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Intensive Agriculture and Early Complex Societies of the Basin of Mexico: The Formative Period

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Article of journalNichols, Deborah L. (Dartmouth College, Department of Anthropology, Estados Unidos). Intensive Agriculture and Early Complex Societies of the Basin of Mexico: The Formative PeriodIn  Taking Stock of Basin of Mexico Archaeology in the Early Twenty-First Century Ancient Mesoamerica, 2015 vol. 26 no. 2 p. 407-421. Keywords:
Pre-hispanic period


Intensive agriculture was a key feature in the development of early complex societies in the Basin of Mexico. In this paper, I review the theoretical underpinnings of archaeological understandings of agriculture change, its relationship to culture change, and how these theoretical perspectives have shifted between top-down and bottom up perspectives. Next I examine current knowledge of intensive agriculture within the dynamic context of the Formative or Preclassic period. The paper concludes with a discussion of how our models and theories of the complex interplay between intensive agriculture and political economy to explain the change from village-based societies to states and cities outstrip available data in the basin.

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