Commoner Ritual and Ideology in Ancient Mesoamerica

edited by Nancy Gonlin and Jon C. Lohse

Paperback Price $29.95
Ebook Price $24.95
30-day ebook rental price $9.99

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Mesoamerican Worlds Series

"The best treatment of the subject matter to date."
—Marcello A. Canuto, Yale University


Were most commoners in ancient Mesoamerica poor? In a material sense, yes, probably so. Were they poor in their beliefs and culture? Certainly not, as Commoner Ritual and Ideology in Ancient Mesoamerica demonstrates.

This volume explores the ritual life of Mesoamerica's common citizens, inside and outside of the domestic sphere, from Formative through Postclassic periods. Building from the premise that ritual and ideological expression inhered at all levels of society in Mesoamerica, the contributors demonstrate that ideology did not emanate solely from exalted individuals and that commoner ritual expression was not limited to household contexts. Taking an empirical approach to this under-studied and under-theorized area, contributors use material evidence to discover how commoner status conditioned the expression of ideas and values.

Revealing complex social hierarchies that varied across time and region, this volume offers theoretical approaches to commoner ideology, religious practice, and sociopolitical organization and builds a framework for future study of the correlation of ritual and ideological expression with social position for Mesoamericanists and archaeologists worldwide.

Contributors: Luis Barba, John G. Douglass, Nancy Gonlin, Alicia Herrera Muzgo T., Arthur A. Joyce, Jon C. Lohse, Cira Martínez López, Linda Manzanilla, Robert Markens, Geoffrey G. McCafferty, Mark W. Mehrer, Jan Olson, Agustín Ortiz, Patricia Plunket, Gabriela Uruñuela, Errin T. Weller, Marcus Winter


Nancy Gonlin is a Mesoamerican archaeologist who specializes in daily and nightly practices, household studies, and inequality. She is editor-in-chief of Ancient Mesoamerica, and her publications include the coedited volumes Commoner Ritual and Ideology in Ancient Mesoamerica, Ancient Households of the Americas, Human Adaptation in Ancient Mesoamerica, andArchaeology of the Night. She is coauthor of Copán: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Maya Kingdom and The Archaeology of Native North America, 2nd ed. Gonlin is a professor of anthropology at Bellevue College in Washington.

Jon C. Lohse is a research associate at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Principal Investigator at Coastal Environments, Inc.

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  • Paperback Price: $29.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60732-588-8
  • Ebook Price: $24.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $9.99
  • EISBN: 978-0-87081-920-9
  • Publication Year: 2007
  • Pages: 352
  • Illustrations: 42 b&w photographs, 26 drawings, 14 maps, 10 tbls
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Nancy Gonlin and Jon C. Lohse
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87081-845-5
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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