Mesoamerica: The Evolution of a Civilization

Mesoamerica: The Evolution of a Civilization

Mesoamerica: The Evolution of a Civilization

Mesoamerica: The Evolution of a Civilization

Excerpt

The enormous amount of archaeological research conducted during the past decade in Mesoamerica -- work in which we have participated -- has increased the need for an interpretive synthesis of a huge and ever-growing body of data. Just such a synthesis is presented in this volume, which views these data from the perspective of recent developments in general anthropological theory. Since field investigations show no sign of cessation -- and perhaps this book will provide still further stimulus -- many of our statements will undoubtedly require future modification or correction. Many of our conclusions are highly speculative, and will unquestionably provoke criticism and debate, which we consider desirable in the interest of the continued development of science. For there remain at least as many unsolved problems as questions to which we feel we can provide tentative answers. We believe, however, that an evolutionistic and ecological interpretation of cultural phenomena will remain valid and productive. This methodology, which regards the data of anthropology as essentially regular and subject to law, can provide a framework for answering old questions and raising new problems -- ultimately perhaps rendering obsolete many of our present statements of fact.

In recent years interest has grown on the part of many of our colleagues in the kind of phenomena presented here. One advantage . . .

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