In Art in the Pre-Hispanic Southwest: An Archaeology of Native American Cultures, Radosław Palonka reconstructs the development of pre-Hispanic Native American cultures and tribes in the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest. Palonka also examines the wider context through the lenses of settlement studies and social transformation, while paying close attention to the material manifestations of pre-Hispanic beliefs, including intricately decorated ceramics and rock art iconography in paintings and petroglyphs.
Radosław Palonka is associate professor in the Department of New World Archeology, Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University, and research associate at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.
Chapter 1. Pre-Hispanic and the Early-Historic Southwest
Chapter 2. The Geography, Climate and Environment of the Southwest
Chapter 3. Mammoth and Bison Hunters: The Paleoindian and Archaic Periods
Chapter 4. Architects, Artists, and Farmers of the Colorado Plateau: Ancestral Pueblo Culture
Chapter 5. Civilizations in the Arizona Desert: The Hohokam and Salado cultures
Chapter 6. Pottery and Settlements in the Highlands: The Mogollon and Mimbres cultures
Chapter 7. The Border between Mesoamerica and the Southwest: Casas Grandes and the Cultural Traditions of Northern Mexico
Chapter 8. Farmers and Hunter-Gatherers from Utah: The Fremont Culture
Chapter 9. Hunter-Gatherers in the Pre-Hispanic and Early Historic Period in the Southwest: The Apache, Navajo, and Ute
The American Southwest remains the locus of a panoply of ancient cultural and artistic developments and long-standing Indigenous traditions. From Durango, CO, to Durango, Mexico, and Las Vegas, NM, to Las Vegas, NV, the Greater Southwest constitutes the developmental arena of such hallowed traditions as those of the Ancestral Pueblo, Mogollon, Hohokam, Sinagua, Salado, Paquimé, Mimbres, Hopi, Navajo, Pima, Paiute, Apache, and Comanche. Anthropological studies of the region and its peoples have witnessed over a century and a half of systematic scientific explorations that have both enriched and muddied understandings of the region's ancient peoples. Palonka succeeds in providing an eminently readable, comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and handsomely illustrated review of the cultural traditions, archaeology, and art history of the Greater Southwest, including northern Mexico. This international perspective is particularly accessible and represents one of the few efforts to internationalize the subject matter, thereby transcending borders, boundaries, and isolationist perspectives that have limited previous works. Palonka's substantive surveys, illustrations, and iconographic interpretations of elaborately decorated ceramics and rock art bolster contextual understandings of the transhumant communities and sedentary town dwellers that comprised the Prehispanic Southwest. Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
This new overview of archaeology in the American Southwest is a major step forward in recognizing rock art and other artistic media as an avenue into understanding the past.
A beautifully illustrated synthesis of art in the Southwestern archaeology, art that is given context and meaning by being set in a thorough review of the archaeology. All this, and it is written for international audiences!
In this well-researched and up-to-date synthesis, Radosław Polanka brings a unique European perspective to Southwest archaeology that traverses traditional regional boundaries while interweaving meaningful imagery and symbolism. His accessible and pleasing writing style sets artistic expression within broad contexts of cultural history in an insightful manner that will benefit professionals, students, and general audiences alike. Art in the Pre-Hispanic Southwest should find a well-used home on the bookshelves of readers who have interests in Indigenous histories of the U.S. Southwest as a whole and adjacent northern Mexico.
Written in a highly accessible style, this book should be of great interest to students, scholars, descendant communities, and the general public. Radosław Palonka is one of the few non-U.S. archaeologists studying Southwestern archaeology, and he provides a unique perspective on the region’s past. Because of his experience in southwest Colorado, he also brings in the many nomadic groups’ histories to complement overviews of more sedentary groups. I highly recommend this volume for anyone interested in an overview of Southwest archaeology’s diverse peoples and the art they produced.