Project Title

The Art and Production of Maya Eccentrics

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Terry Powis

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The Art and Production of Maya Eccentrics

Lithic technology and flint knapping have assisted in our understanding of the creation of power symbols in ancient Maya life. Maya elites relied on a multiple of ways to display their power and social status within their society during the first millennium AD. These characteristics included body modifications like scarification, tattooing, teeth filing, and cranial deformation. Beyond physically altering the human body, elites also manipulated the control of trade over vast distances. Obsidian, or volcanic glass, was traded far and wide, and once on site was worked into a myriad of shapes and sizes that were manufactured by highly skilled artisans. These artisans created power symbols, called eccentrics, that were objects utilized by elites alone. These eccentrics have rarely been researched or reproduced which is due to the complexity of the manufacturing process. This research focuses on the techniques and tools used to (re)create the eccentrics as well as a discussion on their form and function in Late Classic (AD 600-800) Maya society.

Key Words: Late Classic Maya, eccentrics, technique, manufactured process, lithics

Project Type

Poster

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The Art and Production of Maya Eccentrics

The Art and Production of Maya Eccentrics

Lithic technology and flint knapping have assisted in our understanding of the creation of power symbols in ancient Maya life. Maya elites relied on a multiple of ways to display their power and social status within their society during the first millennium AD. These characteristics included body modifications like scarification, tattooing, teeth filing, and cranial deformation. Beyond physically altering the human body, elites also manipulated the control of trade over vast distances. Obsidian, or volcanic glass, was traded far and wide, and once on site was worked into a myriad of shapes and sizes that were manufactured by highly skilled artisans. These artisans created power symbols, called eccentrics, that were objects utilized by elites alone. These eccentrics have rarely been researched or reproduced which is due to the complexity of the manufacturing process. This research focuses on the techniques and tools used to (re)create the eccentrics as well as a discussion on their form and function in Late Classic (AD 600-800) Maya society.

Key Words: Late Classic Maya, eccentrics, technique, manufactured process, lithics