Abstract: The Classic Preclassic in the Maya Lowlands: The Case Study of the Mirador Basin, Northern Guatemala

Lecturer: Richard Hansen

The origins of cultural complexity in the Maya Lowlands has been a subject of intense scrutiny in recent studies.  The Maya provide an unusual study in light of parallel developments in the Olmec and Zapotec heartlands, and evidence now suggests that the Maya developed a precocious cultural development at least a thousand years prior to the great Classic periods of Maya civilization.  The evidence of the earliest Maya developments throughout the Maya Lowlands demonstrate a remarkable homogeneity of civilizational assimilations, and at the same time, certain levels of discontinuity and disjunction.  The Mirador Basin of Northern Guatemala provides a case study of incipient Maya civilization and the associated processes which allow a synchronic and diachronic evaluation of the human saga in the Maya Lowlands, and the social, economic, environmental, and political factors that gave rise to one of the world's great ancient civilizations.  

Featured Lecturer

William Fitzhugh is with the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution, and holds his degrees from Harvard (Ph.D. and M.A.) and Dartmouth (B.A.).  Dr. Fitzhugh’s areas of... Read More

Upcoming Events

List an Event

Dig Deeper

Email the AIA
Subscribe to the AIA e-Update

Sign Up!