LISS.398A TECHNOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT and HUMAN ADAPTATION:
PART II PRE-EUROPEAN MESOAMERICA



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VALLEY OF OAXACA: MONTE ALBAN II (200 B.C. - 300 A.D.)

After a period of what apparently proved to be unsustainable growth, human society in the Valley of Oaxaca still directed from Monte Albán scales back, reorganizes and settles in for a long (500 year) period of stability and relative prosperity -- possibly afforded, in part at least, by beating-up on it’s neighbors.

This period (200 B.C. - 300 A.D.) falls within the Late Formative period in the overall Mesoamerican developmental chronology. It is also viewed as part of the late urban period. In the Valley of Oaxaca regional chronology this corresponds to the Monte Alba´n II phase.

The Monte Alba´n I -- Monte Alba´n II transition is marked by by decline in and change in the distribution of population, significant readjustments vertical social complexity and social integration.

The urban center at Monte Albán continued to serve as the capital of a state integrating the entire Valley and manifesting some presence outside the Valley of Oaxaca in the neighboring Ejutla and Cuicatlán Valleys.

This phase lasted as long (500 years) as the entire European presence in the New World. It is difficult (for us, at least) to imagine that technology and social organization did not change during this time. But, so far as the archaeological record reveals, this was a period of stability within the Valley of Oaxaca which came to and end only as the result of influence from outside the Valley -- the emergence of Teotihuacán in the Valley of Mexico as a pan-Mesoamerican power.

QUESTIONS

As you look at the material for this session, keep these questions in mind:

Unless otherwise indicated, this discussion is based on material drawn from: Blanton et. al ‘82 , Kowalewski, et. al. ‘89, Blanton, et. al. ‘93.


Colorado School of Mines
Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies
Dr. Joseph D. Sneed
jsneed@mines.edu
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