Prehispanic Domestic Units in Western Mesoamerica presents different analytical approaches for interpreting household composition and cultural site formation processes in prehispanic western Mesoamerica. Archaelogical data collected using both stratigraphic and reconnaisance methods are combined with and interpreted using a combination of ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and ethnoarchaeological information. The result is a richer and more complete picture of prehispanic household structure than any single analytic approach could produce on its own.
The book is organized into several sections based on common theme and geographic area. The first three chapters provide a broad discussion of conceptual and methodological difficulties that archaeologists must resolve in the study of prehispanic households. Subsequent chapters present case studies which examine households from two areas of western Mesoamerica: the Central Mexican highlands and the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Eight case studies from the Central Mexican highlands provide a longitudinal perspective on changing household composition. Four of these examine households during the late Formative, Classic, Epiclassic, and Early Postclassic periods (650 B.C.-A.D. 1200), while four others focus specifically on household structure during the century immediately preceding the Spanish Conquest. Two additional case studies provide comparative information on household organization in the South Gulf Coast region during the Classic period.
Prehispanic Domestic Units in Western Mesoamerica: Studies of the Household, Compound, and Residence will be an excellent reference for all anthropologists and archaeologists interested in prehispanic western Mesoamerica.
INTRODUCTION. Household Studies in Western Mesoamerica (Robert S. Santley and Kenneth G. Hirth). METHODOLOGICAL STUDIES. The Household as an Analytical Unit: Problems in Method and Theory (Kenneth G. Hirth). Craft Specialization, Refuse Disposal, and the Creation of Spatial Archaeological Records in Prehispanic Mesoamerica (Robert S. Santley and Ronald R. Kneebone). HOUSEHOLD STUDIES FROM CENTRAL MEXICO. Late Formative Period Society at Loma Torremote: A Consideration of the Redistribution versus the Great Provider Models as a Basis for the Emergence of Complexity in the Basin of Mexico (Robert S. Santley). Social Organization and Household Structure of a Teotihuacan Apartment Compound: S3W1:33 of the Tlajinga Barrio (Randolph J. Widmer and Rebecca Storey). Urbanism at Tula from the Perspective of Residential Archaeology (Dan M. Healan). Identifying Rank and Socioeconomic Status in Domestic Contexts: An Example from Central Mexico (Kenneth G. Hirth). Aztec Household-Based Craft Production: Archaeological Evidence from the City-State of Otumba, Mexico (Cynthia Otis Charlton, Thomas H. Charlton, and Deborah L. Nichols). Aztec Household Organization and Village Administration (Susan T. Evans). Houses and the Settlement Hierarchy in Late Postclassic Morelos: A Comparison of Archaeology and Ethnohistory (Michael E. Smith). The Social Organization of Households among the Tenochca Mexica before and after Conquest (Susan Kellogg). HOUSEHOLD STUDIES FROM THE GULF COAST. Household Ceramics Production at Middle Classic Period Matacapan (Philip J. Arnold III and Robert S. Santley). Hierarchical Social Differentiation among Late to Terminal Classic Residential Locations in La Mixtequilla, Veracruz, Mexico (Barbara L. Stark and Barbara A. Hall). COMMENTARY. Mesoamerican Household Archaeology Comes of Age (William T. Sanders).