Classic Maya range structures and socio-political organization
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AbstractThe focus of this study is an architectural and spatial analysis of three "range structures" from the Maya lowlands, two of which are located at Minanha, Cayo District, Belize, and one of which is located at N aachtun, Department of Peten, Guatemala. Range structures are long, multi-roomed buildings located adjacent to public locales such as plazas in a number of Maya centres. I suggest that these structures are loci for various public functions relating to the political administration of cities that they are a part of, including the receipt and administration of tribute, the administration of the internal affairs of the polity, meetings with foreign dignitaries and possibly relatively large scale gatherings such as feasts and political meetings. The analysis of these structures includes a discussion of architectural attributes, including the presence of benches, thrones and other architectural features, formal spatial analysis of the structures, using space syntax techniques, and comparison of these structures to contemporary artistic and epigraphic clues regarding structures function. The three structures that form the core of this study are compared to similar structures from other parts of the Classic Maya lowlands, in order to place the materials in a broader regional context, and to search for general trends in the morphology and spatial design of range structures in the Maya lowlands. The findings from this comparative exercise as well as the excavated materials are used, in turn to discuss their significance in relation to broader constructions of Classic Maya socio-political organization.
Bibliography: p. 354-379