“Southeastern Mesoamerica is so good that it could serve as a model for other edited volumes because each article contributes to the overall theme of the book: understanding the cultural complexity of an area that was once characterized as ‘peripheral’ and homogeneous and subordinate to complex societies in the Maya highlands and lowlands. This book is a leader in applying networks concepts and community concepts.”
—Eugenia Robinson, Montgomery College
"All of the articles in the volume bring fresh perspectives to challenge traditional ways of viewing south-eastern Mesoamerica, and begin to shift the understanding of how the power balance between elites and non-elites was negotiated, who identified as Mayan and to what extent, and how the social networks and economic arteries that criss-crossed the region transcended both geographical and hierarchical boundaries."
Southeastern Mesoamerica highlights the diversity and dynamism of the Indigenous groups that inhabited and continue to inhabit the borders of Southeastern Mesoamerica, an area that includes parts of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Chapters combine archaeological, ethnohistoric, and historic data and approaches to better understand the long-term sociopolitical and cultural changes that occurred throughout the entirety of human occupation of this area.
Drawing on archaeological evidence ranging back to the late Pleistocene as well as extensive documentation from the historic period, contributors show how Southeastern Mesoamericans created unique identities, strategically incorporating cosmopolitan influences from cultures to the north and south with their own long-lived traditions. These populations developed autochthonous forms of monumental architecture and routes and methods of exchange and had distinct social, cultural, political, and economic traits. They also established unique long-term human-environment relations that were the result of internal creativity and inspiration influenced by local social and natural trajectories.
Southeastern Mesoamerica calls upon archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, ethnohistorians, and others working in Mesoamerica, Central America, and other cultural boundaries around the world to reexamine the role Indigenous resilience and agency play in these areas and in the cultural developments and interactions that occur within them.
Contributors: Edy Barrios, Christopher Begley, Walter Burgos, Mauricio Díaz García, William R. Fowler, Rosemary A. Joyce, Gloria Lara-Pinto, Eva L. Martínez, William J. McFarlane, Cameron L. McNeil, Lorena D. Mihok, Pastor Rodolfo Gómez Zúñiga, Timothy Scheffler, Edward Schortman, Russell Sheptak, Miranda Suri, Patricia Urban, Antolín Velásquez, E. Christian Wells