The decipherment of Maya hieroglyphs has enabled scholars to better understand Classic society, but many aspects of this civilization remain shrouded in mystery, particularly its economies and social structures. How did farmers, artisans, and rulers make a living in a tropical forest environment? In this study, Patricia McAnany tackles this question and presents the first comprehensive view of ancestral Maya economic practice. Bringing an archaeological approach to the topic, she demonstrates the vital role of ritual practice in indigenous ecologies, gendered labour, and the construction of colossal architecture. Examining Maya royalty as a kind of social speciation, McAnany also shows the fundamentality of social difference as well as the pervasiveness of artisan production and marketplaces in ancestral Maya societies. Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book situates Maya economies within contemporary social, political, and economic theories of social practice, gender, actor-networks, inalienable goods, materiality, social difference, indigenous ecologies, and strategies of state finance.Read more
- First book ever to present a comprehensive view of ancestral Maya economies
- Integrates archaeology with evidence from hieroglyphic decipherment, iconography, history, and ethnography
- Situates Maya archaeology within the larger frame of contemporary social, political, and economic theory, including approaches to social practice, gender, actor-network, inalienable goods, materiality, social difference, indigenous ecologies, and strategies of state finance
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- Date Published: January 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107436015
- length: 386 pages
- dimensions: 223 x 140 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.48kg
- contains: 62 b/w illus. 2 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The materiality of practice in ancestral Maya economies
2. Situating Maya societies in space and time
3. Feeding a hungry landscape
4. Gendered labor and socially constructed space
5. Ritual works: monumental architecture and generative schemes of power
6. Naturalized authority of the royal court
7. Social identity and daily practice of artisan production
8. Places, practices, and people of commerce
9. Flowery speech of Maya tributary arrangements
10. Skeining the threads.
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