Search results for: cultural-continuity-in-mesoamerica

Cultural Continuity in Mesoamerica

Author : David L. Browman
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Mesoamerican Elites

Author : Diane Z. Chase
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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.

Continuities and Changes in Maya Archaeology

Author : Charles W. Golden
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This book presents the current state of Maya archaeology by focusing on the history of the field for the last 100 years, present day research, and forward looking prescription for the direction of the field.

Preceramic Mesoamerica

Author : Jon C. Lohse
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Preceramic Mesoamerica delivers cutting-edge research on the Mesoamerican Paleoindian and Archaic periods. The chapters address a series of fundamental questions in American archaeology including the peopling of the Americas, human adaptations to late glacial landscapes, the Neolithic transition, and the origins of sedentism and early village life. This volume presents innovative and previously unpublished research on the Paleoindian and Archaic periods and evaluates current models in light of new findings. Examples include breakthroughs in dating Mesoamerica’s earliest sites and their implications for models of hemispheric colonization; the transition to postglacial patterns of settlement and subsistence; divergent pathways to initial sedentism; the possibility of Archaic-period monumentality; changing patterns of interregional exchange and interaction; and debates surrounding the origins of agriculture, ceramics, and full-time village life. The volume provides a new perspective on the Mesoamerican Preceramic for students and scholars in archaeology, anthropology, and history. Readers will come to understand how the Preceramic contributed to the emergence of the cultural traditions that anthropologists recognize as Mesoamerica.

Mesoamerica After the Decline of Teotihuacan A D 700 900

Author : Richard A. Diehl
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Ceramics and the Spanish Conquest

Author : Gilda Hernández Sánchez
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Focusing on the native ceramic technology of central Mexico during the early colonial period and the present-day, this book offers a refreshing view into the process of cultural continuity and change in the indigenous Mesoamerican world after the Spanish conquest.

War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica

Author : Ross Hassig
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In this study of warfare in ancient Mesoamerica, Ross Hassig offers new insight into three thousand years of Mesoamerican history, from roughly 1500 B.C. to the Spanish conquest. He examines the methods, purposes, and values of warfare as practiced by the major pre-Columbian societies and shows how warfare affected the rise of the state.

The Legacy of Mesoamerica

Author : Robert M. Carmack
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The Legacy of Mesoamerica: History and Culture of a Native American Civilization summarizes and integrates information on the origins, historical development, and current situations of the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. It describes their contributions from the development of Mesoamerican Civilization through 20th century and their influence in the world community. For courses on Mesoamerica (Middle America) taught in departments of anthropology, history, and Latin American Studies.

Aztec Archaeology and Ethnohistory

Author : Frances F. Berdan
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This book provides an up-to-date synthesis of Aztec culture, encompassing topics of history, economy, social life, political relations, and religious beliefs and ceremonies. It offers an integrated view of Aztec life, grappling with thorny issues such as human sacrifice and the controversial role of up-and-coming merchants. The book meshes data, methods, and theories from a variety of disciplines including archaeology, ethnohistory, ethnography, and art history.

Interregional Interaction in Ancient Mesoamerica

Author : Joshua Englehardt
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Interregional Interaction in Ancient Mesoamerica explores the role of interregional interaction in the dynamic sociocultural processes that shaped the pre-Columbian societies of Mesoamerica. Interdisciplinary contributions from leading scholars investigate linguistic exchange and borrowing, scribal practices, settlement patterns, ceramics, iconography, and trade systems, presenting a variety of case studies drawn from multiple spatial, temporal, and cultural contexts within Mesoamerica. Archaeologists have long recognized the crucial role of interregional interaction in the development and cultural dynamics of ancient societies, particularly in terms of the evolution of sociocultural complexity and economic systems. Recent research has further expanded the archaeological, art historical, ethnographic, and epigraphic records in Mesoamerica, permitting a critical reassessment of the complex relationship between interaction and cultural dynamics. This volume builds on and amplifies earlier research to examine sociocultural phenomena—including movement, migration, symbolic exchange, and material interaction—in their role as catalysts for variability in cultural systems. Interregional cultural exchange in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica played a key role in the creation of systems of shared ideologies, the production of regional or “international” artistic and architectural styles, shifting sociopolitical patterns, and changes in cultural practices and meanings. Interregional Interaction in Ancient Mesoamerica highlights, engages with, and provokes questions pertinent to understanding the complex relationship between interaction, sociocultural processes, and cultural innovation and change in the ancient societies and cultural histories of Mesoamerica and will be of interest to archaeologists, linguists, and art historians. Contributors: Philip J. Arnold III, Lourdes Budar, José Luis Punzo Diaz, Gary Feinman, David Freidel, Elizabeth Jiménez Garcia, Guy David Hepp, Kerry M. Hull, Timothy J. Knab, Charles L. F. Knight, Blanca E. Maldonado, Joyce Marcus, Jesper Nielsen, John M. D. Pohl, Iván Rivera, D. Bryan Schaeffer, Niklas Schulze

Ancient Mesoamerica

Author : Richard E. Blanton
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In this revised and updated 1993 edition the authors synthesize recent research to provide a comprehensive survey of Mesoamerica.

Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents

Author : Rex Koontz
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El Tajín, an ancient Mesoamerican capital in Veracruz, Mexico, has long been admired for its stunning pyramids and ballcourts decorated with extensive sculptural programs. Yet the city's singularity as the only center in the region with such a wealth of sculpture and fine architecture has hindered attempts to place it more firmly in the context of Mesoamerican history. In Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents, Rex Koontz undertakes the first extensive treatment of El Tajín's iconography in over thirty years, allowing us to view its imagery in the broader Mesoamerican context of rising capitals and new elites during a period of fundamental historical transformations. Koontz focuses on three major architectural features—the Pyramid of the Niches/Central Plaza ensemble, the South Ballcourt, and the Mound of the Building Columns complex—and investigates the meanings of their sculpture and how these meanings would have been experienced by specific audiences. Koontz finds that the iconography of El Tajín reveals much about how motifs and elite rites growing out of the Classic period were transmitted to later Mesoamerican peoples as the cultures centered on Teotihuacan and the Maya became the myriad city-states of the Early Postclassic period. By reexamining the iconography of sculptures long in the record, as well as introducing important new monuments and contexts, Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents clearly demonstrates El Tajín's numerous iconographic connections with other areas of Mesoamerica, while also exploring its roots in an indigenous Gulf lowlands culture whose outlines are only now emerging. At the same time, it begins to uncover a largely ignored regional artistic culture of which Tajín is the crowning achievement.

Heritage Or Heresy

Author : Cameron Jean Walker
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How can we effectively interpret and present one culture to another without stereotypes or over-simplifications? What is the best way to present an authoritative version of a national heritage without also endangering ancient sites or being insensitive to the local customs, beliefs, and religious practices of the indigenous peoples? This volume addresses the ongoing thrust in archaeology to take the next step after preserving the past: interpreting that past for the future. That future audience includes both local citizens and tourists who may have little background in archaeology, anthropology, or the history of the culture featured. Walker presents the key components of the anthropological study of tourism as a global phenomenon, with particular emphasis on the more prominent arguments for how and why tourism is a universal and meaningful human activity. The highly controversial topic of authenticity is examined, with special attention given to how "authentic" has been defined and how it relates to the ways in which archaeological sites, artifacts, and cultural traditions are presented--or not presented--to the visiting public. The ephemeral promise of “authenticity” drives the heritage tourism industry, which is a key consideration for the long term economy of the Maya Riviera and elsewhere. Through analysis of seven archaeological sites on the Yucatan peninsula that are open to heritage touring, Walker reveals the planned growth of the Maya Riviera since the early 1970s and examines the impact of international tourism on both ancient structures and the contemporary Maya people and culture.

Visiting the Calvario at Mitla Oaxaca

Author : William R. Arfman
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In the centre of the Mexican town of Mitla stands a run-down chapel on an overgrown pre-colonial pyramid. The chapel, housing three crosses, is the town's Calvario, the local representation of the hill on which Christ died. Although buses full of tourists on their way to Chiapas or on daytrips from Oaxaca City swarm the town every day almost none of them ever visit the Calvario. Instead they stick to the tourist zone to marvel at the famous mosaic friezes of the pre-colonial temples and shop for traditional souvenirs in the tourist market. If they would climb the steep steps to the chapel they would discover that despite appearances the building still sees extensive use as pilgrims from the wide Zapotec region visit it to bring offerings to and ask favours of the souls of their dearly departed. And as these offerings consist of elaborate arrangements of flowers, fruits, black candles, cacao beans and bundles of copal incense, such tourists might well start to wonder where the origins of these practices lie. It is this question that this thesis seeks to answer. To achieve this, current theories on cultural continuity, syncretism, the materiality of religion and ritual theory are combined with a study of archaeological, historical, iconographical and anthropological sources. In addition ethnographic fieldwork has been conducted to come to a better understanding of the offerings made in the Calvario today. In three parts, the thesis first addresses the history of Mitla as 'The Place of the Dead', then of the Calvario as a ritual location and finally of the offerings for the dead. Combining these three lines of research an interesting image is formed of the continuity of ancestor veneration in this busy tourist town.

Cultural Economies Past and Present

Author : Rhoda H. Halperin
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When anthropologists and other students of culture want to compare different societies in such areas as the organization of land, labor, trade, or barter, they often discover that individual researchers use these concepts inconsistently and from a variety of theoretical approaches, so that data from one society cannot be compared with data from another. In this book, Rhoda Halperin offers an analytical tool kit for studying economic processes in all societies and at all times. She uniquely organizes the book around key concepts: economy, ecology, equivalencies, householding, storage, and time and the economy. These concepts are designed to facilitate the understanding of similarities, differences, and changes between contemporary and past economies. While this is not only a "how-to" book or handbook, it can be used as such. It will be of great value to scholars and students of archaeology and history, as well as to ethnographers and economists.

Political Strategies in Pre Columbian Mesoamerica

Author : Sarah Kurnick
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Political authority contains an inherent contradiction. Rulers must reinforce social inequality and bolster their own unique position at the top of the sociopolitical hierarchy, yet simultaneously emphasize social similarities and the commonalities shared by all. Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica explores the different and complex ways that those who exercised authority in the region confronted this contradiction. New data from a variety of well-known scholars in Mesoamerican archaeology reveal the creation, perpetuation, and contestation of politically authoritative relationships between rulers and subjects and between nobles and commoners. The contributions span the geographic breadth and temporal extent of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica—from Preclassic Oaxaca to the Classic Petén region of Guatemala to the Postclassic Michoacán—and the contributors weave together archaeological, epigraphic, and ethnohistoric data. Grappling with the questions of how those exercising authority convince others to follow and why individuals often choose to recognize and comply with authority, Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica discusses why the study of political authority is both timely and significant, reviews how scholars have historically understood the operation of political authority, and proposes a new analytical framework to understand how rulers rule. Contributors include Sarah B. Barber, Joanne Baron, Christopher S. Beekman, Jeffrey Brzezinski, Bryce Davenport, Charles Golden, Takeshi Inomata, Arthur A. Joyce, Sarah Kurnick, Carlo J. Lucido, Simon Martin, Tatsuya Murakami, Helen Perlstein Pollard, and Víctor Salazar Chávez.

Historical Dictionary of Mesoamerica

Author : Walter Robert Thurmond Witschey
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Mesoamerica is one of six major areas of the world where humans independently changed their culture from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle into settled communities, cities, and civilization. In addition to China (twice), the Indus Valley, the Fertile Crescent of southwest Asia, Egypt, and Peru, Mesoamerica was home to exciting and irreversible changes in human culture called the Neolithic Revolution. The changes included domestication of plants and animals, leading to agriculture, husbandry, and eventually sedentary village life. These developments set the stage for the growth of cities, social stratification, craft specialization, warfare, writing, mathematics, and astronomy, or what we call the rise of civilization. These changes forever transformed humankind. The Historical Dictionary of Mesoamerica covers the history of Mesoamerica through a chronology, an introductory essay, an extensive bibliography, and over 900 cross-referenced dictionary entries covering the major peoples, places, ideas, and events related to Mesoamerica. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Mesoamerica."

Supplement to the Handbook of Middle American Indians Volume 1

Author : Victoria Bricker
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The sixteen-volume Handbook of Middle American Indians, completed in 1976, has been acclaimed the world over as the most valuable resource ever produced for those involved in the study of Mesoamerica. When it was determined in 1978 that the Handbook should be updated periodically, Victoria Reifler Bricker, well-known cultural anthropologist, was selected to be series editor. This first volume of the Supplement is devoted to the dramatic changes that have taken place in the field of archaeology. The volume editor, Jeremy A. Sabloff, has gathered together detailed reports from the directors of many of the most significant archaeological projects of the mid-twentieth century in Mesoamerica, along with discussions of three topics of general interest (the rise of sedentary life, the evolution of complex culture, and the rise of cities).

Hidden Among the Hills

Author : Hanns J. Prem
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The Mesoamerican Indian Languages

Author : Jorge A. Suarez
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At least a hundred indigenous Indian languages are known to have been spoken in Mesoamerica, but it is only in the past fifty years that many of them have been adequately described. Professor Suárez draws together this considerable mass of scholarship in a general survey that will provide an invaluable source of reference.