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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the development of historical archaeology in Mexico: from its inception as an empirical and descriptive auxiliary to restoration projects and the handmaiden of history to its current consolidation as a scientific discipline posing socially informed questions. Examples from the Colonial to the Republican periods in urban, rural, religious, and military sites from the northern frontier to the southern coast and the Caribbean will be presented to provide a general overview of the intricacy and variability of historical archaeology research in Mexico. Furthermore, theoretical and methodological aspects focused on social complexity derived from different approaches will be considered; and major themes such as colonialism, capitalism, production, exchange and consumption patterns, ethnicity, and the construction of social status and identities will be illustrated. Finally, a critical discussion of the state of historical archaeology in Mexico draws attention to key debates and assesses future perspectives in the study of the recent past.

Keywords: New Spain, Colonial period, Mexican Republican period, social complexity, colonialism, capitalism, identity

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