The Maya

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The cause behind the rise of the Maya has long been a controversial topic. Over the past eighty years, scholarship has been polarized around two conflicting propositions, ‘externalist’ and ‘internalist’ models. The first (externalist) view posits that the Maya lowlands experienced and “overt and disruptive” Teotihuacan presence in the late fourth century A.D., that was accompanied with “military incursion if not political domination.” The second (internalist) view interprets the evidence of interaction with foreign sites, as a means of Maya elites distancing themselves from the general population and/or legitimizing new dynastic rulership lines by associating themselves with the powerful foreign city-state of Teotihuacan (Stuart 1996). As Braswell (2003, p.7) points out it is important to note, that neither camp denies that the interaction took place. Rather, it is the degree of impact the Teotihuacan had on the Maya, that is, the duration of political, social and economic changes, stimulated by foreign interaction. This can be determined by the evidence provided by architecture, imported material goods, and iconography. The majority of this evidence derives from Teotihuacan, along with the three most powerful Maya city-states at the time of initial interaction – Tikal, Copan, and Kaminaljuyu. As with all history, the ‘facts’ provided by the evidence, is open to interpretation by each historian. The contributors of the volume Highland-lowland Interaction in Mesoamerica: Interdisciplinary Approaches (Miller 1983) provides the basis of opinion “regarding the influence of central Mexican culture in various parts of the Maya region during the epoch of the maximum splendour of Teotihuacan.” As a result of this work many sc... ... middle of paper ... ... The Maya and Teotihuacan Reinterpreting Early Classic Interaction Edited By Geoffrey E. Braswell, University of Texas Press, 2003, p.273-314. George L. Cowgill Teotihuacan and Early Classic Interaction: A Perspective from outside the Maya Region, The Maya and Teotihuacan Reinterpreting Early Classic Interaction Edited By Geoffrey E. Braswell, University of Texas Press, 2003, p.115-336. Joyce Marcus The Maya and Teotihuacan, The Maya and Teotihuacan Reinterpreting Early Classic Interaction Edited By Geoffrey E. Braswell, University of Texas Press, 2003, p.337-356. Marketonis November 15, 2007: Fire Is Born (Nace el Fuego): The mysterious invader who brought the Mayan Empire much of its splendour, http://thefivesusa.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/fire-is-born-nace-el-fuego-the-mysterious-invader-who-brought-the-mayan-empire-much-of-its-splendor/

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