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Ref ID: 18923
Ref Type: Book Section in a Series
Authors: Redmond, Elsa M.
Gassón, Rafael A.
Spencer, Charles S.
Title: A Macroregional View of Cycling Chiefdoms in the Western Venezuelan Llanos
Date: 1999
Source: Complex Polities in the Ancient Tropical World
Place of Publication: Arlington, VA
Publisher: American Anthropological Association
Abstract: Complex chiefdoms are subject to oscillating cycles of regional political centralization under the domination of a paramount chief, followed by political dissolution, and frequently, the rise of a rival paramount chiefdom. A macroregional scale of investigation offers the best opportunity to examine the development of centralized, hierarchical leadership and the trajectories of such regional control at successive paramount centers. We present the results of recent archaeological investigations in the tropical savannas of western Venezuela, which document the development of the earliest complex chiefdoms that emerged here around A.D. 500. Regional and community‐level investigations in neighboring river valleys of Barinas, Venezuela enable us to examine the development of the regional polities centered at El Gaván and El Cedral from a macroregional perspective, and tentatively to propose that they were subject to the cycling pattern of growth and dissolution characteristic of complex paramount chiefdoms.

Editors: Elisabeth A. Bacus and Lisa J. Lucero
Volume: 9
Page Start: 109
Page End: 129
Series Editor: Jay K. Johnson
Series Title: Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Assocication