This book presents a collection of papers from the Symposium on Cultural Dynamics and Production Activities in Ancient Western Mexico, held at the Center for Archaeological Research of the Colegio de Michoacan on September 18-19, 2014.
While these thought-provoking essays on key topics in Western Mexican archaeology will spark debate among scholars interested in this cultural area, they will also be of interest to students of ancient Mesoamerica as a whole.
The time is ripe for insightful discussions and new syntheses of archaeological research in Western Mesoamerica, and this volume represents, undoubtedly, a valuable contribution to this urgent task.
These papers are grouped into three thematic areas. The first, Cultural dynamics in Western Mexico, includes essays on: The challenges of archaeology in flood-prone areas; Exploitation of local resources and imported products; Settlement systems of the Tarascan state; and Stone tools as indicators of task specialization.
The second section, Production of strategic resources, analyzes the following topics: The obsidian jewelry of the Teuchitlan Tradition; Differing obsidian economies in Teuchitlan culture; Source areas and obsidian exploitation in Michoacan; The history of pottery production in Capula, Michoacan; Ethnoarchaeology of Tarascan pottery: domestic production and decoration styles; Ceramics, social status, and the Tarascan state economy; and Copper as a strategic resource in pre-Hispanic Western Mexico; while part three focuses on Trade and exchange: Circulation of goods and communication routes between Western and Central Mexico; Contrasting models of ceramic production in the Tarascan state; and Ceramic evidence of contact between Teotihuacan, the Bajio, and southern Hidalgo.