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War Owl Falling : Innovation, Creativity, and Culture Change in Ancient Maya Society (Hardcover) (Markus
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“Offers a unique and important perspective on Classic Maya society through the lens of innovation. Eberl’s work is richly grounded in a multidisciplinary approach that weaves archaeological data with epigraphy, iconography, and comparative social theory.”—Andrew K. Scherer, author of Mortuary Landscapes of the Classic Maya: Rituals of Body and Soul
“The first sustained account of innovation and creativity among the ancient Maya. A welcome addition.”—Scott Hutson, author of The Ancient Urban Maya: Neighborhoods, Inequality, and Built Form
Drawing on archaeological findings from the Maya lowlands, War Owl Falling shows how innovation and creativity led to social change in ancient societies. Markus Eberl discusses the ways eighth-century Maya (and Maya commoners in particular) reinvented objects and signs that were associated with nobility, including scepters, ceramic vessels, ballgame equipment, and the symbol of the owl. These inventions, he argues, reflect assertions of independence and a redistribution of power that contributed to the Maya collapse in the Late Classic period.
Eberl emphasizes that individual decision-making—the ability to imagine alternate worlds and to act on that vision—plays a large role in changing social structure over time. Pinpointing where and when these Maya inventions emerged, how individuals adopted them and why, War Owl Falling connects technological and social change in a novel way.
A volume in the series Maya Studies, edited by Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase