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      Interregional Trade and the Formation of Prehistoric Gateway Communities

      American Antiquity

      JSTOR

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          Abstract

          Interregional exchange of commodities appears to have been important in the formation of complex societies. The transition from reciprocal to redistribution economies involved an institutionalization of long distance exchange. Large and important settlements called gateway communities emerged along natural trade routes at key locales for controlling the movement of commodities. A model is constructed that relates long distance trade and regional economics to the emergence of market centers in Formative Mesoamerica. The gateway community model depicts early interregional trade more efficiently than central place formulations. This model is examined in light of data collected from Chalcatzingo in Morelos, Mexico, a community that maintained an important position in both local and long distance trade during the first half of the Mesoamerican Formative.

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          The Origin and Development of Lowland Classic Maya Civilization

          The southern Maya lowlands present a largely redundant environment which does not possess the potential for major internal symbiotic regions or for irrigation. In fact, the interior of this region is uniformly deficient in resources essential to the efficiency of every individual household engaged in the Mesoamerican agricultural subsistence economy: mineral salt, obsidian for blades, and hard stone for grinding. Yet, in the core of this rain forest region, the basic elements of Classic Maya civilization first coalesced. A model involving methods of procuring and distributing the resources necessary to the efficiency of an agricultural subsistence economy explains the loci of lowland Classic Maya development and the order in which these loci developed. This model can also be applied to the Olmec civilization.
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            A HYPOTHESIS ABOUT GATEWAY CITIES

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              The Prehistory of the Southeastern Maya Periphery

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                applab
                American Antiquity
                American Antiquity
                JSTOR
                0002-7316
                January 1978
                January 2017
                : 43
                : 01
                : 35-45
                Article
                10.2307/279629
                5cadfc4b-27d2-4ed0-be88-e24ef7b6d2b4
                © 1978

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