Power without Bounds? Middle Preclassic Political Developments in the Naco Valley, Honduras
Recently completed investigations in the Naco Valley, located within the Rio Chamelecon drainage of northwestern Honduras, suggest that, by 1200 B. C., emergent elites were experiencing variable success in their efforts to construct sociopolitical hierarchies. Though able to harness labor in the construction of large platforms, these scions apparently did not monopolize crucial economic processes nor could they command the exclusive allegiances of their subordinates over protracted periods. Political centralization, social heterogeneity, and boundary formation processes were, therefore, not mutually reinforcing and the polities that resulted were small and ephemeral. Comparison of Naco"s trajectory with contemporary developments in neighboring portions of southeastern Mesoamerica hint at the varied developmental paths that ultimately laid the foundation for the emergence of relatively stable, hierarchically organized polities in the subsequent Classic period (A. D. 200–900).
Urban, Patricia; Schortman, Edward; and Ausec, Marne, "Power without Bounds? Middle Preclassic Political Developments in the Naco Valley, Honduras" (2002). Latin American Antiquity 13(2): 131-152. Faculty Publications. Paper 28.
Latin American Antiquity