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Early New World Monumentality

Early New World Monumentality


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"Offers a number of interesting case studies of New World monumentality that expand our comparative understanding of the phenomenon."—Dean J. Saitta, University of Denver

"Brings together important essays that analyze the context, nature, and impact of early monuments in the Americas. Early New World Monumentality should be read by everyone interested in monumentality anywhere in the world."— Michael Love, California State University

In studies of ancient civilizations, the focus is often on the temples, palaces, and buildings created and then left behind, both because they survive and because of the awe they still inspire today. From the Mississippian mounds in the United States to the early pyramids of Peru, these monuments have been well-documented, but less attention has been paid to analyzing the logistical complexity involved in their creation.
In this collection, prominent archaeologists explore the sophisticated political and logistical organizations that were required to plan and complete these architectural marvels. They discuss the long-term political, social, and military impacts these projects had on their respective civilizations, and illuminate the significance of monumentality among early complex societies in the Americas. 
Early New World Monumentality is ultimately a study of labor and its mobilization, as well as the long-term spiritual awe and political organization that motivated and were enhanced by such undertakings. Mounds and other impressive monuments left behind by earlier civilizations continue to reveal their secrets, offering profound insights into the development of complex societies throughout the New World. 

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813061443
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 05/15/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 502
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Richard L. Burger, professor of anthropology at Yale University, is the author of several books on South American prehistory, including Chavin and the Origins of Andean Civilization. Robert M. Rosenswig, associate professor of archaeology at the University at Albany—SUNY, is the author of The Beginnings of Mesoamerican Civilization: Inter-Regional Interaction and the Olmec.

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Tables xi

Part I Introduction

1 Considering Early New World Monumentality Robert M. Rosenswig Richard L. Burger 3

Part II North America

2 Early Mounds in the Lower Mississippi Valley Joe Saunders 25

3 Shell Mounds of the Middle St. Johns Basin, Northeast Florida Kenneth E. Sassaman Asa R. Randall 53

4 Monumentality in Eastern North America during the Mississippian Period David G. Anderson 78

Part III Mesoamerica

5 Agriculture and Monumentality in the Soconusco Region of Chiapas, Mexico Robert M. Rosenswig 111

6 Early Olmec Wetland Mounds: Investing Energy to Produce Energy Ann Cyphers Judith Zurita-No Guera 138

7 The Origins of Monumentality in Ancient Guerrero, Mexico Louise I. Paradis 174

8 Early Civilization in the Maya Lowlands, Monumentality, and Place Making: A View from the Holmul Region Francisco Estrada-Belli 198

Part IV Intermediate Area

9 Monumental Architecture and Social Complexity in the Intermediate Area R. Jeffrey Frost Jeffrey Quilter 231

Part V South America

10 Early Mounds and Monumental Art in Ancient Amazonia: History, Scale, Function, and Social Ecology Anna C. Roosevelt J. Douglas B. Bevan Maura Imazio Da Silveira L. Brown 255

11 Why Do People Build Monuments? Late Archaic Platform Mounds in the Norte Chico Jonathan Haas Winifred Creamer 289

12 Monumental Architecture Arising from an Early Astronomical-Religious Complex in Perú, 2200-1750 BC Robert A. Benfer 313

13 Preceramic and Initial Period Monumentality within the Casma Valley of Peru Thomas Pozorski Shelia Pozorski 364

14 Monumental Public Complexes and Agricultural Expansion on Peru's Central Coast during the Second Millennium BC Richard L. Burger Lucy C. Salazar 399

15 Agricultural Terraces as Monumental Architecture in the Titicaca Basin: Their Origins in the Yaya-Mama Religious Tradition Sergio J. Chávez 431

Part VI Conclusion

16 A West Asian Perspective on Early Monuments Frank Hole 457

List of Contributors 466

Index 471

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