Let CH be the class of compacta (i.e., compact Hausdorff spaces), with BS the subclass of Boolean spaces. For each ordinal α and pair (K, L) of subclasses of CH, we define Lev≥α(K, L), the class of maps of level at least α from spaces in K to spaces in L, in such a way that, for finite α, Lev≥α(BS, BS) consists of the Stone duals of Boolean lattice embeddings that preserve all prenex first-order formulas of quantifier rank α. Maps of level ≥ 0 are just the continuous surjections, and the maps of level ≥ 1 are the co-existential maps introduced in . Co-elementary maps are of level ≥ω a for all ordinals α: of course in the Boolean context, the co-elementary maps coincide with the maps of level ≥ ω. The results of this paper include:
(i) every map of level ≥ ωis co-elementary;
(ii) the limit maps of an co-indexed inverse system of maps of level ≥ α are also of level ≥ α; and
(iii) if K is a co-elementary class, k > ω and Lev≥k(K,K) = Lev≥k+1(K,K), then Lev≥1(K,K) = Lev≥(K,K).
A space X ∈ K is co-existentially closed inK if Lev≥0(K, X) = Lev≥1(K,X). Adapting the technique of “adding roots,” by which one builds algebraically closed extensions of fields (and, more generally, existentially closed extensions of models of universal-existential theories), we showed in  that every infinite member of a co-inductive co-elementary class (such as CH itself, BS, or the class CON of continua) is a continuous image of a space of the same weight that is co-existentially closed in that class. We show here that every compactum that is co-existentially closed in CON (a co-existentially closed continuum) is both indecomposable and of covering dimension one.