Classic Maya Provincial Politics: Xunantunich and Its by Lisa J. LeCount, Jason Yaeger

By Lisa J. LeCount, Jason Yaeger

Most remedies of huge vintage Maya websites corresponding to Caracol and Tikal regard Maya political association as hugely centralized. simply because investigations have considering civic structures and elite palaces, even if, a serious a part of the image of vintage Maya political association has been missing.

The participants to this quantity chart the increase and fall of the vintage Maya middle of Xunantunich, paying designated recognition to its altering relationships with the groups that comprised its hinterlands. They research how the altering relationships among Xunantunich and the bigger state of Naranjo affected the neighborhood inhabitants, the site in their farms and homes, and the diversity of financial and subsistence actions during which either elites and commoners engaged. in addition they research the methods universal humans seized possibilities and met demanding situations provided by means of a altering political landscape.

The wealthy archaeological info during this publication convey that incorporating topic groups and people—and conserving them incorporated—was an on-going problem to historic Maya rulers. previously, archaeologists have lacked built-in local facts and a fine-grained chronology within which to rfile non permanent shifts in web site occupations, subsistence innovations, and different vital practices of the everyday life of the Maya. This publication offers a revised photograph of Maya politics—one of alternative methods of governing and alliance formation between dominant facilities, provincial polities, and hinterland communities.

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We seek to fill this critical gap by presenting new data and interpretations from the Late Classic polity of Xunantunich in the upper Belize River valley. We are particularly interested in reconstructing Xunantunich’s changing political organization and elucidating its shifting relationship to the much larger kingdom of Naranjo, located only 13 km to the west. We argue that for a relatively short but important time in the history of Xunantunich, it was incorporated into Naranjo’s realm. The rich archaeological data from Xunantunich and its hinterlands allow us to evaluate the kinds of strategies by which dominant powers like Naranjo sought to incorporate weaker polities into a larger multipolity state network, and the indelible marks left in the archaeological record on the organization of provincial polities that resulted from these strategies.

Our longtime foreman, Florentín Penados, was a critical member of the XAP team, and don Lucresio Chan was foreman for the XSS project. We thank them for their years of gracious and untiring leadership. chapter 2 Provincial Politics and Current Models of the Maya State Lisa J. LeCount and Jason Yaeger T he political landscape of the C lassic M aya lowlands was a dynamic mosaic in which shifting social, administrative, and economic relationships integrated centers of different sizes into networks, both ephemeral and long lasting.

Their integration into the empire was solidified through marriages, gift exchanges, and participation in important state religious and political rituals (Berdan 1996:122). Aztec provinces owed specific tribute obligations to Tenochtitlan, including agricultural products, warriors and supplies, and labor for civic projects. Tribute was to be paid at regularly scheduled intervals; therefore, subjugated states were “allies of the tribute-paying class” (Berdan et al. 1996:13). Some allied leaders were heavily reliant on imperial power, since their positions came at the expense of other local nobles, who opposed Aztec rule.

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