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Social Integration and the Classic Maya

William A. Haviland
American Antiquity
Vol. 31, No. 5, Part 1 (Jul., 1966), pp. 625-631
DOI: 10.2307/2694487
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2694487
Page Count: 7
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Social Integration and the Classic Maya
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Abstract

In recent years, there has been much interest in the use of ethnographic data derived from modern Maya groups for the interpretation of Classic Maya civilization. It has been suggested by some that civil and religious positions in Classic Maya society were filled by a system of rotation such as exists today among some Maya groups. Such a system would have served as a powerful force for the integration of both priest and peasant in Classic Maya society. This proposition is examined here in the light of recent data which show a relation between such existing "cargo" systems and population size. On the basis of settlement data from Tikal, Guatemala, it is concluded that such a system of rotation would not have been an effective force for social integration at large sites of the Classic period, and that other possible factors must be considered in this respect.

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