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Major time periods in Middle American archaeology
Click on Figure to learn about the Period

The general archaeological time periods used here are built from regional or local chronological sequences. It is important to remember that the beginning and end dates of these sequences can vary by several hundred years from region to region. For example, researchers in Oaxaca place the beginning of the Classic Period at about 100 BCE while researchers in Central Mexico place it closer to 200 CE. While dates may vary slightly, over the course of many decades archaeologists have come to a general agreement about the broad outlines of events taking place during each major time period.

Note: In this site we use BCE or "before the common era" and CE or "common era." These terms are equivalent to BC (meaning before Christ) and AD (meaning Anno Domini or year of our Lord).

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