El Perú-Waka’
New Archaeological Perspectives on the Kingdom of the Centipede

Edited by Keith Eppich, Damien B. Marken, and David Freidel

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Recent research and discoveries at a prominent Maya rainforest city  
“Compiles years of research at an important and strategically situated Maya city, synthesizing archaeological and epigraphic data to provide a compelling narrative of life at the site. Notably, this volume places people at the center of archaeological interpretation of the past, highlighting the lives and afterlives of the city’s inhabitants, alongside the other-than-human agency imbued into their material culture and monuments.”—Whittaker Schroder, University of Florida  
“Weaves the material facts recovered by archaeological work, textual information, and iconographic reconstruction of events with novel interpretations of social, political, and ideological aspects of the long historical record.”—Rodrigo Liendo Stuardo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México  
This volume presents the most current research on the ancient Maya city El Perú-Waka’, or “Kingdom of the Centipede.” Located in the Laguna del Tigre National Park of Guatemala, this city has been a major focus of recent archaeological inquiry, which has uncovered a long occupation at the site spanning from 300 BC to 1000 CE. The chapters in El Perú-Waka’ examine the Maya who lived here and the rainforest city they built, complete with its pyramids, palaces, temples, roads, reservoirs, and residences.
Contributors reconstruct urban settlement patterns, look at health and dietary differences between elites and commoners, and analyze epigraphy and art, among other topics. The book includes a detailed discussion of the tomb of the city’s famous queen, Lady K’abel, showing that the queen’s choice to be interred within Waka’s most prominent dynastic monument demonstrates the power of Maya royal women to not only direct political discourse during their lives but also impact the reigns of their successors.
The evidence in this volume indicates the city’s importance in the political and ritual landscape of the Maya Lowlands, and with the site’s long record of habitation and dense population, this book offers researchers an unmatched view of ancient life in a tropical urban environment.  
Keith Eppich, professor of history and archaeology at TJC–The College of East Texas, is coeditor of Breath and Smoke: Tobacco Use among the Maya. Damien B. Marken, associate professor of anthropology at Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania, is coeditor of Building an Archaeology of Maya Urbanism: Planning and Flexibility in the American TropicsDavid Freidel, professor of anthropology emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis, is coeditor of The Materialization of Time in the Ancient Maya World: Mythic History and Ritual Order.  
Contributors:  Matthew C. Ricker | Damien B. Marken | Juan Carlos Pérez | Diana N. Fridberg | Olivia C. Navarro-Farr | Sarah Van Oss | David Freidel | Griselda Pérez Robles | Elsa Damaris Menéndez | Mary Kate Kelly | Erin E. Patterson | Michelle Rich | Keith Eppich
A volume in the series Maya Studies, edited by Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase
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