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Political Evolution in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Xoo Phase
"The story presented by the authors and the artifact collection remains a rich and by no means exhuasted mine of information. . .The Lords of Lambityeco succeeds in conveying the richness and complexity of the Mesoamerican archaeological record and the possibilities for interpretations at a level of detail most educated laypersons would not think possible."—Stephen A. Kowalewski, Colonial Latin American Historical Review The Valley of Oaxaca was unified under the rule of Monte Albán until its collapse around AD 800. Using findings from John Paddock's long-term excavations at Lambityeco from 1961 to 1976, Michael Lind and Javier Urcid examine the political and social organization of the ancient community during the Xoo Phase (Late Classic period). Focusing on change within this single archaeological period rather than between time periods, The Lords of Lambityeco traces the changing political relationships between Lambityeco and Monte Albán that led to the fall of the Zapotec state. Using detailed analysis of elite and common houses, tombs, and associated artifacts, the authors demonstrate increased political control by Monte Albán over Lambityeco prior to the abandonment of both settlements. Lambityeco is the most thoroughly researched Classic period site in the valley after Monte Albán, but only a small number of summary articles have been published about this important locale. This, in combination with Lambityeco's status as a secondary center - one that allows for greater understanding of core and periphery dynamics in the Monte Albán state - makes The Lords of Lambityeco a welcome and significant contribution to the literature on ancient Mesoamerica.
New Approaches to Understanding an Ancient Maya Manuscript
“The Madrid Codex offers a new and nuanced understanding of one of the few surviving Maya hieroglyphic books, a porthole into the ancient Maya mind and a poignant reminder of how much was in a world now lost. [It is] a barrage of scholarship from leading scholars in everything from iconography to archaeoastronomy. . . . The Madrid Codex, on the basis of the impressive scholarship in every chapter of this book, now takes its place as a crucial document of this cultural ferment and fusion." —Antiquity
This volume offers new calendrical models and methodologies for reading, dating, and interpreting the general significance of the Madrid Codex. The longest of the surviving Maya codices, this manuscript includes texts and images painted by scribes conversant in Maya hieroglyphic writing, a written means of communication practiced by Maya elites from the second to the fifteenth centuries A.D. Some scholars have recently argued that the Madrid Codex originated in the Petén region of Guatemala and postdates European contact. The contributors to this volume challenge that view by demonstrating convincingly that it originated in northern Yucatán and was painted in the Pre-Columbian era. In addition, several contributors reveal provocative connections among the Madrid and Borgia group of codices from Central Mexico.
Words and Worlds of the Chilam Balam
"The Chilam Balam books of Yucatan rank with the Popol Vuh as major works of Maya literature, and the most important book about them is this one. Timothy Knowlton's interpretation is the most insightful, sophisticated, and nuanced that has ever been written."—Dennis Tedlock, State University of New York at Buffalo There is no Classical Yucatecan Maya word for "myth." But around the close of the seventeenth century, an anonymous Maya scribe penned what he called u kahlay cab tu kinil, "the world history of the era," before Christianity came to the Peten. He collected numerous accounts of the cyclical destruction and reestablishment of the cosmos; the origins of gods, human beings, and the rituals and activities upon which their relationship depends; and finally the dawn of the sun and the sacred calendar Maya diviners still use today to make sense of humanity's place in the otherwise inscrutable march of time. These creation myths eventually became part of the documents known today as the Books of Chilam Balam. Maya Creation Myths provides not only new and outstanding translations of these myths but also an interpretive journey through these often misunderstood texts, providing insight into Maya cosmology and how Maya intellectuals met the challenge of the European clergy's attempts to eradicate their worldviews. Unlike many scholars who focus primarily on traces of pre-Hispanic culture or Christian influence within the Books of Chilam Balam, Knowlton emphasizes the diversity of Maya mythic traditions and the uniquely Maya discursive strategies that emerged in the Colonial period.
Three Calendars from Highland Guatemala
"This volume makes available priceless documents about the Maya of highland Guatemala. Their transcription and translation conserves vital legacies of Maya thought, conservation even more critical in light of the especially brutal repression and violence against Maya peoples in recent decades. . . . The three calendars are - individually and collectively - invaluable resources for scholars." —Wendy Ashmore, University of California Riverside
In Maya Daykeeping, three divinatory calendars from highland Guatemala - examples of a Mayan literary tradition that includes the Popul Vuh, Annals of the Cakchiquels, and the Titles of the Lords of Totonicapan - dating to 1685, 1722, and 1855, are transcribed in K'iche or Kaqchikel side-by-side with English translations. Calendars such as these continue to be the basis for prognostication, determining everything from the time for planting and harvest to foreshadowing illness and death. Good, bad, and mixed fates can all be found in these examples of the solar calendar and the 260-day divinatory calendar. The use of such calendars is mentioned in historical and ethnographic works, but very few examples are known to exist. Each of the three calendars transcribed and translated by John M. Weeks, Frauke Sachse, and Christian M. Prager - and housed at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - is unique in structure and content. Moreover, except for an unpublished study of the 1722 calendar by Rudolf Schuller and Oliver La Farge (1934), these little-known works appear to have escaped the attention of most scholars. Introductory essays contextualize each document in time and space, and a series of appendixes present previously unpublished calendrical notes assembled in the early twentieth century. Providing considerable information on the divinatory use of calendars in colonial highland Maya society previously unavailable without a visit to the University of Pennsylvania's archives, Maya Daykeeping is an invaluable primary resource for Maya scholars.
"This book is significant, as it is the first edited volume in more than two decades to focus on the Postclassic and Colonial period Maya. It brings together a diverse body of literature, useful for scholars studying all periods of Maya history. It also provides excellent comparative case studies to be used by Colonial period scholars working around the globe."—Maxine Oland, Journal of Anthropological Research
"Maya Worldviews at Conquest contributes a renewed perspective on the anthropological concept of worldview by focusing on the articulation of multiple worldviews: past and present, familiar and foreign, conflictive and collaborative. This contribtion is best seen as a collective rather than as a singular argument from any one individual chapter." —Christina T. Halperin, Cambridge Archaeological Journal
Maya Worldviews at Conquest examines Maya culture and social life just prior to contact and the effect the subsequent Spanish conquest, as well as contact with other Mesoamerican cultures, had on the Maya worldview. Focusing on the Postclassic and Colonial periods, Maya Worldviews at Conquest provides a regional investigation of archaeological and epigraphic evidence of Maya ideology, landscape, historical consciousness, ritual practices, and religious symbolism before and during the Spanish conquest. Through careful investigation, the volume focuses on the impact of conversion, hybridization, resistance, and revitalization on the Mayans' understanding of their world and their place in it. The volume also addresses the issue of anthropologists unconsciously projecting their modern worldviews on the culture under investigation. Thus, the book critically defines and strengthens the use of worldviews in the scholarly literature regardless of the culture studied, making it of value not only to Maya scholars but also to those interested in the anthropologist's projection of worldview on other cultures in general.
Mining Companies, Technology, and the Hot Spring Gold Rush, Montana Territory, 1864-1868
"In this fascinating, fine-grained study of the rapid rise and even more rapid fall of one Montana mining district, Jeffrey J. Safford provides some answers, skillfully revealing how the 'mechanics of optimism' of the 1860s too often led capitalists and their mine managers into financial disaster. . . . Safford is such a fine storyteller that we end up caring enough about these men and their grandiose dreams that we indulge in our own unwarranted optimism, hoping they might yet succeed in the end. The do not succeed, of course, just like in the majority of other western mining ventures. Historians have long recognized that mining and mining investments in the American West were more likely to generate bankruptcies and lawsuits than wealth. Despite this realization, most mining historians have still preferred to attend at the birth of success rather than at the post-mortem of failure. Safford's book shows us why this prejudice for winners is such a mistake, demonstrating that the serious study of failure may tell us more about the history of the American West than do our traditional tales of success. . . . The Mechanics of Optimism should win a wide readership. Historians of mining in the American West will find the book indispensable, but there is also much to interest historians of technology, business historians, and a general audience seeking to better understand the mining frontier."— Timothy J. LeCain, Mining History Journal
Archaeological Studies of Cooking and Food Preparation
Although the archaeology of food has long played an integral role in our understanding of past cultures, the archaeology of cooking is rarely integrated into models of the past. The cooks who spent countless hours cooking and processing food are overlooked and the forgotten players in the daily lives of our ancestors. The Menial Art of Cooking shows how cooking activities provide a window into other aspects of society and, as such, should be taken seriously as an aspect of social, cultural, political, and economic life. This book examines techniques and technologies of food preparation, the spaces where food was cooked, the relationship between cooking and changes in suprahousehold economies, the religious and symbolic aspects of cooking, the relationship between cooking and social identity, and how examining foodways provides insight into social relations of production, distribution, and consumption. Contributors use a wide variety of evidence—including archaeological data; archival research; analysis of ceramics, fauna, botany, glass artifacts, stone tools, murals, and painted ceramics; ethnographic analogy; and the distribution of artifacts across space—to identify evidence of cooking and food processing left by ancient cooks. The Menial Art of Cooking is the first archaeological volume focused on cooking and food preparation in prehistoric and historic settings around the world and will interest archaeologists, social anthropologists, sociologists, and other scholars studying cooking and food preparation or subsistence.
From Teotihuacan to the Aztecs
"This volume is the most important treatment of the subject to date. . . . Born of a combination of advances in epigraphy, improved archaeological techniques, and detailed iconographic analyses - all on display here - this Mesoamerican 'new history' is the single most important intellectual event in the field in recent times." —Hispanic American Historical Review
"The high powered roster of archaeologists and cultural historians contributing . . . goes most of the way, at last, to showing how and why the mythic Toltecs must be distinguished from the later historic Toltecs who created but one version of Mesoamerica's key civic idiom. . . . [A] great mark of Anglo-Latin cooperation." —Antiquity
"An important volume of lasting value." —Choice
For more than a millennium the great Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan (c. 150 B.C.E. - 750 C.E.) has been imagined and reimagined by a host of subsequent cultures, including our own. Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage engages the subject of the unity and diversity of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica by focusing on the classic heritage of this ancient city. This new volume is the product of several years of research by members of Princeton University's Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project and Mexico's Proyecto Teotihuacán. Offering a variety of disciplinary perspectives - including the history of religions, anthropology, archaeology, and art history - and a wealth of new data, Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage examines Teotihuacan's rippling influence across Mesoamerican time and space, including important patterns of continuity and change, and its relationships, both historical and symbolic, with Tenochtitlan, Cholula, and various Maya communities.
Their Lands and Histories, 1500-2010
"I know of no other work of its kind or in its league. It is entirely original: a wonderfully narrated uncompromising history that is thoroughly and masterfully researched. This book is bound to be a classic. . . a model for future research on the indigenous peoples of the Americas."—Kevin Terraciano, UCLA
A rich and detailed account of indigenous history in central and southern Mexico from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries, Mexico's Indigenous Communities is an expansive work that destroys the notion that Indians were victims of forces beyond their control and today have little connection with their ancient past. Indian communities continue to remember and tell their own local histories, recovering and rewriting versions of their past in light of their lived present. Ethelia Ruiz Medrano focuses on a series of individual cases, falling within successive historical epochs, that illustrate how the practice of drawing up and preserving historical documents-in particular, maps, oral accounts, and painted manuscripts-has been a determining factor in the history of Mexico's Indian communities for a variety of purposes, including the significant issue of land and its rightful ownership. Since the sixteenth century, numerous Indian pueblos have presented colonial and national courts with historical evidence that defends their landholdings. Because of its sweeping scope, groundbreaking research, and the author's intimate knowledge of specific communities, Mexico's Indigenous Communities is a unique and exceptional contribution to Mexican history. It will appeal to students and specialists of history, indigenous studies, ethnohistory, and anthropology of Latin America and Mexico.
A collection of the papers presented at the Twentieth Anniversary Southwest Symposium, Movement, Connectivity, and Landscape Change in the Ancient Southwest looks back at the issues raised in the first symposium in 1988 and tackles three contemporary domains in archaeology: landscape use and ecological change, movement and ethnogenesis, and connectivity among social groups through time and space. Across these sections the authors address the relevance of archaeology in the modern world; new approaches and concerns about collaboration across disciplines, communities, and subgroups; and the importance of multiple perspectives. Particular attention is paid to the various ways that archaeology can and should contribute to contemporary social and environmental issues. Contributors come together to provide a synthetic volume on current research and possibilities for future explorations. Moving forward, they argue that archaeologists must continue to include researchers from across political and disciplinary boundaries and enhance collaboration with Native American groups. This book will be of interest to professional and academic archaeologists, as well as students working in the field of the American Southwest.