This volume is the culmination of fieldwork that was carried out in the 1970s at Greater Utatlán, made up of several communities surrounding the ceremonial centre of Q'umarkaj and the famed home of the Popol Wuj. Although he completed his dissertation in 1980, Babcock freely admits that life got in the way of publishing at the time, and I commend him for returning to it three decades later. This temporal distance offers the advantage of being able to review the initial work within the context of later research and to incorporate the wisdom attained since the initial writing of the dissertation. However, it has the disadvantage in some cases of dated references, methods and technology. Nonetheless, the volume is carefully written, including a thorough background to the study, plainly defined geographical, temporal and linguistic terms and excellent detail in the methodology and research questions. The goal of the volume is to lay out the findings from excavations conducted in the residential zone of Greater Utatlán and to define the ‘constituted community’ as understood by the ancient residents.
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
Mathews, J. (2015). [Review of the book Utatlán: The constituted community of the K'iche' Maya of Q'umarkaj, by T. F. Babcock]. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 34, 138-140. doi: 10.1111/blar.12288
Bulletin of Latin American Research