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Murillo Herrera, Mauricio (2009) SOCIAL CHANGE IN PRE-COLUMBIAN SAN RAMON DE ALAJUELA, COSTA RICA, AND ITS RELATION WITH ADJACENT REGIONS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Interregional relationships at close and long range have occupied more of archaeologists' attention in Central America than, for example, in Mesoamerica or the Andes. As a result we now have a considerable amount of detailed information demonstrating the existence of interregional contacts, both within the isthmus and with regions outside of it.The actual impact that interregional relationships had on the processes of social change in Central America, however, has remained an open question. While some argue strongly that these processes of social change were strongly affected by interregional relationships, others argue that the sociopolitical impact of these contacts was weak, and that much more local factors carried more weight in the processes of social change. I grouped different models of social change into three families according to where the primary source of social change is located. The first family of models emphasizes the internal conditions within a local region as the major stimulus for cultural change. The second family of models emphasizes dynamic relationships between neighboring regions. The third family of models emphasizes interaction across macroregions. Thus, the research presented here aimed to help evaluate how important interregional relationships were in the dynamic of social change in Central America.Archaeological work done in several regions in Costa Rica has provided us with basic information about their sociopolitical development. Regional settlement study in San Ramón de Alajuela documented another trajectory to add to the comparison. Taken together, the results show that while in some cases interregional relationships were related to sociopolitical events happening in the participating regions, in other cases this did not happen. While some interregional relationships were very specific in other cases they seem to have been more all-inclusive. While some regions were integrated in networks of interregional exchange, these transactions had little impact on sociopolitical events. Furthermore, all of the above also varied substantially through time. Thus, as is common in social sciences, the question of whether interregional relationships were important in pre-Columbian social change does not have a binary yes or no answer, but instead it depends on where you look and when.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Murillo Herrera, Mauriciomam40@pitt.eduMAM40
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDrennan, Robert D.drennan@pitt.eduDRENNAN
Committee CoChairRichardson, James B.jdr3@pitt.eduJDR3
Committee MemberFrechione, Johnjfrech@pitt.eduJFRECH
Committee MemberBermann, Marc P.bermarc@pitt.eduBERMARC
Date: 17 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 14 January 2009
Approval Date: 17 June 2009
Submission Date: 18 February 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Archaeology; Central America; Costa Rica; Inter-Regional Relations; Social Change
Other ID:, etd-02182009-193134
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:31
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:36


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