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Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2017

1 April 2019

Bodies of Maize, Eaters of Grain. Comparing Material Worlds, Metaphor and the Agency of Art in the Preclassic Maya and Mycenaean Early Civilisations

Marcus Jan Bajema

Bodies of Maize, Eaters of Grain. Comparing Material Worlds, Metaphor and the Agency of Art in the Preclassic Maya and Mycenaean Early Civilisations

City: Oxford

Year: 2017

Publisher: Archaeopress

Description: Paperback, 351 p., 20 b/w tables, 82 b/w and colour figures, 20.5 x 29 cm

Abstract

Bodies of Maize, Eaters of Grain provides a comparative study of the earliest urban civilizations 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 civilizations, 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 civilizations in general.

Contents

List of Figures [ii-iii]

List of Tables [iii]

Acknowledgments [iv]

Summary of the Book’s Arguments [v-vi]

Chapter One: Introduction [1-3]

Chapter Two: Philosophical – Methodological Issues for Cross-cultural Comparison in Archaeology [4-48]

Chapter Three: Introduction to Mycenaean Early Civilisation [49-72]

Chapter Four: General Characteristics of Mycenaean Art [73-122]

Chapter Five: Contexts and Agency of Mycenaean Art [123-159]

Chapter Six: Introduction to Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Early Civilisation [160-176]

Chapter Seven: General Characteristics of Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Art [177-218]

Chapter Eight: Contexts and Agency of Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Art [219-248]

Chapter Nine: Comparing the Art of the Mycenaean and Late Preclassic Lowland Maya Early Civilisations [249-296]

Chapter Ten: Conclusion [297-301]

Bibliography [302-347]

Appendix: Overview of the Narrative Micro-structures in the San Bartolo Wall-paintings [348-351]


Comments

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