"Important and timely, Hutson’s analysis of Maya cities in their constituent neighborhoods marks a new milestone in the study of Maya urbanism."--Cynthia Robin, author of Everyday Life Matters: Maya Farmers at Chan
"Working through a myriad of definitions for urbanization and defining aspects of those often missing from archaeological discussions, Hutson provides the best perspective to date on the complexities of ancient ‘urban’ life and life decisions by the prehistoric Maya."--Fred Valdez Jr., coeditor of Ancient Maya Commoners
Ancient cities were complex social, political, and economic entities, but they also suffered from inequality, poor sanitation, and disease--often more than rural areas. In The Ancient Urban Maya, Scott Hutson examines ancient Maya cities and argues that, despite the hazards of urban life, these places continued to lure people for many centuries. With built forms that welcomed crowds, neighborhoods that offered domestic comforts, marketplaces that facilitated the exchange of goods and ideas, and the opportunities to expand social networks and capital, the Maya used their cities in familiar ways.
Scott R. Hutson, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Kentucky, is the author of Dwelling, Identity, and the Maya: Relational Archaeology at Chunchucmil.
A clearly written, persuasive volume. . . . [and] an excellent contribution to the 'new' Mesoamerican archaeology.-- Choice
Hutson reviews the changing approaches to urbanism in the Maya world. . . . Key themes are multiplicity--that is the unexpected encounters and juxtapositions that lead to novelty and change--and the clustering of people and activities, which reduces costs and spurs innovation. Antiquity