Ancient Maya Women (Gender and Archaeology)

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9780759100107: Ancient Maya Women (Gender and Archaeology)
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The flood of archaeological work in Maya lands has revolutionized our understanding of gender in ancient Maya society. The dozen contributors to this volume use a wide range of methodological strategies--archaeology, bioarchaeology, iconography, ethnohistory, epigraphy, ethnography--to tease out the details of the lives, actions, and identities of women of Mesoamerica. The chapters, most based upon recent fieldwork in Central America, examine the role of women in Maya society, their place in the political hierarchy and lineage structures, the gendered division of labor, and the discrepancy between idealized Mayan womanhood and the daily reality, among other topics. In each case, the complexities and nuances of gender relations is highlighted and the limitations of our knowledge acknowledged. These pieces represent an important advance in the understanding of Maya socioeconomic, political, and cultural life--and the archaeology of gender--and will be of great interest to scholars and students.

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About the Author:

Traci Ardren is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Miami. She codirects the Pakbeh Regional Economy Project centered at the ancient Maya trading city of Chunchucmil, Yucatan, Mexico. Her research has focused on gender, iconography, architecture and other forms of symbolic representation in the archaeological record.

Review:

Deftly edited by Traci Ardren, Ancient Maya Women is a fascinating compilation... A very highly recommended compilation of amazing discoveries and extrapolations of a long-ago culture―and an essential, seminal, core addition to Mayan Studies academic reference collections. (Betsy L. Hogam Midwest Book Review)

With a foreword from the eminent ethnographer, June Nash, and a broad concluding essay by W. Ashmore, Dr. Ardren introduces 10 thematic essays and case studies of archaeological, epigraphic and historical evidence for women's work and symbolic roles in the prehispanic period (with one paper venturing into the Colonial period too). Much of the evidence is from aristocratic contexts but four of the papers deal with domestic, agricultural and funerary evidence for ordinary people. (Nicholas James Antiquity)

This volume provides a multidimensional view of women's activities and identities, based on diverse theoretical and methodological approaches that address severe gaps in our knowledge and inspire new questions. (Rani T. Alexander Journal of Anthropological Research)

At a time when social anthropologists are tending to abandon ethnographic criteria of objectivity and scope of sampling, these papers remind us of the importance of quantitative evidence and repetitive observations in favor of, as well as a supplement to, imaginative interpretations.... It is a welcome addition to feminist studies in critiquing androcentric assumptions that guided both the creators of texts, imagery, and sculpture, as well as ethnohistorical and ethnographic observers over the five hundred years of contact and assimilation. (June C. Nash, CUNY)

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Book Description AltaMira Press,U.S., United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The flood of archaeological work in Maya lands has revolutionized our understanding of gender in ancient Maya society. The dozen contributors to this volume use a wide range of methodological strategies-archaeology, bioarchaeology, iconography, ethnohistory, epigraphy, ethnography-to tease out the details of the lives, actions, and identities of women of Mesoamerica. The chapters, most based upon recent fieldwork in Central America, examine the role of women in Maya society, their place in the political hierarchy and lineage structures, the gendered division of labor, and the discrepancy between idealized Mayan womanhood and the daily reality, among other topics. In each case, the complexities and nuances of gender relations is highlighted and the limitations of our knowledge acknowledged. These pieces represent an important advance in the understanding of Maya socioeconomic, political, and cultural life-and the archaeology of gender-and will be of great interest to scholars and students. Seller Inventory # BTE9780759100107

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