Ancient Mesoamerican Population History

Urbanism, Social Complexity, and Change

Adrian S.Z. Chase (Editor), Arlen F. Chase (Editor), Diane Z. Chase (Editor)
Hardcover ($80.00), Ebook ($80.00) Buy

Establishing ancient population numbers and determining how they were distributed across a landscape over time constitute two of the most pressing problems in archaeology. Accurate population data is crucial for modeling, interpreting, and understanding the past. Now, advances in both archaeology and technology have changed the way that such approximations can be achieved.

Including research from both highland central Mexico and the tropical lowlands of the Maya and Olmec areas, this book reexamines the demography in ancient Mesoamerica. Contributors present methods for determining population estimates, field methods for settlement pattern studies to obtain demographic data, and new technologies such as LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) that have expanded views of the ground in forested areas. Contributions to this book provide a view of ancient landscape use and modification that was not possible in the twentieth century. This important new work provides new understandings of Mesoamerican urbanism, development, and changes over time.


Traci Ardren

M. Charlotte Arnauld

Bárbara Arroyo

Luke Auld-Thomas

Marcello A. Canuto

Adrian S. Z. Chase

Arlen F. Chase

Diane Z. Chase

Elyse D. Z. Chase

Javier Estrada

Gary M. Feinman

L. J. Gorenflo

Julien Hiquet

Scott R. Hutson

Gerardo Jiménez Delgado

Eva Lemonnier

Rodrigo Liendo Stuardo

José Lobo

Javier López Mejía

Michael L. Loughlin

Deborah L. Nichols

Christopher A. Pool

Ian G. Robertson

Jeremy A. Sabloff

Travis W. Stanton

“Chase et al. have brought together archaeologists working in the arid highlands and the rainforest lowland of Mesoamerica, where the landscape has traditionally meant radically different field methods were used for survey. The papers include insightful discussions of how population estimates are made from surface scatters of artifacts in highland Mesoamerica (and some areas of the northern Yucatán) and from transect survey and test excavations in the lowlands. The papers will challenge current and future researchers to refine chronologies by including radiocarbon dating, to refine interpretations of mounds in population estimates, and to reevaluate sampling strategies now that LiDAR allows complete coverage of sites and regions. The detailed descriptions of settlement pattern research underscore the varied approaches to common problems of identifying housemounds, houses, family size, and ultimately demographic changes over time.”—Heather McKillop, author of Maya Salt Works
Ancient Mesoamerican Population History
432 Pages 6 x 9 x 0
Published: May 2024Hardcover ISBN: 9780816553181
Published: May 2024Ebook ISBN: 9780816553198

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