Material Encounters and Indigenous Transformations in Early Colonial El Salvador

Author(s): William Fowler; Jeb C. Card

Year: 2017


Mapping and excavations of the Conquest-period and early colonial site of Ciudad Vieja, the ruins of the first villa of San Salvador, El Salvador, afford a view of material culture encounters and indigenous transformations in northern Central America. The Ciudad Vieja archaeological research has focused on material culture encounters between Spanish and indigenous populations in the realms of landscape, architecture, technology, economy, society, and religion. The time span for Ciudad Vieja runs from the Conquest to the mid-sixteenth century, from 1525 to about 1550. Subsequent developments are investigated at the site of Caluco, in the Izalcos region of western El Salvador, during the last quarter of the sixteenth century. A theoretical framework inspired by Pierre Bourdieu’s structural theory of practice allows for interpretation of differing strategies of practice during the early Spanish Colonial period of the sixteenth century. The early "Spanish" community of San Salvador, sited on an already ancient Mesoamerican ritual site, was an incubator of experimentation and transformation of Mesoamerican roles and identities. By the time of Caluco's colonial community, practices and structures found in later Latin American communities, built on tensions between indigenous communities and state extraction, are increasingly apparent.

Cite this Record

Material Encounters and Indigenous Transformations in Early Colonial El Salvador. William Fowler, Jeb C. Card. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431368)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15309