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Maya Architecture

Author: Kenneth Treister
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A discussion of Maya buildings through the eyes of an architect.


Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World

Author: Lynn V. Foster
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
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This comprehensive and accessible reference explores the greatest and most mysterious of civilizations, hailed for its contributions to science, mathematics, and technology. Each chapter is supplemented by an extensive bibliography as well as photos, original line drawings, and maps.


The Religion of the Maya

Author: Michael Edwin Kampen
Publisher: BRILL
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Critical Terms for Religious Studies

Author: Mark C. Taylor
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
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A century that began with modernism sweeping across Europe is ending with a remarkable resurgence of religious beliefs and practices throughout the world. Wherever one looks today, from headlines about political turmoil in the Middle East to pop music and videos, one cannot escape the pivotal role of religious beliefs and practices in shaping selves, societies, and cultures. Following in the very successful tradition of Critical Terms for Literary Studies and Critical Terms for Art History, this book attempts to provide a revitalized, self-aware vocabulary with which this bewildering religious diversity can be accurately described and responsibly discussed. Leading scholars working in a variety of traditions demonstrate through their incisive discussions that even our most basic terms for understanding religion are not neutral but carry specific historical and conceptual freight. These essays adopt the approach that has won this book's predecessors such widespread acclaim: each provides a concise history of a critical term, explores the issues raised by the term, and puts the term to use in an analysis of a religious work, practice, or event. Moving across Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Native American and Mayan religions, contributors explore terms ranging from experience, territory, and image, to God, sacrifice, and transgression. The result is an essential reference that will reshape the field of religious studies and transform the way in which religion is understood by scholars from all disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, gender studies, and literary studies.


Ancient Maya

Author: Arthur Demarest
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Ancient Maya comes to life in this new holistic and theoretical study.


To Be Like Gods

Author: Matthew G. Looper
Publisher: University of Texas Press
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The Maya of Mexico and Central America have performed ritual dances for more than two millennia. Dance is still an essential component of religious experience today, serving as a medium for communication with the supernatural. During the Late Classic period (AD 600-900), dance assumed additional importance in Maya royal courts through an association with feasting and gift exchange. These performances allowed rulers to forge political alliances and demonstrate their control of trade in luxury goods. The aesthetic values embodied in these performances were closely tied to Maya social structure, expressing notions of gender, rank, and status. Dance was thus not simply entertainment, but was fundamental to ancient Maya notions of social, religious, and political identity. Using an innovative interdisciplinary approach, Matthew Looper examines several types of data relevant to ancient Maya dance, including hieroglyphic texts, pictorial images in diverse media, and architecture. A series of case studies illustrates the application of various analytical methodologies and offers interpretations of the form, meaning, and social significance of dance performance. Although the nuances of movement in Maya dances are impossible to recover, Looper demonstrates that a wealth of other data survives which allows a detailed consideration of many aspects of performance. To Be Like Gods thus provides the first comprehensive interpretation of the role of dance in ancient Maya society and also serves as a model for comparative research in the archaeology of performance.


The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous

Author: Asa Simon Mittman
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing Company
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The field of monster studies has grown significantly over the past few years and this companion provides a comprehensive guide to the study of monsters and the monstrous from historical, regional and thematic perspectives. The collection reflects the truly multi-disciplinary nature of monster studies, bringing in scholars from literature, art history, religious studies, history, classics, and cultural and media studies. The companion will offer scholars and graduate students the first comprehensive and authoritative review of this emergent field.


Archaeoastronomy and the Maya

Author: Gerardo Aldana y V.
Publisher: Oxbow Books
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Archaeoastronomy and the Maya illustrates archaeoastronomical approaches to ancient Mayan cultural production. The book is contextualized through a history of archaeoastronomical investigations into Mayan sites, originating in the 19th century discovery of astronomical tables within hieroglyphic books. Early 20th century archaeological excavations revealed inscriptions carved into stone that also preserved astronomical records, along with architecture that was built to reflect astronomical orientations. These materials provided the basis of a growing professionalized archaeoastronomy, blossoming in the 1970s and expanding into recent years. The chapters here exemplify the advances made in the field during the early 21st century as well as the on-going diversity of approaches, presenting new perspectives and discoveries in ancient Mayan astronomy that result from recent studies of architectural alignments, codices, epigraphy, iconography, ethnography, and calendrics. More than just investigations of esoteric ancient sciences, studies of ancient Mayan astronomy have profoundly aided our understanding of Mayan worldviews. Concepts of time and space, meanings encoded in religious art, intentions underlying architectural alignments, and even methods of political legitimization are all illuminated through the study of Mayan astronomy.


Space and Sculpture in the Classic Maya City

Author: Alexander Parmington
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Examines how images, texts and architectural form controlled movement of people through the various precincts in Classic Maya cities.


Mesoamerican Architecture as a Cultural Symbol

Author: Jeff Karl Kowalski
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In this collection, prominent scholars provide new interpretations and useful syntheses of many of the most significant Mesoamerican architectural traditions from the Preclassic to the Postclassic periods. The essays examine the built environment as a carrier of cultural meanings. The many pyramid-temples, palaces, and ballcourts comprising Mesoamerican centers were constructed in the context of hierarchical societies, and provided monumental expressions of elite authority. The design of individual buildings, as well as the layout of site plans, often embodied Mesoamerican beliefs about the structure of the cosmos, natural forces, or the numinous power of landscape forms, thus providing sanction for the sociopolitical order.


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