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Economic Interaction and the Rise of Socio-Political Complexity in the Maya Lowlands: The Case from the Mirador Basin

Author(s): Richard Hansen ; Edgar Suyuc ; Stanley Guenter ; Beatriz Balcarcel ; Carlos Morales

Year: 2016

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Summary

Investigations in 51 ancient cities of varying sizes in the Mirador Basin of northern Guatemala have revealed a variety of data relevant to the economic catalysts that were involved in the rise of social, political, and economic sophistication among the Preclassic Maya. The real "business" of the early Maya dealt with agricultural productivity and a powerful distribution mechanism to distribute and facilitate unification among a web of sites in the Mirador Basin. However, a variety of other economic indicators such as the importation of exotic shells, domestic fauna, obsidian, jade, basalt, granite, coral, ceramics, and other lithic tools demonstrate the varying degrees of social and economic power that provided the foundations of rank, status, and functional requirements during the rise of Maya civilization. While religious, political, and social ideology provided the foundations for a homogeneous society throughout the Maya Lowlands by the Middle and Late Preclassic periods, the economic manifestations of this ideology are well represented in the archaeological record, and provide additional understanding of the role of economic interactions in the rise of cultural complexity in the Maya Lowlands.


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Economic Interaction and the Rise of Socio-Political Complexity in the Maya Lowlands: The Case from the Mirador Basin. Richard Hansen, Edgar Suyuc, Stanley Guenter, Beatriz Balcarcel, Carlos Morales. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403018)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;

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