New world states and empires: Politics, religion, and urbanism

Michael Smith, Katharina J. Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The past decade has seen a veritable explosion in archaeological research on complex societies in Latin America. In 1993, Smith published an overview of research to that date; this article is one of two bringing that summary up to the present. Our first article, New World states and empires: Economic and social organization (Smith and Schreiber, 2005), dealt with issues regarding economic and social organization. The present article tackles political organization and dynamics, religion, urbanism, and settlement patterns. We also review recent research in the context of various theoretical perspectives, some traditional, some more contemporary, including approaches to history and process, cultural evolution, agency-based models, linguistic prehistory, migration theory, and the relationship between environmental change and cultural events. Our discussion blends empirical findings, methodological advances, and theoretical perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-52
Number of pages52
JournalJournal of Archaeological Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Archaeology
  • Complex societies
  • Cultural evolution
  • New world
  • States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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