Archaic Maya matters

Authored by: Jon C. Lohse

The Maya World

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  June  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138492837
eBook ISBN: 9781351029582
Adobe ISBN:


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In spite of decades of intermittent research, major questions still remain about cultural developments in the Maya area prior to the first appearance of pottery and settled village life. Chronological schemes from elsewhere are commonly applied in the eastern Lowlands, but these rarely describe the developments that actually took place here, and as a result provide an imprecise and incomplete view of the deeply rooted adaptations that set this region apart from others. At various times in the preceramic record, the Maya area was integrated into and also comparatively isolated from neighboring regions. These changes had much to do with the appearance and nature of cultural characteristics that we understand as Maya. Even after ceramic technologies and village life were adopted throughout the Maya world, aspects of Archaic adaptations remained visible for centuries or longer. A review of available data indicates that Archaic practices consistent with later Maya practices began as early as 11,000 to 12,000 years ago, with the emergence of forest habitats that appeared with the onset of the Holocene epoch.

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