Abstract: The Classic Preclassic in the Maya Lowlands: The Case Study of the Mirador Basin, Northern Guatemala
The origins of cultural complexity in the Maya Lowlands has been a subject of intense scrutiny in recent studies. The Maya provide an unusual study in light of parallel developments in the Olmec and Zapotec heartlands, and evidence now suggests that the Maya developed a precocious cultural development at least a thousand years prior to the great Classic periods of Maya civilization. The evidence of the earliest Maya developments throughout the Maya Lowlands demonstrate a remarkable homogeneity of civilizational assimilations, and at the same time, certain levels of discontinuity and disjunction. The Mirador Basin of Northern Guatemala provides a case study of incipient Maya civilization and the associated processes which allow a synchronic and diachronic evaluation of the human saga in the Maya Lowlands, and the social, economic, environmental, and political factors that gave rise to one of the world's great ancient civilizations.