WorldCat Identities

Houston, Stephen D.

Works: 76 works in 307 publications in 2 languages and 7,141 library holdings
Genres: History  Exhibition catalogs  Conference papers and proceedings  Art  Case studies 
Roles: Author, Editor
Classifications: F1435, 972.81016
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Stephen D Houston
The disappearance of writing systems : perspectives on literacy and communication by Stephen D Houston( )

18 editions published between 2008 and 2010 in English and held by 730 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This volume gathers papers from the first conference ever to be held on the disappearance of writing systems, in Oxford in March 2004. Case studies from the Old and New Worlds are presented, ranging over periods from the second millennium B.C. to the present. In order to address many types of transmission, the broadest possible definition of 'writing' is used, notably including Mexican pictography and the Andean khipu system. One chapter discusses the larger proportion of known human societies which have not possessed complex material codes like writing, offering an alternative perspective on the long-term transmission of socially salient subjects. A concluding essay draws out common themes and offers an initial synthesis of results."--BOOK JACKET
Maya glyphs by Stephen D Houston( Book )

27 editions published between 1989 and 1996 in 3 languages and held by 687 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The classic Maya by Stephen D Houston( Book )

14 editions published between 2009 and 2010 in English and held by 670 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the first millennium A.D., the classic Maya created courtly societies in and around the Yucatan Peninsula that have left some of the most striking intellectual and aesthetic achievements of the ancient world, including large settlements like Tikal, Copan, and Palenque. This book is a synthesis of the Classic Maya. It is informed by new decipherment of hieroglyphs, decades of intensive excavation and survey. Structured by categories of person in society, it reports on kings, queens, nobles, gods, and ancestors, as well as the many millions of farmers and other figures who lived in societies predicated on sacred kingship and varying political programs. This text presents a tandem model of societies bound by moral covenants and convulsed by unavoidable tensions between groups, all affected by demographic trends and changing environments. It focuses on the Classic heartland but also refers to other zones
The Maya by Michael D Coe( Book )

8 editions published in 2015 in English and held by 586 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Coe and Houston update this classic by distilling the latest scholarship for the general reader and student. This new edition incorporates the most recent archaeological and epigraphic research, which continues to proceed at a fast pace. Among the finest new discoveries are spectacular stucco sculptures at El Zotz and Holmul, which reveal surprising aspects of Maya royalty and the founding of dynasties. Dramatic refinements in our understanding the pace of changes in the Maya world have led scholars to perceive a pattern of rapid bursts of building and political formation. Other finds include the discovery of the earliest known occupant of the region, the Hoyo Negro girl, recovered from an underwater cavern in the Yucatan peninsula, along with new evidence for the first architecture at Ceibal."--Back cover
The memory of bones : body, being, and experience among the classic Maya by Stephen D Houston( Book )

10 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 407 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

All of human experience flows from bodies that feel, express emotion, and think about what such experiences mean. But is it possible for us, embodied as we are in a particular time and place, to know how people of long ago thought about the body and its experiences? In this groundbreaking book, three leading experts on the Classic Maya (ca. AD 250 to 850) marshal a vast array of evidence from Maya iconography and hieroglyphic writing, as well as archaeological findings, to argue that the Classic Maya developed a coherent approach to the human body that we can recover and understand today. The authors open with a cartography of the Maya body, its parts and their meanings, as depicted in imagery and texts. They go on to explore such issues as how the body was replicated in portraiture; how it experienced the world through ingestion, the senses, and the emotions; how the body experienced war and sacrifice and the pain and sexuality that were intimately bound up in these domains; how words, often heaven-sent, could be embodied; and how bodies could be blurred through spirit possession. From these investigations, the authors convincingly demonstrate that the Maya conceptualized the body in varying roles, as a metaphor of time, as a gendered, sexualized being, in distinct stages of life, as an instrument of honor and dishonor, as a vehicle for communication and consumption, as an exemplification of beauty and ugliness, and as a dancer and song-maker. Their findings open a new avenue for empathetically understanding the ancient Maya as living human beings who experienced the world as we do, through the body
Fiery pool : the Maya and the mythic sea by Daniel Finamore( Book )

7 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 395 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Maya art and hieroglyphs constitute one of the world's most fascinating, visually striking, and complex systems of expression. Most scholarly interpretations of Maya art and culture have emphasized that this ancient civilization was oriented toward inland centers and preoccupied with the blood of royal lineage and ritual sacrifice. Drawing on recent archaeological discoveries and developments in deciphering Maya glyphs, this volume presents a revisionist reading that shifts the emphasis of interpretation to the mythic power of the sea as the basis of a larger, deeper cultural narrative and history for the Maya." "Surrounded by the sea in all directions, the Maya viewed water as a source of both life and danger. Through the artworks presented - including acknowledged masterpieces and many never before exhibited in the United States - readers will gain a new appreciation for water's influence on Maya cosmology, its role in their interpretation of the supernatural, as well as its impact on Maya cross-cultural contacts, trading practices, and power dynamics. Essays by prominent scholars provide an interdisciplinary context for understanding Maya art as well as new interpretations of traditional iconography and symbolism."--Jacket
The first writing : script invention as history and process by Stephen D Houston( Book )

19 editions published between 2004 and 2008 in English and held by 374 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"The theme of this book is the first writing systems - early cuneiform, proto-Elamite, Egyptian (all prior to 3000 BC, by some centuries), Chinese (prior to 1000 BC), and Maya and its Mesoamerican precursors (beginning ca. 500 BC) ... [and it] also looks more briefly at what might be called 'secondary inventions', including late ones like Scandinavian runic"--Page [3]
Veiled brightness : a history of ancient Maya color by Stephen D Houston( Book )

7 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 352 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A systematic study of how the ancient Maya peoples perceived and used colour
The decipherment of ancient Maya writing( Book )

7 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 346 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Re-presenting the past : archaeology through text and image by Sheila Bonde( )

11 editions published between 2011 and 2013 in English and held by 323 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The archaeological past exists for us through intermediaries. Some are written works, descriptions, narratives and field notes, while others are visual: the drawings, paintings, photographs, powerpoints or computer visualizations that allow us to re-present past forms of human existence. This volume brings together nine papers, six of which were presented at a symposium hosted at Brown University. Two papers explore the classical past and medieval visualizations. Three treat the Maya, and one considers the imaging by eighteenth-century antiquarians of British history; yet another ranges broadl
Royal courts of the ancient Maya( Book )

7 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 316 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The life within : classic Maya and the matter of permanence by Stephen D Houston( Book )

9 editions published between 2014 and 2018 in English and held by 310 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"For the Classic Maya, who flourished in and around the Yucatan peninsula in the first millennium AD, artistic materials were endowed with an internal life. Far from being inert substances, jade, flint, obsidian, and wood held a vital essence, agency, and even personality. To work with these materials was to coax their life into full expression and to engage in witty play. Writing, too, could shift from hieroglyphic signs into vibrant glyphs that sprouted torsos, hands, and feet. Appearing to sing, grapple, and feed, they effectively blurred the distinction between text and image
Hieroglyphs and history at Dos Pilas : dynastic politics of the Classic Maya by Stephen D Houston( Book )

6 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 281 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This pioneering study uses the inscriptions and monumental art of Dos Pilas in the Peten region of Guatemala to reconstruct the history and fate of a crucial Maya-dynasty. Houston's innovative approach combines data derived from the hieroglyphs with the findings of archaeology and anthropology to provide a detailed picture of Dos Pilas' development as a dynastic center. Houston reveals that the rulers of Dos Pilas were conquerors who established and maintained a regional polity. The records of their deeds on monuments at Dos Pilas and sites nearby contain a wealth of detail that matches anything found at other major Maya centers
Classic Maya place names by David Stuart( Book )

9 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and Undetermined and held by 211 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Function and meaning in classic Maya architecture : a symposium at Dumbarton Oaks, 7th and 8th October 1994 by Symposium at Dumbarton Oaks( Book )

10 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 188 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The shape of script : how and why writing systems change( Book )

9 editions published between 2011 and 2012 in English and held by 164 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This book builds on earlier projects about the origins and extinctions of script traditions throughout the world in an effort to address the fundamental questions of how and why writing systems change. The contributors-who study ancient scripts from Arabic to Roman, from Bronze Age China to Middle Kingdom Egypt-utilize an approach that views writing less as a technology than as a mode of communication, one that is socially learned and culturally transmitted
Royal courts of the ancient Maya by Takeshi Inomata( )

8 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 142 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The two volumes of Royal Courts of the Ancient Maya provide current archaeological perspectives on Maya courts conceived as vital, functioning social groups composed of lords, courtiers, scribes, priests, and entertainers, among many others. In addition to archaeological data on the architecture and other spatial attributes of courts, the studies in the two volumes bring to bear on the topic the most recent evidence from inscriptions, vase paintings, murals and friezes, and ethnohistoric records in order to flesh out a portrait of the actors and roles that made up Maya courts through time and across space. The attributes of courts are explored in the Maya highlands and lowlands, from the origins of early kingship through the Classic period to the Postclassic and Terminal epochs. Pertinent comparisons are also drawn from the Aztecs and other ancient and contemporary societies. Volume 1: Theory, Comparison, and Synthesis establishes a carefully considered framework for approaching the study of courts and their functions throughout the world of the ancient Maya. Volume 2: Data and Case Studies provides authoritatively current data and insights from key Maya sites, including CopAn, Tikal, Caracol, Bonampak, and Calakmul
The gifted passage : young men in classic Maya art and text by Stephen D Houston( Book )

4 editions published in 2018 in English and held by 108 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"In this thought-provoking book, preeminent scholar Stephen Houston turns his attention to the crucial role of young males in Classic Maya society, drawing on evidence from art, writing, and material culture. The Gifted Passage establishes that adolescent men in Maya art were the subjects and makers of hieroglyphics, painted ceramics, and murals, in works that helped to shape and reflect masculinity in Maya civilization. The political volatility of the Classic Maya period gave male adolescents valuable status as potential heirs, and many of the most precious surviving ceramics likely celebrated their coming-of-age rituals. The ardent hope was that youths would grow into effective kings and noblemen, capable of leadership in battle and service in royal courts. Aiming to shift mainstream conceptions of the Maya, Houston argues that adolescent men were not simply present in images and texts, but central to both."--
Maya archaeology( Book )

11 editions published between 2009 and 2015 in English and held by 73 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The dynastic sequence of Dos Pilas, Guatemala by Stephen D Houston( Book )

2 editions published in 1985 in English and held by 59 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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Audience Level
Audience Level
  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.42 (from 0.19 for The disapp ... to 0.69 for The dynast ...)

The classic Maya
Maya glyphsThe classic MayaThe memory of bones : body, being, and experience among the classic MayaFiery pool : the Maya and the mythic seaThe first writing : script invention as history and processVeiled brightness : a history of ancient Maya colorThe decipherment of ancient Maya writingRoyal courts of the ancient Maya
Alternative Names
Houston, S. D.

Houston, S. D. 1958-

Houston, S. D. (Stephen D.)

Houston, S. D. (Stephen Douglas)

Houston, S. D. (Stephen Douglas), 1958-

Houston, Stephen

Houston, Stephen 1958-

Houston, Stephen D.

Stephen D. Houston American Mesoamericanist


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English (198)

Japanese (3)