One of the most culturally diverse regions of the ancient world, Mesoamerica was also one of the fledgling areas for state formation. The case studies in this volume interpret Mesoamerican civilization through the emergence, resilience, and occasional demise of Mesoamerica's early and developing political economies. An exploration of the unique adaptations and approaches taken by Mesoamerican societies to cope with their evolving landscapes provides insight on how these states were organized and the varying ways in which state affairs were conducted between regions and through time. Although several factors are presented and discussed for the rise and fall of the many complex societies, the book maintains a consistent emphasis on the political economy and its transformative effects over labor, land, and water.
Inspired by the impact of the annual yearbook Research in Economic Anthropology (REA) and its longstanding editor, Barry L. Isaac, the contributors in this volume were assembled to honor Isaac and selected based on their previous association with Isaac and REA as well as their knowledge of particular regions of Mesoamerica.
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