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The Development of Folk and Complex Cultures in the Southern Maya Area

  • Stephan F. de Borhegyi (a1)

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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S.F. De Borhegyi 1955 Comments on Incense Burners from Copan, Honduras. American Antiquity, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 284–6. Salt Lake City.

G. M. Foster 1953 What is Folk Culture? American Anthropologist, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 159–71. Menasha.

A. R. King 1953 A Note on Emergent Folk Cultures and World Culture Changes. Social Forces, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 234–7. Chapel Hill.

Robert Redfield 1947 The Folk Society. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 52, No. 4, pp. 293308. Chicago.

Sol Tax 1941 World View and Social Relations in Guatemala. American Anthropologist, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 2742. Menasha.

J. E. S. Thompson 1943 A Trial Survey of the Southern Maya Area. American Antiquity, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 106–34. Menasha.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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