Of all pre-Hispanic cultures, the Maya have perhaps attracted the most attention on the part of archaeologists and historians. Their cultural proliferation, their extraordinary scientific contributions, and their epic survival have given rise to eccentric myths and even supernatural connotations. With the confusing array of texts, predictions, studies, and suppositions, we need to step back and ask: What is, in fact, the essence of Maya? This first volume in the series Discover the Maya World sheds light on the features that define and frame Mayanist studies, from the earliest examples onward, leading to a detailed analysis of the identity, architecture, culture, and legacy of this fascinating people.
THE ESSENCE OF MAYA. 1. The Essence of Maya; 1.1. Formal Characteristics; 1.2. Functional Characteristics; 2. Geographic Setting; 2.1. Southern Highlands; 2.2. Central Maya Area; 2.3. Northern Lowlands; 2.4. Pacific Coast; 3.The Path to Power; 3.1. Historical and Cultural Development of the Maya Area; 3.2. Origins; 3.3. Middle Preclassic; 3.4. Consolidation of Maya Identity; 3.5. Late Preclassic; 3.6. The Rise of the Great Cities; 3.7. Early Classic; 3.8. Dawn of a Great Civilization; 3.9. Late Classic; 3.10. Splendor and Decline of the Maya; 3.11. Early Postclassic; 3.12. Cultural Renewal and Formation of New Centers of Power; 3.13. Late Postclassic; 3.14. New Political Division and Arrival of the Spanish; 4. Social, Economic, and Political Structure of the Maya; 4.1. Economic Bases; 4.2. The Lord and His People; 4.3. Sociopolitical Structure; 4.4. Segmentary and Unitary States; 5. Conquest and Colony in the Yucatán; Conclusion; Glossary