“Brings jointly for the 1st time the entire significant websites of this a part of the Maya international and is helping us know the way the traditional Maya deliberate and equipped their appealing towns. it is going to turn into either a guide and a resource of rules for different archaeologists for years to come.”—George J. Bey III, coeditor of Pottery Economics in Mesoamerica
“Skillfully integrates the social histories of city development.”—Vernon L. Scarborough, writer of The movement of energy: historical Water platforms and Landscapes
“Any pupil drawn to city making plans and the equipped setting will locate this ebook attractive and useful.”—Lisa J. Lucero, writer of Water and Ritual

For greater than a century researchers have studied Maya ruins, and websites like Tikal, Palenque, Copán, and Chichén Itzá have formed our knowing of the Maya. but towns of the jap lowlands of Belize, a space that used to be domestic to a wealthy city culture that endured and advanced for nearly 2,000 years, are taken care of as peripheral to those nice vintage interval websites. the recent and humid weather and dense forests are inhospitable and make renovation of the ruins tough, yet this oft-ignored region unearths a lot approximately Maya urbanism and culture.

utilizing facts amassed from diverse websites during the lowlands, together with the Vaca Plateau and the Belize River Valley, Brett Houk provides the 1st synthesis of those distinctive ruins and discusses tools for mapping and excavating them. contemplating the websites throughout the analytical lenses of the equipped setting and historical city making plans, Houk vividly reconstructs their political heritage, considers how they healthy into the bigger political panorama of the vintage Maya, and examines what they let us know approximately Maya urban building. 

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Ashmore (1989, 1991, 1992) linked the Petén template to pan-Mesoamerican cosmological concepts, associating the north with up and the heavens and the south with down and the underworld. In Maya myth, confrontation between the Hero Twins and the Lords of the Underworld played out on the ball court, and Ashmore (1989:279) proposed that in Maya site plans the ball court often served as the metaphorical transition between the two cosmological realms. Thus, an important but ultimately controversial conclusion in her site-planning study was that the Maya created “microcosms, arranging architecture so as to symbolically equate the architectural center of civic power with the center of the universe” (Ashmore 1991:201).

Stairs usually provided access to the summits of platforms, and stair placement, while variable, generally favored the centerline of the platform. As noted earlier, platforms were constructed to create level surfaces to support buildings or to serve as activity areas themselves. Large platforms were used to level hilltops and create plazas, which in turn supported other smaller platforms and buildings. 2). 2. Idealized cross section of a vaulted masonry building. of walls, and cut and shaped stones formed the face of the wall.

When you consider the architectural openness of the ceremonial core of Maya cities alongside their dispersed settlement, it is no wonder that Maya cities are considered “among the most open structures in Mesoamerica” (Hansen 2008:75). Michael Smith (2008:4) and Bruce Trigger (2003:12), among others, espouse a functional definition of the city. Cities perform specialized economic, administrative, political, and religious functions that affect their hinterlands. Towns, too, are urban centers, but they are smaller than cities and perform fewer urban functions (Smith 2007:5).

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