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Constructing 'commoner' identity in an Ancient Maya village : class, status, and ritual at the Northeast Group, Chan Belize

Author: Chelsea Blackmore
Publisher: Oxford, England : Archaeopress, 2014. ©2014
Series: BAR international series, 2645.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Research at the Northeast Group explores how the malleability of commoner identity is crucial to interpretations of ancient Maya society. This volume has two main aims: first to demonstrate how residents of the Northeast Group used materials and architecture to distinguish themselves from others in the neighborhood, and second to examine the implications of commoners as agents of history. Fundamental to this is the  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Chelsea Blackmore
ISBN: 9781407312842 1407312847
OCLC Number: 885427810
Notes: Based on the the author's thesis (Ph. D).
"40 years of BAR"--Back cover.
Description: viii, 120 pages : illustrations (black and white), maps (black and white) ; 30 cm.
Contents: Deconstructing the elite-commoner paradigm --
Finding diversity in small places: current research on social organization and identity --
Chan's environmental and cultural setting --
Research design and excavation strategies --
Artificial analysis --
Ritual and the construction of status --
Household ritual and commoner authority a the Northeast group --
Commoner history as Maya history.
Series Title: BAR international series, 2645.
Responsibility: Chelsea Blackmore.

Abstract:

Research at the Northeast Group explores how the malleability of commoner identity is crucial to interpretations of ancient Maya society. This volume has two main aims: first to demonstrate how residents of the Northeast Group used materials and architecture to distinguish themselves from others in the neighborhood, and second to examine the implications of commoners as agents of history. Fundamental to this is the deconstruction of what archaeologists mean by commoner and the theoretical and methodological assumptions built into these definitions. Regardless of extensive research in settlement and household studies, interpretations of ancient Maya society continued to be framed with reference to elites. As elites are defined as the motor of change within civilization, commoners, in contrast, are characterized as static and passive. This books seeks to demonstrate that these models do not accurately reflect who commoners were and their impact in the construction of ancient Maya society as a whole.

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