Talk:Mesoamerican chronology

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Timeline Error[edit]

The timeline shows a year 0. There is no year 0 in any calendar currently in use. The middle date should be a 1. Also, the BCE and CE date format isn't commonly used. The abbreviations should be spelled out the first time they're used and an explanation that it is simply substituting different words for the commonly used BC and AD designations. Also, a number of the dates given in the Chronology for the Formative Period (Pre-Classic) overlap. For instance, the Middle Formative is dated from 950 BCE to 400 CE while the Late Formative is dated from 400 BCE to 200 CE. It looks like the author left off a "B." As written, it says the Middle Formative lasted 200 years longer than the Late Formative.

147.26.87.16 (talk) 17:02, 7 February 2011 (UTC)Pat

Religious/LDS association[edit]

I've reversed the insertion of a subsection dealing with an LDS interpretation. As placed and as written, it does not integrate at all well with the surrounding narrative, which is supposed to present the summarised Mesoamerican mainstream archaeological-ethnohistorical chronology. Interlacing this with other chronologies is confusing and interrupts the flow. There are already a number of other places, eg Archaeology and the Book of Mormon which are better suited to discussing alternative chronologies, but I really do not think it is an appropriate fit in this article.--cjllw ʘ TALK 06:15, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I wasn't quite sure if it would fit in the article. Though it not a scientific topic, I thought it relevant because it is a topic of large socioreligious significance and seems appropriately to mention somehow somewhere in an article like this, to link with relevant modern social movements associated with the topic. It just does not seem entirely possible to divorce modern social issues from this topic, especially when 12 million people around the world believe in them. The main discussion is correctly in Archaeology and the Book of Mormon, but when the social context is big enough, it seems like a good idea to at least mention it in appropriate places of the more mainstream articles. Articles about Middle Eastern archaeology often cite religious associations with the Bible and Qur'an. Traditional (if not empirically attested and sometimes even mutually contradictory) sites are scattered throughout that region, and this social religious context is mentioned even when it has nothing to do with the scientific/archaeological/modern natures of those sites. The LDS church is not a small regional denomination of thousands—is it an international religion of millions all around the world, and it seems absolutely appropriate to mention their traditional associations with various places, time periods, people, etc. in line with other non-scientific traditions well-outlined in articles. - Gilgamesh 13:13, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
In general I don't have an issue with contextualised mentioning of LDS or other counter-views, but in this instance I think that 'mixing up' these counter-views within the main(stream) narrative of this article would be confusing and distracting.
First and foremost I believe that we need to explain/summarise the current scientific understanding of Mesoamerican development and chronology in a single article, and this one is currently the only one to do this (to be sure, this chronology has its own internal disagreements and contentions, but these can be described as such). In order to be able to sensibly cover and compare 'alternative histories' eg an LDS-proposed chronology, we need to have the scientific description delineated.
Perhaps the LDS alternative(s) to the sequence and interpretation of Mesoamerican events warrants its own article away from the 'archaeology & the BoM' one. That way, the reader could more easily follow what the mainstream view entails, what (some) LDS views are, and how they differ. The different accounts can be crosslinked, and perhaps a separate and later section in this article could serve to summarise the notable other viewpoints, incl. LDS-inspired ones, which are alternatives.--cjllw ʘ TALK 04:53, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I think you're correct on all counts. I'm just not really sure how to go about such a thing. Approximate year-dates of events are mentioned in (at least certain canonical publications of) The Book of Mormon. Hmm... - Gilgamesh 09:02, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Maybe somehow it could be tied in with Limited geography model (Book of Mormon). Whether that's the place, or some other, I dunno. If there are as you say LDS sources which chronologically order events recounted in BoM in the Mesoamerican geographical context, they could be used to piece together the narrative of this particular interpretation. I'm not familiar enough myself with such sources to recommend whether this is viable or not.--cjllw ʘ TALK 01:42, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Ahh, I was unaware of that extremely helpful article's existence. I have since rewritten paragraphs in Geography of Guatemala, Chiapas and Lago de Atitlán to cite that. Prior, I was primarily aware of the rise of theory-based tourism in the region (they frequently show the tourism ads on television during the commercial breaks of the additional programming that airs between the two-hour sessions of the biannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and was unsure how else to relevantly articulate it. That article makes the associations easier to describe, once the focus of description becomes more about religious scholarship than about modern tourism trends. - Gilgamesh 16:53, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I guess those should be OK and sufficient, and agree that tourism promotion sources are best avoided if it can be helped at all. Regards,--cjllw ʘ TALK 03:19, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Protoclassic & Epiclassic[edit]

Does anyone have a ref with a definition of the Maya "Protoclassic", or is it just a vague term referring to the Late Preclassic? If so, it would be useful to have it slotted into the article somewhere.

On a similar note, the Central Mexican Epiclassic would be useful to have in the article too. The article implies that it is synonymous with the Late Classic, but I seem to recall it covers a shorter period in the Late Classic somewhat earlier than the Terminal Classic.

Simon Burchell (talk) 00:00, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Classic/Classical Period[edit]

I don't really know anything about this subject but can I check that the correct term is definitely Classic Period and not Classical Period when talking about Mesoamerican culture. Usually classic is a noun and classical is an adjective. The only exceptions to this tend to be associated with popular culture or mass-produced goods.Yaris678 (talk) 12:52, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Usage can be inconsistent at times, but most general practice is to refer to these eras as Preclassic (or Pre-Classic), Classic, Postclassic (Post-Classic). --cjllw ʘ TALK 02:18, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Cool. Thanks for you help. I have been doing a bit of an overhaul of the article Classic. Take a look.Yaris678 (talk) 15:54, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Formatting[edit]

The page looks awful with that huge space after the first paragraph. Can the "Summary of the Chronology and Cultures of Mesoamerica" box be moved elsewhere or reformatted to get rid of the blank space? Languagehat (talk) 15:35, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

What source is being used for the main timeline?[edit]

I know it's absolutely necessary to pick one formulation of the chronology out of the many slightly different versions that have been published, but I think this one is a little odd. What source was used to pick these particular beginning/ending dates for the various periods? The ones that look particularly odd to me are 1800 BC for the beginning of the Preclassic (I would think the two most common dates given in the literature would be 2500 BC and 2000 BC, although I may be wrong), and AD 1000 for the end of the Classic/beginning of the Postclassic. I'm pretty sure that the most common date for this in the litereature is AD 900. Finally, every chronology I can think of ends the Postclassic with the fall of Tenochtitlan (AD 1521), not the fall of Tayasal. A standard needs to be adopted and explicitly cited. I actually would suggest a sentence or two in the introduction like "There are many variations of this chronological scheme offered by different investigators. The scheme presented below is based on the work of SO-AND-SO (citation)." TCSaint (talk) 21:21, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that all the articles under WP:MESO use this chronology. I think using the fall of Tayasal as the end of the postclassic is reasonable, but you are right that the date for the formative-pre-classic transition is kind of odd. We should probably use this article to actually show the reader the different chronological schemes and what motivates them.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:37, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting that we should change the system used here, just that the source used for this chronology should be explicitly cited and a disclaimer inserted acknowledging that there are many other variations. Oddly enough, I thought that the weirdest date was AD 1000 for the end of the Classic. I can't think of any source that doesn't use A.D. 900. The idea of discussing different chronological schemes in here is a good one but it could easily get out of hand, as there have been so many slight variations over the whole course of research into Mesoamerica. TCSaint (talk) 16:10, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
You are right, we should cite it. I just don't know which source was originally used since the decision of which chronology to use goes back at least to 2006 if not before. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:30, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Clearly time to revisit it then! Given the title of the article, and the existence of academic variation, I would expect a section discussing this, probably including a table setting out some recent top-quality variations. There is no point clinging on to a chronology that a) is probably wrong, b) is effectively unsourced and c) may not reflect latest views, just because lots of articles use it. Johnbod (talk) 01:31, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Chronology[edit]

Copan is missing.

Toltec is missing, right? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.238.63.207 (talk) 03:37, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Lack of citations and conflicting chronoloy[edit]

It is very problematic that this article doesn't contain a single citation. At the moment I have found 3 different years claimed as starting points for the preclassic period mentioned in the article: 2500, 2000 and 1800 BC. Since none of the claims are cited, it is unclear which one is correct. This problem of incorrect chronology has spilled over to other articles mentioning the Mayans. --Saddhiyama (talk) 10:36, 11 October 2013 (UTC)