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Rockshelters and caves of Central-Northern Mexico: archaeological potential and limitations, sources for paradigms and landscape markers

Author(s): Juan Ignacio Macías-Quintero ; Ciprian Ardelean

Year: 2015

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Summary

Caves and rockshelters throughout the highlands and sierras of Central-Northern Mexico have always represented an important point of reference for prehistoric archaeology and were traditionally targeted as the most reliable contexts for the understanding of hunter-gatherer societies and the establishment of cultural-historical models. However, the paradigms created on basis of the excavation of such sites affected rather negatively the archaeological thinking in Mexican archaeology. Caves and rockshelters are unevenly distributed and poorly investigated. Modern re-occupations and disturbance are high and depositional processes are diverse and far from properly approached. A reconsideration of their potential and the acknowledgement of their particularistic cultural dimension is required. The use of such landscape features for funerary purposes is perhaps the better known and most expected function among local scholars, however the actual use of caves among prehistoric societies of ancient Mexico is still far from being clear. Several caves and rockshelters in Zacatecas and Aguascalientes are presented in order to analyze their cultural importance and their paper as landscape markers, since the times of the first inhabitans until today.

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Rockshelters and caves of Central-Northern Mexico: archaeological potential and limitations, sources for paradigms and landscape markers. Ciprian Ardelean, Juan Ignacio Macías-Quintero. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398254)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America