Approaches to Monumental Landscapes of the Ancient Maya

Edited by Brett A. Houk, Barbara Arroyo, and Terry G. Powis

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“Containing cutting-edge research by leading scholars in Maya archaeology, this volume provides readers with a greater appreciation and richer understanding of the diverse ways in which the Maya interacted with and transformed the world around them.”—Jeffrey Glover, Georgia State University  
This volume brings together a wide spectrum of new approaches to ancient Maya studies in an innovative exploration of how the Preclassic and Classic Maya shaped their world. Moving beyond the towering temples and palaces typically associated with the Maya civilization, contributors present unconventional examples of monumental Maya landscapes.  
Featuring studies from across the central Maya lowlands, Belize, and the northern and central Maya highlands and spanning over 10,000 years of human occupation in the region, these chapters show how the word “monumental” can be used to describe natural and constructed landscapes, political and economic landscapes, and ritual and sacred landscapes. Examples include a massive system of aqueducts and canals at the Kaminaljuyu site, a vast arena designed for public spectacle at Chan Chich, and even the complex realms of Maya cosmology as represented by the ritual cave at Las Cuevas.  
By including physical, conceptual, and symbolic ways monumentality pervaded ancient Maya culture, this volume broadens traditional understandings of how the Maya interacted with their environment and provides exciting analytical perspectives to guide future study.     
Brett A. Houk, associate professor of archaeology at Texas Tech University, is the author of Ancient Maya Cities of the Eastern Lowlands. Barbara Arroyo, director of the Kaminaljuyu Archaeological Project in Guatemala City, is coeditor of The Place of Stone Monuments: Context, Use, and Meaning in Mesoamerica’s Preclassic Transition. Terry G. Powis, associate professor of anthropology at Kennesaw State University, is the editor of New Perspectives on Formative Mesoamerican Cultures.  
A volume in the series Maya Studies, edited by Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase
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