Encapsulating two decades of research, Polity and Ecology in Formative Period Coastal Oaxaca is the first major treatment of the lower Río Verde region of Oaxaca, investigating its social, political, and ecological history. Tracing Formative period developments from the earliest known evidence of human presence to the collapse of Río Viejo (the region's first centralized polity), the volume synthesizes the archaeological and paleoecological evidence from the valley.
This period saw the earliest agricultural settlements in the region as well as the origins of sedentism and social complexity, and witnessed major changes in floodplain and coastal environments that expanded the productivity of subsistence resources. The book addresses theoretically significant questions of broad relevance such as the origins and spread of agriculture, the social negotiation of complex political formations, the effects of long-distance trade and interaction, the macroregional effects of landscape change, and prehispanic ideology and political power.
Focusing on questions of interregional interaction, environmental change, and political centralization, Polity and Ecology in Formative Period Coastal Oaxaca provides a comprehensive understanding of the Formative period archaeology of this important and long neglected region of Oaxaca.