By Julio Montane
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Extra resources for Fundamentos para una Teoría Arqueológica
Today these terms denote only temporal spans and should not be understood as brief summaries of cultural situations. They allow a clear arrangement of cultural events, which will be adhered to in the following chapters as well (see Chronologies). SETTLEMENTThe most important requirement for an evolution toward civilizationand not only for Mesoamericais permanent settlements. These appeared gradually in the second half of the Archaic period, which is prior to the Preclassic. A condition for founding permanent settlements was that throughout the year food could be found close to the habitation.
The population was divided into two classes of extremely uneven numbers. The nobility, numbering perhaps 10 percent of the population, headed by the rulers of city-states (k'ulahaw)and their families, were followed in rank by the governors of dependent sites (sahal),and a broad noble group comprised of specialists like scribes, painters of luxury ceramics, and the carvers of stelae, and also those with various administrative tasks. An ostentatious court life and elaborate ceremonies were minutely portrayed on the outside of painted cylindrical vessels.
An adequate study of source materials has only just begun, and complete access to all data is by no means possible. Intense historical research into ancient American civilizations has been conducted for less than a hundred years, and for much of that time there were only a few specialists involved. Results are still limited to individual points and many of these are controversial, so they have hardly been entered so far in summary presentations. Indian revivals and apologetics. In the areas of the old American civilizations the direct contact to the indigenous past has been disrupted through the cut caused by the Conquista and the half millennium of European dominance.