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Introduction to the Matacanela Archaeological Project: Collapse and Political Reorganization in a Lowland Mesoamerican Society

Author(s): Marcie Venter

Year: 2015

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Summary

The Matacanela Archaeological Project is a two season effort to more fully understand the transformation of lowland Mesoamerican society at the end of the Classic period. Our particular focus is Classic collapse and Postclassic reorganization in the Tuxtla Mountains of the southern Gulf lowlands. Like other lowland regions (e.g., the southern Maya lowlands) that experienced political decentralization, demographic upheaval, environmental, and climatic change, collapse was not complete or uniformly experienced. This project interrogates differential cultural response to collapse and the creative adaptations that characterized transformations in this lowland society. In this opening presentation, I highlight some of the challenges to understanding this period of transformation in the southern Gulf lowlands, layout the interpretive framework that informs the study, discuss the hypotheses that our work is testing, and consider what we have learned from this first season of fieldwork. I conclude by anticipating what we hope to learn from subsequent research at the site.

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Introduction to the Matacanela Archaeological Project: Collapse and Political Reorganization in a Lowland Mesoamerican Society. Marcie Venter. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395730)


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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