Embodied Materials of the Classic Maya : a D.M.A. Flint and the Phenomenological Turn

Date

2019-12

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Abstract

Elaborate chipped-stone artifacts or eccentric flints constitute luxury items of ancient Mesoamerican cultures. For the Classic Maya, a variety of social, religious, and ideological pressures motivated the creation of these artifacts. Although recent object-based studies provide material analysis and detailed interpretation of context, a vast majority of flints lack any verified archaeological context. The paucity of data surrounding these objects limits possible interpretations by the archaeologist. Moving forward, an embodied archaeology of flints and flintknapping techniques provides a wellspring of insight into their significance to the Maya. By taking the sensual body as subject, an embodied archaeology grants agency to the ancient flintknapper’s visceral experience. This perspective facilitates the creation of cultural biography and historical psychology behind the eccentric flint now in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art, labeled in their catalog as Eccentric flint depicting a crocodile canoe and passengers (1983.45.McD).

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Keywords

Flint, Flintwork, Stone implements, Flintknapping, Mayas, Indians of Central America, Indians of Mexico

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©2019 Harper Rose Kennington. All rights reserved.

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