Abstract and Keywords
The commonalities of belief and custom deeply rooted in time struggle to document what underlay the course toward social complexity in both North America and Mesoamerica. Among these commonalities were certain ideas relating to conception, life, death, and mourning; to the renewal of life in the human and natural worlds; and to perceptions of those worlds. These ideas formed a psychological infrastructure that could be drawn on in creating cosmologies or legitimizing human actions through mythical precedent. Attention to a few such commonalities follows, allowing consideration of how peoples in North America and Mesoamerica charted the particular courses they did toward civilization, beginning from comparable bases in the material and nonmaterial worlds.
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