Bodies of Maize, Eaters of Grain (Book published December 11


Book Details

Author  Marcus Jan Bajema
Publisher  Archaeopress Archaeology
Publication Date   December 11, 2017
ISBN  1784916919
Pages  360

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Bodies of Maize, Eaters of Grain provides a comparative study of the earliest urban civilisations of the Maya lowlands and the Greek mainland. It builds upon earlier comparative studies by Gordon Childe, Robert Adams and Bruce Trigger, extending their work into new directions. Specifically, the focus lies on the art styles of the Late Preclassic lowland Maya and Mycenaean Greece. The approach used here seeks to combine more traditional iconographic approaches with more recent models on metaphor and the social agency of things. Comparing Maya and Mycenaean art styles through the three aspects of metaphor, semiotics and praxis, their differences and similarities are made clear. The book shows art to have played a more active role in the development of the earliest urban civilisations, rather than passively reflecting economic and political trends. In that way, the social role of art provides a key to understanding the relations between the different factors in the development of the two societies, as they played out at different temporal and geographical scales. To understand this, the notion of distinct Maya and Mycenaean ‘material worlds’, involving both materials and ideas, is proposed, with consequences for models about the earliest urban civilisations in general.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: Philosophical - Methodological Issues for Cross-cultural Comparison in Archaeology

Chapter Three: Introduction to Mycenaean Early Civilisation

Chapter Four: General Characteristics of Mycenaean Art

Chapter Five: Contexts and Agency of Mycenaean Art

Chapter Six: Introduction to Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Early Civilisation

Chapter Seven: General Characteristics of Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Art

Chapter Eight: Contexts and Agency of Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Art

Chapter Nine: Comparing the Art of the Mycenaean and Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Early Civilisations

Chapter Ten: Conclusion


Appendix: Overview of the Narrative Micro-structures in the San Bartolo Wall-paintings

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