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Approaches to Monumental Landscapes of the Ancient Maya$
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Brett A. Houk, Barbara Arroyo, and Terry G. Powis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066226

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066226.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Monumental Landscapes as Instruments of Radical Economic Change

Monumental Landscapes as Instruments of Radical Economic Change

The Rise and Fall of a Maya Economic Network

Chapter:
(p.242) 12 Monumental Landscapes as Instruments of Radical Economic Change
Source:
Approaches to Monumental Landscapes of the Ancient Maya
Author(s):

Arthur A. Demarest

Bart I. Victor

Chloé Andrieu

Paola Torres

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066226.003.0012

In Chapter 13, Demarest and collaborators present evidence from the southwestern frontier Classic Maya port city of Cancuen that can help explain the nature of the southern lowlands’ economic decline by contrasting it with Cancuen’s late eighth century economic transformations and meteoric florescence; while other western Petén dynasties disintegrated, Cancuen flourished. One element of this apogee was the creation of new forms of monumental and ritual settings to recruit and maintain non-Maya economic exchange partners. This “innovation network” came to control critical routes and resources leading to changes in management, production, and economic power. However, as with many high-risk “innovation partnership networks,” success was truncated by abrupt network failure. Evaluation of this phenomenon by economists provides insights into ancient Maya economy and the role of monumentality in both its legitimation and transformation.

Keywords:   Cancuen, Innovation network, Network failure, Monumentality

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