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May 23 , 2009

Bridging the Gaps


Bridging the Gaps: Integrating Archaeology and History in Oaxaca, Mexico does just that: it bridges the gap between archaeology and history of the Precolumbian, Colonial, and Republican eras of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, a cultural area encompassing several of the longest-enduring literate societies in the world.

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Fourteen case studies from an interdisciplinary group of archaeologists, anthropologists, ethnohistorians, and art historians consciously compare and contrast changes and continuities in material culture before and after the Spanish conquest, in Prehispanic and Colonial documents, and in oral traditions rooted in the present but reflecting upon the deep past. Contributors consider both indigenous and European perspectives while exposing and addressing the difficulties that arise from the application of this conjunctive approach.

Inspired by the late Dr. Bruce E. Byland’s work in the Mixteca, which exemplified the union of archaeological and historical evidence and inspired new generations of scholars, Bridging the Gaps promotes the practice of integrative studies to explore the complex intersections between social organization and political alliances, religion and sacred landscape, ethnic identity and mobility, colonialism and resistance, and territoriality and economic resources.

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