This book provides a much-needed overview of the archaeological past, present, and future of lower Central America. It addresses questions such as why the region never produced complex societies like its neighbors to the north and south and takes up themes such as ecological adaptation and subsistence, trade, and sociopolitical development.
This book is a collection of essays focusing on the role that elites play in shaping modern societies. Critiquing the treatment accorded elites as subjects in recent Western social thought, the essays reflect upon past results and explore directions in the investigation of elite groups by anthropologists.
“Shipwrecks are part of the legitimate domain of anthropology and can produce results that are as significant for our ability to explain variability in human behavior as any other kind of archaeology, whether it deals with stone tools in a European Paleolithic rockshelter or ceramics contained in a sixteenth-century Spanish shipwreck.” So argues Richard A. Gould, the editor of this volume originating from a 1981 School of American Research advanced seminar.
This book is a series of essays that offers a framework for the study of lowland Maya settlement patterns, surveying the range of interpretive ideas about ancient Maya remains. Suggesting hypotheses to guide future research, the articles discuss historical, geographical, chronological, and theoretical matters.
This book is a thorough exploration of the decline of the little community in the face of urbanization, industrialization, and bureaucratization. Developing a conceptual and theoretical framework for examining community decline and dissolution, the book looks at the relationships between the dying community and its natural resource base, the role of outside political authority, and the social and demographical processes associated with community decline.
The contributors to this book scrutinize the data, survey external influences on the early Maya, and consider economics, ecology, demography, and warfare - as well as social and ideological factors - in explaining the transformation of Maya culture from a village-oriented society to one centered on elite classes living in large civic centers with monumental architecture.
Of the many mysteries surrounding ancient Maya civilization, none has attracted greater interest than its collapse in the eighth and ninth centuries AD. Until recently, speculations on the causes of the collapse have been more numerous than excavated sites in the area. But the past twenty-five years have produced many new findings. In this book, thirteen leading scholars use new data to revise the image of ancient Maya civilization and create a new model of its collapse—a general model of sociopolitical collapse not limited to the cultural history of the Maya alone.
This volume, the result of an advanced seminar at the School of American Research, takes a fresh look at Pueblo Indian culture, with chapters on everything from language to religion, prehistory, ecology, and from literature to music.
This book provides analysis of social anthropology and approaches to the study of patronage and clientage from work done in Latin America in the late 1960s. Essays include discussions on topics as diverse as the effect of societal structures on the actions of individuals and communities wherein women play the roles of both patrons and clients.
The chapters in this book focus on methods and theories used to systematically test hypotheses about prehistoric social organization. The concern with social organization reflects a larger trend in archaeology that stresses the recovery and use of pertinent data for testing ideas and assumptions.