Ideology and Pre-Columbian Civilizations

Ideology and Pre-Columbian Civilizations

by Arthur A. Demarest
     
 

ISBN-10: 0933452837

ISBN-13: 2900933452830

Pub. Date: 09/01/1992

Publisher: School for Advanced Research Press

The role played by ideology in the evolution of civilizations is being energetically debated by archaeologists, but until now the theoretical debates have had little impact on the actual interpretation of field data from Mesoamerica or South America. Studies of pre-Columbian ideology have generally used historical, ethnohistorical, and iconographic data to look…  See more details below

Overview

The role played by ideology in the evolution of civilizations is being energetically debated by archaeologists, but until now the theoretical debates have had little impact on the actual interpretation of field data from Mesoamerica or South America. Studies of pre-Columbian ideology have generally used historical, ethnohistorical, and iconographic data to look synchronically at specific ancient religions. Little progress has been made in applying archaeological information to address the broader problem of the role of ideology in prehistoric episodes of culture change. Has ideology any relevance in the reconstruction of prehistory? An advanced seminar at the School of American Research brought together the directors of several major archaeological field projects to address this question in the pre-Columbian context. The resulting papers, collected in this volume, employ data from central Mexico, the Maya area, coastal Peru, and highland Peru and Bolivia to interpret evidence of prehistoric ideology. The authors of these papers take a variety of theoretical approaches, seeking to understand how ideology interacts with the ecological, economic, and political factors involved in culture change. They are concerned not with ideologies or cosmologies per se but with the effect of ideology on power relations, since the expansions and collapses of civilizations are, in the end, the successes and failures of political systems.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900933452830
Publisher:
School for Advanced Research Press
Publication date:
09/01/1992
Series:
School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
261

Table of Contents

1Archaeology, Ideology, and Pre-Columbian Cultural Evolution: The Search for an Approach1
2Ideology and Evolution at the Pre-State Level: Formative Period Mesoamerica15
3Modeling the Role of Ideology in Societal Adaptation: Examples from the South American Data37
4Economy, Ideology, and Imperialism in the South-Central Andes65
5Toward a Political History of Teotihuacan87
6The Trees of Life: Ahau as Idea and Artifact in Classic Lowland Maya Civilization115
7Ideology in Ancient Maya Cultural Evolution: The Dynamics of Galactic Polities135
8Inca Imperialism: The Great Simplification and the Accident of Empire159
9Point Counterpoint: Ecology and Ideology in the Development of New World Civilizations175
10Ideologies: Unity and Diversity205
References223
Index257

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