The ancient Maya created one of the most studied and best-known civilizations of the Americas. Nevertheless, Maya civilization is often considered either within a vacuum, by sub-region and according to modern political borders, or with reference to the most important urban civilizations of central Mexico. Seldom if ever are the Maya and their Central American neighbors of El Salvador and Honduras considered together, despite the fact that they engaged in mutually beneficial trade, intermarried, and sometimes made war on each other. The Maya and Their Central American Neighbors seeks to fill this lacuna by presenting original research on the archaeology of the whole of the Maya area (from Yucatan to the Maya highlands of Guatemala), western Honduras, and El Salvador.
With a focus on settlement pattern analyses, architectural studies, and ceramic analyses, this ground breaking book provides a broad view of this important relationship allowing readers to understand ancient perceptions about the natural and built environment, the role of power, the construction of historical narrative, trade and exchange, multiethnic interaction in pluralistic frontier zones, the origins of settled agricultural life, and the nature of systemic collapse.
"The book’s uniqueness is that the Mayan polities of present-day Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are considered together because they engaged in mutually beneficial trade, intermarried, and sometimes made war on each other. Readers come to understand ancient perceptions about the natural and built environment, historical narrative, and the nature of systemic collapse—the Classic Maya Collapse and postclassic reorganization. No other edited compendium provides this sweeping scope; hence, this significant, scholarly volume fills a major void for Mesoamerican specialists. Summing Up: Essential." -C. C. Kolb, independent scholar, in Choice
1. The Ancient Maya and Their Central American Neighbors Geoffrey E. Braswell PART I: EL SALVADOR AND HONDURAS 2. Practices of Spatial Discourse at Quelepa Wendy Ashmore 3. Ancient Quelepa, Colonial San Miguel: Shifting Cultural Frontiers and Rogue Colonialism in Eastern El Salvador Kathryn Sampeck 4. Shifting Fortunes and Affiliations on the Edge of Ruin: A Ceramic Perspective on the Classic Maya Collapse and its Aftermath at Copan Cassandra R. Bill PART II: THE HIGHLANDS OF GUATEMALA 5. The Other Preclassic Maya: Interaction, Growth, and Depopulation in the Eastern Kaqchikel Highlands Geoffrey E. Braswell and Eugenia J. Robinson 6. The Other Maya Late Classic Maya: Regionalization, Defense, and Boundaries in the Central Guatemalan Highlands Eugenia J. Robinson PART III: THE SOUTHERN MAYA LOWLANDS 7. A Tangled Web: Ceramic Adoption in the Maya Lowlands and Community Interaction in the Early Middle Preclassic as Seen in the K’awil Complex from Holmul, Peten, Guatemala Niña Neivens de Estrada 8. The Royal Port of Cancuen and the Role of Long Distance Exchange in the Apogee of Maya Civilization Arthur A. Demarest 9. Real/Fictive Lords/Vessels: A List of M.A.R.I. Lords on the Newly Discovered Andrews Coffee Mug Markus Eberl PART IV: THE EASTERN PERIPHERY OF BELIZE 10. The Dynastic History and Archaeology of Pusilha, Belize Christian M. Prager, Beniamino Volta, and Geoffrey E. Braswell 11. Follow the Leader: Fine Orange Pottery in the Maya Lowlands James J. Aimers PART V: YUCATAN 12. The Role and Realities of Popol Nahs in Northern Maya Archaeology George J. Bey III and Rossana May Chiau 13. Alternative Narratives and Missing Data: Refining the Chronology of Chichen Itza Beniamino Volta and Geoffrey E. Braswell PART VI: BEFORE AND BEYOND: A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE 14. Peer-Polity Interaction in the Norte Chico, Peru, 3000-1800 B.C. Winifred Creamer, Jonathan Haas, and Allen Rutherford