The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology provides a current and comprehensive guide to the recent and on-going archaeology of Mesoamerica. Though the emphasis is on prehispanic societies, this Handbook also includes coverage of important new work by archaeologists on the Colonial and Republican periods. Unique among recent works, the text brings together in a single volume article-length regional syntheses and topical overviews written by active scholars in the field of Mesoamerican archaeology. The first section of the Handbook provides an overview of recent history and trends of Mesoamerica and articles on national archaeology programs and practice in Central America and Mexico written by archaeologists from these countries. These are followed regional syntheses organized by time period, beginning with early hunter-gatherer societies and the first farmers of Mesoamerica and concluding with a discussion of the Spanish Conquest and frontiers and peripheries of Mesoamerica. Topical and comparative articles comprise the remainder of Handbook. They cover important dimensions of prehispanic societies—from ecology, economy, and environment to social and political relations—and discuss significant methodological contributions, such as geo-chemical source studies, as well as new theories and diverse theoretical perspectives. The Handbook concludes with a section on the archaeology of the Spanish conquest and the Colonial and Republican periods to connect the prehispanic, proto-historic, and historic periods. This volume will be a must-read for students and professional archaeologists, as well as other scholars including historians, art historians, geographers, and ethnographers with an interest in Mesoamerica.
In Mesoamerican Elites, Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase present a wide variety of essays, all of which evaluate current archaeological knowledge of the privileged ruling classes, or elites, in Mesoamerica. Some experts argue that Mesoamerican societies consisted only of elites and peasants, while others argue that considerable intermediate social levels also existed. In light of such diverse opinions, this volume addresses problems in the interpretation of archaeological evidence regarding ancient Mesoamerican social structure.
Embracing a wide range of research, this book offers various views on the intellectual history of Maya archaeology and ethnohistory and the processes operating in the rise and fall of Maya civilization. The fourteen studies were selected from those presented at the Second Cambridge Symposium on Recent Research in Mesoamerican Archaeology and are presented in three major sections. The first of these deals with the application of theory, both anthropological and historical, to the great civilization of the Classic Maya, which flourished in the Yucatan, Guatemala, and Belize during the first millennium A.D. The structural remains of the Classic Period have impressed travelers and archaeologists for over a century, and aspects of the development and decline of this strange and brilliant tropical forest culture are examined here in the light of archaeological research. The second section presents the results of field research ranging from the Highlands of Mexico east to Honduras and north into the Lowland heart of Maya civilization, and iconographic study of excavated material. The third section covers the ethnohistoric approach to archaeology, the conjunction of material and documentary evidence. Early European documents are used to illuminate historic Maya culture. This section includes transcriptions of previously unpublished archival material. Although not formally linked beyond their common field of inquiry, the essays here offer a conspectus of late-twentieth century Maya research and a series of case histories of the work of some of the leading scholars in the field.
Discoveries and Research in Mesoamerican Art and Archaeology
Author: Henry B. Nicholson
Category: Aztec art
"Collection of papers from a 1991 symposium focuses on Mixteca-Puebla concept and associated stylistic/iconographic tradition of the postclassic period. Includes papers on history of the concept and discussions of particular regions/subregions: Tlaxcala,Puebla, Cholula, Mixteca, Oaxaca, central Mexico, Tehuacâan, and Nicoya. Illustrations include color plates"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.
Archaic and Formative Lifeways in the Soconusco Region
Author: Richard G. Lesure
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Social Science
"Data and interpretations generated from the Soconusco are critical but often fail to inform larger debates in Mesoamerica as frequently as they should. This book remedies that situation; it will be of interest to all Mesoamericanists who work on the Archaic and Formative periods."--Jeffrey P. Blomster, editor of After Monte Alban: Transformation and Negotiation in Oaxaca, Mexico "This volume will be crucial to our understanding of the origins of civilization in Mesoamerica. Its interpretations are innovative and present a wealth of new research on an early time period from a very important region. Its importance cannot be underestimated."--Terry G. Powis, Department of Anthropology, Kennesaw State University
Mesoamerica has become one of the most important areas for research into the emergence of complex human societies. Between 10,000 years ago and the arrival of the Spanish in 1521, some very significant changes in the evolution of human societies occurred. In this revised and updated edition of a book first published in 1981, the authors synthesize recent research, focusing on three intensively studied regions, the Valleys of Oaxaca and Mexico and the Maya lowlands. A theoretical framework of ideas is developed to explain long-term change in complex societies.
Although Quiriguá and its magnificent carved monuments have been recorded and studied by scholars over the past century, little archaeological data were available until recently. From 1973 through 1979, the University Museum sponsored investigations at this major lowland Maya site in eastern Guatemala. The aims of the work were to document a basic chronology, to determine the nature and pattern of structures, and to test hypotheses concerning the origins, location, and demise of Quiriguá. University Museum Monograph, 49
A Rockshelter in the Sierra Madre Oriental, Mexico
Author: C. Roger Nance
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Category: Social Science
On a remote mountainside 2,000 meters above sea level in the northern Sierra Madre Oriental, the rockshelter at La Calsada has yielded basic archaeological data for one of the least understood regions of prehistoric North America, the state of Nuevo León in northern Mexico. This comprehensive site report, with detailed information on artifacts and stratigraphy, provides baseline data for further explorations in the region and comparisons with other North American hunter-gatherer groups. Radiocarbon dating traces the earliest component at the site to 8600-7500 B.C., giving La Calsada arguably the earliest well-dated lithic complex in Mexico. Nance describes some 1,140 recovered stone tools, with comparisons to the archaeology of southern and southwestern Texas, as well as reported sites in Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León, Mexico. From the lithic and stratigraphic analysis, Nance deduces occupational patterns at the site, beginning with Paleo-Indian cultures that lived in the area until about 7500 B.C. Through changes in tool technology, he follows the rise of the Abasolo tradition around 3000 B.C. and the appearance of a new culture with a radically different lithic industry around 1000 A.D.
Prehispanic Domestic Units in Western Mesoamerica presents different analytical approaches for interpreting household composition and cultural site formation processes in prehispanic western Mesoamerica. Archaelogical data collected using both stratigraphic and reconnaisance methods are combined with and interpreted using a combination of ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and ethnoarchaeological information. The result is a richer and more complete picture of prehispanic household structure than any single analytic approach could produce on its own. The book is organized into several sections based on common theme and geographic area. The first three chapters provide a broad discussion of conceptual and methodological difficulties that archaeologists must resolve in the study of prehispanic households. Subsequent chapters present case studies which examine households from two areas of western Mesoamerica: the Central Mexican highlands and the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Eight case studies from the Central Mexican highlands provide a longitudinal perspective on changing household composition. Four of these examine households during the late Formative, Classic, Epiclassic, and Early Postclassic periods (650 B.C.-A.D. 1200), while four others focus specifically on household structure during the century immediately preceding the Spanish Conquest. Two additional case studies provide comparative information on household organization in the South Gulf Coast region during the Classic period. Prehispanic Domestic Units in Western Mesoamerica: Studies of the Household, Compound, and Residence will be an excellent reference for all anthropologists and archaeologists interested in prehispanic western Mesoamerica.
Bringing together seven papers given at a major conference on MesoAmerican studies held at the British Museum in 1995, this book uncovers new findings in three major geographical regions of MesoAmerica.
Summarizes the knowledge of prehistoric regional exchange in the American Southwest and Mesoamerica. Suitable for anthropologists and archaeologists, this volume presents data for comparative analysis of regional systems relative to sociopolitical organization.
"Sixteen scholars on both sides of the border present recent research on the economy, history, religion, and far-reaching influence of Casas Grandes. Macaw feathers, copper, shells, ritual mounds, and ball fields all reveal the secrets of Casas Grandes, a massive town whose trading network extended from the Chihuahua Desert up through the American Southwest"--Provided by publisher.
This volume examines the commensal politics of early states and empires and offers a comparative perspective on how food and feasting have figured in the political calculus of archaic states in both the Old and New Worlds. It provides a cross-cultural and comparative analysis for scholars and graduate students concerned with the archaeology of complex societies, the anthropology of food and feasting, ancient statecraft, archaeological approaches to micro-political processes, and the social interpretation of prehistoric pottery.
Jackie Michenaud is a brilliant archologist and professor at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. She has a loving but often strained relationship with Frank Collins, a successful young lawyer on a fast track with a posh law firm in nearby Phoenix. Franks work-a-day life is dramatically changed when his friend, noted author Patrick Nelson, is threatened with eviction from his idyllic cabin in Central Arizona. Frank suffers an accident in his private plane under suspicious circumstances while en route to Patricks cabin. Frank and Jackie unite in an effort to protect their threatened friend. They form a team including Franks boss, Abe Sackman, friend and retired air force aviator, Peter Billingsley, and Jackies assistant, Mary Hendrix. Together the group is drawn into a dangerous investigation which leads them from an apparent Aztec temple (hidden for centuries within Arizonas Prescott National Forest) to the ruins of el Templo Mayor in the center of (Tenochtitln) Mexico City.