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Historical Archaeology of Indigenous Culture Change in Mesoamerica

  • Joel W. PalkaEmail author
Article

Abstract

This essay outlines recent archaeological research on post-Columbian (c. A.D. 1500–1925) indigenous sites in Mexico and Central America. Historical archaeology is a growing field in Mesoamerica, and over the last 20 years investigations of native culture change have increased, especially in rural areas. Contemporary research contributes new insights on indigenous responses to Spanish colonization over a long period. This work also is reassessing chronologies and examining the diversity of indigenous behavior from late preconquest to historic times. Indigenous adaptations to culture contact and social change are characterized by three general stages: conquest, colonization, and independence. Although I do draw on other regions, the focus of the article is the Maya area and Central America, where more investigations have taken place.

Keywords

Historical archaeology Mesoamerica Postconquest Indigenous societies Rural settlements Material culture Interaction Culture change 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, and Latin American & Latino Studies ProgramUniversity of Illinois, ChicagoChicagoUSA

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