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Ritual, Violence, and the Fall of the Classic Maya Kings$
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Gyles Iannone, Brett A. Houk, and Sonja A. Schwake

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062754

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062754.001.0001

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Destruction Events and Political Truncation at the Little Kingdom of Minanha, Belize

Destruction Events and Political Truncation at the Little Kingdom of Minanha, Belize

Chapter:
(p.134) 6 Destruction Events and Political Truncation at the Little Kingdom of Minanha, Belize
Source:
Ritual, Violence, and the Fall of the Classic Maya Kings
Author(s):

Sonja A. Schwake

Gyles Iannone

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062754.003.0006

This chapter explores the material record of ritual practice at the little kingdom of Minanha, located in the North Vaca Plateau of west-central Belize. The time period of interest spans roughly a century, and includes two discrete ritual destruction events. The first destruction event is quickly followed by a reconstruction program that likely signifies a new period of joint rule under the auspices of one of the great kings in the region. The second destruction event marks the end of Minanha’s existence as a little kingdom. The evidence suggests that the various kings in this part of the Maya lowlands, regardless of how powerful they were, struggled to maintain their legitimacy during the late 8th–early 9th century, probably because of the various climatic, ecological, economic, and sociopolitical issues that had manifested at this time. Minanha’s destruction events are a stark reminder of the political turmoil that occurred in the decades leading up to the infamous Maya collapse. The Minanha story also reaffirms how kings and their kingdoms often paid the ultimate price when crisis mounted and solutions could not be found.

Keywords:   Maya Collapse, Ritual Destruction, Minanha

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