Mesoamerica and the Southwest/Northwest

Randall H. McGuire

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Mesoamerica and the Southwest/Northwest

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  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology by Region
  • Historical Archaeology



This article explores the parallels between the southwest of the United States and the northwest of Mexico (the Southwest/Northwest) and Mesoamerica. Parallels occur in cosmology, iconography, metaphor, and ritual. While a profound degree of shared cosmology, iconography, metaphor, and ritual between the two regions has been identified, the societies of the two regions remain qualitatively different. Resolving this paradox begins by realizing that the parallels between the two areas have different histories and origins. Some of them transcend both regions.

Keywords: southwestern United States; northwestern Mexico; cosmology; iconography; metaphor; ritual

Article.  4996 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region ; Historical Archaeology

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