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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The archaeology of the territorial and early statehood periods (1850–1917) in the American Southwest was virtually terra incognita until the advent of government-mandated archaeology in the 1960s. Subsequent work has shown that historical archaeology has much to contribute to a fuller understanding of this dynamic and formative time in U.S. history. Historical-archaeological investigations have demonstrated that although the United States formally exerted control over Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico by the last half of the nineteenth century, the interactions among its Indigenous, Spanish, and Mexican inhabitants strongly influenced the territory’s historical trajectory into the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This chapter provides a historic context and a selective overview of archaeological studies that relate to the key themes of shifting economies and cultural heterogeneity.

Keywords: historical archaeology, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, territorial period, statehood, economics

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