From "Star Wars" to Attack of the Kaan

Author(s): Marcello Canuto

Year: 2015


Over the past 25 years, epigraphic research on the Classic Maya has demonstrated that political alliances and warfare were not only widespread but also structured in such a manner to suggest a greater degree of political centralization than originally contemplated. Texts carved on ancient monuments suggest that lowland Maya society of the Classic period (AD 250-850) was characterized by a rivalry between two major capital cities, Calakmul and Tikal, who sought to dominate the Maya lowlands.

This paper will focus on recent research at lowland Maya sites like La Corona, Uxul, and El Perú-Waka'. These projects are beginning to show how warfare, alliances, and marriages were some of the tools used by the kings of Calakmul in the 7th century to undermine Tikal. In that process they developed a large regional kingdom extending as far south as Cancuen. Consequently, the "star wars" of the 7th century are better understood as a concerted multi-generational strategy - "the attack of Kaan" - to dominate the southern Maya lowlands.

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Cite this Record

From "Star Wars" to Attack of the Kaan. Marcello Canuto. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396145)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;