Bridging the Chasm between Religion and Politics...

Book Details

Author  Reiko Ishihara
Publisher  VDM Verlag Dr. Müller
Publication Date   February 3, 2009
ISBN  363906674X
Pages  308

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This book presents the findings of the archaeological investigations conducted in the Grieta Principal (Main Chasm in Spanish), a large chasm that runs through the middle of the Late Classic Maya site of Aguateca, Peten, Guatemala. The central location of the chasm, in addition to the incorporation of the feature in the place name glyph, suggest its religious importance to the local people. The objectives of the study consisted of examining the nature of chasm use, spatial and temporal transformations in use, and how practices in the chasm correlated with the historical processes of the dynasty and the Aguateca inhabitants. This research expands the current field's understanding of the definition of a "cave" in Maya religion. The data point to a principal use as a place where ritual practices were performed inside the chasm. It is plausible that the chasm served a focal position in establishing the "sacred landscape" that agreed with a cosmologically significant spatial configuration. More importantly, however, this study attempts to elucidate social negotiations revolving around the dynamic production of landscape.

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