Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

I would like to recognize those who have helped to bring this project to fruition, for it is through the help of many different individuals that the conception and completion of this work was possible. Foremost, I acknowledge the National Science Foundation (grant no. 9912271) for funding this project. I would like to express my gratitude to my husband ...

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Chapter 1. Agricultural Risk and Intensification along Mexico’s Southern Gulf Coast: An Introduction

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pp. 1-4

Chiefdoms developed along the southern Mexican Gulf Coast during the Early, Middle, Late, and Terminal Formative periods (1400–1000 BC, 1000– 400 BC, 400 BC–AD 100, and AD 100–300). Scholars interested in regional political economy for this area have long relied on archaeological data from three large sites: San Lorenzo, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes ...

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Chapter 2. Agriculture and Political Complexity in Theoretical Perspective

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pp. 5-30

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 ...

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Chapter 3. Politics and Farming in the Olmec World

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pp. 31-65

The Formative period (1400 BC–AD 300) marked the development of political complexity and the adoption of a mixed farming economy along the southern Mexican Gulf Coast (Figure 3.1). Large civic-ceremonial centers were established at San Lorenzo, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes during the Early, Middle, and Late Formative periods, respectively (Figure 3.2) ...

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Chapter 4. Farming, Gardening, and Tree Management: Analysis of the Plant Data

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pp. 66-115

Understanding an agricultural system requires knowledge of the ways in which people interact with the plants and animals in their environment, as well as the causes and consequences of their manipulation of natural surroundings. Archaeologically, we can explore these issues through an examination of the remains of plants and animals within the context of analogy ...

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Chapter 5. Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping: Analysis of the Animal Data

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pp. 116-181

The transition from a relatively mobile foraging economy to a sedentary farming economy involves fundamental changes in the way people interact with their environment. In the previous chapter, I discussed the ways in which Formative people manipulated the composition of their botanical world through swidden farming and tree management. These types ...

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Chapter 6. Eating Plants and Animals: Stable Isotopic Analysis of Human, Dog, and Deer Bones

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pp. 182-192

Although floral and faunal data can reveal much about past subsistence economy, they represent lines of evidence that are often difficult to compare analytically. These two lines of evidence differ both in terms of preservation and recovery biases. Thus, assessing the relative contribution of plants versus animals in the diet using these data is not feasible. Moreover ...

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Chapter 7. Farming, Hunting, and Fishing in the Olmec World: A Model of Olmec Subsistence Economy

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pp. 193-204

The relationship between agricultural intensification and the emergence of political complexity has been examined in many different regions of Mesoamerica. These investigations have demonstrated that the timing of these processes varied dramatically with respect to geography, ecology, and culture history. Understanding the relationship between agricultural ...

Notes

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pp. 205-206

Bibliography

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pp. 207-231

Index

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pp. 233-244