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Early Social Complexity in Ancient Mesoamerica: Public and Private Perspectives

Michael W. Love, California State University, Northridge, Fellow 2008/09

The goal of my project is to synthesize the results of two major excavation efforts, at the sites of La Blanca and El Ujuxte, on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. These two research efforts were carried out with similar research designs, and in tandem examine the dynamics of political economy in the Preclassic period, and household responses to the expansion of centralized political power. During the eight months spent at Dumbarton Oaks, I advanced significantly in preparing articles on the work at both sites. Specifically, the work I accomplished includes the following:

  1. I completed an overview of the development of urbanism on the Pacific coast and highlands of Guatemala (a preliminary version of the article will be published in the volume The Southern Maya in Late Preclassic);
  2. I completed a summary view of the household excavations at La Blanca (a shortened version of the work will appear in the volume Formative Period Soconusco);
  3. I completed a Spanish-language article on the excavations of monumental architecture at La Blanca (the English-language version will form a chapter in the monograph on excavations at La Blanca);
  4. I completed an article on domestic ritual at La Blanca and its relationship to the reproduction of social identities;
  5. I completed a chapter on the pottery of El Ujuxte, including type descriptions, tabulations, and the development of a pottery-based chronology for the Late Preclassic of Pacific Guatemala;
  6. I prepared a new map of El Ujuxte; and
  7. I prepared a new map of La Blanca.

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