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Maya: revelation and re-evaluation

  • Norman Hammond (a1)

Maya archaeology is flourishing; across three millennia, four countries and an impressive range of intellectual and practical approaches, the eight books under review here make that point well. One is the ninth edition of a deservedly successful book for a general readership, one the catalogue of the first Maya exhibition to be held in Britain in nearly half a century. A further volume deals with sites in the northern Maya lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula, another with those in the eastern lowlands, the former British colony of Belize. Two are site-specific: the major city of El Perú-Waka’ in the southern lowland Maya heartland of El Petén, Guatemala, and the idiosyncratic élite centre of Cacaxtla in central highland Mexico where Maya influence on the famous murals is both striking and puzzling. Finally, two have a scientific bent: collections of papers on bioarchaeology/population studies and archaeoastronomy respectively. All draw their evidence, and their illustrations, largely from the Classic Period (AD 250–900), although there are forays into both the Preclassic (1200 BC–AD 250) and Postclassic (AD 900–1500+).

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Ashmore, W.A. 1991. Site-planning principles and concepts of directionality among the ancient Maya. Latin American Antiquity 2: 199226.
Braswell, G. 2012. The ancient Maya of Mexico: reinterpreting the past of the northern Maya lowlands. Sheffield: Equinox.
Braswell, G. 2014. The Maya and their Central American neighbors: settlement patterns, architecture, hieroglyphic texts, and ceramics. London & New York: Routledge.
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Estrada-Belli, F. 1999. The archaeology of complex societies in southeastern Pacific coastal Guatemala: a regional GIS approach (British Archaeological Reports International series 820). Oxford: Archaeopress.
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Hendon, J.A. 2010. Houses in a landscape: memory and everyday life in Mesoamerica. Durham (NC): Duke University Press.
Houston, S.D. & Inomata, T.. 2009. The Classic Maya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McAnany, P.A. 2010. Ancestral Maya economics in archaeological perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Moore, H. 1986. Space, text and gender: an anthropological study of the Marakwet of Kenya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Taylor, C. 2002. Modern social imaginaries. Public Culture 14: 91124.
Uriarte Castaneda, M.T. 2013. La pintura mural prehispánica en México, V: Cacaxtla Estudios (2 volumes). México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigacions Estéticas.
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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
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