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Classic Mayan Civilization
Stephen D. Houston

Anthropology 0052

Examines the history, culture, and society of the Classic Maya, with special emphasis on Preclassic precursors, dynasties, environmental adaptation, imagery, architecture, urban form, and the Maya Collapse.

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Natural History | Modern and Colonial Maya | Extra Readings
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Natural History

Animals and Plants of the Ancient Maya: A Guide. by V. Schlesinger, U of Texas Press, 2001.

The Birds of Tikal , by R. Beavers, College Station : Texas A and M U. (on order)

The True History of Chocolate, by S. and M. Coe, New York : Thames and Hudson , 1996.

Costa Rican Natural History, by D. Janzen. U. of Chicago Press, 1983.

Natural History of Vampire Bats, by A. Greenhall, 1988, CRC Press: Boca Raton. (on order)

A Field Guide to Coral Reefs of the Caribbean and Florida . Boston : Houghton Mifflin, by E. Kaplan, 1982. (current edition on order)

The Amphibians and Reptiles of the Yucatan Peninsula . by J. Lee, Ithaca : Cornell U Press, 1996. (on order)

Timber, tourists, and temples : conservation and development in the Maya Forest of Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. Washington DC: Island Press, 1998.

Tropical Nature : Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America
by A. Forsyth, K. Miyata. New York: Scribner's 1984..

A Neotropical Companion, Princeton U Press, 2nd ed.  J. Kircher, 1997

Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A field Guide, by L.Emmons,

McSweeney, Kendra. 1995. The Cohune Palm (Orbignya Cohune, Arecacae) in Belize : A Survey of Uses. Economic Botany 49(2):162-171.

Manudujano, Salvador , and Victor Rico-Gray. 1991. Hunting, Use, and Knowledge of the Biology of the White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) by the Maya of Central Yucatan, Mexico . Journal of Ethnobiology 11(2):175-183.

Martins, Marco, and Marcelo Gordo. 1992. Bothrops atrox. Herpetological Review 24(4):151-152.

Rabinowitz, A. R., and B. G. Nottingbom, Jr. 1986. Ecology and Behavior of the Jaguar (Panthera onca) in Belize , Central America . Journal of Zoology, ser A, 210:149-159.

Rico-Gray, V., A. Chemas, and S. Mandujano. 1991. Uses of Tropical Deciduous Forest Species by the Yucatecan Maya. Agroforestry Systems 14:149-161.  

Robinson, J. G., and J. F. Eisenberg. 1985. Group Size and Foraging Habits of the Collared Peccary Tayassu tajacu. Journal of Mammology 66(1):153-155.  

Sowls, Lyle K. 1984. Peccaries. Tucson : U of Arizona Press.

Steadman, D. W. 19798. Natural History of the Ocellated Turkey . Review of the World Pheasant Association 4:15-37.



Modern and Colonial Maya

Burns, Allan. 1993. Maya in Exile: Guatemalans in Florida . Philadelphia : Temple U press.

Cancian, Fran. 1992. Decline of Community in Zinacantan. Stanford: Stanford U Press.

Carlsen, Robert. 1997. The War for the Heart and Soul of a Highland Maya Town . Austin : U of Texas Press.

Carmack, Robert. 1973. Quichean Civilization: The Ethnohistoric, Ethnographic, and Archaeological Sources. Berkeley : U of California Press

Carmack, R. 1995. Rebels of Highland Guatemala : The Quiche-Mayas of Momostenango. Norman : U of Oklahoma Press.

Castaneda, Quetzil. 1996. In the Museum of Maya Culture: Touring Chichen Itza . Minneapolis : U of Minnesota Press.

Clendinnen, Inga. 1987. Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan , 1517-1570. Cambridge : Cambridge U Press.

Eber, Christine. 2000. Women and Alcohol in a Highland Maya Township . Austin : U of Texas Press.

Elmendorf, M. 1976. Nine Mayan Women: A Village Faces Change. New York : John Wiley. (on order)

Falla, Ricardo. 1994. Massacres in the Jungle: Ixcan, Guatemala, 1975-19832. Boulder : Westview Press.

Gossen, Gary. 1974. Chamulas in the World of the Sun: Tim e and Space in Maya Oral Tradition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Green, Linda. 1999. Fear as a Way of Life: Mayan Widows in Rural Guatemala . New York : Columbia U Press.

Hagen, Jacqueline Maria. 1994. Deciding to be Legal: A Maya Community in Houston . Philadelphia : Temple U Press.

Handy, Jim. 1984. Gift of the Devil: A History of Guatemala . Boston : South East Press.

Harvey, Neil. 1998. The Chiapas Rebellion: The Struggle for Land and Democracy. Durham : Duke U Press.

Hawkins, John . 1984. Inverse Images: The Meaning of Culture, Ethnicity, and Family in Postcolonial Guatemala . Albuquerque : U of New Mexico Press.

Hendrickson, Carol. 1995. Weaving Identities: Construction of Dress and Self in a Highland Guatemalan Town . Austin : U of Texas Press.

Hill, Robert M., and J. Monaghan. 1987. Continuities in Highland Maya Social Organization: Ethnohistory in Sacapulas , Guatemala . Phildelphia: U of Pennsylvania Press.

Jonas, Susanne. 2000. Of Centaurs and Doves: Guatemala 's Peace Process. Boulder : Westview.

Lovell, W. George. 1992. Conquest and Survival in Colonial Guatemala : A Historical Geography of the Cuchumatan Highlands, 1500-1821. Montreal and Kingston : McGill-Queen's University Press.

Nash, June C. 1970. In the Eyes of the Ancestors: Belief and Behavior in a Maya Community. New Haven : Yale U Press.

Nash, June C. 2001. Mayan Visions: The quest for Autonomy in an Age of Globalization. London : Routledge.

Schirmer, Jennifer. 1998. The Guatemalan Military Project: A Violence Called Democracy. Philadelphia : U of Pennsylvania Press.

Stoll, David. 2000. Rigoberta Menchu and the Story of all Poor Guatemalans. New York : Harper Collins.  

Vogt, Evon. 1969. Zinacantan: A Mayan Community in the Highlands of Chiapas . Cambridge : Cambridge U Press.

Vogt, Evon. 1976. Tortillas for the Gods: A Symbolic Analysis of Zinacanteco Rituals. Cambridge : Harvard U Press.

Wasserstrom, Robert. 1983. Class and Society in Central Chiapas . Berkeley : U of California Press.

Watanabe, John . 1992. Maya Saints and Souls in a Changing World. Austin : U of Texas Press.

Wilson, Richard 1995. Maya Resurgence in Guatemala : Q'eqchi' Experiences. Norman : U of Oklahoma Press.

Rosenbaum, Brenda. 1993. With Our Heads Bowed: The Dynamics of Gender in a Maya Community. Austin : U of Texas Press.

Joseph, Gilbert M. 1988. Revolution from Without: Yucatan , Mexico , and the United States , 1889-1924. Durham: Duke U Press.

Kintz, E. R. 1990. Life under the Tropical Canopy. New York : Holt.

Re Cruz, Alicia. 1996. The Two Milpas of Chan Kom. Albany : State U of New York Press.

Reed, Nelson. 1964. The Caste War of Yucatan . Stanford: Stanford U Press.

Sullivan, Paul. R. 1989. Unfinished Conversations: Mayas and Foreigners Between Two Wars. New York : Alfred Knopf.

Warren, Kay . 1989. The Symbolism of Subordination: Indian Identity in a Guatemalan Town . 2nd. ed. Austin : U of TExas Press.

Warren, Kay B. 1998. Indigenous Movements and their Critics: Pan-Maya Activism in Guatemala . Princeton U Press.

Smith, Carol. ed.,1990. Guatemalan Indians and the State, 1540-1988. Austin : U of Texas Press.

Indian Christ, the Indian King: The Historical Substrate of Maya Myth and Ritual, by V. Bricker, 1981. Austin: U of Texas Press.

An Epoch of Miracles. by A. Burns, 1983, Austin : U of Texas Press.

Harvest of Violence, ed. R. Carmack, Norman : U of Oklahoma Press, 1988

Mayan People Within and Beyond Boundaries: Social Categories and Lived Identity in Yucatan . by P. Hervik, 2003. London : Routledge.

Maya Society Under Colonial Rule, by Nancy Farriss, Princeton U Press, 1984.

I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala . New York : Verso, 1984.

A Forest Society: A Social History of the Peten, Guatemala , by N. Schwartz. Philadelphia : U of Pennsylvania Press.



Extra Readings:

Andrews, Anthony P., and Shirley B. Mock. 2002. New Perspectives on the Prehispanic Maya Salt Trade. In Ancient Maya Political Economics , eds, Marilyn Masson and David A. Freidel, 307-334. Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.

Hill, Warren D., and John Clark.. 2001. "Sports, Gambling, and Government: America's First Social Compact? American Anthropologist 103(2):331-345.

Matheny, Raymond. 1986. Investigations at El Mirador, Peten, Guatemala. National Geographic Research 2:332-353.

Brady, James E., 1997, “Settlement Configuration and Cosmology: The Role of Caves at Dos Pilas.” American Anthropologist 99(3):602-618.

Farriss, Nancy. 1987. Remembering the Future, Anticipating the Past: History, Time, and Cosmology among the Maya of Yucatan. Comparative Studies in Society and History 29(3):566-593. (article available through JSTOR)

Fash, William. 2002. Religion and Human Agency in Ancient Maya History: Tales from the Hieroglyphic Stairway. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 12(1):5-19. (PDF available through this link)

Gillespie, Susan. 2001. Rethinking Ancient Maya Social Organization: Replacing "Lineage" with "House." American Anthropologist102(3):467-484.

Houston, Stephen D., and David Stuart. 1996. Of Gods, Glyphs, and Kings: Divinity and Rulership among the Classic Maya. Antiquity 70:289-312.

Joyce, Rosemary A. 2000. Chapter 3: Narratives of Gender among the Classic Maya, in Gender and Power in Prehispanic Mesoamerica , 54-89. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Martin, Simon. 2000. Court and Realm: Architectural Signatures in the Classic Maya Southern Lowlands. In Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya, Volume 1: Theory, Comparison, and Synthesis , ed. T. Inomata and S. Houston, pp. 168-194. Boulder: Westview Press.

Martin, Simon, and Nikolai Grube. 1995. Maya Superstates. Archaeology 48(6):41-46. Moholy-Nagy, Hattula. 2003. Source attribution and the utilization of obsidian in the Maya area Latin American Antiquity 14(1):301-310 (On order)

Robin, Cynthia. 2002. Gender and Maya Farming: Chan Nòohol , Belize   In Ancient Maya Women . Traci Ardren, ed. pp. 12-30.  Altamira Press  Walnut Creek , CA

Seitz, R., G. E. Harlow, V. B. Sisson, and K. E. Taube . 2001. Olmec Blue and Formative Jade Sources: New Discoveries in Guatemala. Antiquity 75(290):687-688.

Givens, Douglas R. 1992. The Maya and the Carnegie Institution. In Alfred Vincent Kidder and the Development of Americanist Archaeology , pp. 77-119. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico Press.

Historical Contexts. In Precolumbian Population History in the Maya Lowlands , ed. T. P. Culbert and D. S. Rice. Albuqureque. University of New Mexico Press, 1990.