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BIC Excellence Award

The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals

Edited by Christopher M. Götz and Kitty F. Emery

The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals
Paperback, 784 pages £70.00
Published: 2014
ISBN: 9781937040055
Format: 228mm x 152mm
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Subjects: Archaeology, Lockwood Press
Series: Archaeobiology

Includes 100 figures and 200 tables.

Recognition of the role of animals in ancient diet, economy, politics, and ritual is vital to understanding ancient cultures. Following the clues available from animal remains in reconstructing environments is vital to understanding the ancient relationship between humans and the world around them.

In response to the growing interest in the field of zooarchaeology, this volume presents current research from across the many cultures and regions of Mesoamerica, dealing specifically with the most current issues in zooarchaeological literature.

Geographically, the essays collected here index the different aspects of animal use by the indigenous populations of the entire area between the northern borders of Mexico and the southern borders of lower Central America. This includes such diverse cultures as the north Mexican hunter-gatherers, the Olmec, Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec, and Central American Indians. The time frame of the volume extends from the earliest human occupation, the Preclassic, Classic, Postclassic, and Colonial manifestations, to recent times. The book's chapters, written by experts in the field of Mesoamerican zooarchaeology, provide important general background on the domestic and ritual use of animals in early and classic Mesoamerica and Central America.

English text.

Spanish-language version also available (ISBN 978-1-937040-12-3).

List of Figures

List of Tables


1. Introduction, Christopher M. Gotz

Northwest Area and Central Plateau

2. Dog Remains from the Marismas Nacionales

3. Coastal Resources in the City of the Gods

4. Birds of the Pre-Hispanic Domestic Spheres of Central Mexico, Eduardo Corona-Martinez

5. The Zooarchaeology of Olmec and Epi-Olmec Foodways along Mexico's Gulf Coast, Tanya M. Peres, Amber M. VanDerwarker, and Christopher A. Pool

6. Animal Use in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, Mexico, Heather A. Lapham, Andrew K. Balkansky, and Ayla M. Amadio

7. Animal Economies in Pre-Hispanic Southern Mexico, Heather A. Lapham, Gary M. Feinman, and Linda M. Nicholas

Northern Maya Lowlands

8. The Use of Animals by the Pre-Hispanic Maya of the Northern Lowlands, Christopher M. Gotz and Travis W. Stanton

9. Animal Consumption and the Monumental Center of Mayapan, Marilyn A. Masson and Carlos Peraza Lope

10. Archaeofauna at Isla Cilvituk, Campeche, Mexico: Residential Site Structure and Taphonomy in Postclassic Mesoamerica, Rani T. Alexander, John a. Hunter, Sean Arata, Ruth Martinez Cervantes, and Kristen Scudder

Southern Maya Lowlands and Maya Highlands

11. Inferring the Archaeological Context through Taphonomy: The Use of the White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Chinikiha, Chiapas, Coral Montero Lopez

12. Late-Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Animal Use by San Pedro Maya and the British Populations at Holotunich, Belize, Erin Kennedy Thornton and Olivia Ng Cackler

13. Archaeological Animals of the Southern Maya Highlands: Zooarchaeology of Kaminaljuya, Kitty F Emery, Erin Kennedy Thornton, Nicole R. Cannarozzi, Stephen Houston, and Hector Escobedo

Mesoamerica's Southern Neighbors

14. Preliminary Analysis of the Zooarchaeology of the San Christobel Site, Nicaragua: The Bounty of Mohammed's Paradise, David N Rewniak, Paul F. Healy, and Morgan Tamplin

15. Molluscs as Food in a Prolific Coastal Environment: Evidence for Selective Foraging and Taphonomy from Cueva de los Vampiros (Central Panama), Diana Rocio Carajal Contreras

16. Pre-Columbian Exploitation of Birds around Panama Bay, Richard G. Cooke, David W. Steadman, Maximo Jimenez, and Ilean Isaza Aizpurua

17. Crawling and Walking at the Same Time: Challenges in "Animal Archaeology" in Northern South America, Elizabeth Ramos Roca

Taxonomic Reviews of Mesoamerican Fauna

18. The Dog in the Mexican Archaeozoological Record, Raul Valadez Azua, Alicia Blanco Padilla, Bernardo Rodriguez Galicia, and Gilberto Perez Roldan

19. Bats in Ancient Mesoamerica, Laura Navarro and Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales

20. Conclusion: From Zooarchaeological Remains to a Human Context, Kitty F. Emery

References Cited

List of Contributors

Subject Index

Index of Places

Taxonomic Index

Digital Companion

'A must for those interested in the interaction of human and animals in Mesoamerica or elsewhere. An excellent and balanced selection of topics by outstanding researchers.' (Guillermo L. Mengoni Goñalons, Instituto de Arqueología, FFyL-UBA)

'...an ambitious, panregional review of complex relationships between people and animals derived from the rich Mesoamerican cultural and archaeological record. The result is a valuable reference tool demonstrating how much we have learned over the past few decades and how much more we need to know; not only here, but elsewhere.' (Elizabeth J. Reitz, University of Georgia)

'The application of traditional and new quantification methods, ecological modelling, and cutting edge scientific techniques to complex archaeological questions and animal bone assemblages unique in their preservational and taxonomic characteristics, makes this an essential and inspiring reference for specialists world-wide.' (Polydora Baker, Senior Zooarchaeologist, English Heritage, Heritage Conservation)

'This book is an outstanding example of new approaches o the stufy of relationships between humans and animals.  Recent research, contemporary concerns, and new methodologies are addressed in 18 chapters, an introduction, and a conclusion. In addition, this volume provides important resources, such as a digital companion and a useful taxonomic index.' (Ximena Chavez Balderas, Latin American Antiquity 24.5, 2014)

Christopher M. Götz is Profesor-Investigador (lecturer & researcher), Facultad de Ciencias Antropologicas, Universidad Autonoma de Yucatán.


Kitty F. Emery is Associate Curator of Environmental Archaeology, Florida Museum of Natural History.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 784 pages
 228mm x 152mm

BIC Code:
  SCI026000, SOC003000
 Lockwood Press


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