Mesoamerican Archaeology: Theory and Practice provides a nuanced introduction to the archaeology of Mesoamerica. Offering an alternative to traditional textbooks, this volume places the reader in the middle of contemporary debates among top archaeologists actively exploring the major prehispanic societies of Mexico and Central America. Rather than attempt a single synthesis of current archaeology from the region, the text focuses on key time periods, sites, and the issues these times and places require us to confront. Mesoamerican Archaeology examines key moments in the Mesoamerican historical tradition, from the earliest villages where Olmec art flourished, to the Aztec and Maya City-states that Spanish invaders described in the sixteenth century. Taken together, these writings engage the chronological benchmarks of Pre-Columbian social development in Mesoamerica, such as the transition to village life, emergence of political stratification, and formation of Mesoamerican urban centers. The book is further enriched by an extensive editorial introduction, which situates contemporary Mesoamerican archaeology in the broader terms of the social politics of archaeology.
For further resources to use with this book - including study questions, maps and photographs - visit the website at www blackwellpublishing.com/BSGA/mesoam
Julia A. Hendon is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Gettysburg College. She is a Maya archaeologist with field experience since 1980 in Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, and is the former editor of Anthropological Literature: An Index to Periodical Articles and Essays (1988--1996). Rosemary A. Joyce is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has been engaged in archaeological fieldwork in Honduras since 1977. Her most recent publications include: Gender and Power in Prehispanic Mesoamerica (2001), The Languages of Archaeology (2002), and Embodied Lives: Egypt and the Ancient Maya (editor, with Lynn Meskell, 2003).