Mesoamerica has become one of the world's most important areas for research into the emergence of complex human societies. Between 10,000 years ago and the arrival of the Spanish in 1521, some of the most significant changes in the evolution of human societies occurred. These included the emergence of agriculture and sedentary villages, the growth of centralized governments (chiefdoms and states), and the rise of market systems, cities, and highly stratified social systems. In the last two decades a number of ambitious research efforts have produced exciting new data on culture change in Mesoamerica. In this revised and updated edition of a book first published in l98l, the authors present a synthesis of Mesoamerican prehistory, focusing on three of its most intensively studied regions, the Valleys of Oaxaca and Mexico and the Maya lowlands. An original framework of ideas is developed to explain long-term change in complex societies.
Gary M. Feinman, Laura M. Finsten, Richard E. Blanton, Stephen A. Kowalewski