Investigations of a Classic Maya Council House at Copán, Honduras
Authors: Fash, Barbara; Fash, William; Lane, Sheree; Larios, Rudy; Sehele, Linda; Stamper, Jeffrey; Stuart, David
Source: Journal of Field Archaeology, Volume 19, Number 4, 1992 , pp. 419-442(24)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:The epigraphic revolution in Maya studies provides new insights into Classic Period dynastic history and has begun to tell us about its rulers and subsidiary figures (brothers, royal spouses and concubines, etc.). One of the most intriguing groups of non-royal protagonists just now coming to light are the governors appointed by the Classic Maya rulers to administer the divisions of their kingdoms. New archaeological investigations of Structure 10L–22A at Copán have provided information on the jurisdictions of the subsidiary chiefs of this particular polity. Careful documentation of the provenience of the fragments of fallen mosaic sculptures during the excavations, and the application of methods and interpretations derived from the different disciplines represented by the authors, has permitted the re-assembling of the fragments, the reconstruction of their placement on the building, the dating of the construction and use of the structure, and the physical restoration of numerous elements back onto the building's façade. Analogy with well-documented political institutions of the 16th-century lowland Maya suggests the function of the structure and the name of the political office represented by the human figures and their identifying hieroglyphs on the building's façade. The Structure 10L–22A data complement the study of Copán sociopolitical and economic evolution, and provide key information on the recovery of the Copán dynasty from a devastating political setback. They also illuminate the processes underway at a number oflarge polities toward the end of the Classic Period, when expansionism and military campaigns were at the forefront of the political scene.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1992