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Regional Perspectives on the Olmec


Edited by Robert J. Sharer and David C. Grove

The archaeological culture known as the Olmec has long been associated with the genesis of civilization in Mexico—the transition from simple, agricultural societies to near-urban states during the Mesoamerican Formative, which culminated in the empire of the Maya. This volume brings together ten archaeologists working on the period offering new interpretations and regional syntheses and re-evaluating the role of the Olmec in the crucial developments of the Formative. Particular attention is given to the interaction between different geographical regions—including the Olmec areas of the Gulf Coast traditionally regarded as the home of Mesoamerican civilization—revealing that all these regions played a crucial role in the evolutionary process.

1989. 418 pp., Figures, tables, maps, notes, references, index., 6 x 9

Contributors: Michael D. Coe, Arthur A. Demarest, Richard A. Diehl, John Graham, David C. Grove, Thomas A. Lee Jr., Gareth W. Lowe, Joyce Marcus, Robert J. Sharer, Paul Tolstoy

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List of figures
List of Tables
Foreword by Jonathan Haas

Part I Introduction

    1. Olmec Studies: a status report
      Robert J. Sharer
    2. Olmec: what’s in a name?
      David C. Grove

Part II The Olmec Heartland

    1. Olmec archaeology: what we know and what we wish we knew
      Richard A. Diehl
    2. The heartland Olmec: evolution of material culture
      Gareth W. Lowe
    3. The heartland Olmec: evolution of ideology
      Michael D. Coe

Part III The Olmec Heartland

    1. Coapexco and Tlatilco: sites with Olmec materials in the Basin of Mexico
      Paul Tolstoy
    2. Chalcatzingo and its Olmec connection
      David C. Grove
    3. Zapotec chiefdoms and the nature of Formative religions
      Joyce Marcus
    4. Chiapas and the Olmec
      Thomas A. Lee, Jr.
    5. Olmec diffusion: a sculptural view from Pacific Guatemala
      John Graham
    6. The Olmec and the Southeast periphery of Mesoamerica
      Robert J. Sharer

Part IV Conclusions

  1. Western Mesoamerica and the Olmec
    Paul Tolstoy
  2. The Olmec and the rise of civilization in eastern Mesoamerica
    Arthur Demarest
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.