Cover image for Exploring Native North America
Exploring Native North America
Thomas, David Hurst.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xii, 227 pages : illustrations (color illustrations), maps (some color) ; 26 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E77.9 .T5 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Long before the arrival of Columbus, the civilizations of Mesoamerica were among the most sophisticated and spectacular of the ancient world. In Exploring Mesoamerica, the second volume in the Places in Time series, John M. D. Pohl takes us on a guided tour of the most amazing archaeologicalsites of Mesoamerica, bringing to life the civilizations that once flourished there. Lavishly illustrated with photographs, maps, reconstructions, and site plans, Exploring Mesoamerica examines eighteen well-known archaeological sites from 2500 B.C. to 1519 A.D., from Izapa, Tikal, and Palenque to Cacaxtla, Casas Grandes, and Tenochititlan. Each site is a time capsule reflectingthe cultural lifespan of that particular region and providing clues to the societal evolution of ancient Mesoamerica as a whole. Every chapter describes the history of a site's excavation and its most revealing architectural treasure, then goes on to discuss the people who lived there and thetechnological advances, class structures, and spiritual beliefs that characterized their culture. From intricate terraced gardens to palatial residences, from complex celestial calendars to thriving trade networks, Mesoamerican civilization springs into bold relief in this carefully researchedvolume. Most important, every site discussed is fully accessible to the public, and the author provides their locations, listing the museums that contain the primary artifacts for each. Lucidly written and based on the most current archaeological scholarship, Exploring Mesoamerica reopens this fascinating region for history buffs, armchair time-travelers, and anyone planning to explore these intriguing sites.

Author Notes

David Hurst Thomas is curator of anthropology at The American Museum of Natural History

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 1
1 Blackwater Draw 9300-4000 B.C., Paleoindian and Archaic cultures in New Mexicop. 19
2 Hidden Cave 3000 B.C.-A.D. 1000, Desert Archaic culture in Nevadap. 30
3 Cape Krusenstern 6000 B.C.-20th Century, Inupiat Eskimo cultures in Alaskap. 42
4 Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump 3500 B.C.-19th Century, Plains Archaic culture in Alberta, Canadap. 52
5 Big Horn Medicine Wheel 18th-20th Century, Plains Indian culture in Wyomingp. 62
6 Ozette A.D. 1-20th Century, Northwest Coast Archaic culture on the Olympic Peninsula, Washingtonp. 71
7 Hopewell 100 B.C.-A.D. 400, Hopewell culture in Ohiop. 83
8 Poverty Point 1730-1350 B.C., Poverty Point culture in Louisianap. 94
9 Serpent Mound A.D. 1000-1140, Fort Ancient tradition in Ohiop. 106
10 Mesa Verde A.D. 600-1300, Ancestral Pueblo culture in Coloradop. 114
11 Pueblo Bonito A.D. 860-1150, Ancestral Pueblo culture at Chaco Canyon, New Mexicop. 127
12 Pueblo Grande A.D. 500-1450, Hohokam culture in Phoenix, Arizonap. 141
13 Cahokia A.D. 800-1350, Mississippian culture in East St. Louis, Illinoisp. 152
14 Spiro A.D. 850-1450, Mississippian culture in Oklahomap. 163
15 Moundville A.D. 1050-1500, Mississippian culture in Alabamap. 172
16 Iroquoian Archaeology A.D. 1300-1650, Iroquoian tradition around London, Ontariop. 181
17 Knife River A.D. 1300-1800, Plains Village tradition in North Dakotap. 193
18 Little Bighorn Battlefield 25 June 1876, Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, and Euro-American cultures meet at Hardin, Montanap. 205
Picture Creditsp. 219
Indexp. 221