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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: COURTING THE CLASSIC MAYA: A STUDY OF THE NATURAL AND SUPERNATURAL PARALLELS BETWEEN THE BALLCOURT AND THE ROYAL COURT AS DEPICTED IN CLASSIC PERIOD PAINTED CERAMICS
Author: PRISCILLA MOLLARD (Cal Academy of Sciences/SFSU)   
Date/Time: Sun., 8:00 AM
Co-Author(s): PRISCILLA MOLLARD (Cal Academy of Sciences/SFSU) 
Abstract: The Classic Period Maya ballgame served a purpose more akin to a religious ritual than a game. The ballcourt during this time was not only the physical setting of this ritual but also the vertex of both the natural and supernatural axes on which the ritual acted. Similarly, the Classic Maya royal court was a seat of government that derived its power from both the natural and the supernatural. This paper addresses the archaeological evidence pertaining to the ballgame ritual during the Classic Period, and examines the links between the ballcourt and the Classic Maya royal court. Data is derived from Classic Period ceramic scenes depicting both the ballcourt and the royal court. The flow of iconography between the two is studied under the paradigm of circulation, as ceramic vessels were portable and therefore circulating objects. Previous authors have addressed the ritual aspects of the Classic Period ballgame, as others have done for the Classic Period royal court, but few have attempted to study the links in form and function between the two. This paper argues that each represented a physical locus of metaphysical power and, as such, painted ceramic depictions of both should follow the same iconographic rules. Where significant differences are observed between the two, it is further suggested that these differences correlate with specific supernatural contexts. While the forms by which these functions present themselves may be disparate, it is argued that the functions themselves derive from a similar source.

Program Number: 5-0195
Session Title: MAYAN POLITICS AND POWER
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Sun., 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Organizer(s): ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM COMMITTEE (AAA) 
Chair(s): KRISTIN LANDAU (Northwestern University)  
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