In the Mother's Womb: Archaeological Research in Caves

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

In the collective imaginary of prehispanic communities of Northwest Mexico, the American Southwest and Central México, caves hold a very important place. Not only were they used as spaces for shelter or home, they were also used as locations where ancestors rest, where vision quests were performed, where the walls retain the wisdom and messages of the community in the rock art. This symposium presents recent research on caves as places where human communities interacted, lived, and share experiences among themselves and with their landscapes.

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  • Documents (6)

  • Aknah and the moon spiners: gender relations and rituals in caves. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Adriana Sanchez.

    Mensabak Lake, in the Lacandon Rainforest, is surrounded by caves that were used as pilgrimage destinations and for different rituals in the Protohistoric period. The role of Maya women in the rituals and ceremonies has been delimited to fertility and dependency stereotypes not only in the historical documents but in the archaeological research. This presentation discusses Maya women’s participation in a multi-regional pilgrimage network having Mensabak as the epicentre.

  • The cave dwellers of the Sierra Tarahumara (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tobías García Vilchis. Emiliano Gallaga.

    The Raramuri, an indigenous people from Chihuahua, Mexico, has occupied the western part of the country for over 1000 years. As many authors claim, their ways of life have changed little, and they remain as one of the only, if not the only, living seminomadic groups existing in North America. In this paper, we will focus on recent ethnoarchaeological research carried out by students and professors of the EAHNM. This research allows us to create an explanatory model to comprehend the nature of...

  • Cave Myths Past and Present: Cerro Bernal as a Sacred Landscape (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Claudia Garcia-Des Lauriers.

    In the municipality of Tonalá, Chiapas, Cerro Bernal represents a unique feature on the Pacific coastal plain—one that is both strategic and of economic importance as well as representing a deeply potent sacred landscape. Among the important features of this landscape that have become the focus of cotemporary folklore are a series of caves, or more specifically rock shelters, that have entered the imagination of local residents as important elements of a living and enchanted landscape. ...

  • Cuevas arqueológicas al oeste de la Sierra Madre Occidental, Chihuahua. Las casas acantilado. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only América Martínez.

    En esta ponencia se hablará de los sitios arqueológicos establecidos en cuevas conocidos como casas acantilado (cliff dwellings) asociadas a la cultura Casas Grandes, teniendo como punto de referencia la actual Zona Arqueológica Paquimé, la cual tuvo su momento de apogeo entre el año 1060-1340 d C. Este tipo de sitios tienen características muy específicas en cuanto a la formación del contexto arqueológico y todo lo que encontramos en él; es decir, gracias al microambiente que en este se genera,...

  • The Macaw from Cueva de Avendaños, Chihuahua (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Emiliano Gallaga.

    At the beginning of 2016, a EAHNM archaeologist performed a rescue project in the Cueva de Avendaños, municipality of San Francisco de Borja, Chihuahua, as a result of a complaint. There, the land owner decided to level the cave surface with a bulldozer not knowing that an archaeological site lay beneath. The result was the destruction of a pre-Hispanic funerary context which included the remains of at least three mummified individuals accompanied by textiles, basketry, string, leather, shell...

  • Rancho La Cueva: Agaves and Casas Grandes in a cliff dwelling (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jupiter Martinez. Amanda Ríos.

    La Cueva is a cliff dwelling built by the Casas Grandes people in the Sierra Madre Occidental in Sonora, México. It has been studied by the Sierra Alta de Sonora Archaeological Project with the aim of understanding the Subregional System on the mountains. So far, we have identified a protohistoric component and a prehistoric occupation from the Viejo and Medio Period (900-1450 A.D.). But the most relevant information is related with the mezcaleros knives, an industry well identified. At the...