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Ancient Oaxaca

Ancient Oaxaca


Part of Case Studies in Early Societies

  • Date Published: May 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521577878

£ 19.99

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About the Authors
  • This book investigates the emergence of social complexity and state formation in a New World region. Around 500 BC, the Valley of Oaxaca, in present-day Mexico, was the site of one of the earliest Native American states, when a new regional capital was established at Monte Alban. Today one of Mexico's most famous and spectacular archaeological sites, Monte Alban signalled an important series of changes in regional political structure in the direction of greater political complexity and integration within a larger domain. The four authors of this introductory text have over the years produced much of the most important primary information we have about developing complex societies in this region. Drawing on the abundance of excavated remains and a survey of regional archaeological settlement patterns, they provide a succinct account of the causes and consequences of political change in the region.

    • Written specifically for a comparative series on development of political complexity in early societies, one of six books commissioned to date
    • As a general synthesis and interpretation of an exceptionally rich data set, it should appeal to undergraduate students , particularly US students trained within anthropology departments
    • Explores the problems of Mesoamerican state development in depth and in a nuanced fashion, and benefits from availability of information derived from intensive research carried out by other major scholars
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Blanton, Gary Feinman, Kowalewski and Linda Niholas have been major contributors to our current understanding of ancient Oaxaca. This book is a welcome summary of their data and interpretations related to what may be the most complex and the most interesting period of change in Oaxaca and Mesoamerica and in the formation of archaicstates. Throughout the book, and especially in the last section, the authors point to gaps in our knowledge. This kind of problem recognition is important and reflects what the book does best -help us think about the origins of Monte Alban and political complexity.' American Anthropologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521577878
    • length: 164 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 154 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.25kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 20 maps 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Mesoamerica and its pre-Hispanic civilization
    2. The Valley of Oaxaca: a regional setting for an early state
    3. The origins of Monte Alban
    4. The great transformation
    5. Synthesis and conclusion

  • Authors

    Richard Blanton, Purdue University, Indiana

    G. Feinman, University of Wisconsin, Madison

    S. Kowalewski, University of Georgia

    L. Nicholas, The Field Museum, Chicago

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