A remarkable range of ancient societies and economies flourished in the environmentally diverse coastal regions of Pacific Latin America. This first ever synthesis from a Pacific perspective describes the archaeological investigations recently undertaken in the coastal littoral. Studying the similarities, and the many differences, of these varied prehistoric cultures can help us understand some central issues in archaeology—to what extent were cultural variations caused by different historical traditions, environmental conditions, and interactions with neighboring peoples, and how do civilizations arise?
In this volume, specialists explain their latest findings in terms of archaic period adaptations, the development and spread of agriculture, the beginnings of sedentism, the formative periods of civilization, and the origins of socio-political inequality. The essays report on archaeological research in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru—an area extending from the Marismas region of coastal Mexico to Chile’s north coast.
Michael Blake is a professor and archaeologist in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Illustrations / photographs / maps / notes / references / 234 pages (1999)