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Early New World Monumentality$
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Richard Burger and Robert Rosenswig

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813038087

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813038087.001.0001

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Early Civilization In the Maya Lowlands, Monumentality, and Place Making: A View from the Holmul Region

Early Civilization In the Maya Lowlands, Monumentality, and Place Making: A View from the Holmul Region

Chapter:
(p.198) 8 Early Civilization In the Maya Lowlands, Monumentality, and Place Making: A View from the Holmul Region
Source:
Early New World Monumentality
Author(s):

Francisco Estrada-Belli

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813038087.003.0008

Contrary to accepted views on the origin of Maya civilization, which place the earliest manifestations of Maya civilization towards the end of the Preclassic period (i.e. 100 B.C.), several lines of evidence suggest that the most important turning point in the developmental trajectory of Lowland Maya civilization occurred around 800 B.C. At this time, a number of Lowland ceremonial centers were founded and public ceremonial architecture manifested itself. At Cival, large-scale construction projects took place by 800 B.C. in connection with the center's founding event. In light of the differences in labor investment and scale between initial and later public building projects at Cival and Holmul, two major phases of development are suggested, which may correlate with different but equally significant changes in Early Lowland Maya social organization, economy, and long-distance networks of interaction. After considering the newly documented developments in ideology, public ritual, and monumentality at Cival and at other Lowland centers, this chapter proposes a re-examination of commonly held notions about the Lowland Maya's path to civilization.

Keywords:   Maya, Cival, Jade, Ritual, Maya Astronomy, Maya Architecture, Conspicuous consumption

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