|Mayapan, a Maya city|
The first section of that work, called "Early Cities," has five survey sections:
Calixtlahuaca, an Aztec-period city
- Cities of the Ancient Mediterranean
- South Asia
|Tiwanaku, and Andean City|
So I did some checking. The chapter "Introduction" (by Peter Clark) contains this sentence:
"in Latin America Mayan, Aztec, and Inca urban networks appear to have grown in the Yucatán and Guatemala, in the Mexico valley, and in present-day Colombia (see Ch. 20)."
So it looks like the editor, Peter Clark, does acknowledge "urban networks" in the New World (although they don't warrant chapters of their own). But take a closer look. What could he mean by the phrase "appear to have grown"? This seems to suggest that perhaps they did not grow (and, by implication, that these societies were non-urban). And the geographic terms show a real ignorance of
|Tenochtitlan, Aztec imperial capital|
"Valley of Mexico", not "the Mexico valley"; yes this is a minor point, but one term is correct and the other is incorrect. And the Inka did NOT flourish in Colombia. The Inka were based in Peru, and their empire (and its imperial cities) reached into Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, but NOT Colombia. Now maybe I am being overly-picky here, but I think the phrase quoted above shows a serious ignorance of New World societies, geography, and urbanism.
|Machu Picchu, Inka royal retreat|
The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History does not completely leave out Mesoamerica and the Andes. The chapter referenced in the quote above, chapter 20, is by Felipe Fernández-Armesto; the chapter is called "Latin America." The main focus of that chapter is Latin America AFTER the Spanish conquest, but Fernández-Armesto does begin with a competent section called "Indigenous traditions" that does review the Maya, Aztec and Inka urban traditions. This chapter is from a section titled "Pre-Modern Cities."
|Monte Alban, Zapotec city|
This isn't the only time I've seen works in the field coming to be known as "World History" that are ignorant of native New World societies. Perhaps this is the difference between comparative schemes by anthropologists (these are almost always truly world-wide in coverage) and those by historians (many such works see "history" as only pertaining to the western tradition, its antecedents, and sometimes places like Africa or Asia.)
To my mind, the Wide Urban World covers the entire world, through time from the earliest cities to the present. If we really want to comprehend cities and urbanism, a broad perspective is essential. Archaeologists have long appreciated the value of an inclusive comparative framework, and scholars of contemporary urbanization are starting to look to ancient and premodern cities as a source of ideas to better understand cities and their problems today and in the future (I'll blog about that before long). In contrast, it seems like some scholars of "world history" have not yet gotten the news. Do you want to know, for example, about the role of cities in imperial expansion? Why not take a look at the ruins of Pikillakta and other cities built by the Wari Empire of the Middle Horizon Andes. This is only one of many examples of New World urbanism that can illuminate broader questions in ancient and modern society and urbanism, as part of the wide urban world.
|Piquillakta, administrative city of the Wari Empire|
Some sources on Pikillakta and the administrative cities of the Wari Empire:
Isbell, William H. and Gordon McEwan (editors)
1991 Huari Administrative Structures. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC.
Jennings, Justin (editor)
2010 Beyond Wari Walls : Regional Perspectives on Middle Horizon Peru. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
1996 Archaeological Investigations at Pikillacta, a Wari Site in Peru. Journal of Field Archaeology 23: 169-186.
McEwan, Gordon F.
1987 The Middle Horizon in the Valley of Cuzco, Peru: The Impact of the Wari Occupation of the Lucre Basin. BAR, International Series, vol. 372. British Archaeological Reports, Oxford.
Schreiber, Katharina J.
1992 Wari Imperialism in Middle Horizon Peru. Anthropological Papers, vol. 87. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
2001 The Wari Empire of Middle Horizon Peru: The Epistemological Challenge of Documenting an Empire Without Documentary Evidence. In Empires: Perspectives from Archaeology and History, edited by Susan E. Alcock, Terence N. D'Altroy, Kathleen D. Morrison, and Carla M. Sinopoli, pp. 70-92. Cambridge University Press, New York.