Transformations in Political Economy and Routes of Exchange on the Eve of the Classic Maya Collapse: New Evidence from the Port Kingdom of Cancuen and the Classic Maya Frontier
The Classic period archaeology and history of the Pasion River "highway" and its connecting land routes demonstrate the vital role of riverine exchange systems and also register major changes in routes, agents, and economies. The riverine port city of Cancuen held a critical position at the intersection of both river and land routes that connected the southwest Classic Maya cities to other Peten centers, to southern highland trading partners, and to the more distant realms of Tabasco and Veracruz. Recent evidence from excavations at Cancuen and in the Verapaz highlands, as well as from compositional analyses, demonstrate that in the late eighth century there were dramatic shifts in both river and land routes of exchange connecting the southern lowlands with other areas of Mesoamerica. These shifts also involved changes in political economy, port control, commodities and market exchange, and the agents involved – as well as the impact of specific historical events. Taken together this interregional pattern reveals a change in both economic modes and routes as part of a general transformation (at times violent) in the political economy of eastern Mesoamerica near the end of the Classic period.
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Transformations in Political Economy and Routes of Exchange on the Eve of the Classic Maya Collapse: New Evidence from the Port Kingdom of Cancuen and the Classic Maya Frontier. Arthur Demarest, Chloe Andrieu, Ronald Bishop, Paola Torres, Melanie Forne. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396594)
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min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;