Mesoamerican Archaeology: Recent Trends

Deborah L. Nichols and Christopher A. Pool

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390933
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Mesoamerican Archaeology: Recent Trends

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  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology by Region
  • History and Theory of Archaeology


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This article provides an overview of recent trends in Mesoamerican archaeology. It discusses the various paradigms that have shaped the field of Mesoamerican archaeology. It describes the field's contributions to the understanding of human-environmental interactions, settlement-pattern research and cultural-resource management, ancient Mesoamerican economics and politics, society and polity, and beliefs and rituals. This is followed by a discussion of the theoretical pluralism or pragmatism characterizes Mesoamerican archaeology today. It concludes with a few observations on those areas of archaeological theory and practice that are important in the near future.

Keywords: Mesoamerica; paradigms; human-environment interactions; settlements; cultural resource management; economics; politics; beliefs; rituals

Article.  11482 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region ; History and Theory of Archaeology

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