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By HOUK

“Brings jointly for the 1st time the entire significant websites of this a part of the Maya international and is helping us know the way the traditional Maya deliberate and outfitted their appealing towns. it is going to turn into either a guide and a resource of rules for different archaeologists for years to come.”—George J. Bey III, coeditor of Pottery Economics in Mesoamerica
 
“Skillfully integrates the social histories of city development.”—Vernon L. Scarborough, writer of The stream of strength: historical Water platforms and Landscapes
 
“Any student drawn to city making plans and the equipped atmosphere will locate this e-book enticing 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 japanese lowlands of Belize, a space that was once domestic to a wealthy city culture that continued and advanced for nearly 2,000 years, are handled as peripheral to those nice vintage interval websites. the recent and humid weather and dense forests are inhospitable and make protection of the ruins tough, yet this oft-ignored sector finds a lot approximately Maya urbanism and culture.

utilizing facts accumulated from diverse websites in the course of the lowlands, together with the Vaca Plateau and the Belize River Valley, Brett Houk offers the 1st synthesis of those distinct ruins and discusses tools for mapping and excavating them. contemplating the websites throughout the analytical lenses of the outfitted atmosphere and historic city making plans, Houk vividly reconstructs their political historical past, 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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Sample text

Additionally, the k’uhul ajaw is often shown in the most elaborate clothing, seated, with the other people in the scene shown facing and gesturing toward him (Reents-Budet 2001:213). Another important title that shows up in texts, especially in the western lowlands, is sajal. The title refers to an important subordinate to a k’uhul ajaw, but whether the title is military or bureaucratic is not entirely clear. Sarah Jackson (2013:66) suggests that some sajalob may have been subordinate leaders within a royal court and some may have held a degree of independence, in charge of secondary centers but loyal to the king of the polity capital.

In this model, territories include not only a capital but also minor centers and rural household groups, and they operate as independent, social, and economic units (Garrison and Dunning 2009:527). Clearly, not all Maya cities and dynasties were equal in power; the affairs of many kingdoms were affected either directly or indirectly by the political maneuverings of Tikal and Calakmul for centuries during the Classic period. Through what Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube (2008:185) call “overkingship,” the most powerful polities directed the affairs of lesser kingdoms.

My colleague Gregory Zaro and I have argued elsewhere that abandoned or unfinished construction projects form a particularly important subcategory of the built environment (Houk and Zaro 2012a). Whereas a massive royal acropolis conveys a message of power to all who see it, buildings left unfinished make statements about the loss of power and control just as effectively. They speak to the disintegration of political influence and may be related to the abandonment of a particular site or region.

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