Chapter

Control without Controlling: Motul de San José and Its Environs from an Outsider's Perspective

Elizabeth Graham

in Motul de San José

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780813041902
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813041902.003.0016
Control without Controlling: Motul de San José and Its Environs from an Outsider's Perspective

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The distinctions made by Maya archaeologists between centralized and decentralized states are critiqued in this chapter by Elizabeth Graham through a comparison with modern states and their political systems. This comparison brings into relief the need to differentiate between social, political, and economic wealth. Without complete control over the economy, modern elites have amassed a considerable amount of wealth. Although Classic Maya states are not modern capitalist societies, Classic Maya elites may have been very wealthy but not necessarily in control of every aspect of their society. In addition, such complete control may have not been desired nor desirable by these ancient elites who adapted to their tropical environment by maintaining flexibility in their agricultural and hunting systems.

Keywords: Classic Maya; Archaeology; Ancient environment; Political economy

Chapter.  5287 words. 

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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