Complex Societies in the Southern Maya Lowlands

Arlen F. Chase and Diane Z. Chase

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390933
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Complex Societies in the Southern Maya Lowlands

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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.

Keywords: complex society; southern Maya lowlands; Mesoamerica; Maya civilization

Article.  4326 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region

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