Copan: The History of an Ancient Maya Kingdom

By Manahan, T. Kam | Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Copan: The History of an Ancient Maya Kingdom


Manahan, T. Kam, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute


ANDREWS, E. WYLLYS & WILLIAM L. FASH (eds). Copan: the history of an ancient Maya kingdom. xvi, 492 pp., maps, figs, tables, illus., bibliogr. Oxford, Santa Fe: James Currey; School American Research Press, 2005. [pounds sterling]19.95 (paper)

This volume presents the culmination of seven years of intensive multidisciplinary research into the archaeology and history of ancient Copan. Perhaps no other Maya site has been investigated as intensively and approached from as many theoretical perspectives. Andrews and Fash have assembled an impressive group of scholars from the fields of archaeology, epigraphy, iconography, and physical anthropology whose contributions, read together, present a nuanced, multifaceted view of life in classic era Copan, albeit from primarily an elite perspective.

The heart of the book is situated strongly in the archaeology of Copan's monumental core (chapters by W. Fash, Sharer et al., and Agurcia Fasquelle and B. Fash) and the nearby royal residential compound (Andrews and Bill). These authors have been longtime proponents of a 'conjunctive approach' in which archaeological data are balanced with historical insights gleaned from epigraphy. The sheer quantity of excavations has yielded copious data on the evolution of the Copan polity.

The architectural evolution within the Acropolis documented by Sharer and colleagues (chap. 5) demonstrates the rapid transition from simple pre-dynastic cobble-faced substructures to the seat of royal power. The dramatic transformation within the Acropolis is complemented by W. Fash's (chap. 3) summary of data from around the Copan Valley and mirrored in changes at the elite residential compound Group 9N-8. When combined with epigraphic studies by Schele and Looper (chap. 9) and Stuart (chap. 10), little doubt remains that events culminating in the establishment of Copan's dynasty in AD 426 with K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo' as its founder for ever transformed the polity. Indeed the significance of this essentially foreign influence for understanding both local historical structures and more broadly the nature of ancient Maya elite society is still ongoing.

Webster (chap. 2) and B. Fash (chap. 4) alternatively explore the managerial roles of elites in the Late Classic polity. Whereas Webster emphasizes the role of elites in resolving ecological stresses tied to population pressures, Fash weaves a compelling case for elite water management from Copan's rich iconographic corpus and ethnographic analogy. In terms of elite health, Storey (chap. 8) demonstrates that even high-status elites were not exempt from dietary stress in the Late Classic. However, others (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Copan: The History of an Ancient Maya Kingdom
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.