Advances in the archaeology of West Mexico and the surrounding areas

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

Since it is difficult to clearly define the geographic extent of West Mexico and the interactions in which social groups in this region participated, this session includes archaeological research taking place both within the classic area of West Mexico, as well as the surrounding areas. Paper topics include ethnoarchaeological studies of pseudo-cloisonné and negative ware ceramics, analyses directed at more clearly defining the regional chronology of the northern frontier area, studies of interaction within the Río Verdo-San Pedro, Los Altos de Jalisco, El Bajío, and the Basin of Mexico, mortuary practices in Colima, the study of ritual fire and political organization in Postclassic Michoacán, and recent efforts involving the negotiation of archaeology and local politics in the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin. The range of topics in this session illustrates the diversity of archaeological projects currently being conducted in Jalisco, southern Zacatecas, Colima, and Michoacán.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • The archaeological site of Presa de la Luz: New Insights on the relationship between the Altos of Jalisco, the Bajio and the Mexico Basin (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rodrigo Esparza Lopez. Francisco Rodríguez Mota. Juan Morales.

    During the years of 2012 and 2013 draft surface survey was conducted to record more than 600 petroglyphs of the archaeological site known as Presa de la Luz in southern highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. This site drew attention from the beginning due to the high number of pecked cross or solar markers, we recorded nine of these, could be the site with the largest number in any Western Mexico. Solar markers are very similar to those recorded in first instance in Teotihuacan and Mexico Basin. Also,...

  • CONCHITA Y SUS AMIGOS: "un estudio bioarqueológico de los entierros infantiles recuperados en el Salvamento Arqueológico Mina de Peña en la Ciudad de Villa de Álvarez, Colima, 2014" (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rosa Flores Ramirez. Marco Zavaleta Lucido.

    Una de las principales incógnitas al excavar contextos funerarios en los trabajos de investigación arqueológica, es conocer acerca del sistema de enterramiento y la forma en como los individuos preparaban los restos mortales de las personas fallecidas para su tránsito a su otra vida, si existió un área de enterramiento exclusivo o donde se depositan a los individuos fallecidos, si hay una diferencia por edad y sexo en el área de enterramiento y porque colocan determinados elementos (objetos...

  • Dendro-14C-Wiggle-Match Contributions to Northwestern Mesoamerican Chronology (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paula Turkon. Sturt Manning. Carol Griggs. Alexandra Jigetts-O'Neill.

    This paper reports on the progress of the Dendro-14C wiggle-matching project begun in 2013. Initial work established the feasibility of the methods and availability of the data. This paper will report on the ways in which the data can aid in cultural interpretation in northwestern Mesoamerican regions. A focus will be on dating the construction of high status areas at the sites of La Quemada and Los Pilarillos in the Malpaso Valley, Zacatecas, and their chronological relationship to...

  • Dinámicas poblacionales durante el Epiclásico (600 a 900 d.C.) entre la vertiente norte del río Verde-San Pedro y el Occidente de México (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Juan Ignacio Macias.

    Se discuten los avances de las investigaciones realizadas en la vertiente norte del río Verde-San Pedro para destacar sus vínculos con las sociedades del Occidente de México en la época prehispánica. Para ello se mostraran las características que esta región comparte con el occidente y sus implicaciones para entender las dinámicas de interacción y movimientos poblacionales en el Epiclásico, destacándose las propuestas vigentes sobre la cronología. De igual forma se discutirá el posible impacto...

  • Ireta and Vapatzequa – Applications of the Alteptl Model to the pre-Hispanic P'urépecha (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kyle Urquhart. Christopher Fisher. Stephen Leisz.

    At the time of Spanish contact, Michoacan was under the control of a large empire centered at the capital of Tzintzuntzan in the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin. Prior to the rise of the Postclassic empire, the P'urepecha were organized into a series of small- to mid-scale polities known as ireta, which could be considered roughly analagous to the Nahua altepetl. These polities consisted of of a series of nested territorial divisions composed first of named barrio-level units called vapatzequa followed by...

  • Parallels between pseudo-cloisonné and Huichol votive gourds: iconography, processing, and disposal (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nora Rodríguez Zariñán.

    Pseudo cloisonné is a characteristic ceramic type of West Mexico. It has generally drawn the attention of researchers because of its complex iconography and elaborate manufacture, which have led many to regard it as a prestige/exchange good. The study of this ceramic type, supported by ethnographic analogy with votive gourd bowls produced by the Huichol of northern Jalisco, suggests the possibility that many pseudo cloisonné pieces may not have been considered as prestige/exchange goods. The...

  • Rediscovering the Negative or Resist Decoration Techniques: Last Step of a Millenary Tradition at the Hernández Cano Workshop, Zinapécuaro, Michoacán (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chloé Pomedio. Agapi Filini.

    The history of the negative or resist technique decoration on Prehispanic ceramics is very long and complex. It begins at the El Opeño site and appears in many Mesoamerican western regions through time, to the Purepecha culture. Because of the beauty, iconography and complex technology of these ceramics, it is important to understand the diverse decoration processes. This paper presents research results about the rediscovering experimentation of the negative technique at the Hernández Cano...

  • Refinement of the La Quemada Chronology and its Implications for Inter-polity Interaction along the Northern Frontier of Mesoamerica (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrea Torvinen. Ben Nelson. Stephanie Kulow.

    During the Epiclassic period (A.D. 500-900), the northern frontier of Mesoamerica consisted of a regional network of polities focused on large, hilltop centers including the site of La Quemada in the Malpaso Valley of Zacatecas, Mexico. While extensive archaeological research has been conducted at the site, a seriation of the La Quemada-Malpaso Valley Archaeological Project ceramic assemblage remains to be finalized. Establishing the chronology of La Quemada is essential for two reasons: (1) to...

  • Ritual Fires and Sacred Hearths: the management of wood resources in Postclassic Tarascan Society of the Zacapu Basin, Michoacán (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michelle Elliott.

    According to ethnohistoric sources, fire played a central role in the ritual practices of Postclassic Tarascan society. To venerate Curicaueri, the fire god and the most senior-ranking deity in the Tarascan pantheon, sacred hearths were kept perpetually burning outside temples, and the cazonci (king) was personally responsible for obtaining the impressive quantities of wood necessary for this feat. Fuel acquisition for these fires was often embedded in other ceremonial activities, such as hunts...

  • Working with the Ejido: Negotiating Archaeology and Local Politics in Michoacán, Mexico (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rodrigo Solinis-Casparius. Anna S. Cohen. Florencia Pezzutti. Christopher T. Fisher.

    Ejido communities became common after the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) as a way of dividing land and leadership among an equal number of individuals. The Ejido of Fontezuelas in the eastern Lake Pátzcuaro Basin, Michoacán, controls the rugged landform known as the Classic through Postclassic period (AD 200-1521) site of Angamuco. Since 2009, the Legacies of Resilience Project has negotiated and worked with Fontezuelas community members. Here we discuss some of the obstacles that we encountered...