[Marxism] co-evolution of religion and class society

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Wed Dec 22 07:39:19 MST 2004

December 21, 2004
7,000 Years of Religious Ritual Is Traced in Mexico

The new findings are the fruit of 15 years of excavations in the Oaxaca
Valley of southern Mexico that have brought to light a remarkably complete
series of structures used for religious purposes. Dr. Joyce Marcus and Dr.
Kent V. Flannery, two archaeologists at the University of Michigan, describe
their results in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of

The Oaxaca Valley was home to people who around 7000 B.C. were hunters and
gatherers with no fixed abode. By 1500 B.C., the Oaxacans had developed
strains of maize that enabled them to settle in villages that were occupied
throughout the year. The earliest village societies were probably
egalitarian like the foragers who preceded them. But by 1150 B.C. the first
signs of social hierarchy appear, with an elite who lived in big houses,
wore jade-studded clothes and deformed their skulls, as a sign of nobility,
by binding their children's heads. The Oaxacans flourished and in 500 B.C.
founded a populous and warlike society at Monte Albán known as the Zapotec


CB: I had classes with Flannery and Marcus when I was in school at U of
Mich. I took picture writing with Marcus. My paper was on Mixtec picture
writing.  They have some actual Aztec codices in the museum at U of Mich,
which I looked at.

More information about the Marxism mailing list