Death and the Classic Maya Kings

Death and the Classic Maya Kings

Hardback Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies

By (author) James L. Fitzsimmons

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  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Format: Hardback | 294 pages
  • Dimensions: 185mm x 259mm x 28mm | 862g
  • Publication date: 1 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Austin, TX
  • ISBN 10: 029271890X
  • ISBN 13: 9780292718906
  • Illustrations note: 12 color images in section, 63 line drawings, 15 tables
  • Sales rank: 1,337,512

Product description

Like their regal counterparts in societies around the globe, ancient Maya rulers departed this world with elaborate burial ceremonies and lavish grave goods, which often included ceramics, red pigments, earflares, stingray spines, jades, pearls, obsidian blades, and mosaics. Archaeological investigation of these burials, as well as the decipherment of inscriptions that record Maya rulers' funerary rites, have opened a fascinating window on how the ancient Maya envisaged the ruler's passage from the world of the living to the realm of the ancestors. Focusing on the Classic Period (AD 250-900), James Fitzsimmons examines and compares textual and archaeological evidence for rites of death and burial in the Maya lowlands, from which he creates models of royal Maya funerary behaviour.Exploring ancient Maya attitudes toward death expressed at well-known sites such as Tikal, Guatemala, and Copan, Honduras, as well as less-explored archaeological locations, Fitzsimmons reconstructs royal mortuary rites and expands our understanding of key Maya concepts including the afterlife and ancestor veneration.

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Table of contents

A Note on Orthography; Acknowledgments1: Celebrations for the Dead; 2: Death and the Afterlife in the Lowlands; 3: Royal Funerals; 4: Death and Landscape; 5: Entering the Tombs of the Classic Maya Kings; 6: The Dead King and the Body PoliticGuide to Appendixes; Appendix 1: Burial Structures and Contexts; Appendix 2: Body Preparations and Funerary Activities; Appendix 3: Grave GoodsNotes; References; Index