Maya E Groups: Calendars, Astronomy, and Urbanism in the Early Lowlands (Maya Studies) (Hardcover)
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As complex societies emerged in the Maya lowlands during the first millen-nium BCE, so did stable communities focused around public squares and the worship of a divine ruler tied to a Maize God cult. "E Groups," central to many of these settle-ments, are architectural complexes: typically, a long platform supporting three struc-tures and facing a western pyramid across a formal plaza. Aligned with the movements of the sun, E Groups have long been interpreted as giant calendrical devices crucial to the rise of Maya civilization. This volume presents new archaeological data to reveal that E Groups were constructed earlier than previously thought. In fact, they are the earliest identifiable architectural plan at many Maya settlements. More than just astronomical observatories or calendars, E Groups were a key ele-ment of community organization, urbanism, and identity in the heart of the Maya lowlands. They served as gathering places for emerging communities and centers of ritual; they were the very first civic-religious public architecture in the Maya lowlands. Investigating a wide variety of E Group sites--including some of the most famous like the Mundo Perdido in Tikal and the hitherto little known complex at Chan, as well as others in Ceibal, El Palmar, Cival, Calakmul, Caracol, Xunantunich, Yaxnohcah, Yaxun , and San Bartolo--this volume pieces together the development of social and political complexity in ancient Maya civilization. David A. Freidel is professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. Arlen F. Chase is professor of anthropology at Pomona College, Claremont. Anne S. Dowd, archaeologist with the National Park Service, is coeditor of Cosmology, Calendars, and Horizon-Based Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica. Jerry Murdock is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Santa Fe Institute and the Aspen Institute. Contributors: JAMES AIMERS - ANTHONY F. AVENI - JAMIE J. AWE - BORIS BELTRAN - M. KATHRYN BROWN - ARLEN F. CHASE - DIANE Z. CHASE - ANNE S. DOWD - JAMES DOYLE - FRANCISCO ESTRADA-BELLI - DAVID A. FREIDEL - JULIE A. HOGGARTH - TAKESHI INOMATA - PATRICIA A. McANANY - SUSAN MILBRATH - JERRY MURDOCK - KATHRYN REESE-TAYLOR - PRUDENCE M. RICE - CYNTHIA ROBIN - FRANCO D. ROSSI - JEREMY A. SABLOFF - WILLIAM A. SATURNO - TRAVIS W. STANTON A volume in the series Maya Studies, edited by Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase.