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CLASSIC MAYA WARFARE AND WEAPONS: Spear, dart, and arrow points of Aguateca and Copan

  • Kazuo Aoyama (a1)

To provide some insights into the nature and role of warfare in the rise, development, and decline of Classic Maya civilization, this article discusses spear, dart, and arrow points used by the Classic Maya elites at the rapidly abandoned fortified city of Aguateca, Guatemala, and their temporal and spatial distribution patterns in and around Copan, Honduras. Both the royal family and elite scribes/artists at Aguateca used spear and dart points for intergroup human conflict as well as for artistic and craft production under enemy threat. An important implication is that the ruler and elite scribes/artists were also warriors. The unusually high concentrations of identifiable weaponry at the Early Classic hilltop center of Cerro de las Mesas as well as the Acropolis and other Late Classic locations in the Copan Valley, along with other lines of evidence, indicate that warfare was critical in the development and downfall of Classic Maya civilization at Copan.

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