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By Michael T. Searcy

In The Life-Giving Stone, Michael Searcy offers a thought-provoking ethnoarchaeological account of metate and mano manufacture, advertising, and use between Guatemalan Maya for whom those stone implements are nonetheless crucial apparatus in daily life and diet.

even supposing many archaeologists have looked those artifacts easily as universal daily instruments and consequently unremarkable, Searcy’s method unearths how, for the traditional Maya, the manufacture and use of grinding stones considerably impacted their actual and financial welfare. In tracing the existence cycle of those instruments from construction to discard for the fashionable Maya, Searcy discovers wealthy customs and traditions that point out how metates and manos have persevered to maintain life—not simply actually, by way of meals, but in addition when it comes to tradition. His examine is predicated on years of fieldwork between 3 Mayan teams, during which he documented behaviors linked to those instruments in the course of their procurement, construction, acquisition, use, discard, and re-use.

Searcy’s research files conventional practices which are quickly being misplaced or dramatically converted. In few circumstances will or not it's attainable sooner or later to watch metates and manos as vital parts in loved ones provisioning or stick with their direction from hand-manufacture to marketplace distribution and to intergenerational transmission. during this cautious inquiry into the cultural importance of an easy instrument, Searcy’s ethnographic observations are guided either by means of an curiosity in how grinding stone traditions have endured and the way they're altering this present day, and by way of the aim of bettering the archaeological interpretation of those stones, which have been so primary to pre-Hispanic agriculturalists with corn-based cuisines.

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