Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Who Was Who in Ninth-Century Chichen Itza

  • William M. Ringle (a1)

Hieroglyphic inscriptions from Chichen Itza are examined for possible light they might shed on its ethnic and political makeup during the Terminal Classic period (a.d. 800–1000). It is suggested that many of the name glyphs include patronyms known to be important at contact. This continuity of elite occupation is reinforced by decipherment of a title common to many of them ás holpop, a title also known from early colonial Spanish and Maya documents. Finally, a reading of the event of the lintel as yul is suggested. The implications of these readings suggest the genesis of at least some Late Postclassic organizational features in the Terminal Classic. Also arguing against a severe rupture of elite life at the end of the Terminal Classic is the persistence of patronyms in northern Yucatan. Colonial sources make frequent mention of migrations and invasions as the source of the distinctive art and architecture, yet if the arguments herein are correct, there was instead a remarkable stability of ruling families in northern Yucatan. Finally, the dedication of several monuments by different individuals, each having different patronyms and marked by epithets such as “holy,” suggests considerable autonomy of these lesser officials consistent with a segmentary state form of organization.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Michael D. Coe 1965 A Model of Ancient Maya Community Structure in the Maya Lowlands. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 21:87119.

Munro S. Edmonson 1982 The Ancient Future of the Itza: The Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ancient Mesoamerica
  • ISSN: 0956-5361
  • EISSN: 1469-1787
  • URL: /core/journals/ancient-mesoamerica
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 6 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 406 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.