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date: 27 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The story of the Formative (Preclassic) period in Mesoamerica is fundamentally one of sociopolitical origins. That is, anthropological interest in this time span revolves around the origins and early development of “complex” social institutions and the material conditions and ideological precepts that supported them. This article broadly sketches issues surrounding the formation of complex societies and urban centers in early Mesoamerica, emphasizing regional variation and interregional interaction through the Middle Formative period.

Keywords: Preclassic period, social institutions, material conditions, sociopolitics, urban centers

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