“A wonderful tribute to A Forest of Kings. It captures the spirit of that work and highlights many of the discoveries made since its publication. Oftentimes, the papers in this volume portray A Forest of Kings as prescient: it certainly was.”
—James Fitzsimmons, Middlebury College
“Stanton and Brown have done an excellent job bringing together world-class scholars who continue to push the advancement of Maya studies through their contributions. These works highlight the depth of knowledge that archaeologists, epigraphers, and art historians have gained over the past twenty-five-plus years.”
—Jeffrey B. Glover, Georgia State University
David Freidel and Linda Schele’s monumental work A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (1990) offered an innovative, rigorous, and controversial approach to studying the ancient Maya, unifying archaeological, iconographic, and epigraphic data in a form accessible to both scholars and laypeople. Travis W. Stanton and M. Kathryn Brown’s A Forest of History: The Maya after the Emergence of Divine Kingship presents a collection of essays that critically engage with and build upon the lasting contributions A Forest of Kings made to Maya epigraphy, iconography, material culture, and history.
These original papers present new, cutting-edge research focusing on the social changes leading up to the spread of divine kingship across the lowlands in the first part of the Early Classic. The contributors continue avenues of inquiry such as the timing of the Classic Maya collapse across the southern lowlands, the nature of Maya warfare, the notion of usurpation and “stranger-kings” in the Classic period, the social relationships between the ruler and elite of the Classic period Yaxchilán polity, and struggles for sociopolitical dominance among the later Classic period polities of Chichén Itzá, Cobá, and the Puuc kingdoms.
Many of the interpretations and approaches in A Forest of Kings have withstood the test of time, while others have not; a complete understanding of the Classic Maya world is still developing. In A Forest of History recent discoveries are considered in the context of prior scholarship, illustrating both the progress the field has made in the past quarter century and the myriad questions that remain. The volume will be a significant contribution to the literature for students, scholars, and general readers interested in Mesoamerican and Maya archaeology.
Contributors: Wendy Ashmore, Arlen F. Chase, Diane Z. Chase, Wilberth Cruz Alvarado, Arthur A. Demarest, Keith Eppich, David A. Freidel, Charles W. Golden, Stanley P. Guenter, Annabeth Headrick, Aline Magnoni, Joyce Marcus, Marilyn A. Masson, Damaris Menéndez, Susan Milbrath, Olivia C. Navarro-Farr, José Osorio León, Carlos Peraza Lope, Juan Carlos Pérez Calderón, Griselda Pérez Robles, Francisco Pérez Ruíz, Michelle Rich, Jeremy A. Sabloff, Andrew K. Scherer, Karl A. Taube