- Mesoamerican Archaeology: Recent Trends
- A Short History of Theory in Mesoamerican Archaeology
- Mexico's National Archaeology Programs
- Archaeology in Guatemala: Nationalist, Colonialist, Imperialist
- The Archaeology of Belize in the Twenty-First Century
- Archaeology on Mesoamerica's Southern Frontier
- Archaeology and Indigenous Peoples
- Time and Space Boundaries: Chronologies and Regions in Mesoamerica
- Ice Age Hunter-Gatherers and the Colonization of Mesoamerica
- Archaic-Period Foragers and Farmers in Mesoamerica
- The Origins of Food Production in Mesoamerica
- The Formation of Complex Societies in Mesoamerica
- Not Carved in Stone: Building the Gulf Olmec from the Bottom Up
- The Development of Complex Societies in Formative-Period Pacific Guatemala and Chiapas
- Ideology, Polity, and Social History of the Teotihuacan State
- Cultural Evolution in the Southern Highlands of Mexico: From the Emergence of Social Inequality and Urban Society to the Decline of Classic-Period States
- Archaeology of the Maya Highlands
- Complex Societies in the Southern Maya Lowlands: Their Development and Florescence in the Archaeological Record
- The Rise of Formative-Period Complex Societies in the Northern Maya Lowlands
- Interaction among the Complex Societies of Classic-Period Mesoamerica
- The Spanish Conquest and the Archaeology of the Colonial and Republican Periods
- Population Decline during and after Conquest
- Historical Archaeology in Central and Western Mesoamerica
- Landscape Change in the Maya Region, 1450–1910 ad
Abstract and Keywords
This article reviews archaeological evidence on the development of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands. The evolution of sociopolitical complexity in the southern Maya lowlands is much discussed but as yet is incompletely resolved. Considerations are hampered by the fact that most early archaeological materials lie deeply buried beneath later human construction activity, making it difficult to locate remains that are directly relevant to questions bearing on the rise of complexity. Even should such remains be located, the overlying constructions usually make a real exposure of the earlier materials difficult. Nevertheless, sufficient evidence exists to posit a trajectory of complexity developing from Preclassic villages to Early Classic states to Late Classic attempts at creating hegemonic empires.
Arlen F. Chase is a Maya archaeologist and Co-Director of the Caracol Archaeological Project in Belize, Central America, which concluded its 31st field season in 2015; he is also a Pegasus Professor of Anthropology and an Associate Dean in the College of Sciences at the University of Central Florida. He specializes in contextual, settlement, and ceramic analysis with secondary interests in urbanism, ethnicity, and epigraphic interpretation. Many of his research results and publications may be found at http://www.caracol.org.
Diane Z. Chase is a Maya archaeologist and Co-Director of the Caracol Archaeological Project in Belize, Central America, which carried out its 31st field season in 2015; she is a Pegasus Professor of Anthropology and currently serves as the Vice Provost for Academic Program Quality at the University of Central Florida. She specializes in the methodological and theoretical implications of the rise and fall of complex societies and on mortuary archaeology. Many of her research results and publications may be found at http://www.caracol.org.
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