Colonial and Postcolonial Change in Mesoamerica
448 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
17 drawings, 73 figs., 31 maps, 27 tables
Release Date:01 Nov 2018
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Colonial and Postcolonial Change in Mesoamerica

Archaeology as Historical Anthropology

University of New Mexico Press

This book offers a new account of human interaction and culture change for Mesoamerica that connects the present to the past. Social histories that assess the cultural upheavals between the Spanish invasion of Mesoamerica and the ethnographic present overlook the archaeological record, with its unique capacity to link local practices to global processes. To fill this gap, the authors weigh the material manifestations of the colonial and postcolonial trajectory in light of local, regional, and global historical processes that have unfolded over the last five hundred years.

Research on a suite of issuesâ€"economic history, production of commodities, agrarian change, resistance, religious shifts, and sociocultural identityâ€"demonstrates that the often shocking patterns observed today are historically contingent and culturally mediated, and therefore explainable. This book belongs to a new wave of scholarship that renders the past immediately relevant to the present, which Alexander and Kepecs see as one of archaeology’s most crucial goals.

Colonial and Postcolonial Change in Mesoamerica is an important testament of the deeper colonial roots of contemporary problems in Mexico and of the promise of historical archaeology for making the past relevant to the present.'--Latin American Antiquity
Rani T. Alexander is a professor of anthropology and the head of the Department of Anthropology at New Mexico State University. She is also the author of Yaxcabá and the Caste War of Yucatán: An Archaeological Perspective (UNM Press) and the coeditor of The Postclassic to Spanish-Era Transition in Mesoamerica: Archaeological Perspectives (UNM Press) with Susan Kepecs. Susan Kepecs is an independent scholar and an honorary fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsinâ€"Madison. She is the coeditor of The Postclassic to Spanish-Era Transition in Mesoamerica: Archaeological Perspectives (UNM Press) with Rani T. Alexander and the coeditor of Beyond the Blockade: New Currents in Cuban Archaeology with L. Antonio Curet and Gabino La Rosa Corzo.

List of Illustrations
Chapter One. Colonial and Postcolonial Change in Mesoamerica: An Introduction
Susan Kepecs and Rani T. Alexander

Part One. Topical Syntheses
Chapter Two. Mexico City, Mérida, and the World: Kondratieff Waves on the Periphery
Susan Kepecs and Patricia Fournier García
Chapter Three. Commodities Production and Technological Change
Susan Kepecs, Patricia Fournier García, Rani T. Alexander, and Cynthia L. Otis Charlton
Chapter Four. Agrarian Ecology and Historical Contingency in Landscape Change
Rani T. Alexander, Janine Gasco, and Judith Francis Zeitlin
Chapter Five. Archaeologies of Resistance
Rani T. Alexander, Susan Kepecs, Joel W. Palka, and Judith Francis Zeitlin
Chapter Six. Religion and Ritual in Postconquest Mesoamerica
Judith Francis Zeitlin and Joel W. Palka
Chapter Seven. Sociocultural Identities
Judith Francis Zeitlin, Patricia Fournier García, Joel W. Palka, and Janine Gasco

Part Two. Case Studies
Chapter Eight. Historical Archaeology in the Basin of Mexico: The Otumba Case
Thomas H. Charlton and Cynthia L. Otis Charlton
Chapter Nine. Material Culture, Status, and Identity in Post-Independence Central Mexico: Urban and Rural Dimensions
Patricia Fournier García
Chapter Ten. Indigenous Communities, Colonization, and Interethnic Interaction in Tehuantepec, 1450 to the Present
Judith Francis Zeitlin
Chapter Eleven. Anthropogenic Landscapes of Soconusco, Past and Present
Janine Gasco
Chapter Twelve. Cross-Cultural Interaction and Lacandon Ethnogenesis in the Southern Maya Lowland Frontier, AD 1400 to the Present
Joel W. Palka
Chapter Thirteen. Agrarian Ecology in Yucatán, 1450-2000
Rani T. Alexander
Chapter Fourteen. The Longue Durée, from Salt to Sea Cucumbers: Kondratieff Waves in Chikinchel, on the Very Far Periphery
Susan Kepecs
Chapter Fifteen. The Underlying Aim of Historical Archaeology: A Conclusion
Susan Kepecs and Rani T. Alexander

References Cited

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