Lowland Maya Fortifications

The purpose  of this paper is to review the evidence for, and implications of, Lowland Maya military architecture,

particularly that predating the collapse of Classic Maya society at about 950A.D. Apart from the pioneering work of Armillas (1951) and Palerm (1954) there has been no systematic analysis of Mesoamerican military architecture in general, let alone that of the Maya Lowlands. This neglect is particularly unfortunate because archaeologists are increasingly empha-sizing warfare as a basic process in the evolution of complex societies - those which we label "civilizations" or "states."

This review of Maya fortifications constitutes a partial test of the hypothesis that warfare was an important factor in the evolution and structuring of Lowland Maya civilization (Webster, in press). Considering the potential significance of warfare as both a process and symptom of socio-political evolution in the Maya Lowlands its identification in archaeological contexts is essential.

Information indicating the presence of warfare in prehistoric contexts may be derived from a variety of sources, such as the analysis of pre-historic weapon-systems, representational art, and human osteological remains. 

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Author: David Webster

Article and Image Source: latinamericanstudies.org

Keywords: Maya,Fortifications,Military Architecture,History,Warfare,Mesoamerican


David Webster

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