Mesoamerican archaeology : theory and practice / edited by Julia A. Hendon, Lisa Overholtzer, and Rosemary A. Joyce.

Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2021.
xix, 406 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
Second edition.
Blackwell studies in global archaeology
Blackwell studies in global archaeology

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Mayas -- Antiquities.
Indians of Mexico -- Antiquities.
Indians of Central America -- Antiquities.
"In the seventeen years since the first edition of Mesoamerican Archaeology: Method and Theory was published, our goal of providing theoretically sophisticated and data rich explorations of important topics for a non-specialist reader, written by the researchers themselves, has proved successful. When approached by Wiley-Blackwell to edit a second edition, the original coeditors, Julia Hendon and Rosemary Joyce, agreed that the chance to incorporate new research by an international array of scholars was not to be missed. The first move was to add Lisa Overholtzer as editor. The three of us approached some authors from the first edition who agreed to update or rewrite their chapters. We then invited new contributors whose work reflects current research trends in Mesoamerican archaeology. For this edition we purposefully included a chapter on bioarchaeology and three chapters that include the Colonial period in their discussions. As with the first edition, this book is intended to be useful for anyone teaching Mesoamerican archaeology, whether as the sole subject of a course, or as one case study among others in courses dealing with archaeology of the Americas, complex societies, or other topics. We also expect that it will be of interest to any reader who wants a sample of contemporary research on the major time periods and societies that are the focus of Mesoamerican archaeology. Because this book is a departure from other models for introductory texts, it is appropriate for us to briefly explain what it is, and is not, and to suggest how we hope it might be incorporated into the classroom. All three of us teach material from the field of Mesoamerican archaeology in basic introductory courses and more advanced offerings. As active researchers who each have developed and led our own field projects, we find ourselves struggling to provide students with a sense of the research process. In particular, we think it is important for students to see that changes in archaeological understanding (or differences in opinion, as illustrated by some of the essays included here) are a constructive part of the research process. They reflect the mechanisms through which our discipline debates explanations, puts them to the test against existing and new data, and gradually revises them. Too often, we find that students (and people outside the academy interested in archaeology) have the impression, especially from media coverage, that changes in interpretation result from violent rejection of earlier ideas, represented as poorly conceived, foolish, or examples of bad work. We do not think that representing archaeology as a kind of winner-takes-all contest is very true to the reality of the constant hard work, only occasionally accompanied by moments of transformative insight, that we experience as field researchers. Nor does the metaphor of a contest accurately represent the way that new research builds on and acknowledges older ideas, even in the process of modifying, extending, or disagreeing with those ideas"-- Provided by publisher.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Hendon, Julia A. (Julia Ann), editor.
Overholtzer, Lisa, editor.
Joyce, Rosemary A., 1956- editor.
John Wiley & Sons, publisher.
Other format:
Online version: Mesoamerican archaeology.