Mesoamerica And Complex Societies Essay

823 words - 4 pages

Mesoamerica went through a radical transformation since the adaptation of agriculture from their hunter-gather societies into reformed Mayan city states under the control of political hierarchies. The authority of these leaders was determined by surplus of goods, particularly maize which was a significant part of their culture and religious connections to the Mayan gods, goddesses and deities. This transformation initiated from Pre-Olmec Period to the Late Classic Maya Period. During this transformation period, Mesoamerica adopted new technology, implemented social identities and political reforms, established symbolic and religious meanings and improved intercity relations which all ...view middle of the document...

Rapid transformation occurred between the hunter-gathers and the Maya civilisation through adoptions of unified culture.
Gordon V. Childe’s theory hypothesises that states occurred as a result from societies shifting towards agricultural farming and this by far has had the biggest influence to how Mesoamerica as able to support a technological in terms if craft specialisation and social boom in reformations. Childe’s theory on the ‘Urban Revolution’ highlights the purpose of Mesoamericans urbanising into kingdoms as the early introduction of agriculture paved way for intensification, especially with maize that became their staple food source and as an icon in the centre of their society and culture. Intensive agriculture allowed high population densities and with even more surplus in staple foods, people could place more effort into obtaining rarer commodities that had high demand for religious purposes or demonstrate political power. Evidence of this is found with the elaborate tombs and manpower inherited into constructing monumental sculptures and obtaining captives for ritualistic human sacrifice. Surplus of vital needs allowed specialised roles in society and provided opportunities to spread religion and politics.
There have been other suggestions to the boom in urbanisation in Mesoamerica into city states but these are not as significant as the theory on agricultural surplus and craft specialisation. The trade imperative theory can be applied to the Maya cities of Mesoamerica of they were deprived in valuable resources including obsidian, salt and grinding stone which were components from their craft specialisation but independently would not have explained the...

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