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The Archaeology of West and Northwest Mexico
Edited by Michael S. Foster and Shirley Gorenstein
Archaeology / Mesoamerica
Mesoamerican studies, as they are still practiced today, are framed by the Spanish colonial intrusion into Mexico from the east, and subsequent involvement with the Aztec Empire. Greater Mesoamerica expands the definition of "Mesoamerica" beyond the more traditionally accepted central Mexican areas to both western and northwestern Mexico where sophisticated cultures were flourishing outside the realm of Spanish influence. It is the first comprehensive overview of both regions since the Handbook of Middle American Indians was published in the early 1970s.
Based on recent archaeological surveys and excavations, the chapters in this volume provide current, comprehensive, area-by-area summaries of the region's Precolumbian past, noting the discovery of new cultural configurations, new connections, and new complexities.
Michael Foster is a senior archaeologist and senior project director for the cultural resources division at Logan Simpson Design in Tempe, Arizona. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Shirley Gorenstein is a professor emerita of anthropology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She lives in New York City.
Table of Contents:
Figures and Tables
1. West and Northwest Mexico: The Ins and Outs of Mesoamerica - Shirley Gorenstein and Michael S. Foster
2. The Late and Terminal Preclassic in Southeastern Guanajuato: Heartland or Periphery? - Charles A. Florance
3. A Summary of the Archaeology of North-Central Mesoamerica: Guanajuato, Guerétaro, and San Luis Potosí - Beatriz Braniff C.
4. The Evolution and Decline of a Core of Civilization: The Teuchitlán Tradition and the Archaeology of Jalisco - Phil C. Weigand
5. Tarascans and Their Ancestors: Prehistory of Michoacán - Helen Perlstein Pollard
6. Tarascan External Relationships - Helen Perlstein Pollard
7. Prehispanic Cultural Development along the Southern Coast of West Mexico - Joseph B. Mountjoy
8. The Prehistory of Mexico's Northwest Coast: A View from the Marismas Nacionales of Sinaloa and Nayarit - Stuart D. Scott and Michael S. Foster
9. The Aztatlán Mercantile System: Mobile Traders and the Northwestward Expansion of Mesoamerican Civilization - J. Charles Kelley
10. Archaeology of Southern Zacatecas: The Malapaso, Juchipila, and Valparaiso-Bolaños Valleys - Peter F. Jiménez Betts and J. Andrew Darling
11. The Archaeoastronomical System in the Río Colorado Chalchihuites Polity, Zacatecas: An Interpretation of the Chapín I Pecked Cross-Circle - J. Charles Kelley and Ellen Abbott Kelley
12. The Archaeology of Durango - Michael S. Foster
13. Recent Advances in Chihuahuan Archaeology - Ronna Jane Bradley
14. The Archaeological Traditions of Sonora - María Elisa Villalpando
15. From Tzintzuntzan to Paquimé: Peers or Peripheries in Greater Mesoamerica? - Michael W. Spence
Praise and Reviews:
"This volume is the first comprehensive, serious look at the west and north in decades...[It] challenges some old paradigms that have stunted research and proposes some exciting new ideas."
—Robert Pickering, Denver Museum of Natural History
"The most important and comprehensive treatment published so far on western-northwestern Mexico. With the book's broad coverage and extensive bibliography, it is instantly the major resource and reference work for the up-to-date prehistory of that region."
—New Mexico Historical Review
"An extremely important contribution to the archaeology of an area previously referred to as the Mesoamerican periphery and until the past 20 years little known. This book is substantive, critical, well written, illustrated, and produced. A most important work and one that should find its way to the libraries of serious Mesoamerican students and scholars."
—Journal of the West
"This volume is a significant contribution to our understanding of west and northwest Mexico and the relationships with central Mexico."
"Both Mesoamerican and Southwestern archaelogists should read it to understand the lines that channel their efforts."
—Latin American Antiquity
"The first comprehensive overview of both regions since the Handbook of Middle American Indians was published in the early 1970s."