Ancient maya cities of the eastern Lowlands

Brett A. Houk, Marilyn A. Masson, Michael E. Smith, John W. Janusek

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

For more than a century researchers have studied Maya ruins, and sites like Tikal, Palenque, Copán, and Chichén Itzá have shaped our understanding of the Maya. Yet the lowlands of Belize, which were once home to a rich urban tradition that persisted and evolved for almost 2,000 years, are treated as peripheral to these great Classic period sites. The hot and humid climate and dense forests are inhospitable and make preservation of the ruins difficult, but this oft-ignored area reveals much about Maya urbanism and culture. Using data collected from different sites throughout the Maya lowlands, including the Vaca Plateau and the Belize River Valley, Brett Houk presents the first synthesis of these unique monuments and discusses methods for mapping and excavating. Considering the sites through the theoretical lenses of the built environment and ancient urban planning, Houk vividly reconstructs their political history, how they fit into the larger political landscape of the Classic Maya, and how the ancient cities fell apart over time.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity Press of Florida
Number of pages345
ISBN (Electronic)9780813055350
ISBN (Print)9780813060637
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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