“This volume highlights the new theoretical and methodological approaches being used by researchers in the large Mesoamerican territory considered to be western Mexico. Not focused on a single area, the chapters cover most parts of the region and range temporally from the Formative to the Late Postclassic periods.”—Helen Perlstein Pollard, author of Taríacuri's Legacy: The Prehispanic Tarascan State
The ancient societies of western Mexico have long been understudied and misunderstood. Focusing on recent archaeological data, Ancient West Mexicos highlights the diversity and complexity of the region’s pre-Hispanic cultures and argues that western Mexico was more similar to the rest of the Mesoamerican world than many researchers have believed.
Chapters that treat investigations in Durango, Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit, Aguascalientes, and Michoacán draw on new evidence dating from across millennia, spanning different periods in the history of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Contributors analyze materials including ceramics, architectural remains, textiles, and weaving tools to discern the settlement patterns, political structures, and cosmologies of the people who lived at these sites.
Featuring intriguing case studies that point to unexpected pathways to sociopolitical complexity in these and other ancient societies, these essays illustrate that the region’s archaeological record can contribute meaningfully to a more nuanced picture of Mesoamerica as a whole.
Joshua D. Englehardt, research professor at the Centro de Estudios Arqueológicos at El Colegio de Michoacán, is coeditor of Interregional Interaction in Ancient Mesoamerica. Verenice Y. Heredia Espinoza, research professor at the Centro de Estudios Arqueológicos at El Colegio de Michoacán, is coeditor of Alternative Pathways to Complexity: A Collection of Essays on Architecture, Economics, Power, and Cross-Cultural Analysis. Christopher S. Beekman, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver, is the editor of Migrations in Late Mesoamerica.
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