Ancient Maya Marketplaces: Hubs of Interaction and Integration
The identification of marketplaces among the Classic Maya has come late for several reasons, one of which is that they were most often open-air events in which perishable, temporary stalls were created and thus challenging to find archaeologically. Their discovery however, has caused major changes to our understandings of the complex ways in the Maya interacted and were integrated. This lecture explores the ways in which Classic Maya marketplaces (AD 500–900) served to provide staple goods for households and could be influential in the political strategies of Maya rulers. Marketplaces at the sites of Buenavista del Cayo and Xunantunich located 5km from each other in the Mopan River valley of Belize are discussed in detail. The extensive research strategy applied at these sites has contributed to settling the debate as to the existence of Classic Maya marketplaces and addresses questions about their diversity.
(Brush National Lecture; Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World)
February 20 at 6:00 pm (Reception to follow)
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 15 East 84th Street
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