“Skillfully integrates the social histories of city development.”—Vernon L. Scarborough, writer of The movement of strength: historic Water platforms and Landscapes
“Any pupil drawn to city making plans and the outfitted setting will locate this e-book 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 was once domestic to a wealthy city culture that continued and developed for nearly 2,000 years, are taken care of as peripheral to those nice vintage interval websites. the recent and humid weather and dense forests are inhospitable and make maintenance of the ruins tough, yet this oft-ignored sector unearths a lot approximately Maya urbanism and culture.
utilizing information amassed from various websites through the lowlands, together with the Vaca Plateau and the Belize River Valley, Brett Houk offers the 1st synthesis of those detailed ruins and discusses tools for mapping and excavating them. contemplating the websites during the analytical lenses of the equipped surroundings and historic city making plans, Houk vividly reconstructs their political heritage, 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
Maya architects used these materials to design and build a wide variety of buildings and structures including temple pyramids, ball courts, multiroomed buildings commonly called palaces, plazas, causeways (sacbeob), shrines, city walls, and reservoirs. All around the ceremonial centers were smaller structures grouped around courtyards and surrounded by domestic features such as kitchen gardens, chultuns, and middens. Studying Maya Cities 27 Except for the humblest of Maya structures, Maya buildings big and small shared a common architectural foundation: the platform.
Another extremely important characteristic of Maya architecture, however, was the fact the Maya apparently did not intend for buildings to be in use forever. ” Therefore, just as a coat of plaster could disguise defects in the masonry of a platform face, a new and larger building could eradicate structural problems with its predecessor. When constructing a new building over an old one, at times the Maya infilled vaulted rooms to serve as the core of an enlarged platform, and at other times they demolished the old superstructure entirely, using the debris for construction fill for the new building and presumably salvaging useful material in the process.
Adams (1991) proposed that the Late Classic lowlands were divided into a handful of regional states, each with a major city serving as its capital. Adams’ (1991) particular spin on the model was based in part on the work he and colleagues had done previously on rank-ordering Maya cities based on site size—derived from volumetric assessments and by counting courtyards at each center using published site maps, as discussed in Chapter 10 (Adams and Jones 1981; Turner et al. 1981). Mathews’ (1991:29) hypothesis that emblem glyphs represented individual dynasties carried with it the idea that, because they were part of the titles of Maya lords, all dynasties were equal, thus refuting the regional-state model.
Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands by HOUK