Farming, Hunting, and Fishing in the Olmec World

By Amber M. Vanderwarker | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
AGRICULTURE AND
POLITICAL COMPLEXITY IN
THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE

The relationship between agricultural intensification and the emergence of complex political formations (e.g., chiefdoms and states) has been an enduring topic in archaeological research. Indeed, this topic continues to be prevalent in the literature, the number of theories exceeded only by the questions that remain. Though not all scholars agree about the timing of agriculture relative to the emergence of chiefdoms and states, we do know that the adoption and intensification of agriculture varied with the emergence of political complexity in different ways, at different times, and in different places. Such a complex topic cannot be adequately explained by a single theoretical framework. This is not to say that any particular case of incipient agriculture in the context of political development is irrelevant to any other. Rather, we are dealing with a set of similar processes that are structured by specific sets of historical events.

Theories linking agriculture to the emergence of chiefdoms and states have been more fully developed for arid regions, for which explanations of environmental and social circumscription are more easily invoked. Presumably, a limited resource base coupled with population increase resulted in an imbalance between people and their food supply, requiring a shift to food production. While notions of environmental and social circumscription have been criticized by some as deterministic (McGuire 1992; Orlove 1980; Paynter 1989; Trigger 1981), they have led archaeologists to collect baseline data on local and regional ecology and have provided concepts that can be measured archaeologically, such as population growth and carrying capacity (Flannery 1986; Sanders et al. 1979; Spencer 1982). Circumscription explanations have been less developed for tropical regions, where resources are more diverse and plentiful—indeed, this abundance of resources in tropical environments makes it difficult to envision an imbalance between people and food. For this reason, the notion of circumscription may be less useful for understanding the range of processes at work in tropical environments.

-5-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Farming, Hunting, and Fishing in the Olmec World
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 244

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.