ABSTRACT

How did ancient states expand? One model, proposed by Guillermo Algaze (1989, 1993), suggests that pristine civilizations grew in territory by establishing outposts, colonies, or enclaves in their peripheries. Such outposts guaranteed that growing centers would have consistent access to necessary peripheral resources. For ancient Mesoamerica, imported obsidian, exotic ceramics, and other foreign goods and preciosities are often viewed as such key resources (e.g., Smith and Berdan 2003).