Can we read cosmology in ancient Maya city plans? Comment on Ashmore and Sabloff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

39 Scopus citations


Arguments for the cosmological significance of ancient Maya city layouts are plausible, but empirical applications are subjective and lack rigor. I illustrate this contention through brief comments on a recent article by Ashmore and Sabloff. I first discuss some of the complexities and pitfalls in studying cosmology from ancient city plans, and then focus on one component of the authors' cosmological model - the hypothesized north-south axis at Classic Maya cities. My goal is not to downplay or rule out the role of cosmology in Maya city planning, but rather to encourage the use of explicit assumptions and rigorous methods that will provide the study of Maya city planning with a more secure empirical foundation. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalLatin American Antiquity
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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