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Title: The Classic Maya polity : an epigraphic approach to reconstructing a Pre-Hispanic political system
Author: Martin, S.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis presents a model of the Classic Maya polity using evidence from monumental inscriptions produced between about 200 and 900 CE. There have been many interpretations of the structure and operation of Classic Maya political units over the past century, with a polarised debate over their scale and degree of centralization that continues to the present day. Using new readings provided by an unfolding hieroglyphic decipherment, combined with fresh comparative and theoretical approaches, this study seeks to resolve these long-standing questions and lay the groundwork for a political anthropology of the region. It critiques an enduring emphasis on the form of political communities at the expense of how they interacted within a regional system, arguing that neither polity nor system can be understood independently since each determines the other as part of a recursive whole. The assembled evidence points strongly to a hegemonic mode of interaction between numerous Classic Maya polities, but the project goes beyond the description of such an order to analyze how it functioned and reproduced itself over time. It seeks to answer the core question of a multi-polity system, which is why did such an environment persist over time and not end in the consolidation of a few powerful polities?
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available