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"The best treatment of the subject matter to date."—Marcello A. Canuto, Yale University
Were most commoners in ancient Mesoamerica poor? In a material sense, yes, probably so. Were they poor in their beliefs and culture? Certainly not, as Commoner Ritual and Ideology in Ancient Mesoamerica demonstrates. This volume explores the ritual life of Mesoamerica's common citizens, inside and outside of the domestic sphere, from Formative through Postclassic periods. Building from the premise that ritual and ideological expression inhered at all levels of society in Mesoamerica, the contributors demonstrate that ideology did not emanate solely from exalted individuals and that commoner ritual expression was not limited to household contexts. Taking an empirical approach to this under-studied and under-theorized area, contributors use material evidence to discover how commoner status conditioned the expression of ideas and values. Revealing complex social hierarchies that varied across time and region, this volume offers theoretical approaches to commoner ideology, religious practice, and sociopolitical organization and builds a framework for future study of the correlation of ritual and ideological expression with social position for Mesoamericanists and archaeologists worldwide.
The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan, A Nahua Vision of the Conquest of Guatemala
"This book is truly a pathbreaking work. No Mesoamericanist or scholar of the Conquest can afford to be without it." —The Sixteenth Century Journal
"Asselbergs . . . is the first scholar to identify the map as depicting the Quauhquecholteca invasion of Guatemala and to offer an accurate, detailed, and fully contextualized analysis of the document. Asselberg's book, however, is far more than an art-historical analysis of a single map. Her discussion of the lienzo is so thorough and clearly presented as to make her study possibly the best book yet published on the Spanish (or Spanish-Nahua) conquest of Guatemala."—Hispanic American
In Conquered Conquistadors, Florine Asselbergs reveals that a large pictorial map, the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan, long thought to represent a series of battles in central Mexico, was actually painted in the 1530s by Quauhquecholteca warriors to document their invasion of Guatemala alongside the Spanish and to proclaim themselves as conquistadors. This painting is the oldest known map of Guatemala and a rare document of the experiences of indigenous conquistadors. The people of the Nahua community of Quauhquechollan (present-day San Martín Huaquechula), in central Mexico, allied with Cortés during the Spanish-Aztec War and were assigned to the Spanish conquistador Jorge de Alvarado. De Alvarado and his allies, including the Quauhquecholteca and thousands of other indigenous warriors, set off for Guatemala in 1527 to start a campaign against the Maya. The few Quauhquecholteca who lived to tell the story recorded their travels and eventual victory on the huge cloth map, the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan. Conquered Conquistadors, published in a European edition in 2004, overturned conventional views of the European conquest of indigenous cultures. American historians and anthropologists will relish this new edition and Asselbergs's astute analysis, which includes context, interpretation, and comparison with other pictographic accounts of the "Spanish" conquest.
Organized by the theme of place and place-making in the Southwest, Contemporary Archaeologies of the Southwest emphasizes the method and theory for the study of radical changes in religion, settlement patterns, and material culture associated with population migration, colonialism, and climate change during the last 1,000 years. Chapters address place-making in Chaco Canyon, recent trends in landscape archaeology, the formation of identities, landscape boundaries, and the movement associated with these aspects of place-making. They address how interaction of peoples with objects brings landscapes to life. Representing a diverse cross section of Southwestern archaeologists, the authors of this volume push the boundaries of archaeological method and theory, building a strong foundation for future Southwest studies. This book will be of interest to professional and academic archaeologists, as well as students working in the American Southwest.
An Environmental History of the Colorado River
The Colorado River is a vital resource to urban and agricultural communities across the Southwest, providing water to 30 million people. Contested Waters tells the river’s story— a story of conquest, control, division, and depletion.
Beginning in prehistory and continuing into the present day, Contested Waters focuses on three important and often overlooked aspects of the river’s use: the role of western water law in its over-allocation, the complexity of power relationships surrounding the river, and the concept of sustainable use and how it has been either ignored or applied in recent times. It is organized in two parts, the first addresses the chronological history of the river and long-term issues, while the second examines in more detail four specific topics: metropolitan perceptions, American Indian water rights, US-Mexico relations over the river, and water marketing issues. Creating a complete picture of the evolution of this crucial yet over-utilized resource, this comprehensive summary will fascinate anyone interested in the Colorado River or the environmental history of the Southwest.
Past archaeological literature on cooperation theory has emphasized competition’s role in cultural evolution. As a result, bottom-up possibilities for group cooperation have been under theorized in favor of models stressing top-down leadership, while evidence from a range of disciplines has demonstrated humans to effectively sustain cooperative undertakings through a number of social norms and institutions. Cooperation and Collective Action is the first volume to focus on the use of archaeological evidence to understand cooperation and collective action.
Disentangling the motivations and institutions that foster group cooperation among competitive individuals remains one of the few great conundrums within evolutionary theory. The breadth and material focus of archaeology provide a much needed complement to existing research on cooperation and collective action, which thus far has relied largely on game-theoretic modeling, surveys of college students from affluent countries, brief ethnographic experiments, and limited historic cases. In Cooperation and Collective Action, diverse case studies address the evolution of the emergence of norms, institutions, and symbols of complex societies through the last 10,000 years. This book is an important contribution to the literature on cooperation in human societies that will appeal to archaeologists and other scholars interested in cooperation research.
The 1540-1542 Route across the Southwest
"Valuable studies of current research and interpretation concerning the possible route of Vasquez de Coronado."—Hispanic American Historical Review
The Coronado Expedition to Tierra Nueva is an engaging record of key research by archaeologists, ethnographers, historians, and geographers concerning the first organized European entrance into what is now the American Southwest and northwestern Mexico. In search of where the expedition went and what peoples it encountered, this volume explores the fertile valleys of Sonora, the basins and ranges of southern Arizona, the Zuni pueblos and the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, and the Llano Estacado of the Texas panhandle. The twenty-one contributors to the volume have pursued some of the most significant lines of research in the field in the last fifty years; their techniques range from documentary analysis and recording traditional stories to detailed examination of the landscape and excavation of campsites and Indian towns. With more confidence than ever before, researchers are closing in on the route of the conquistadors.
Cosmology, Calendars, and Horizon-Based Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica is an interdisciplinary tour de force that establishes the critical role astronomy played in the religious and civic lives of the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica. Providing extraordinary examples of how pre-Columbian peoples merged ideas about the cosmos with those concerning calendar and astronomy, the volume showcases the value of detailed examinations of astronomical data for understanding ancient cultures.
The volume is divided into three sections: investigations into Mesoamerican horizon-based astronomy, the cosmological principles expressed in Mesoamerican religious imagery and rituals related to astronomy, and the aspects of Mesoamerican calendars related to archaeoastronomy. It also provides cutting-edge research on diverse topics such as records of calendar and horizon-based astronomical observation (like the Dresden and Borgia codices), iconography of burial assemblages, architectural alignment studies, urban planning, and counting or measuring devices.
Contributors—who are among the most respected in their fields— explore new dimensions in Mesoamerican timekeeping and skywatching in the Olmec, Maya, Teotihuacano, Zapotec, and Aztec cultures. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of anthropology, archaeology, art history, and astronomy.
Reconstructing an American Myth
First published in 1975 and now in paperback, Cowboy Life continues to be a landmark study on the historical and legendary dimensions of the cowboy. The central figure in American mythology, the cowboy can be seen everywhere: in films, novels, advertisements, TV, sports, and music. Though his image holds little resemblance to the historical cowboy, it is important because it represents many qualities with which Americans identify, including bravery, honor, chivalry, and individualism. Accounts by Joseph G. McCoy, Richard Irving Dodge, Charles A. Siringo, and many others detail the daily trials and tribulations of cowboy life on the southern Great Plains-particularly Texas, Indian Territory, and Kansas-from the 1860s to around 1900. And in a new Afterword, editor William W. Savage, Jr., discusses the directions the cowboy myth has taken in the past two decades, as well as the impact the "new Western history" and films such as Lonesome Dove have had on popular culture.
The Unites States, the International Geophysical Year, and the origins of Antarctica's Age of Science
In Deep Freeze, Dian Olson Belanger tells the story of the pioneers who built viable communities, made vital scientific discoveries, and established Antarctica as a continent dedicated to peace and the pursuit of science, decades after the first explorers planted flags in the ice. In the tense 1950s, even as the world was locked in the Cold War, U.S. scientists, maintained by the Navy's Operation Deep Freeze, came together in Antarctica with counterparts from eleven other countries to participate in the International Geophysical Year (IGY). On July 1, 1957, they began systematic, simultaneous scientific observations of the south-polar ice and atmosphere. Their collaborative success over eighteen months inspired the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which formalized their peaceful pursuit of scientific knowledge. Still building on the achievements of the individuals and distrustful nations thrown together by the IGY from mutually wary military, scientific, and political cultures, science prospers today and peace endures. The year 2007 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the IGY and the commencement of a new International Polar Year - a compelling moment to review what a singular enterprise accomplished in a troubled time. Belanger draws from interviews, diaries, memoirs, and official records to weave together the first thorough study of the dawn of Antarctica's scientific age. Deep Freeze offers absorbing reading for those who have ventured onto Antarctic ice and those who dream of it, as well as historians, scientists, and policy makers.
An Archaeological History
"An innovative look at the archaeology of a region (the Central Great Plains) through a longitudinal study of human occupation in a specific place - Denver, Colorado. It is an exciting, well-written account that sheds light on how people have survived changes in climate, plant life, animals, and human events over the past 14,000 years."—Choice Magazine
A vivid account of the prehistory and history of Denver as revealed in its archaeological record, Denver: An Archaeological History invites us to imagine Denver as it once was. Around 12,000 B.C., groups of leather-clad Paleoindians passed through the juncture of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, following the herds of mammoth or buffalo they hunted. In the Archaic period, people rested under the shade of trees along the riverbanks, with baskets full of plums as they waited for rabbits to be caught in their nearby snares. In the early Ceramic period, a group of mourners adorned with yellow pigment on their faces and beads of eagle bone followed Cherry Creek to the South Platte to attend a funeral at a neighboring village. And in 1858, the area was populated by the crude cottonwood log shacks with dirt floors and glassless windows, the homes of Denver's first inhabitants. For at least 10,000 years, Greater Denver has been a collection of diverse lifeways and survival strategies, a crossroads of interaction, and a locus of cultural coexistence. Setting the scene with detailed descriptions of the natural environment, summaries of prehistoric sites, and archaeologists' knowledge of Denver's early inhabitants, Nelson and her colleagues bring the region's history to life. From prehistory to the present, this is a compelling narrative of Denver's cultural heritage that will fascinate lay readers, amateur archaeologists, professional archaeologists, and academic historians alike.