Mayas

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Mayanists have been increasingly accepting a "court paradigm" of Classic Maya societies which puts the emphasis on the centrality of the royal household and especially the person of the king. Thisapproach focuses on Maya monumental spaces as the embodiment of the diverse activities of the royal household. It considers the role of places and spaces (including dwellings of royalty and nobles,throne rooms, temples, halls and plazas for public ceremonies) in establishing power and social hierarchy, and also in projecting aesthetic and moral values to define the wider social realm.
Spanishsources invariably describe even the largest Maya settlements as dispersed collections of dwellings grouped around the temples and palaces of the ruling dynasty and lesser nobles. None of the Classic Mayacities shows evidence of economic specialization and commerce of the scale of Mexican Tenochtitlan. Instead, Maya cities could be seen as enormous royal households, the locales of the administrativeand ritual activities of the royal court. They were the places where privileged nobles could approach the holy ruler, where aesthetic values of the high culture were formulated and disseminated, whereaesthetic items were consumed. They were the self-proclaimed centers and the sources of social, moral, and cosmic order. The fall of a royal court as in the well-documented cases of Piedras Negras orCopan would cause the inevitable "death" of the associated settlement
ART

Many[who?] consider Maya art of their Classic Era (c. 250 to 900 AD) to be the most sophisticated and beautiful of theancient New World. The carvings and the reliefs made of stucco at Palenque and the statuary of Copán are especially fine[citation needed], showing a grace and accurate observation of the human form thatreminded early archaeologists of Classical civilizations of the Old World[citation needed], hence the name bestowed on this era. We have only hints of the advanced painting of the classic Maya;...
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