Origins and spread of formal ceremonial complexes in the Olmec and Maya regions revealed by airborne lidar
Fernandez-Diaz, Juan Carlos
García Mollinedo, Miguel
García Hernández, Melina
Hodgins, Gregory W. L.
Durón Díaz, Juan Javier
Guerra Luna, Antonio
Guerrero Chávez, Luis
Hernández Jiménez, María de Lourdes
Moreno Díaz, Manuel
AffiliationSchool of Anthropology, University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
CitationInomata, T., Fernandez-Diaz, J. C., Triadan, D., García Mollinedo, M., Pinzón, F., García Hernández, M., Flores, A., Sharpe, A., Beach, T., Hodgins, G. W. L., Durón Díaz, J. J., Guerra Luna, A., Guerrero Chávez, L., Hernández Jiménez, M. L., & Moreno Díaz, M. (2021). Origins and spread of formal ceremonial complexes in the Olmec and Maya regions revealed by airborne lidar. Nature Human Behaviour.
JournalNature Human Behaviour
RightsCopyright © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractCity plans symbolizing cosmologies have long been recognized as a defining element of Mesoamerican civilizations. The origins of formal spatial configurations are thus the key to understanding early civilizations in the region. Assessment of this issue, however, has been hindered by the lack of systematic studies of site plans over broad areas. Here, we report the identification of 478 formal rectangular and square complexes, probably dating from 1,050 to 400 bc, through a lidar (laser imaging, detection and ranging) survey across the Olmec region and the western Maya lowlands. Our analysis of lidar data also revealed that the earlier Olmec centre of San Lorenzo had a central rectangular space, which possibly provided the spatial template for later sites. This format was probably formalized and spread after the decline of San Lorenzo through intensive interaction across various regions. These observations highlight the legacy of San Lorenzo and the critical role of inter-regional interaction.
Note6 month embargo; published 25 October 2021
VersionFinal accepted manuscript