Please join us for our December talk in the 2017-2018 Mesoamerica Center Colloquium Series!
Monday December 4th, 4 PM, DFA 2.204
Join the Mesoamerica Center and CSU-Northridge's Dr. Michael Love for a discussion of new research and interpretations on the rise of urbanism in ancient Mesoamerica.
Free and open to the public.
Not long ago, the phrase “Formative Period Urbanism” would have struck most Mesoamerican archaeologists as an oxymoron. Yet, research over the past 20 years has demonstrated that the Formative Period was not a mere prelude to the Classic Period (300-900 CE), but that in many regions it exceeded the Classic; not only were there true cities in the Formative period, but they were as large or larger than those in the Classic. The latter part of the Formative period saw the climax of a 1500 year-long trend of increasing complexity and cities were widespread throughout Mesoamerica, supported by systems of intensive agriculture, with elites who shared a pan-Mesoamerican tradition of high culture that included art, writing, religion, and engineering. The key issues to be addressed include: What was the nature of Formative period urbanism in Mesoamerica? How do the processes of initial urbanization in Mesoamerica compare to those elsewhere in the world? How did Formative Period urbanism differ from that of later times in Mesoamerica? What role did the emergence of an elite intelligentsia play in the development of Formative Period urbanism?