Urban and Rural Dimensions of the Contact Period

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Abstract

The conquest and transformation of Mesoamerican civilizations during the Colonial and Republican periods provide one of the most dynamic and widespread examples of acculturation known to anthropology. Ethnologists, ethnohistorians, and historians have studied in some detail both the processes and the results of this acculturation (e.g., Farriss 1984; Foster 1960; Gibson 1964, 1981; Hassig 1985; Lovell 1985; MacLeod 1973). Archaeologists, despite statements about interest in processes of culture change and cultural evolution (e.g., Blanton et al. 1981; Sanders, Parsons, and Santley 1979; Wolf 1976), with few exceptions (e.g., Gasco 1987), have either neglected or oversimplified the processes and the results of the postconquest changes. This is most unfortunate.