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The Origins of Complex Maya Societies: The Middle Preclassic Period in the Mirador-Calakmul Basin

Author(s): Richard Hansen ; David Wahl ; Thomas Schreiner ; Donald W. Forsyth ; Edgar Ortega

Year: 2017

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Recent multidisciplinary investigations in the Mirador-Calakmul Basin have provided evidence of human sedentary occupation by about 2600 B.C. Data from coring of shallow lakes and from small residential structures with postholes in bedrock below Middle Preclassic platforms show evidence of corn pollen, isotopes, and human presence by this early period. Archaeological investigations at sites such as Nakbe, El Mirador, Xulnal, Wakna and El Pesquero, among others, have identified architectural constructions dating to the Middle Preclassic period between 1000 and 400 B.C, indicating a rapid and sophisticated cultural ascent. The results indicate that the origins of the first Maya state begins by the early Middle Preclassic period, resulting in the construction of some of the largest stuctures in the ancient world, as well as architectural systems for the collection and distribution of water, architectural art, agricultural systems, murals, platforms, dikes, terraces, palaces, dams, causeways, and sophisticated commerce and trading systems centuries before Christ.

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The Origins of Complex Maya Societies: The Middle Preclassic Period in the Mirador-Calakmul Basin. Richard Hansen, David Wahl, Thomas Schreiner, Donald W. Forsyth, Edgar Ortega. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431229)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16700

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