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Dynastic traditions and patterns of ritual variation in Classic Maya writing

Author(s): Jessica Munson ; Yuriy Polyukhovych ; Matthew Looper ; Martha Macri ; Jonathan Scholnick

Year: 2015

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Inscriptions found on Classic Maya monuments largely document important historical events and record the political achievements of named royal individuals. Previous onomastic studies of these king lists identify striking patterns in naming conventions which may mark ethnic boundaries as well as signal important attributes or transitions in the life history of Classic Maya rulers. This study investigates the hypothesis that divergent dynastic traditions existed during the Classic period based upon ritual acts recorded on hieroglyphic monuments dated between 250 and 900 CE. Inscriptions compiled in the Maya Hieroglyphic Database provide comprehensive evidence for a range of ritual practices tied to monument construction, feasting, sacrifice, deity impersonation as well as various priestly duties. According to anthropological theories of signaling, extravagant displays by high status leaders are essential to effectively communicate specific information about an individual’s beliefs or status. This perspective provides a framework for interpreting the cultural variation and transmission of dynastic traditions in Classic Maya society.

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Dynastic traditions and patterns of ritual variation in Classic Maya writing. Jessica Munson, Matthew Looper, Yuriy Polyukhovych, Jonathan Scholnick, Martha Macri. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397528)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America