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May 2005

8.5 x 11 in.
223 pp., 134 b&w illus.
No longer distributed by the University of Texas Press; contact the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies


Postclassic Soconusco Society
The Late Prehistory of the Coast of Chiapas, Mexico

Table of Contents and Excerpt


By Barbara Voorhies and Janine Gasco

This timely report presents new archaeological data on Postclassic sites (11th through 16th centuries, AD) in one of the key regions of Mesoamerica. The Pacific coast of Soconusco was at the forefront of cultural developments from the time of its earliest farmers in the Formative period through the Spanish conquest. Yet until now the Postclassic archaeology of this region has remained poorly known.

This book presents the results of archaeological fieldwork at the political center Acapetahua and other key Postclassic sites in Soconusco by two leading Mesoamericanist archaeologists. The authors' analyses of artifacts shed light on subsistence activities, the production of textiles and other craft items, commercial exchange, and the social context of life in this area. A notable feature of this report is the discussion of the place of these sites within the broader setting of Postclassic Mesoamerica. The Late Postclassic period was a dynamic and innovative time when peoples from all parts of Mesoamerica were drawn together by processes of commercial and stylistic interaction. Until recently, however, Postclassic archaeological data has been limited to a few areas. Postclassic Soconusco Society now adds a key region to the overall picture. This work will serve as both a basic reference on the Postclassic archaeology of a key region and a case study in the local impacts and manifestations of ancient empires and world-systems.

Barbara Voorhies is Research Professor and Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Janine Gasco is Assistant Professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Institute for Mesoamerican Studies Monograph 14 (SUNY Albany)

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