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K. Kris Hirst

Maya Plazas and Festivals: A Photo Essay

By November 10, 2006

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As I was reading up on Takeshi Inomata's study of the Maya festival and how the festivals affected and were affected by the shape and size of plazas, I got an idea. Wouldn't it be interesting to use a photo essay to look at some of the plazas at Maya sites and some of the evidence used by archaeologists to study the classic period Maya festivals, while mulling over some of Dr. Inomata's ideas?

Yes, I thought so too. So, here it is: the photo essay called Spectacles and Spectators: Maya Festivals and Maya Plazas includes photos of some of the more famous Maya sites, focusing specifically on their plazas. The text is based in part on Inomata's paper in Current Anthropology and part on stuff I had lying around the house, including Royal Courts of the Maya Volumes 1 and 2 and the new collection called The Archaeology of Performance. Photos in the essay include those of Tulúm, Tikal, Copán, Bonampak, Uxmal, and Calakmul; and they were taken by Takeshi Inomata, Lorena Cassady, Alfred Diem, Jami Dwyer, Nick Leonard, Erwin Morales, and Esparta Palma. This photo is of the Nunnery Quadrangle at Uxmal, and it was taken by Esparta Palma. Much thanks to Takeshi Inomata for putting up with my nosy questions; any mistakes are mine alone.

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