintained alliances, while warfare reflected the ongoing competition between the groups of city-states (Grube 2000:550). Despite these complicated arrangements and alliances, Maya city-states Studying Maya Cities 25 apparently remained largely autonomous.
Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands by HOUK