Religion and Human Agency in Ancient Maya History: Tales from the Hieroglyphic Stairway
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CitationFash, William. 2002. Religion and Human Agency in Ancient Maya History: Tales from the Hieroglyphic Stairway. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 12(1): 5-19.
AbstractOriginally presented as the twelfth McDonald Lecture, the following seeks to contribute to the field of cognitive archaeology by exploring how both process and agency contributed to the creation of enduring symbols in a Classic Maya kingdom. Through the examination of material remains from excavated contexts at the site of Copán, Honduras, it is proposed that the religious ideology of its rulers can be shown to have undergone four transformations. These can be framed as local responses to larger, regional processes, wherein human agency was critical in adapting to changing historical and economic circumstances. The proposed transformations were: 1) the establishment of a new charter; 2) the deification of the most powerful royal ancestor; 3) a retreat to shared religious values and social ideals; 4) an attempt to create a transcendent ideology.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3228048
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