Ancient Maya Political Economies examines variation in systems of economic production and exchange and how these systems supported the power networks that integrated Maya society. Chapters in this book take a hard look at existing models of elite exchange and tribute and address the difficult question of how the flow of utilitarian goods supported Maya kingdoms and their ruling classes. Using models originally developed by William L. Rathje, the authors explore core-periphery relations, the use of household analysis to reconstruct political economy, and evidence for market development. In doing so, they challenge the conventional wisdom of decentralized Maya political authority and replace it with a more complex view of the political economic foundations of Maya civilization.
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