Accessibility Tools

Networks of Power

Political Relations in the Late Postclassic Naco Valley

by Edward Schortman and Patricia Urban

Hardcover Price $21.95
Ebook Price Open Access

Buy Now

Mesoamerican Worlds Series

"Books like Schortman and Urban's study of Naco Valley sites show that archaeologists have read and can utilize social/cultural perspectives and that cultural anthropologists can benefit from archaeological analysis. . . . This is an accomplishment that cultural anthropologists can surely celebrate and use."
—Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

"The authors have published a valuable record of poorly documented occupation of the Naco Valley in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries."
—Julia A. Hendon, Bulletin of American Research

Copy of ku mark RGB large Thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched, a collaborative initiative designed to make high-quality books open access for the public good, a free electronic version of this title is also available.

Read Now

*These editions are published under Creative Commons copyright license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0. This license does not apply to any material that is separately copyrighted. Please refer to the credit lines and source notations in each book to determine the copyright holders for images and other third-party material.

Little is known about how Late Postclassic populations in southeast Mesoamerica organized their political relations. Networks of Power fills gaps in the knowledge of this little-studied area, reconstructing the course of political history in the Naco Valley from the fourteenth through early sixteenth centuries.

Describing the material and behavioral patterns pertaining to the Late Postclassic period using components of three settlements in the Naco Valley of northwestern Honduras, the book focuses on how contests for power shaped political structures. Power-seeking individuals, including but not restricted to ruling elites, depended on networks of allies to support their political objectives. Ongoing and partially successful competitions waged within networks led to the incorporation of exotic ideas and imported items into the daily practices of all Naco Valley occupants. The result was a fragile hierarchical structure forever vulnerable to the initiatives of agents operating on local and distant stages.

Networks of Power describes who was involved in these competitions and in which networks they participated; what resources were mustered within these webs; which projects were fueled by these assets; and how, and to what extent, they contributed to the achievement of political aims.


Edward Schortman is a J. K. Smail Professor of Anthropology at Kenyon College.

Patricia Urban is a J. K. Smail Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Kenyon College.

University Press of Colorado Logo


  • Hardcover Price: $21.95
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60732-062-3
  • Ebook Price: Open Access
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-063-0
  • Publication Year: 2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Illustrations: 60
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: by Edward Schortman and Patricia Urban
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-062-3
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

Related Titles

Browse Related Titles Tagged Under:

University Press of Colorado University of Alaska Press Utah State University Press University of Wyoming Press