Cosmopolitanism: New Theoretical Considerations of the Mesoamerican Epiclassic

Author(s): Christina Halperin

Year: 2015


Previous theoretical considerations of the Mesoamerican Epiclassic period have situated social change as part of social evolutionary processes of state collapse, the networking of a few religious and political-elites (e.g., cult of Quetzalcoatl), the proliferation of market economies, and the beginning of an "International Style". This paper considers notions of cosmopolitanism as a new theoretical framework for thinking about Epiclassic processes. It has long been suggested that Epiclassic art styles were eclectic and cosmopolitan wherein artisans creatively selected from and incorporated various foreign influences into their own local political and religious expressions. This paper, however, proposes new ways of thinking about cosmopolitanism that broadly incorporates three key factors: migration, political-economy, and social identity expressions. It evaluates this framework within the context of the Classic Maya collapse and the emerging presence of previously small, frontier polities in Peten, Guatemala.

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Cite this Record

Cosmopolitanism: New Theoretical Considerations of the Mesoamerican Epiclassic. Christina Halperin. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396133)


Spatial Coverage

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