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The Ancient Maya Marketplace Cover

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The Ancient Maya Marketplace

The Archaeology of Transient Space

Edited by Eleanor M. King

Trading was the favorite occupation of the Maya, according to early Spanish observers such as Fray Diego de Landa (1566). Yet scholars of the Maya have long dismissed trade—specifically, market exchange—as unimportant. They argue that the Maya subsisted primarily on agriculture, with long-distance trade playing a minor role in a largely non-commercialized economy.

The Ancient Maya Marketplace reviews the debate on Maya markets and offers compelling new evidence for the existence and identification of ancient marketplaces in the Maya Lowlands. Its authors rethink the prevailing views about Maya economic organization and offer new perspectives. They attribute the dearth of Maya market research to two factors: persistent assumptions that Maya society and its rainforest environment lacked complexity, and an absence of physical evidence for marketplaces—a problem that plagues market research around the world.

Many Mayanists now agree that no site was self-sufficient, and that from the earliest times robust local and regional exchange existed alongside long-distance trade. Contributors to this volume suggest that marketplaces, the physical spaces signifying the presence of a market economy, did not exist for purely economic reasons but served to exchange information and create social ties as well.

The Ancient Maya Marketplace offers concrete links between Maya archaeology, ethnohistory, and contemporary cultures. Its in-depth review of current research will help future investigators to recognize and document marketplaces as a long-standing Maya cultural practice. The volume also provides detailed comparative data for premodern societies elsewhere in the world.

Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World Cover

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Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World

Edited by Paul E. Minnis and Michael E. Whalen

Paquimé, the great multistoried pre-Hispanic settlement also known as Casas Grandes, was the center of an ancient region with hundreds of related neighbors. It also participated in massive networks that stretched their fingers through northwestern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. Paquimé is widely considered one of the most important and influential communities in ancient northern Mexico and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World, edited by Paul E. Minnis and Michael E. Whalen, summarizes the four decades of research since the Amerind Foundation and Charles Di Peso published the results of the Joint Casas Grandes Expeditions in 1974.
The Joint Casas Grandes Expedition revealed the extraordinary nature of this site: monumental architecture, massive ball courts, ritual mounds, over a ton of shell artifacts, hundreds of skeletons of multicolored macaw and their pens, copper from west Mexico, and rich political and religious life with Mesoamerican-related images and rituals. Paquimé was not one sole community but was surrounded by hundreds of outlying villages in the region, indicating a zone that sustained thousands of inhabitants and influenced groups much farther afield.
In celebration of the Amerind Foundation’s seventieth anniversary, sixteen scholars with direct and substantial experience in Casas Grandes archaeology present nine chapters covering its economy, chronology, history, religion, regional organization, and importance. The two final chapters examine Paquimé in broader geographic perspectives. This volume sheds new light on Casas Grandes/Paquimé, a great town well-adapted to its physical and economic environment that disappeared just before Spanish contact.

Ancient Plants and People Cover

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Ancient Plants and People

Contemporary Trends in Archaeobotany

Edited by Marco Madella, Carla Lancelotti, and Manon Savard

Mangroves and rice, six-row brittle barley and einkorn wheat. Ancient crops for prehistoric people. What do they have in common? All tell us about the lives and cultures of long ago, as humans cultivated or collected these plants for food. Exploring these and other important plants used for millennia by humans, Ancient Plants and People presents a wide-angle view of the current state of archaeobotanical research, methods, and theories.

Food has a public and private role, and it permeates the life of all people in a society. Food choice, production, and distribution probably represent the most complex indicators of social life, and thus a study of foods consumed by ancient peoples reveals many clues about their lifestyles. But in addition to yielding information about food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption, plant remains recovered from archaeological sites offer precious insights on past landscapes, human adaptation to climate change, and the relationship between human groups and their environment. Revealing important aspects of past human societies, these plant-driven insights widen the spectrum of information available to archaeologists as we seek to understand our history as a biological and cultural species.

Often answers raise more questions. As a result, archaeobotanists are constantly pushed to reflect on the methodological and theoretical aspects of their discipline. The contributors discuss timely methodological issues and engage in debates on a wide range of topics from plant utilization in hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists to uses of ancient DNA. Ancient Plants and People provides a global perspective on archaeobotanical research, particularly on the sophisticated interplay between the use of plants and their social or environmental context.

An Anthropologist’s Arrival Cover

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An Anthropologist’s Arrival

A Memoir

Ruth M. Underhill, Edited by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Stephen E. Nash

Ruth M. Underhill (1883–1984) was one of the twentieth century’s legendary anthropologists, forged in the same crucible as Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict, and Margaret Mead. After decades of trying to escape her Victorian roots, Underhill took on a new adventure at the age of forty-six, when she entered Columbia University as a doctoral student of anthropology. Celebrated now as one of America’s pioneering anthropologists, Underhill reveals her life’s journey in frank, tender, unvarnished revelations that form the basis of An Anthropologist’s Arrival. This memoir, edited by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Stephen E. Nash, is based on unpublished archives, including an unfinished autobiography and interviews conducted prior to her death, held by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
    In brutally honest words, Underhill describes her uneven passage through life, beginning with a searing portrait of the Victorian restraints on women and her struggle to break free from her Quaker family’s privileged but tightly laced control. Tenderly and with humor she describes her transformation from a struggling “sweet girl” to wife and then divorcée. Professionally she became a welfare worker, a novelist, a frustrated bureaucrat at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a professor at the University of Denver, and finally an anthropologist of distinction.
    Her witty memoir reveals the creativity and tenacity that pushed the bounds of ethnography, particularly through her focus on the lives of women, for whom she served as a role model, entering a working retirement that lasted until she was nearly 101 years old.
    No quotation serves to express Ruth Underhill’s adventurous view better than a line from her own poetry: “Life is not paid for. Life is lived. Now come.”

Archaeology  and Apprenticeship Cover

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Archaeology and Apprenticeship

Body Knowledge, Identity, and Communities of Practice

Willeke Wendrich

Archaeologists study a wide array of material remains to propose conclusions about non-material aspects of culture. The intricacies of these findings have increased over recent decades, but only limited attention has been paid to what the archaeological record can tell us about the transfer of cultural knowledge through apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship is broadly defined as the transmission of culture through a formal or informal teacher–pupil relationship. This collection invites a wide discussion, citing case studies from all over the world and yet focuses the scholarship into a concise set of contributions. The chapters in this volume demonstrate how archaeology can benefit greatly from the understanding of the social dimensions of knowledge transfer. This book also examines apprenticeship in archaeology against a backdrop of sociological and cognitive psychology literature, to enrich the understanding of the relationship between material remains and enculturation.

Each of the authors in this collection looks specifically at how material remains can reveal several specific aspects of ancient cultures: What is the human potential for learning? How do people learn? Who is teaching? Why are they learning? What are the results of such learning? How do we recognize knowledge transfer in the archaeological record? These fundamental questions are featured in various forms in all chapters of the book. With case studies from the American Southwest, Alaska, Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Mesopotamia, this book will have broad appeal for scholars—particularly those concerned with cultural transmission and traditions of learning and education—all over the world.

Archaeology at El Perú-Waka’ Cover

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Archaeology at El Perú-Waka’

Ancient Maya Performances of Ritual, Memory, and Power

Edited by Olivia C. Navarro-Farr and Michelle Rich

Archaeology at El Perú-Waka’ is the first book to summarize long-term research at this major Maya site. The results of fieldwork and subsequent analyses conducted by members of the El Perú-Waka’ Regional Archaeological Project are coupled with theoretical approaches treating the topics of ritual, memory, and power as deciphered through material remains discovered at Waka’.  The book is site-centered, yet the fifteen wide-ranging contributions offer readers greater insight to the richness and complexity of Classic-period Maya culture, as well as to the ways in which archaeologists believe ancient peoples negotiated their ritual lives and comprehended their own pasts.
El Perú-Waka’ is an ancient Maya city located in present-day northwestern Petén, Guatemala. Rediscovered by petroleum exploration workers in the mid-1960s, it is the largest known archaeological site in the Laguna del Tigre National Park in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve. The El Perú-Waka’ Regional Archaeological Project initiated scientific investigations in 2003, and through excavation and survey, researchers established that Waka’ was a key political and economic center well integrated into Classic-period lowland Maya civilization, and reconstructed many aspects of Maya life and ritual activity in this ancient community. The research detailed in this volume provides a wealth of new, substantive, and scientifically excavated data, which contributors approach with fresh theoretical insights. In the process, they lay out sound strategies for understanding the ritual manipulation of monuments, landscapes, buildings, objects, and memories, as well as related topics encompassing the performance and negotiation of power throughout the city’s extensive sociopolitical history.

The Archaeology of Kinship Cover

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The Archaeology of Kinship

Advancing Interpretation and Contributions to Theory

Bradley E. Ensor

Archaeology has been subjected to a wide range of misunderstandings of kinship theory and many of its central concepts. Demonstrating that kinship is the foundation for past societies’ social organization, particularly in non-state societies, Bradley E. Ensor offers a lucid presentation of kinship principles and theories accessible to a broad audience. He provides not only descriptions of what the principles entail but also an understanding of their relevance to past and present topics of interest to archaeologists. His overall goal is always clear: to illustrate how kinship analysis can advance archaeological interpretation and how archaeology can advance kinship theory.
The Archaeology of Kinship supports Ensor’s objectives: to demonstrate the relevance of kinship to major archaeological questions, to describe archaeological methods for kinship analysis independent of ethnological interpretation, to illustrate the use of those techniques with a case study, and to provide specific examples of how diachronic analyses address broader theory. As Ensor shows, archaeological diachronic analyses of kinship are independently possible, necessary, and capable of providing new insights into past cultures and broader anthropological theory. Although it is an old subject in anthropology, The Archaeology of Kinship can offer new and exciting frontiers for inquiry.
Kinship research in general—and prehistoric kinship in particular—is rapidly reemerging as a topical subject in anthropology. This book is a timely archaeological contribution to that growing literature otherwise dominated by ethnology.

Arizona Cover

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A History, Revised Edition

Thomas E. Sheridan

Hailed as a model state history thanks to Thomas E. Sheridan's thoughtful analysis and lively interpretation of the people and events shaping the Grand Canyon State, Arizona has become a standard in the field. Now, just in time for Arizona's centennial, Sheridan has revised and expanded this already top-tier state history to incorporate events and changes that have taken place in recent years. Addressing contemporary issues like land use, water rights, dramatic population increases, suburban sprawl, and the US-Mexico border, the new material makes the book more essential than ever. It successfully places the forty-eighth state's history within the context of national and global events. No other book on Arizona history is as integrative or comprehensive.

From stone spear points more than 10,000 years old to the boom and bust of the housing market in the first decade of this century, Arizona: A History explores the ways in which Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and Anglos have inhabited and exploited Arizona. Sheridan, a life-long resident of the state, puts forth new ideas about what a history should be, embracing a holistic view of the region and shattering the artificial line between prehistory and history. Other works on Arizona's history focus on government, business, or natural resources, but this is the only book to meld the ethnic and cultural complexities of the state's history into the main flow of the story.

A must read for anyone interested in Arizona's past or present, this extensive revision of the classic work will appeal to students, scholars, and general readers alike.

Aztlán Arizona Cover

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Aztlán Arizona

Mexican American Educational Empowerment, 1968–1978

Darius V. Echeverría

Aztlán Arizona is a history of the Chicano Movement in Arizona in the 1960s and 1970s. Focusing on community and student activism in Phoenix and Tucson, Darius V. Echeverría ties the Arizona events to the larger Chicano and civil rights movements against the backdrop of broad societal shifts that occurred throughout the country. Arizona’s unique role in the movement came from its (public) schools, which were the primary source of Chicano activism against the inequities in the judicial, social, economic, medical, political, and educational arenas.
    The word Aztlán, originally meaning the legendary ancestral home of the Nahua peoples of Mesoamerica, was adopted as a symbol of independence by Chicano/a activists during the movement of the 1960s and 1970s.  In an era when poverty, prejudice, and considerable oppositional forces blighted the lives of roughly one-fifth of Arizonans, the author argues that understanding those societal realities is essential to defining the rise and power of the Chicano Movement.
    The book illustrates how Mexican American communities fostered a togetherness that ultimately modified larger Arizona society by revamping the educational history of the region. The concluding chapter outlines key Mexican American individuals and organizations that became politically active in order to address Chicano educational concerns. This Chicano unity, reflected in student, parent, and community leadership organizations, helped break barriers, dispel the Mexican American inferiority concept, and create educational change that benefited all Arizonans.
    No other scholar has examined the emergence of Chicano Movement politics and its related school reform efforts in Arizona. Echeverría’s thorough research, rich in scope and interpretation, is coupled with detailed and exact endnotes. The book helps readers understand the issues surrounding the Chicano Movement educational reform and ethnic identity. Equally important, the author shows how residual effects of these dynamics are still pertinent today in places such as Tucson.

Baja California Missions Cover

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Baja California Missions

In the Footsteps of the Padres

David Burckhalter and Mina Sedgwick

Bathed in desert light and shadow, rising up from the earth in improbable, faraway places, stand eight original Spanish missions on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Built of stone by Roman Catholic priests and indigenous laborers in the eighteenth century, these stunning missions dominate the landscape around them. Baja California Missions: In the Footsteps of the Padres is a beautiful and informative book about the eight monumental Spanish colonial churches, buildings seldom seen by those familiar with the missions of California, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico. 

With gorgeous photographs of the architecture and religious art, and supported by a concise history that outlines the peninsula’s exploration and colonization by Roman Catholic priests, Baja California Missions excels as a book of photography and history. It promises adventure for readers at home, as well as for travelers ready to explore the churches in person. 

The eight Spanish colonial stone churches of Baja California endure as the only intact originals of 34 missions built by the padres during the peninsula’s colonization. Due to structural renovations and restorations of the artwork undertaken over the last 30 years, the renowned mission churches have become sources of pride to the citizens of Baja California. Travelers are invited to visit at any time, especially during patron saint day celebrations. 

As a guide, Baja California Missions is fully up to date, with directions for navigating Baja’s paved highways and desert and mountain roads. The mission sites are pinpointed on a topographic roadmap of the peninsula. A church floor plan is provided to accompany a walk-through tour for each church interior. The lovely eighteenth-century oil paintings and wooden statues that grace the church altars are also identified and described.

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