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The Postclassic to Spanish-Era Transition in Mesoamerica

Archaeological Perspectives

Edited by Susan Kepecs and Rani T. Alexander

Publication Year: 2005

In this volume, thirteen anthropological archaeologists working in historical time frames in Mesoamerica, including editors Susan Kepecs and Rani Alexander, break down the artificial barrier between archaeology and history by offering new material evidence of the transition from native-ruled, prehispanic society to the age of Spanish administration. Taken together, the chapters contained herein cover most of the key Mesoamerican regions that eventually came under Spanish control.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press


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TItle Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii


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p. ix

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pp. xi-xii

Scholars who dig in the ground for source materials and those who dig around in archives have traditionally lived in different intellectual worlds. Born as a formal discipline before archaeology, history long ago divided the human past into periods when people left written records (history) and earlier non-literate periods (prehistory).Archaeologists were consigned to (or...

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ONE. The Postclassic to Spanish-EraTransition in Mesoamerica: An Introduction

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pp. 1-12

The purpose of this volume is to trace the broad processes of culture change in Mesoamerica occasioned by the Spanish invasion from a long-term archaeological perspective that spans several centuries on either side of the first European arrivals. No one would underrate the tragic consequences of the Spanish conquest—a...

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TWO. The Aztec Palace under Spanish Rule: Disk Motifs in the Mapa de M

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pp. 13-34

In Late Postclassic central Mexico, each community’s political life was centered upon the local lord’s residence and administrative headquarters. This building was called the tecpan-calli, literally meaning “lordplace house” in Nahuatl, the Aztec language (Figure 2.1). Thus the tecpan (as the building is usually called) had a continuing institutional identity, a role in community...

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THREE. Consumption and the Varied Ideologies of Domination in Colonial Mexico City

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pp. 35-48

The concept of ideology is often used when analyzing stratified societies with a clearly defined dominant class (or classes) and strategies of display and domination. Wolf (1999:4) defined ideology as “the unified schemes or configurations developed to underwrite or manifest power.”Many others have emphasized that ideologies help create and emphasize thoughts...

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FOUR. The Basin of Mexico A.D. 1450–1620: Archaeological Dimensions

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pp. 49-63

In the historical archaeology of the Basin of Mexico (Figure 4.1) the brunt of the Spanish conquest appears earliest and most clearly in Late Horizon Tenochtitlán- Tlatelolco, the macro-urban center of the indigenous Tenochca city-state’s imperial system and, as Early Colonial Mexico-Tenochtitlán, the regional center of the...

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FIVE. From Imperial Core to Colonial Peripher: yThe Lake Pátzcuaro Basin 1400–1800

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pp. 65-76

In 1522, the Tarascan king ruled over a domain of more than 75,000 km2 in the west-central highlands of Mexico, including the modern state of Michoac

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SIX. The Consequences of Spanish Colonial Rule for the Indigenous Peoples of Chiapas, Mexico

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pp. 77-96

Despite a flurry of media attention on Chiapas and on the plight of the state’s Maya population following the 1994 Zapatista rebellion, the history of Chiapas remains poorly understood compared to other regions of Mesoamerica. The state of Chiapas is large (Figure 6.1); it is geographically, environmentally, and ethnically diverse; and the various regions of the...

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SEVEN. On the Margins of Peripheries: The Consequences of Differential Incorporation in the Colonial Southwest

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pp. 97-115

Landlocked, and at a remove of 1,800 miles from its namesake city, seventeenth-century la Nueva México was, in the words of one colonial governor, a kingdom remote beyond compare, “the last [place] on earth” (Kessell 1989:181; Figure 7.1).1 Extension of Spanish colonial hegemony over the “interior lands” or...

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EIGHT. Mayas, Spaniards, and Salt: World Systems Shifts in Sixteenth-Century Yucat

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pp. 117-137

The true subject of historical archaeology, according to cutting-edge theorist Charles Orser (1996:71–72; see also Trigger 1980, 1989;Wolf 1982:ix) is the juncture of Eurocentrism, colonialism, capitalism, and modernity. Until recently, Mayanists—generally a conservative group (Kepecs 1999; Marcus 1983a)—have been slow...

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NINE. Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Maya Political Geography in Central Pet

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pp. 139-160

There is ample archaeological evidence for the development of Maya civilization over several millennia in the lowlands of the modern political Department of El Pet

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TEN. Isla Cilvituk and the Difficulties of Spanish Colonization in Southwestern Campeche

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pp. 161-181

When the Spaniards colonized southwestern Campeche (1525–1660), they tried to implement the same policies that were proving effective throughout New Spain. To maximize tributary surplus, the Spanish administration aggregated the Maya population in specific locations, vested the authority for tribute collection...

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ELEVEN. Postcolonial Conquest of the Southern Maya Lowlands, Cross-Cultural Interaction, and Lacandon Maya Culture Change

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pp. 183-201

Foreign conquest, the introduction of Christianity, colonization of indigenous territory, and the longterm socioeconomic interaction between native peoples and European colonists occurred comparatively late in the lowland rainforests of Chiapas,Mexico, and Petén, Guatemala. Here the Ch’olan- and Yucatec-...


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pp. 203-252


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p. 253


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pp. 255-260

E-ISBN-13: 9780826337412
E-ISBN-10: 0826337414
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826337399
Print-ISBN-10: 0826337392

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 5 halftones, 13 line drawings, 37 maps
Publication Year: 2005

OCLC Number: 779181655
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Postclassic to Spanish-Era Transition in Mesoamerica

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Subject Headings

  • Indians of Mexico -- Antiquities.
  • Mexico -- Antiquities.
  • Guatemala -- Antiquities.
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Guatemala.
  • New Spain -- History.
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Mexico.
  • Indians of Central America -- Guatemala -- Antiquities.
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