Approaching Maya polities from the side: Models of classic Maya political structure
AuthorMurphy, John Todd
AdvisorCulbert, T. Patrick
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMaya scholars have proposed models of Maya political organization that range from small, independent, autonomous polities, to large centralized states. This essay examines a series of cross-cultural models (Feudal models, Peer-Polity Interaction, Galactic Politics, Theatre States, Segmentary States, a 'Dynamic' model, and recent speculations by Yoffee (1993)) and asks how they have been applied to the Maya area, in what ways they are similar or different, how they have been applied in other areas, and how they have been treated by Maya scholars. These models share many elements, and this has resulted in some confusion in the literature; this essay attempts to resolve this confusion and to discuss the implications of the relationships among the models. It is suggested that notions of 'power' and 'control' are poorly defined, and for the Maya little understood, and that archaeological definitions of political organization must differ from anthropological models.
Degree ProgramGraduate College