Home Region:  Mexico (North America)

Middle Formative Basin of Mexico

EQ 2020  mx_basin_of_mexico_4 / MxFormM

The Basin or Valley of Mexico is a highlands plateau in central Mexico roughly corresponding to modern-day Mexico City. Here, we are interested in the phase of its prehistory known as the Middle Formative period (c. 800-401 BCE). This period was characterised by increasingly widespread and elaborate public architecture, more distinctive regional pottery styles, more extensive greenstone trade, and an increased use of stone for symbolic expression. Together, these trends suggest that elites across Mesoamerica were broadening the ways they expressed their power, and shaping the emergence of new forms of regional and community interactions in the process. [1]
Sanders et al. (1979) tentatively estimated that there were approximately 25,000 people in the Basin of Mexico around 650 BC. [2] However, no estimates could be found for the population of the average autonomous political unit. The largest known settlement, Chalcatzingo, may have had a population of between 3,000 and 5,000. [3]
Settlement hierarchies either maintained or increased the number of levels. [1]

[1]: (Pool 2012: 181) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/KISGMGK6.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 183.

[3]: (Carballo 2019: pers. comm. to G. Nazzaro and E. Cioni)

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
14 Q  
Original Name:
Middle Formative Basin of Mexico  
Alternative Name:
Guatepec  
Zacateco  
La Pastora  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
650 BCE  
Duration:
[800 BCE ➜ 401 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
unknown [---]  
alliance with [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Succeeding Entity:
MxCuicu  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
40,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
cultural assimilation  
population migration  
Preceding Entity:
MxFormE  
Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Proto-Otomanguean  
Language Genus:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[3,000 to 5,000] people  
Polity Territory:
-  
Polity Population:
-  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 3]  
Religious Level:
1  
Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
inferred absent  
Professional Priesthood:
inferred absent  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown  
Merit Promotion:
unknown  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
inferred absent  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred absent  
Judge:
inferred absent  
Formal Legal Code:
inferred absent  
Court:
absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred absent  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
inferred absent  
Drinking Water Supply System:
inferred absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
unknown  
Port:
inferred absent  
Canal:
inferred absent  
Bridge:
unknown  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
inferred present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent  
Script:
absent  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent  
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
absent  
Information / Money
Precious Metal:
absent  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
absent  
Article:
inferred present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
unknown  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
absent  
  Copper:
absent  
  Bronze:
absent  
Projectiles
  Sling:
inferred present  
  Self Bow:
inferred absent  
  Javelin:
inferred absent  
  Atlatl:
inferred present  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred absent  
  Sword:
inferred absent  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
inferred absent  
  Dagger:
present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred absent  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
absent  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
absent  
  Dog:
absent  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Shield:
inferred absent  
  Limb Protection:
inferred absent  
  Leather Cloth:
inferred absent  
  Helmet:
inferred absent  
  Breastplate:
inferred absent  
Naval technology
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Middle Formative Basin of Mexico (mx_basin_of_mexico_4) was in:
 (800 BCE 401 BCE)   Basin of Mexico
Home NGA: Basin of Mexico

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Middle Formative Basin of Mexico

Alternative Name:
Guatepec

Names of ceramic types used in the region during this period. [1]

[1]: (Stoner, Nichols, Alex and Crider 2015) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/JQAPZCU7.

Alternative Name:
Zacateco

Names of ceramic types used in the region during this period. [1]

[1]: (Stoner, Nichols, Alex and Crider 2015) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/JQAPZCU7.

Alternative Name:
La Pastora

Names of ceramic types used in the region during this period. [1]

[1]: (Stoner, Nichols, Alex and Crider 2015) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/JQAPZCU7.


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
650 BCE

Archaeological record suggests essentially continuous political, economic, and demographic development from start date to end date. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

[1]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.

[2]: Plunket, P., & Uruñuela, G. (2012). Where east meets west: the Formative in Mexico’s central highlands. Journal of Archaeological Research, 20(1), 1-51.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[4]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[5]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[6]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.


Duration:
[800 BCE ➜ 401 BCE]

[1] The following refers to a previous periodization. The dates assigned to this quasi-polity match the approx. ceramic chronologies of the Early and Middle Formative Periods. The earliest tribe/chiefdom scale ranked societies emerge in the NGA around c.1500 BCE, and these general patterns persist until more stratified and centralized polities (complex chiefdoms/ city states) emerge c.650 BCE. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

[1]: (David Carballo, pers. comm. to G. Nazzaro and E. Cioni, 2019)

[2]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.

[3]: Plunket, P., & Uruñuela, G. (2012). Where east meets west: the Formative in Mexico’s central highlands. Journal of Archaeological Research, 20(1), 1-51.

[4]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[5]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[6]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[7]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[8]: Steponaitis, Vincas P. (1981). "Settlement hierarchies and political complexity in nonmarket societies: the Formative Period of the Valley of Mexico." American Anthropologist, 83(2): 320-363.

[9]: Earle, Timothy K., (1976). "A nearest-neighbor analysis of two formative settlement systems." In Flannery, Kent V. (Ed.), The Early Mesoamerican Village. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 196-223.


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
unknown [---]

This is generally unknown from the archaeological record, although the abundance of exchange among polities seems to indicate marital alliances among settlement clusters. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

[1]: Clark, J.E., Blake, M., 1994. "Power of prestige: competitive generosity and the emergence of rank in lowland Mesoamerica." In: Brumfiel, E.M., Fox, J.W. (Eds.), Factional Competition and Political Development in the New World. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 17-30.

[2]: Stoner, Wesley D., Deborah L. Nichols, Bridget A. Alex, and Destiny L. Crider. (2015)"The emergence of Early-Middle Formative exchange patterns in Mesoamerica: A view from Altica in the Teotihuacan Valley." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39: 19-35.

[3]: Charlton, Thomas H. (1984). "Production and Exchange: Variables in the Evolution of a Civilization." In Kenneth G. Hirth (Ed.) Trade and Exchange in Early Mesoamerica. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp.17-42.

[4]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[5]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[6]: Hirth, Kenneth G. (1984). "Early Exchange in Mesoamerica: An Introduction." In Kenneth G. Hirth (Ed.) Trade and Exchange in Early Mesoamerica. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp.1-16.

[7]: Hirth, K.G., Cyphers, A., Cobean, R., De León, J., Glascock, M.D., (2013). "Early Olmec obsidian trade and economic organization at San Lorenzo." Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 2784-2798.

[8]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

Suprapolity Relations:
alliance with [---]

This is generally unknown from the archaeological record, although the abundance of exchange among polities seems to indicate marital alliances among settlement clusters. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

[1]: Clark, J.E., Blake, M., 1994. "Power of prestige: competitive generosity and the emergence of rank in lowland Mesoamerica." In: Brumfiel, E.M., Fox, J.W. (Eds.), Factional Competition and Political Development in the New World. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 17-30.

[2]: Stoner, Wesley D., Deborah L. Nichols, Bridget A. Alex, and Destiny L. Crider. (2015)"The emergence of Early-Middle Formative exchange patterns in Mesoamerica: A view from Altica in the Teotihuacan Valley." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39: 19-35.

[3]: Charlton, Thomas H. (1984). "Production and Exchange: Variables in the Evolution of a Civilization." In Kenneth G. Hirth (Ed.) Trade and Exchange in Early Mesoamerica. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp.17-42.

[4]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[5]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[6]: Hirth, Kenneth G. (1984). "Early Exchange in Mesoamerica: An Introduction." In Kenneth G. Hirth (Ed.) Trade and Exchange in Early Mesoamerica. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp.1-16.

[7]: Hirth, K.G., Cyphers, A., Cobean, R., De León, J., Glascock, M.D., (2013). "Early Olmec obsidian trade and economic organization at San Lorenzo." Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 2784-2798.

[8]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.


Supracultural Entity:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI

Central Highland Mesoamerican Early-Middle Formative .



Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
40,000 km2

km squared.


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
cultural assimilation

A moderate, local, culturally complex, farming-fishing population integrates with a large, intrusive farming population from the south. Evidence includes settlement patterns, demography, subsistence patterns, material culture, and external trade contacts. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

[1]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[2]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[3]: Niederberger, C. (1976). Zohapilco: cinco milenios de occupacion humana en un sitio lacustre de la Cuenca de Mexico, Colección Científica No.30 INAH, Mexico City.

[4]: Nichols, Deborah L. (2015). "Intensive Agriculture and Early Complex Societies of the Basin of Mexico: The Formative Period." Ancient Mesoamerica 26(2): 407-21.

[5]: Plunket, P., & Uruñuela, G. (2012). Where east meets west: the Formative in Mexico’s central highlands. Journal of Archaeological Research, 20(1), 1-51.

[6]: Tolstoy, Paul, Suzanne K. Fish, Martin W. Boksenbaum, Kathryn Blair Vaughn and C. Earle Smith. (1977). "Early Sedentary Communities of the Basin of Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology, 4(1): 91-106.

[7]: Tolstoy, Paul. (1975) "Settlement and Population Trends in the Basin of Mexico (Ixtapaluca and Zacatenco Phases)" Journal of Field Archaeology, 2(4): 331-349.

[8]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-6.

Relationship to Preceding Entity:
population migration

A moderate, local, culturally complex, farming-fishing population integrates with a large, intrusive farming population from the south. Evidence includes settlement patterns, demography, subsistence patterns, material culture, and external trade contacts. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

[1]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[2]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[3]: Niederberger, C. (1976). Zohapilco: cinco milenios de occupacion humana en un sitio lacustre de la Cuenca de Mexico, Colección Científica No.30 INAH, Mexico City.

[4]: Nichols, Deborah L. (2015). "Intensive Agriculture and Early Complex Societies of the Basin of Mexico: The Formative Period." Ancient Mesoamerica 26(2): 407-21.

[5]: Plunket, P., & Uruñuela, G. (2012). Where east meets west: the Formative in Mexico’s central highlands. Journal of Archaeological Research, 20(1), 1-51.

[6]: Tolstoy, Paul, Suzanne K. Fish, Martin W. Boksenbaum, Kathryn Blair Vaughn and C. Earle Smith. (1977). "Early Sedentary Communities of the Basin of Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology, 4(1): 91-106.

[7]: Tolstoy, Paul. (1975) "Settlement and Population Trends in the Basin of Mexico (Ixtapaluca and Zacatenco Phases)" Journal of Field Archaeology, 2(4): 331-349.

[8]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-6.



Degree of Centralization:
quasi-polity

Numerous, well-spaced, relatively small scale, 1-3 tier settlement hierarchies seem to indicate numerous autonomous tribe and/or chiefdom-level political economies. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

[1]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.

[2]: Plunket, P., & Uruñuela, G. (2012). Where east meets west: the Formative in Mexico’s central highlands. Journal of Archaeological Research, 20(1), 1-51.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[4]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[5]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[6]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[7]: Steponaitis, Vincas P. (1981). "Settlement hierarchies and political complexity in nonmarket societies: the Formative Period of the Valley of Mexico." American Anthropologist, 83(2): 320-363.

[8]: Earle, Timothy K., (1976). "A nearest-neighbor analysis of two formative settlement systems." In Flannery, Kent V. (Ed.), The Early Mesoamerican Village. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 196-223.


Language


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[3,000 to 5,000] people

people. "Sanders et al (1979: 97-105) see Cuicuilco as growing from 5,000-10,000 early in this period to at least 20,000". [1] David Carballo suggests Chalcatzingo as the largest settlement in this period, with a rough population estimate of "3-5k". [2] From 1500-1150 BCE, the sites of Coapexco, Tlatilco, and Tlapacoya/Ayotla were inhabited by approx. 1000-2000 people. [3] [4] [5] During the Middle Formative, the site of Temamatla had as many as 2160 people. [6] While Sanders et al. (1979) estimated the population of Cuicuilco to have been 2500 in the Early Formative and 5000 in the Middle Formative, [7] more recent research has indicated that Cuicuilco wasn’t even inhabited until c.700 BC at the earliest. [8]

[1]: (Cowgill 2015: 45) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/JRFZPUXU.

[2]: (Carballo 2019: pers. comm. to G. Nazzaro and E. Cioni)

[3]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[4]: Tolstoy, Paul and Suzanne K. Fish. (1975) "Surface and Subsurface Evidence for Community Size at Coapexco, Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology, 2(1/2): 97-104

[5]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[6]: Parsons, Jeffrey R., Elizabeth Brumfiel, Mary R. Parsons, and David J Wilson. (1982) Prehispanic Settlement Patterns in the Southern Valley of Mexico: The Chalco-Xohimilco Region. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology University of Michigan No. 14. Ann Arbor, pg. 93-7.

[7]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 183-219.

[8]: Carballo, David M. (2016). Urbanization and Religion in Ancient Central Mexico. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.76-9.


Polity Territory:
-

in squared kilometers. 3500 km in 1150 BCE and 5500 km in 650 BCE measured from the approx. extent of surveyed and excavated settlements in the NGA. [1] [2] [3] However, the entire NGA did not correspond to a single unitary polity.

[1]: Tolstoy, Paul, Suzanne K. Fish, Martin W. Boksenbaum, Kathryn Blair Vaughn and C. Earle Smith. (1977). "Early Sedentary Communities of the Basin of Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology, 4(1): 91-106.

[2]: Tolstoy, Paul. (1975) "Settlement and Population Trends in the Basin of Mexico (Ixtapaluca and Zacatenco Phases)" Journal of Field Archaeology, 2(4): 331-349.

[3]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-6.


Polity Population:
-

people. Sanders et al. (1979) tentatively estimated that there were approx. 5,000 people in the Basin of Mexico at the end of the Early Formative Period c.1150 BC, and approx. 25,000 people in the Basin of Mexico at the end of the Middle Formative Period c.650 BC. [1] In a recent personal communication, David Carballo suggests Chalcatzingo as the largest settlement in this period, with a rough population estimate of "3-5k" These estimates are "tentative" because they involve numerous arbitrary estimations. Not only were non-surveyed areas’ populations guessed at, but Early and Middle Formative cermaics were mis-diagnosed in the BOM archaeological surveys, and subsequent re-evaluations of the survey ceramic collections by Tolstoy indicated that numerous Early Formative sites were embedded within Middle Formative sites (but their physical extent was no longer calculable). [2] [3] Revisions of the Formative survey data based on Tolstoy’s findings have not been published. Additionally, Tolstoy, Fish, and Niederberger have found a poor correspondence between subsurface remains and surface scatters’ density and extent, leading to systematic underestimation of Formative sites’ areas and populations. [4] [5] [6]

[1]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 183.

[2]: Tolstoy, Paul, Suzanne K. Fish, Martin W. Boksenbaum, Kathryn Blair Vaughn and C. Earle Smith. (1977). "Early Sedentary Communities of the Basin of Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology, 4(1): 91-106.

[3]: Tolstoy, Paul. (1975) "Settlement and Population Trends in the Basin of Mexico (Ixtapaluca and Zacatenco Phases)" Journal of Field Archaeology, 2(4): 331-349.

[4]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[5]: Tolstoy, Paul and Suzanne K. Fish. (1975) "Surface and Subsurface Evidence for Community Size at Coapexco, Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology, 2(1/2): 97-104

[6]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[2 to 3]

levels. Archaeological survey and excavation data indicates that settlement hierarchy ranged from 2 to 3, depending on the settlement cluster in question. The number of settlement clusters with a 3-level hierarchy increases over time. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[3]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.

[4]: Steponaitis, Vincas P. (1981). "Settlement hierarchies and political complexity in nonmarket societies: the Formative Period of the Valley of Mexico." American Anthropologist, 83(2): 320-363.

[5]: Earle, Timothy K., (1976). "A nearest-neighbor analysis of two formative settlement systems." In Flannery, Kent V. (Ed.), The Early Mesoamerican Village. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 196-223.


Religious Level:
1

levels. All excavated sites have yielded evidence of local ritual practice, which has been interpreted as decentralized religious practices at the household, lineage, or village levels (and there have been no arguments for a religious hierarchy). [1] [2] [3] [4]

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[4]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.


Administrative Level:
[1 to 2]

levels. Based on excavation data and survey data, Sanders et al. (1979), Earle (1976), Santley (1977), Parsons (1989), and Steponaitis (1981) argue for village political autonomy (1 admin level). [1] [2] [3] [4] However, Nichols and Charlton (1994) and Niederberger (1996; 2000) use the same data to argue for hierarchical sociopolitically-integrated settlement clusters (i.e. 2 admin levels). [5] [6]

[1]: Steponaitis, Vincas P. (1981). "Settlement hierarchies and political complexity in nonmarket societies: the Formative Period of the Valley of Mexico." American Anthropologist, 83(2): 320-363.

[2]: Earle, Timothy K., (1976). "A nearest-neighbor analysis of two formative settlement systems." In Flannery, Kent V. (Ed.), The Early Mesoamerican Village. San Diego: Academic Press, pp. 196-223.

[3]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[4]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[5]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.

[6]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

Archaeological evidence suggests a ranked society with only part-time specialization in burgeoning sociopolitical, religious, and/or military institutional roles. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[4]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[5]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.


Professional Priesthood:
absent

Archaeological evidence suggests a ranked society with only part-time specialization in burgeoning sociopolitical, religious, and/or military institutional roles. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[4]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[5]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.


Professional Military Officer:
absent

Archaeological evidence suggests a ranked society with only part-time specialization in burgeoning sociopolitical, religious, and/or military institutional roles. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[4]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[5]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
unknown

A large, terraced platform was excavated at Middle Formative Aguacatlita, [1] clay-surfaced earthen platforms were excavated at Early Formative Tlatilco, [2] [3] [4] and exposed Late Formative architecture (including a ballcourt) was found in the Middle and Late Formative site of Temamatla (Chalco region) may indicate prior construction phases during the Middle Formative (as is common). [5] [6] Although much of the public architecture at Tlatilco and Ayotla/Tlapacoya have been destroyed, figurines representing ball players, musicians, dancers suggest that ball courts and plazas existed from Early Formative times to house these elaborate public ceremonies. [2] A large-scale earthen platform was also exposed at Tlapacoya/Ayotla, which has a Middle Formative occupation. [2] All these threads of evidence seem to point towards Early and Middle formative antecedents to Late Formative public buildings, but the lack of excavation makes inferences about their dimensions and functions impossible.

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-75.

[2]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[3]: Porter, Muriel Noe (1953). Tlatilco and the Pre-Classic Cultures of the New World. Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology, no. 19. New York: Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

[4]: Grove, David C. (2000) "The Preclassic Societies of the Central Highlands of Mesoamerica." In Richard Adams and Murdo MacLeod (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Native Peoples of the Americas, Volume II: Mesoamerica, Part I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg.122-151.

[5]: Parsons, Jeffrey R., Elizabeth Brumfiel, Mary R. Parsons, and David J Wilson. (1982) Prehispanic Settlement Patterns in the Southern Valley of Mexico: The Chalco-Xohimilco Region. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology University of Michigan No. 14. Ann Arbor, pg. 93-7.

[6]: Carballo, David M. (2016). Urbanization and Religion in Ancient Central Mexico. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.73-84, 81-2.


Merit Promotion:
unknown

Likely present in Teotihuacan, unknown before. [1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent

Archaeological evidence suggests a ranked society with only part-time specialization in burgeoning sociopolitical, religious, and/or military institutional roles. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[4]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[5]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.


Examination System:
unknown

Possible in the Aztec period, unknown before. [1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

Archaeological evidence suggests a ranked society with only part-time specialization in burgeoning sociopolitical, religious, and/or military institutional roles. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[4]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[5]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.


Archaeological evidence suggests a ranked society with only part-time specialization in burgeoning sociopolitical, religious, and/or military institutional roles. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

[1]: Santley, Robert S. (1977). "Intra-site settlement patterns at Loma Torremote, and their relationship to formative prehistory in the Cuautitlan Region, State of Mexico." Ph.D. Dissertation, Depatartment of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, pp. 365-425.

[2]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 94-7, 305-334.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[4]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[5]: Charlton, Thomas H., & Deborah L. Nichols. (1997). "Diachronic studies of city-states: Permutations on a theme—Central Mexico from 1700 BC to AD 1600." In Charlton and Nichols, eds. The Archaeology of City-States: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp.169-207.


Formal Legal Code:
absent

Unlikely in this period. [1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


[1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
absent

The first possible evidence for markets does not occur until the Late/Terminal Formative [1] or Classic Period. [2] [3] [4]

[1]: Castanzo, Ronald A. and Kenneth G. Hirth. (2008) "El asentamiento del periodo Formativo en la cuenca central de Puebla-Tlaxcala, Mexico. In Ann Cyphers and Kenneth G. Hirth (eds.) Ideologia politica y sociedad en el periodo Formativo:Ensayos en homenaje al doctor David C. Grove. IIA/UNAM, Mexico City, pp.203-231.

[2]: Carballo, David M. (2013) "The Social Organization of Craft Production and Interregional Exchange at Teotihuacan." In Kenneth H. Hirth and Joanne Pillsbury (eds.) Merchants, Markets, and Exchange in the Pre-Columbian World. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, pg. 113-140.

[3]: Kenneth H. Hirth. (2013) "The Merchant’s World: Commercial Diversity and the Economics of Interregional Exchange in Highland Mesoamerica." In Kenneth H. Hirth and Joanne Pillsbury (eds.) Merchants, Markets, and Exchange in the Pre-Columbian World. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, pg. 85-112.

[4]: Kenneth H. Hirth. (2013) "Economic Consumption and Domestic Economy in Cholula’s Rural Hinterland, Mexico." Latin American Antiquity 24(2): 123-148.


Irrigation System:
present

The irrigation canals excavated at Santa Clara Coatitlan, dating to approx. 900 BC is the earliest documented floodwater irrigation system in the Basin of Mexico NGA, [1] [2] [3] [4] although admittedly there were likely earlier systems that have not yet been discovered. They were discovered during a salvage excavation just north of Mexico City, with only several cuts of them being exposed, so their full extent is poorly understood. These channels run from a former incised seasonal torrent (barranca, which may itself have been modified) at approx 90 degrees, fanning out into to individual fields. It is unclear whether these are smaller channels that emanate from a larger canal, or whether each of them directly directly siphoned the barranca. Prior to construction, the area may have been exposed to erosive sheet flow from the barranca during heavy rain, which may suggest that the system was primarily aimed at mitigating the damaging effects of natural inundation. Since the ancient barranca was not excavated, it is unclear whether dams were used to control/manage flow, or whether they only funneled excess runoff. [1] [2]

[1]: Nichols, Deborah L. (1982) "A Middle Formative Irrigation System near Santa Clara Coatitlan in the Basin of Mexico." American Antiquity, 47(1): 133-144.

[2]: Doolittle, William E. (1990) Canal Irrigation in Prehistoric Mexico: The Sequence of Technological Change. Austin: University of Texas Press, p.22-5.

[3]: Nichols, Deborah L. (1987). "Risk and Agricultural Intensification during the Formative Period in the Northern Basin of Mexico." American Anthropologist 89(3): 596-616.

[4]: Nichols, Deborah L. (2015). "Intensive Agriculture and Early Complex Societies of the Basin of Mexico: The Formative Period." Ancient Mesoamerica 26(2): 407-21.


Food Storage Site:
absent

None exist in the rather scanty archaeological record, and individual households and residential clusters stored their own food in storage pits. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

[1]: Flannery, Kent V. (1976). "The Early Mesoamerican House." In The Early Mesoamerican Village, ed. K. V. Flannery. New York: Academic Press, 16-24.

[2]: Niederberger, C. (1976). Zohapilco: cinco milenios de occupacion humana en un sitio lacustre de la Cuenca de Mexico, Colección Científica No.30 INAH, Mexico City.

[3]: Serra Puche, Mari Carmen (1986). "Unidades Habitacionales del Formativo en la Cuenca de Mexico." In Unidades Habitacionales Mesoamericanas y Sus Areas de Actividad, ed. L. Manzanilla. Mexico City: UNAM, 161-192.

[4]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 305-44.

[5]: Carballo, David M. (2016). Urbanization and Religion in Ancient Central Mexico. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.73-84, 149-156.


Drinking Water Supply System:
absent

None have been found, and given the abundance of streams, springs, and freshwater lakes in the region during the Formative, and it seems unlikely that household water supplies would have been necessary. [1] [2] [3] [4]

[1]: Serra Puche, Mari Carmen (1986). "Unidades Habitacionales del Formativo en la Cuenca de Mexico." In Unidades Habitacionales Mesoamericanas y Sus Areas de Actividad, ed. L. Manzanilla. Mexico City: UNAM, 161-192.

[2]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[3]: Flannery, Kent V. (1976). "The Early Mesoamerican House." In The Early Mesoamerican Village, ed. K. V. Flannery. New York: Academic Press, 16-24.

[4]: Niederberger, Christine. (1979) "Early Sedentary Economy in the Basin of Mexico" Science 203(4376):131-142.


Transport Infrastructure

regional and long-distance trade was common, [1] [2] and a system of foot paths existed during the Postclassic, [3] but no evidence of roads exist in the limited archaeological record of the Early Formative.

[1]: Grove, David C. (2000) "The Preclassic Societies of the Central Highlands of Mesoamerica." In Richard Adams and Murdo MacLeod (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Native Peoples of the Americas, Volume II: Mesoamerica, Part I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg.122-151.

[2]: Plunket, P., & Uruñuela, G. (2012). Where east meets west: the Formative in Mexico’s central highlands. Journal of Archaeological Research, 20(1), 1-51.

[3]: Hassig, Ross. (1985) Trade, tribute, and transportation: The sixteenth-century political economy of the Valley of Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg.28-39.


lacustrine ports would not be developed until the later Postclassic at Tenochtitlan when they were needed to logistically unload goods onto the urban island; otherwise beaches were used to land canoes. [1]

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1985) Trade, tribute, and transportation: The sixteenth-century political economy of the Valley of Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg.56-66.


canals for transportation purposes would not be developed until the later Postclassic around Tenochtitlan, when they were needed to logistically transport goods through chinampas, dyke systems, and the city itself. [1]

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1985) Trade, tribute, and transportation: The sixteenth-century political economy of the Valley of Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg.56-66.


Bridge:
unknown

regional and long-distance trade (crossing rivers) was common, [1] [2] but no evidence of bridges exists in the limited archaeological record of the Early Formative

[1]: Grove, David C. (2000) "The Preclassic Societies of the Central Highlands of Mesoamerica." In Richard Adams and Murdo MacLeod (eds.), The Cambridge History of The Native Peoples of the Americas, Volume II: Mesoamerica, Part I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg.122-151.

[2]: Plunket, P., & Uruñuela, G. (2012). Where east meets west: the Formative in Mexico’s central highlands. Journal of Archaeological Research, 20(1), 1-51.


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

Abundant stone and obsidian craft production indicates that raw materials were mined away from settlements. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

[1]: Stoner, Wesley D., Deborah L. Nichols, Bridget A. Alex, and Destiny L. Crider. (2015)"The emergence of Early-Middle Formative exchange patterns in Mesoamerica: A view from Altica in the Teotihuacan Valley." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39: 19-35.

[2]: Tolstoy, Paul (1971). "Utilitarian Artifacts of Central Mexico." In The Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 10, ed. G. F. Ekholm, and I. Bernal. Austin: University of Texas Press, 270-296.

[3]: Piña Chan, Román. (1971). "Preclassic or Formative Pottery and Minor Arts of the Valley of Mexico." In The Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 10, ed. G. F. Ekholm, and I. Bernal. Austin: University of Texas Press, pp.157-178.

[4]: Charlton, Thomas H. (1984). "Production and Exchange: Variables in the Evolution of a Civilization." In Kenneth G. Hirth (Ed.) Trade and Exchange in Early Mesoamerica. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp.17-42.

[5]: Biskowski, Martin. (2008) "Maize-Grinding Tools in Prehispanic Central Mexico." In New Approaches to Old Stones: Recent Studies of Ground Stone Artifacts, edited by Yorke M. Rowan and Jennie R. Ebeling. London: Equinox Publishing, pp. 144-155.

[6]: Tolstoy, Paul, Suzanne K. Fish, Martin W. Boksenbaum, Kathryn Blair Vaughn and C. Earle Smith. (1977). "Early Sedentary Communities of the Basin of Mexico." Journal of Field Archaeology, 4(1): 91-106.


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent

"Absent in the Basin, present in lowland Mesoamerica c. 100 BCE-900CE." [1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


First evidence in Teotihuacan c. 200 CE. [1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent

[1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Nonwritten Record:
present

First evidence in the Early Formative period (1500-1000 BCE). [1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Mnemonic Device:
present

Present since the Archaic Period c. 10 ka. [1]

[1]: (Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent

"Astronomical almanacs inferred for Classic period, c. 200-900, preserved from c. 1300 onwards." [1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Sacred Text:
absent

Present in Classic Maya 200-900 CE. Possibly present in Teotihuacan. Present in the Basin by c. 1300 CE. [1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Religious Literature:
absent

[1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Practical Literature:
absent

[1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Philosophy:
absent

"Known for the colonial period, maybe oral philosophy earlier." [1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Lists Tables and Classification:
absent

[1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


History:
absent

Present in Classic Maya 200-900 CE. Only records in the Basin are conquest records by the Aztec (1450-1519 CE). [1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Fiction:
absent

[1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Calendar:
absent

First evidence in Mesoamerica c. 500 BCE. Present at Teotihuacan c. 200 CE onwards. [1]

[1]: Carballo, David. Personal Communication to Jill Levine and Peter Turchin. Email. April 23, 2020)


Information / Money
Precious Metal:
absent

The first evidence for the introduction of indigenously produced copper-based metallurgy in Mesoamerica is c.600 CE. [1]

[1]: Shugar, Aaron N. and Scott E. Simmons. (2013) Archaeometallurgy in Mesoamerica: Current Approaches and New Perspectives. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, pg. 1-4.


Paper Currency:
absent

The system closest to coinage ever practiced in Mesoamerica was the widespread use of cacao beans and copper axes as media of exchange during the Postclassic. [1]

[1]: Berdan, Frances F., Marilyn A. Masson, Janine Gasco, and Michael E. Smith. (2003) "An International Economy." In Michael E. Smith and Frances F. Berdan (eds.) The Postclassic Mesoamerican World. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, pg. 102.


Indigenous Coin:
absent

The system closest to coinage ever practiced in Mesoamerica was the widespread use of cacao beans and copper axes as media of exchange during the Postclassic. [1]

[1]: Berdan, Frances F., Marilyn A. Masson, Janine Gasco, and Michael E. Smith. (2003) "An International Economy." In Michael E. Smith and Frances F. Berdan (eds.) The Postclassic Mesoamerican World. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, pg. 102.


Foreign Coin:
absent

The system closest to coinage ever practiced in Mesoamerica was the widespread use of cacao beans and copper axes as media of exchange during the Postclassic. [1]

[1]: Berdan, Frances F., Marilyn A. Masson, Janine Gasco, and Michael E. Smith. (2003) "An International Economy." In Michael E. Smith and Frances F. Berdan (eds.) The Postclassic Mesoamerican World. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, pg. 102.


Article:
present

Mortuary grave goods from c.1500 BC forward indicate that Early Formative BOM polities were ranked societies where raw or manufatured prestige goods -- ceramics, precious stone, feathers, textiles, jewelry, ornaments, etc. (both "articles" like jade and feathers, and "tokens" like shells) -- appear to have functioned as "primitive money" or "social currency." [1] [2] [3] these have also been recovered from Middle Formative graves in the BOM, [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

[1]: Paul Tolstoy. (1989) "Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec material in the Basin of Mexico", In Regional Perspectives on the Olmec, Robert J. Sharer & David C. Grove (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg. 87-121.

[2]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.

[4]: Piña Chan, Román. (1971). "Preclassic or Formative Pottery and Minor Arts of the Valley of Mexico." In The Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 10, ed. G. F. Ekholm, and I. Bernal. Austin: University of Texas Press, pp.157-178.

[5]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 331-3.

[6]: Stoner, Wesley D., Deborah L. Nichols, Bridget A. Alex, and Destiny L. Crider. (2015)"The emergence of Early-Middle Formative exchange patterns in Mesoamerica: A view from Altica in the Teotihuacan Valley." Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39: 19-35.

[7]: Charlton, Thomas H. (1984). "Production and Exchange: Variables in the Evolution of a Civilization." In Kenneth G. Hirth (Ed.) Trade and Exchange in Early Mesoamerica. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp.17-42.

[8]: Hirth, Kenneth G. (1984). "Early Exchange in Mesoamerica: An Introduction." In Kenneth G. Hirth (Ed.) Trade and Exchange in Early Mesoamerica. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp.1-16.


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent

Not present even in the Late Postclassic [1]

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1985) Trade, tribute, and transportation: The sixteenth-century political economy of the Valley of Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg.56-66.


General Postal Service:
absent

Not present even in the Late Postclassic [1]

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1985) Trade, tribute, and transportation: The sixteenth-century political economy of the Valley of Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg.56-66.


Courier:
unknown

Present during the Late Posclassic, [1] but not evident in archaeological record.

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1985) Trade, tribute, and transportation: The sixteenth-century political economy of the Valley of Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg.56-66.


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Tlapacoya/Ayotla located on Xico island [1] [2]

[1]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[2]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.



Military use of Metals

"Metals were another story. Throughout all these times [before 500 BCE], and even much later, they were essentially unused in Mesoamerica. Teotihuacan’s predecessors [...] and Teotihuacan itself used only stone tools". [1]

[1]: (Cowgill 2015: 40) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/JRFZPUXU.


"Metals were another story. Throughout all these times [before 500 BCE], and even much later, they were essentially unused in Mesoamerica. Teotihuacan’s predecessors [...] and Teotihuacan itself used only stone tools". [1]

[1]: (Cowgill 2015: 40) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/JRFZPUXU.


"Metals were another story. Throughout all these times [before 500 BCE], and even much later, they were essentially unused in Mesoamerica. Teotihuacan’s predecessors [...] and Teotihuacan itself used only stone tools". [1]

[1]: (Cowgill 2015: 40) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/JRFZPUXU.


"Metals were another story. Throughout all these times [before 500 BCE], and even much later, they were essentially unused in Mesoamerica. Teotihuacan’s predecessors [...] and Teotihuacan itself used only stone tools". [1]

[1]: (Cowgill 2015: 40) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/JRFZPUXU.


Projectiles
Sling:
present

Ross Hassig (1992) interprets the small, round stone balls excavated from Middle Formative sites in the BOM and across Mesoamerica as sling stones. [1]

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1992). "War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica." Berkeley: University of California Press, p.28-9.


Self Bow:
absent

First introduced into Central Mexico during the Middle Postclassic by Chichimec invaders from Northern Mesoamerica. [1]

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1992). "War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica." Berkeley: University of California Press, p.47, 119-20.


Javelin:
absent

"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1] The following probably refers to atlatls, not actual javelins: technology present in the wider region from c.4000 BCE, and there is evidence for their use in Formative Mesoamerican art. [2] [3]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.

[2]: Hassig, Ross. (1992). "War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica." Berkeley: University of California Press, p.13.

[3]: Voorhies, Barbara (1996). Archaic Period in Mesoamerica." The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, ed. B. Fagan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 442-444.


Atlatl:
present

"In Mesoamerica [...] tools that could double as weapons, including handheld spears and spearthrowers (atlatls) [...] have been found as early as 4000 BC". [1] [2]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.

[2]: Voorhies, Barbara (1996). Archaic Period in Mesoamerica." The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, ed. B. Fagan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 442-444.


Handheld weapons
War Club:
absent

"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.


"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.


Spear:
present

technology present in the wider region from c.4000 BCE, and there is evidence for their use in Formative Mesoamerican art. [1] [2]

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1992). "War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica." Berkeley: University of California Press, p.13.

[2]: Voorhies, Barbara (1996). Archaic Period in Mesoamerica." The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, ed. B. Fagan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 442-444.


Polearm:
absent

"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.


Dagger:
present

Obsidian knives [1] "Their [Tlatilco] tools were simple ones consisting of stone axes, obsidian knives and bone and antler instruments". [2]

[1]: Tolstoy, Paul (1971). "Utilitarian Artifacts of Central Mexico." In The Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 10, ed. G. F. Ekholm, and I. Bernal. Austin: University of Texas Press, 270-296.

[2]: (Porter 1953: 88) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/XNMQ6KN7.


Battle Axe:
absent

"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.


Animals used in warfare

Not native to region.


Elephant:
absent

Not native to region.


Not native to region.


Although domesticated dogs were present during this period, [1] [2] their function is unclear (food and/or hunting), [3] [4] and war dogs were unknown in Mesoamerica at the time of the Spanish Conquest; indeed, Hassig lists war dogs among the new military "technologies" the Spanish introduced to the region in the sixteenth century [5] [6] [7]

[1]: Savolainen, P., Y. Zhang, J. Luo, J. Lundeberg, and T. Leitner. (2002) "Genetic evidence for an East Asian origin of domestic dogs." Science 298:1610-1613.

[2]: Leonard, J. A., R. K. Wayne, J. Wheeler, R. Valadez, S. Guillén, and C. Vilà. (2002) "Ancient DNA evidence for old world origin of new world dogs." Science 298: 1613-1616.

[3]: Sanders, William T., Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley. (1979) The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York, pg. 285.

[4]: Rosenswig, Robert M. (2015) "A Mosaic of Adaptation: The Archaeological Record for Mesoamerica’s Archaic Period." Journal of Archaeological Research 23(2): 115-162.

[5]: (Hassig 1992, 143) Hassig, Robert. 1992. War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica. London; Berkeley: University of California Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/collectionKey/F76EVNU3/itemKey/E9VHCKDG

[6]: Hassig, Ross. (1988) Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 237.

[7]: Hassig, Ross. (1992) War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica. Berkeley: University of California Press, pg.163.


Not native to region.


Armor
Shield:
absent

"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.


Limb Protection:
absent

"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1] known form artwork, but they may have been purely decorative (i.e. for status) and related to shamanistic rituals or the Mesoamerican ball game. [2] [3]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.

[2]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.


Leather Cloth:
absent

Not depicted in period art, and generally unknown before the Classic Period in Central Mexico. [1]

[1]: Hassig, Ross. (1992) War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica. Berkeley: University of California Press, pg.16, 48, 73, 84.


Helmet:
absent

"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1] known form artwork, but they may have been purely decorative (i.e. for status) and related to shamanistic rituals or the Mesoamerican ball game. [2] [3]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.

[2]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.


Breastplate:
absent

"Little is known about warfare in Mesoamerica before the Middle Formative [...] warfare was relatively unorganized, conducted by small groups armed with unspecialized tool-weapons". [1] iron-ore hematite breast plates have been found archaeologically and are known form artwork, but they may have been purely decorative (i.e. for status) and related to shamanistic rituals or the Mesoamerican ball game. [2] [3]

[1]: (Hassig 1992: 12-13) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/E9VHCKDG.

[2]: Niederberger, Christine. (1996). "The Basin of Mexico: Multimillenial Development toward Cultural Complexity." In Olmec Art of Ancient Mexico, edited by Emily P. Benson and Beatriz de la Fuente. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, pp. 83-93.

[3]: Niederberger, Christine. (2000) "Ranked Societies, Iconographic Complexity, and Economic Wealth in the Basin of Mexico Toward 1200 BC." In Olmec Art and Archaeology in Mesoamerica, edited by John E. Clark and Mary E. Pye. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 169-192.


Naval technology
Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown

Lakeshore residency, woodcarving expertise, and extensive exploitation of lacustrine resources dates to c.5000-2000 BCE in the region, [1] and the prehisoric use of canoes has often been suggested, [2] [3] [4] but there is no direct evidence of canoes (made of wood) in the archaeological record.

[1]: Niederberger, Christine. (1979) "Early Sedentary Economy in the Basin of Mexico" Science 203(4376):131-142.

[2]: Drennan, R. D. (1984). Long‐distance transport costs in pre‐Hispanic Mesoamerica. American Anthropologist, 86(1), 105-112.

[3]: Parsons, Jeffrey R. (2006) The Last “Pescadores” of Chimalhuacán, Mexico: An Archaeological Ethnography. Anthropological Papers, No. 96. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

[4]: Hassig, Ross. (1985) Trade, tribute, and transportation: The sixteenth-century political economy of the Valley of Mexico. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg.56-66.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.