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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines two concepts at the core of Gulf Olmec archaeology: where the people of the region lived and how they developed. It begins with a Gulf Olmec précis that covers the space/time essentials. It then considers available data from the Gulf lowlands and argues for a more extensive “heartland” than is currently fashionable. Finally, it suggests that we reconsider the process of politico-economic development that has become the received wisdom of Gulf Olmec studies. Throughout, the article emphasizes the value of allowing the data to take the lead, rather than shaping the information toward some pre-envisioned result.

Keywords: Gulf Olmec archaeology, Gulf lowlands, politic-economic development

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