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The Origins of the Village Revisited: From Nuclear to Extended Households

  • Kent V. Flannery (a1)


In Mesoamerica and the Near East, the emergence of the village seems to have involved two stages. In the first stage, individuals were distributed through a series of small circular-to-oval structures, accompanied by communal or “shared” storage features. In the second stage, nuclear families occupied substantial rectangular houses with private storage rooms. Over the last 30 years a wealth of data from the Near East, Egypt, the Trans-Caucasus, India, Africa, and the Southwest U.S. have enriched our understanding of this phenomenon. And in Mesoamerica and the Near East, evidence suggests that nuclear family households eventually gave way to a third stage, one featuring extended family households whose greater labor force made possible extensive multifaceted economies.


En Mesoamérica y el Cercano Oriente, la evolución de las primeras aldeas parece haber pasado por dos etapas. En la primera etapa, los miembros del grupo ocupaban una serie de pequeños abrigos circulares u ovalados, y mantenían depósitos comunales para el uso de todos. En la segunda etapa, familias nucleares vivían en casas rectangulares con cuartos de depósito privados. Durante los últimos 30 años, datos del Cercano Oriente, Egipto, India, Africa, el Suroeste de los E.E.U.U. y la región Trans-Caucásica han amplificado el conocimiento de tales cambios residenciales. Además, en Mesoamérica y el Cercano Oriente, se ha notado una tercera etapa: casas para familias nucleares fueron reemplazadas por residencias más grandes, en las cuales una familia extendida de 15–20 personas proporcionó mano de obra para una economía compleja.



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American Antiquity
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