There are some interesting papers to be presented at this year’s Maya at the Playa conference. Unfortunately I cannot attend but I would definitely have listened to the papers on Late Preclassic politics by Stanley Guenter and Francisco Estrada-Belli. Once upon a time (1997) I wrote my BA-thesis on Cerros in northern Belize and I suggested it was a marine port for the El Mirador empire. I do therefore believe Stan is onto something, i.e. El Mirador was the original capital of the Kan kingdom (which later moved to Dzibanche and Calakmul). The impact of El Mirador in the history of the Maya lowlands is indeed interesting. There is certainly no coincidence that the expansion and growth of Teotihuacan in Central Mexico coincides with the demise of the Mirador empire (but exactly what happened is still not clear). There is further no coincidence that the main enemy of the Kan kingdom, during the Classic period, was Tikal. During Early Classic times Tikal had connections to Teotihuacan. The “superpower(s)” of Classic Maya politics appears to have originated much earlier.
Posted by: Johan Normark | October 6, 2011