chapter  Chapter Three
14 Pages

Public architecture and the rise of complexity in the Middle Preclassic

WithM. Kathryn Brown, Travis W. Stanton

Treating the Middle Preclassic period in the Maya Lowlands as a single block of time ignores the dynamic changes that occurred over its 700 years. Recent research indicates that the egalitarian villages at 1100/1000 BC were considerably different than hierarchical communities that existed at 300 BC. In this chapter we review recent research on E Groups and ballcourts and argue that both served as nodes of religious and economic activities during this period, fostering a sense of community, while at the same time providing opportunities for nascent elites to elevate their status through the sponsorship of ceremonies at these critical places.