Ancient Maya Commoners1st edition (November 1, 2004)

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Jon C. Lohse, "Ancient Maya Commoners"
University of Texas Press(November 1, 2004) | ISBN:0292705719 | 3.4MB | PDF | 311 pages

"This is a landmark volume that begins to fill a longstanding and critical gap in our understanding of the ancient Maya…. [It] will serve as an essential work for students and professional scholars alike to begin to correct the prevalent emphasis on the elite Maya."
Robert J. Sharer, Shoemaker Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

Much of what we currently know about the ancient Maya concerns the activities of the elites who ruled the societies and left records of their deeds carved on the monumental buildings and sculptures that remain as silent testimony to their power and status. But what do we know of the common folk who labored to build the temple complexes and palaces and grew the food that fed all of Maya society?

This pathfinding book marshals a wide array of archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic evidence to offer the fullest understanding to date of the lifeways of ancient Maya commoners. Senior and emerging scholars contribute case studies that examine such aspects of commoner life as settlement patterns, household organization, and subsistence practices. Their reports cover most of the Maya area and the entire time span from Preclassic to Postclassic. This broad range of data helps resolve Maya commoners from a faceless mass into individual actors who successfully adapted to their social environment and who also held primary responsibility for producing the food and many other goods on which the whole Maya society depended.