New world states and empires: Economic and social organization

Michael Smith, Katharina J. Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We take a critical perspective in discussing recent publications on the archaeological study of the ancient state-level societies of Latin America. For some topics, such as intensive agriculture and exchange, data are far ahead of theory, whereas for others (e.g., gender and ethnicity), theory has outstripped data. Craft production, a topic that has achieved a good balance of data and theory, is one of the success stories of recent Latin American archaeology. After a discussion of sources of data, we review these and other topics (e.g., consumption patterns, household studies, social organization) in terms of both data and theory. In a second review article, we cover the topics of politics, religion, urbanism, and the processes of change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-229
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of Archaeological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Archaeology
  • Complex societies
  • New World
  • States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • General Arts and Humanities


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