THE EMERGING WORLD SYSTEM AND COLONIAL YUCATAN:THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF CORE-PERIPHERY INTEGRATION, 1780-1847

Rani T. Alexander

Abstract


The conquest and colonization of Mesoamerica by Spain during the period AD 1519-1821 forms part of a macroregional interaction network known as the modern or capitalist world system. Regions incorporated within the world-system usually undergo economic change such that production and labor are increasingly commoditized, dramatically altering the productive strategies of households and communities. As Price (1986) observes, world systems theory is difficult to apply to prehistoric or precapitalist macroregional systems because the world systems analogy lacks referents to broader processes of state expansion, political-economic structure, and the corresponding archaeological record. This paper uses archaeological and historical data from the Parroquia de Yaxcaba, Yucatan, to explore the variable impact of political and economic change on the organization of production and labor of rural communities. Archaeological site structure and spatial organization are analyzed to assess the implications of world-system expansion for the archaeological record in a region where the market transitionultimately fails. Settlement patterns and site structure in Yaxcaba Parish suggest variation in production organization among communities that differs from historical reconstructions. Comparison of independent lines of evidence indicates that variation inthe processes of core-periphery integration are archaeologically recognizable.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.1996.87

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2015 Rani T. Alexander

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.