Scholarship on premodern ruling elites tends to minimize the complexity of ancient politics and to focus on the decisions of individual kings and their charismatic swaying of entire populations. This dissertation departs from this tendency by investigating the exercise of power by the governments of premodern complex societies, or how ancient politicians organized their institutions. I argue the politics of ancient civilizations may best be studied by focussing on their regime: the political community which coalesced when rulers assembled their allies within the seat of government. This approach emphasizes practices of communication between a ruling body and its political network, as reflected by the exchange of information and goods. Among premodern complex societies ruled by divine kingship, the regime is best described as a royal court, whose architectural institution corresponds to a regal palace. In order to address this anthropological political model, I examine the multi-dimensional archaeological record of the regal palace of La Corona, a small polity of northwest Guatemala that emerged during the Classic Period of Maya civilization (AD 250-950). I rely on an assemblage of complementary datasets – architecture, macro-artifacts, hieroglyphic monuments, micro-artifacts, geochemical elements, and macro-botanical remains – to study how the La Corona royal court exercised political power. I study the last three construction phases of the north section of the La Corona regal palace and their two-century-long occupation to address a set of pragmatic questions. By examining residences, political stages, passageways, administrative space, ancillary buildings, and middens, I seek to understand how Classic Maya politicians relied on economic and ritualized exchanges to effectively manage their regime. In addition, thanks to the rich historical record of La Corona and to a fine-tuned architectural sequence, I explore how the changing historical and geopolitical contexts of this polity transformed its government. Through this rich diachronic empirical case-study, I build upon and contribute to an anthropological archaeology of politics, to ancient political economy, and to Classic Maya historical archaeology. In addition, I wish to highlight why the study of ancient politics may be relevant for us today, and perhaps, our near future.