Article

Communities in Ancient Mesoamerica

Marcello A. Canuto and Jason Yaeger

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390933
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195390933.013.0052

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Communities in Ancient Mesoamerica

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This article reviews research showing the importance of an archaeology of communities for Mesoamerica. Methodologically, the community is situated between the scales of household and polity, which permits researchers to have new insights into the broader social and political dynamics through which these other social institutions were constituted and changed over time. As a paradigm, this approach treats communities as emergent social institutions in which local identities were constituted as a consequence of shared quotidian and extraordinary practices. Because they often were important nodes within regional political and economic structures, communities also become the key arenas for the negotiation of relationships and affiliations that linked its members with other social groups, institutions, and networks.

Keywords: Mesoamerican archaeology; community; household; polity; social institutions; local identity

Article.  4778 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region

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