While Mesoamerica is viewed as a single cultural area, Mesoamericanists have long been aware of the perils of emphasizing commonalities in the region, thus compromising a deeper analysis of a diverse and divergent set of cultural practices, ecological adaptations, and social arrangements. This volume takes on an ambitious challenge, not only by attempting to address regional diversity through a variety of examples but also by positing a sustained conversation regarding the emergence, development, and persistence of centralized authority, along with its contradictions, over several chapters. Moreover, this work covers a wide range of case studies across an ambitious temporal frame in Mesoamerica, from Maya sites to ancient Oaxaca as well as central and western Mesoamerica.

The book's main objective is to elucidate the various governance strategies that produced stability in terms of political control across Mesoamerican Formative, Classic, and Postclassic early and...

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