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The Real Business of Ancient Maya Economies – From Farmers' Fields to Rulers' Realms - Florida Scholarship Online
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The Real Business of Ancient Maya Economies: From Farmers' Fields to Rulers' Realms

Marilyn A. Masson, David A. Freidel, and Arthur A. Demarest


A timely synthesis of the latest research and perspectives on ancient Maya economics, this volume illuminates the sophistication and intricacy of economic systems in the Preclassic period, Classic period, and Postclassic period. Contributors from a wide range of disciplines move beyond paradigms of elite control and centralized exchange to focus on individual agency, highlighting production and exchange that took place at all levels of society. Case studies draw on new archaeological evidence from rural households and urban marketplaces to reconstruct the trade networks for tools, ceramics, ob ... More

Keywords: Ancient Maya economics, Rural households, Urban marketplaces, Preclassic period, Classic period, Postclassic period

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780813066295
Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2021 DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066295.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marilyn A. Masson, editor
University at Albany, State University of New York

David A. Freidel, editor
Washington University

Arthur A. Demarest, editor
Vanderbilt University

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I Theoretical Approaches

1 Nuts, Bolts, and Bridges

David A. Freidel

2 Modeling Maya Markets

Eleanor M. King

3 A New Direction in the Study of Ancient Maya Economics

Arthur A. Demarest, Bart Victor, Chloé Andrieu, and Paola Torres

II Household and Community Economies and Resources

5 Rural Economies of Agrarian Houselots before and after the Rise of Urban Mayapán

Marilyn A. Masson, Carlos Peraza Lope, Timothy S. Hare, Bradley W. Russell, Pedro Delgado Kú, Bárbara Escamilla Ojeda, and Luis Flores Cobá

6 Stone for My House

William Ringle, Tomás Gallareta Negrón, and George Bey

7 Chert Resource Availability, Production, and Economic Logic

Rachel A. Horowitz, Marcello Canuto, and Chloé Andrieu

III Agriculture, Climate, Land

11 Gardens of the Maya

Andrew R. Wyatt

12 Yucatec Land and Labor before and after Spanish Incursions

Adolfo Iván Batún Alpuche, Patricia A. McAnany, and Maia Dedrick

13 Maya Cornucopia

Scott L. Fedick

IV Political Elites, Wealthy Persons, and Economic Administration

16 Bundling the Sticks

Alexandre Tokovinine

17 Maya Economic Organization and Power

Daniela Triadan and Takeshi Inomata

V Economic Exchange Spheres: Routes, Facilities, and Symbolic Contexts

18 Economic Interactions and the Rise of Sociopolitical Complexity in the Maya Lowlands

Richard D. Hansen, Edgar Suyuc, Stanley P. Guenter, Carlos Morales-Aguilar, Enrique Hernández, and Beatriz Balcárcel

20 The Political Geography of Long-Distance Exchange in the Elevated Interior Region of the Yucatán Peninsula

Beniamino Volta, Joel D. Gunn, Lynda Florey Folan, William J. Folan, and Geoffrey E. Braswell

21 An Intracoastal Waterway and Trading Port System in Prehispanic Northwest Yucatán, Mexico

Fernando Robles Castellanos, Anthony P. Andrews, and Rubén Chuc Aguilar

23 Decentralizing the Economies of the Maya West

Charles Golden, Andrew Scherer, Whittaker Schroder, Clive Vella, and Alejandra Roche Recinos

24 A Stone Duty?

Chloé Andrieu

26 Maya Economics

Norman Yoffee

27 Conclusion

Marilyn A. Masson