Two generations of intensive archaeological work conducted in great part by the Carnegie Institution of Washington in the Southern Maya area have resulted in a wealth of factual information and the establishment of a fairly comprehensive and continuous cultural sequence. In spite of the many facts, few attempts have been made by Middle American archaeologists to synthesize this data and present it within a coherent conceptual framework. The reluctance of Middle Americanists to extract from the factual data theories regarding the recurring regularities of human behavior may be due in part to the feeling that such “theorizing” is purely speculative and unscientific. The picture is further complicated by the fact that in the Maya area the great bulk of the archaeological material collected and studied consists of artifacts from the excavations of mounds and tombs in the large ceremonial and urban centers. This material understandably does not represent the totality of the culture concerned.
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