Contributors synthesize these regional transformations and continuities in the lower Rio Verde Valley, the Valley of Oaxaca, and the Mixteca Alta. They provide data from material culture, architecture, codices, ethnohistoric documents, and ceramics, including a revised ceramic chronology from the Late Classic to the end of the Postclassic that will be crucial to future investigations. After Monte Albán establishes Postclassic Oaxaca's central place in the study of Mesoamerican antiquity.
Contributors include Jeffrey P. Blomster, Bruce E. Byland, Gerardo Gutierrez, Byron Ellsworth Hamann, Arthur A. Joyce, Stacie M. King, Michael D. Lind, Robert Markens, Cira Martínez López, Michel R. Oudijk, and Marcus Winter.
Alcohol in Ancient Mexico reconstructs the variety and extent of distillation traditions in the ancient cultures of Mexico, describing in detail the various plants and processes used to make such beverages, their prevalence, and their significance for local culture.
The art of distillation arrived in Mexico with the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. However, well before that time, native skills and available resources had contributed to a well-developed tradition of intoxicating beverages, many of which are still produced and consumed.
In the 1930’s Henry Bruman visited various Mexican and Central American Indian tribes to reconstruct the variety and extent of these ancient traditions. He discerned five distinct areas defined by the culturally most significant beverages, all superimposed over the great mescal wine region. Within these five areas he noted wine made from cactus, cactus fruit, cornstalks, and mesquite pods; beer from sprouted maize; and fermented sap from pulque agaves.
Outside the mescal region he observed widespread consumption in the Yucatan of a wine made from fermented honey and balché bark, plus lesser-known beverages in other regions. He also observed the frequent inclusion in the fermentation process of alkaloid-bearing ingredients such as peyote and tobacco, plants whose roots or bark contain saponins—which act as cardiac poisons—and even poisons from certain toads.
Alcohol in Ancient Mexico also considers the relative absence of alcoholic drink in the southwestern United States, the introduction of sills following the Spanish conquest, and possible sources for the introduction of coconut wine.
Previously unpublished, the research presented here retains its relevance today, and the photographs offer a fascinating glimpse at a traditional world that has now almost vanished.
The title of Edmonson's work refers to the Mayan custom of first predicting their history and then living it, and it may be that no other peoples have ever gone so far in this direction. The Book of Chilam Balam was a sacred text prepared by generations of Mayan priests to record the past and to predict the future. The official prophet of each twenty-year rule was the Chilam Balam, or Spokesman of the Jaguar—the Jaguar being the supreme authority charged with converting the prophet's words into fact.
This is a literal but poetic translation of one of fourteen known manuscripts in Yucatecan Maya on ritual and history. It pictures a world of all but incredible numerological order, slowly yielding to Christianity and Spanish political pressure but never surrendering. In fact, it demonstrates the surprising truth of a secret Mayan government during the Spanish rule, which continued to collect tribute in the names of the ruined Classic cities and preserved the essence of the Mayan calendar as a legacy for the tradition's modern inheritors.
The history of the Yucatecan Maya from the seventh to the nineteenth century is revealed. And this is history as the Maya saw it—of a people concerned with lords and priests, with the cosmology which justified their rule, and with the civil war which they perceived as the real dimension of the colonial period.
A work of both history and literature, the Tizimin presents a great deal of Mayan thought, some of which has been suspected but not previously documented. Edmonson's skillful reordering of the text not only makes perfect historical sense but also resolves the long-standing problem of correlating the two colonial Mayan calendars. The book includes both interpretative and literal translations, as well as the Maya parallel couplets and extensive annotations on each page. The beauty of the sacred text is illuminated by the literal translation, while both versions unveil the magnificent historical, philosophical, and social traditions of the most sophisticated native culture in the New World.
The prophetic history of the Tizimin creates a portrait of the continuity and vitality, of the ancient past and the foreordained future of the Maya.
Establishing ancient population numbers and determining how they were distributed across a landscape over time constitute two of the most pressing problems in archaeology. Accurate population data is crucial for modeling, interpreting, and understanding the past. Now, advances in both archaeology and technology have changed the way that such approximations can be achieved.
Including research from both highland central Mexico and the tropical lowlands of the Maya and Olmec areas, this book reexamines the demography in ancient Mesoamerica. Contributors present methods for determining population estimates, field methods for settlement pattern studies to obtain demographic data, and new technologies such as LiDAR (light detecting and ranging) that have expanded views of the ground in forested areas. Contributions to this book provide a view of ancient landscape use and modification that was not possible in the twentieth century. This important new work provides new understandings of Mesoamerican urbanism, development, and changes over time.
M. Charlotte Arnauld
Adrian S. Z. Chase
Arlen F. Chase
Diane Z. Chase
Elyse D. Z. Chase
Gary M. Feinman
L. J. Gorenflo
Scott R. Hutson
Gerardo Jimenez Delgado
Javier Lopez Mejia
Michael L. Loughlin
Christopher A. Pool
Ian G. Robertson
Jeremy A. Sabloff
Travis W. Stanton
The Pacific coast and southern highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala is a region significant to debates about the origins of social complexity, interaction, and colonialism. The area, however, has received uneven attention and much of what we know is largely restricted to the Preclassic period. This theoretically eclectic volume presents greater temporal coverage, is geographically unified, and engages some of the most important questions of each period through a discussion of the archaeology of identity.
Chapters range from traditional assessments of identity to discussion of practice and relational personhood; all share a concern for how archaeology and ethnohistory provide opportunities and challenges in the reconstruction of identities. The region is one with a multifaceted history of interactions between local populations and those from other parts of Mesoamerica. Linguistic diversity, landscape, and artistic representations have added to the complexities of understanding identity formation here. Rather than providing a unified voice on the issues, Archaeology and Identity on the Pacific Coast and Southern Highlands of Mesoamerica is a dialogue presented through case studies, one that will hopefully encourage future research in this complex and little understood region of Mesoamerica.
Between 1967 and 1975 archaeologists from SUNY-Buffalo led a multidisciplinary project in the Marismas Nacionales, a vast, resource-rich estuary and mangrove forest of coastal Sinaloa and Nayarit, west Mexico. Michael Foster and fellow archaeologists provide a much-needed synthesis of these investigations, drawing from previously unpublished data and published reports to provide a comprehensive look at the region.
While in the field, the SUNY team recovered a variety of material artifacts and 248 human remains. Their findings, along with the project’s background, history, and analyses, are detailed in this volume’s thirteen chapters and nine appendices. Also included are supporting geomorphic, environmental, and ethnohistoric studies that establish the context for local human settlement and change. Evidence indicates that as the coastal plain grew, ceramic-bearing agriculturalists moved into the area and participated in far-reaching exchanges of goods and resources. This book makes a significant and lasting contribution to our knowledge of what today remains an understudied region of greater Mesoamerica.
Marismas Burial Descriptions, Supplemental Digital Material
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.
Contributors examining early agriculture offer models for understanding the transition to agriculture, explore relationships between the spread of agriculture and Uto-Aztecan migrations, and present data from Arizona, New Mexico, and Chihuahua. Contributors focusing on social identity discuss migration, enculturation, social boundaries, and ethnic identities. They draw on case studies that include diverse artifact classes - rock art, lithics, architecture, murals, ceramics, cordage, sandals, baskets, faunal remains, and oral histories. Mexican scholars present data from Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Michoacan, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon. They address topics including Spanish-indigenous conflicts, archaeological history, cultural landscapes, and interactions among Mesoamerica, northern Mexico, and the U.S. Southwest.
Laurie D. Webster is a visiting scholar in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Maxine E. McBrinn is a postdoctoral research scientist at the Field Museum in Chicago. Proceedings of the 2004 Southwest Symposium. Contributors include Karen R. Adams, M. Nicolás Caretta, Patricia Carot, John Carpenter, Jeffery Clark, Linda S. Cordell, William E. Doolittle, Suzanne L. Eckert, Gayle J. Fritz, Eduardo Gamboa Carrera, Leticia González Arratia, Arturo Guevara Sánchez, Robert J. Hard, Kelly Hays-Gilpin, Marie-Areti Hers, Amber L. Johnson, Steven A. LeBlanc, Patrick Lyons, Jonathan B. Mabry, A. C. MacWilliams, Federico Mancera, Maxine E. McBrinn, Francisco Mendiola Galván, William L. Merrill, Martha Monzón Flores, Scott G. Ortman, John R. Roney, Guadalupe Sanchez de Carpenter, Moisés Valadez Moreno, Bradley J. Vierra, Laurie D. Webster, and Phil C. Weigand.
Through interpretation of a wide array of historical sources—including descriptions of public rituals, accounts of indigenous rebellions, idolatry trials, legal petitions, court cases, land disputes, and indigenous pictorial histories—Yannakakis weaves together an elegant narrative that illuminates political and cultural struggles over the terms of local rule. As cultural brokers, native intermediaries at times reconciled conflicting interests, and at other times positioned themselves in opposing camps over the outcome of municipal elections, the provision of goods and labor, landholding, community ritual, the meaning of indigenous “custom” in relation to Spanish law, and representations of the past. In the process, they shaped an emergent “Indian” identity in tension with other forms of indigenous identity and a political order characterized by a persistent conflict between local autonomy and colonial control. This innovative study provides fresh insight into colonialism’s disparate cultures and the making of race, ethnicity, and the colonial state and legal system in Spanish America.
The Art of Urbanism explores how the royal courts of powerful Mesoamerican centers represented their kingdoms in architectural, iconographic, and cosmological terms. Through an investigation of the ecological contexts and environmental opportunities of urban centers, the contributors consider how ancient Mesoamerican cities defined themselves and reflected upon their physical—and metaphysical—place via their built environment. Themes in the volume include the ways in which a kingdom’s public monuments were fashioned to reflect geographic space, patron gods, and mythology, and how the Olmec, Maya, Mexica, Zapotecs, and others sought to center their world through architectural monuments and public art.This collection of papers addresses how communities leveraged their environment and built upon their cultural and historical roots as well as the ways that the performance of calendrical rituals and other public events tied individuals and communities to both urban centers and hinterlands. Twenty-three scholars from archaeology, anthropology, art history, and religious studies contribute new data and new perspectives to the understanding of ancient Mesoamericans’ own view of their spectacular urban and ritual centers.
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