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Classic Maya State, Urbanism, and Exchange: Chipped Stone Evidence of the Copán Valley and Its Hinterland

Kazuo Aoyama
American Anthropologist
Vol. 103, No. 2 (Jun., 2001), pp. 346-360
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/683470
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Classic Maya State, Urbanism, and Exchange: Chipped Stone Evidence of the Copán Valley and Its Hinterland
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Abstract

In this article I use quantitative data from 91,916 pieces of chipped stone artifacts from the Copán Valley and its hinterland in Honduras to understand better the nature and role of exchange in the development of a Classic Maya state-level society. The results of this study suggest that intraregional exchange was more crucial for state development than was longdistance exchange. The management of procurement and exchange of utilitarian commodities, such as Ixtepeque obsidian blade cores, along with other factors, played a significant role in the development of the Copán state. In contrast to other major Maya lowland states, the Copán state directly obtained obsidian blade cores from nearby sources, distributed them to local leaders at Copán, and exported them to local rulers in neighboring regions. In this sense, the Classic Copán state maintained a centralized and integrated political and economic organization based on far more than kinship, ideology, and ritual.

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