, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 307-357

Recent Issues in the Archaeology of the Mimbres Region of the North American Southwest

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Abstract

Archaeological research in the Mimbres region (southwestern New Mexico) has focused on the post-A.D. 500 ceramic/agricultural occupations, especially the Mimbres Classic period (1000–1130). This work has advanced general anthropological issues regarding mobility, land use and human impact, and the concept of “abandonment.” Deeper understandings of some of these issues require more detailed demographic estimates, which in turn are dependent on methodological advances, particularly studies of site use life. Research on the production and distribution of Mimbres pottery—famous for its naturalistic black-on-white designs—is advancing rapidly. Although the designs have been well illustrated and much discussed, more systematic anthropological research on Mimbres design style is badly needed. Various aspects of Mimbres social and ideational realms (e.g., household and community organization, social hierarchy, the symbolism of the pottery designs) have received some attention but await new perspectives derived from current social theory.