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The Archaeology of AncestorsDeath, Memory, and Veneration$
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Erica Hill and Jon B. Hageman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062518

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062518.001.0001

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Where the Ancestors Live

Where the Ancestors Live

Shrines and Their Meaning among the Classic Maya

(p.213) 9 Where the Ancestors Live
The Archaeology of Ancestors

Jon B. Hageman

University Press of Florida

This chapter describes the creation of ancestors in imagery and changing burial patterns in Preclassic Maya farming villages. Referencing the large corpus of Maya art and epigraphy, the chapter traces how symbols were later used by Classic Maya kings to appropriate ancestral powers and to institutionalize and legitimize their rule through communication and physical contact with previous kings. Commoner ancestral symbols differ in meaning from their royal counterparts and may have implications for our understanding of ancient Maya gender.

Keywords:   ancestors, art, burial practices, epigraphy, gender, Classic, Preclassic, Maya, royalty, symbols

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