In Mesoamerica and the Near East, the emergence of the village seems to have involved two stages. In the first stage, individuals were distributed through a series of small circular-to-oval structures, accompanied by communal or “shared” storage features. In the second stage, nuclear families occupied substantial rectangular houses with private storage rooms. Over the last 30 years a wealth of data from the Near East, Egypt, the Trans-Caucasus, India, Africa, and the Southwest U.S. have enriched our understanding of this phenomenon. And in Mesoamerica and the Near East, evidence suggests that nuclear family households eventually gave way to a third stage, one featuring extended family households whose greater labor force made possible extensive multifaceted economies.