chapter  Chapter Thirty-Seven
19 Pages

Southeast Mesoamerica

WithEdward Schortman, Patricia Urban

We suggest that people build their histories as they cooperate with some and compete with others. Those transactions are structured within matrices of social networks; that is, culturally constructed means of mobilizing people, things, and ideas in pursuit of common projects. These nets fragment, and transcend the borders of, such traditional units of analyses as households, sites, regions, and culture areas. The prehistory of southeast Mesoamerica is considered from this network perspective, attention centering on what goods and ideas moved among specific locales, who was involved in these transactions, and how the assets were deployed in political projects.