Opening the Royal Maya Court

Takeshi Inomata, Stephen D. Houston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


The chapter focuses on equally attentive to Early Colonial mention of pre-Hispanic courts and to their survivals after Spanish contact. It examines spatial aspects of the court by analyzing the layout of palaces at major Classic Maya centers. The royal court was peripheral to these inquiries, being addressed somewhat indirectly as an adjunct to political organization, elite lineage systems, and other matters of relevance to synchronic, society-wide reconstructions. Royal courts as analytic entities barely registered on academic radar screens. In pre-Hispanic Maya society, it is most likely that some of the so-called palaces were the places where royal households resided and a large portion of courtly activities took place. The wide variety in the composition of courts means that organizational principles and the dynamics of internal power achieve singular prominence in any anthropological or historical investigation. In most preindustrial societies, a court performs essential administrative, judiciary, ceremonial, and diplomatic functions of the state or polity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoyal Courts of the Ancient Maya
Subtitle of host publicationVolume One: Theory, Comparison, and Synthesis
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780429966095
ISBN (Print)9780429497544
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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