DescriptionThe Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica: A Reader brings together twenty-three of the most influential essays by leading scholars to reveal the rich variety of cultures and societies that existed in ancient Mesoamerica.
Introduction: Mesoamerican Civilizations: Marilyn A. Masson and Michael E. Smith (both at State University of New York at Albany).
Part I: The Organization of Society:.
1. Analyzing Household Activities: Kent V. Flannery (University of Michigan) and Marcus C. Winter (Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Oaxacca, Mexico).
2. Distinguishing the High and Mighty from the Hoi Polloi at Tikal, Guatemala: William A. Haviland (University of Vermont) and Hattula Moholy-Nagy (University of Michigan).
3. On the Nature of the Mesoamerican City: Joyce Marcus (University of Michigan).
4. Corporate Groups and Domestic Activities at Teotihuacan: Linda Manzanilla (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
Part II: Economic Organization:.
5. Landscapes of Cultivation in Mesoamerica on the Eve of the Conquest: Thomas M. Whitmore (University of North Carolina) and B. L. Turner II (Clark University).
6. Lithic Craft Specialization and Product Distribution at the Maya Site of Colha, Belize: Harry J. Shafer (Texas A & M University) and Thomas R. Hester (University of Texas).
7. Economic Change in the Lowland Maya Late Classical Period: Prudence M. Rice (Southern Illinois University).
8. Imports and Exports in Classic Mesoamerican Political Economy: The Tehuacan Valley and the Teotihuacan Obsidian Industry: Robert D. Drennan (University of Pittsburgh), Philip T. Fitzgibbons (Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio), Heinz Dehn (University of Pittsburgh (retired)).
9. Principles of Regional and Long-distance Trade in the Aztec Empire: Frances F. Berdan (California State University, San Bernardino).
10. New Perspectives on Prehispanic Highland Mesoamerica: A Macroregional Approach: Gary M. Feinman and Linda M. Nicholas (both Field Museum of Natural History).
11. Rural Economy in Late Postclassic Morelos: An Archaeological Study: Michael E. Smith, Cynthia Heath-Smith (both State University of New York at Albany).
Part III: Political Organization:.
12. The Power of Prestige: Competitive Generosity and the Emergence of Rank Societies in Lowland Mesoamerica: John E. Clark (Brigham Young University) and Michael Blake (University of British Columbia).
13. Classic Maya Emblem Glyphs: Peter Mathews (University of Calgary).
14. Ideology in Ancient Maya Cultural Evolution: The Dynamics of Galactic Policies: Arthur A. Demarest (Vanderbilt University).
15. State and Society at Teotihuacan, Mexico: George L. Cowgill (Arizona State University).
16. Militarism and Social Organization at Xochicalco, Morelos: Kenneth G. Hirth (Pennsylvania State University).
17. The Four Priests: Political Stability: John M. D. Pohl (University of California, Los Angeles).
Part IV: Religion and ideology:.
18. Art, Ritual, and Rulership in the Olmec World: F. Kent Reilly, III (Southwest Texas State University).
19. Ancient Zapotec Ritual and Religion: An Application of the Direct Historical Approach: Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery (both University of Michigan).
20. Kingship in the Late Preclassic Lowlands: The Instruments and Places of Ritual Power: David A. Freidel (Southern Methodist University) and Linda Schele (deceased).
21. Postclassic Maya Ritual at Laguna de On Island, Belize: Marilyn A. Masson (State University of New York at Albany).
22. Figurines and the Aztec State: Testing the Effectiveness of Ideological Domination: Elizabeth M. Brumfiel (Albion College, Michigan).
23. Living with the Ancestors: Kinship and Kingship in Ancient Maya Society: Patricia A. McAnany (Boston University).
"Access to these important articles, as a set, will quickly prove indispensable for courses - and general reading - on Mesoamerican archaeology. The editors' introductions are equally valuable and thought-provoking as they situate the individual chapters, as well as the cross-cutting themes, in a sophisticated, highly readable review of current thinking." Wendy Ashmore, University of Pennsylvania
- Innovative thematic organization compares and contrasts social and cultural organization among the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations.
- Contains up-to-date research by leading archaeologists.
- Attractively illustrated with maps, photos, line drawings, and tables.
- Articles chosen for inclusion have been class-tested for accessibility and student interest.