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Feasting at Home

Community and House Solidarity among the Maya of Southeastern Mesoamerica

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Abstract

While there is a considerable amount of information available relating to feasting in small-scale societies lacking permanent institutions of political authority (e.g., Kahn 1986; Kan 1989; Young 1971), and on how feasting could lead to the development of these institutions (Clark and Blake 1994; Hayden 1996), relatively few studies have focused on the role of feasting in complex societies whose members potentially had more varied options for signaling social status and prestige. In this paper, I examine archaeological evidence from the Late to Terminal Classic period Maya settlement in the Copan valley, Honduras (Figure 8.1) to determine how feasting may have figured in the politics of complex societies in Mesoamerica. I begin with a discussion of what is known of Mesoamerican feasting practices based on the ethnohistoric documentation, including the sixteenth-century writings on the Maya of Diego de Landa, Bishop of Yucatan (Tozzer 1941; see Restall and Chuchiak 2002), and the sixteenth-century compilation of information on Aztec culture known as the Florentine Codex (Sahagún 1953-1982). I then move to a consideration of the ceramic and architectural data recovered from several elite patio groups in the Copan valley. After assessing vessel functions and reviewing the Copan assemblage’s functional groupings, the chapter concludes with a discussion of the spatial distribution of these groupings in the elite compounds as they

Keywords

  • Food Preparation
  • Dominant Structure
  • Ceramic Vessel
  • American Archaeology
  • House Member

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Hendon, J.A. (2003). Feasting at Home. In: Bray, T.L. (eds) The Archaeology and Politics of Food and Feasting in Early States and Empires. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_8

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

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