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Not That Stable, Not That Durable, But Very Dynamic: Political Geography and Geopolitical Dynamics in the Río Champotón Drainage, Campeche, Mexico

Author(s): Jerald Ek

Year: 2015

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Summary

The nature, plasticity, and durability of states as geographical and territorial entities has been a topic of longstanding debate in the study of Classic Maya political geography. One of the central tenets of Joyce Marcus’ highly influential ‘Dynamic Model’ is a view of states as comprised of relatively durable small-scale polities that were sometimes incorporated into more volatile larger scale hegemonic states. However, recent research in Central Campeche suggests that local and regional political geography was far from stable, with changes in broader political networks having important impacts in local territorial organization. Archaeological and epigraphic data instead reflect a much more dynamic political landscape, with shifting allegiances and external influences playing a major role in local dynamics. This paper examines the changing territorial organization of the Río Champotón drainage between the Classic and Postclassic Periods, focusing on the local impacts of larger-scale dynamics driven by external interactions, including the neighboring polity Edzná, the expansionist Kanu’l State of Calakmul, and more distant pan-Mesoamerican linkages via the Gulf Coast maritime trade route. The results of this research has implications for both our understanding of the internal organization of pre-Hispanic Maya city-states and the relationships between these units that defined geopolitical landscapes.

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Not That Stable, Not That Durable, But Very Dynamic: Political Geography and Geopolitical Dynamics in the Río Champotón Drainage, Campeche, Mexico. Jerald Ek. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395261)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America