Document Summary

Classic period hallmarks of a golden age were instruments of system of elite power. Did not need the art and architectural trappings of the theatre-states of the classic period. No hieroglyphics in postclassic, still wrote on bark paper and hides, but not on stone. Display element of political power was discontinued. Many postclassic states were larger and more prosperous than most of the classic period states. In yucatan, multepal system of governance prevailed (sharing of power) Councils of lineage leaders involved in most major decisions. Economic changes local economies became less self-sufficient, more based on trade over longer distances. Sea trade in the gulf of mexico and the caribbean exploded. Massive trade using sea-going canoes along the coast. Warfare, tribute and building regional polities (hegemonies) continued, but less tied to the ruler. More linked to long-standing conflicts between groups. Decline of the managed mosaic ecological adaptation in the southern lowlands.

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