Preceramic Mesoamerica delivers cutting-edge research on the Mesoamerican Paleoindian and Archaic periods.

The chapters address a series of fundamental questions in American archaeology including the peopling of the Americas, human adaptations to late glacial landscapes, the Neolithic transition, and the origins of sedentism and early village life. This volume presents innovative and previously unpublished research on the Paleoindian and Archaic periods and evaluates current models in light of new findings. Examples include breakthroughs in dating Mesoamerica’s earliest sites and their implications for models of hemispheric colonization; the transition to postglacial patterns of settlement and subsistence; divergent pathways to initial sedentism; the possibility of Archaic-period monumentality; changing patterns of interregional exchange and interaction; and debates surrounding the origins of agriculture, ceramics, and full-time village life.

The volume provides a new perspective on the Mesoamerican Preceramic for students and scholars in archaeology, anthropology, and history. Readers will come to understand how the Preceramic contributed to the emergence of the cultural traditions that anthropologists recognize as Mesoamerica.

chapter 1|36 pages

When is a Mesoamerican?

Pleistocene origins of the Mesoamerican tradition
ByJon C. Lohse

chapter 2|80 pages

Empty Gourds Make the Most Noise?

Theories and data in the study of the Archaic period in Mesoamerica
ByAleksander Borejsza

chapter 3|25 pages

Tales of the Terminal Pleistocene

Clovis in Northern Mexico and the first Mesoamericans
ByGuadalupe Sanchez, John P. Carpenter

chapter 4|21 pages

La Cueva De Los Hacheros

An early habitation site in Michoacan, Mexico
ByJosé Luis Punzo Díaz, Dante Bernardo Martínez Vázquez

chapter 5|27 pages

Yuzanú 50, An Ephemeral Camp of the Younger Dryas in the Mixteca Alta

ByJon C. Lohse, Aleksander Borejsza, Arthur A. Joyce

chapter 6|45 pages

Paleoindian Sites from Central Mexico

Paleoenvironment and dating
BySilvia Gonzalez, David Huddart, Emma Toole, Isabel Israde-Alcántara, Gabriela Domínguez-Vázquez

chapter 7|24 pages

Sitio Chivacabe, An Early Paleoindian Site in Western Highland Guatemala

ByJon C. Lohse, David M. Yelacic, Charles D. Frederick

chapter 8|19 pages

The Paleoindian to Archaic Transition in Central America

Esperanza phase projectile points recovered at the El Gigante rockshelter site, Honduras
ByHarry B. Iceland, Kenneth G. Hirth

chapter 9|26 pages

The Lacustrine Preceramic Cultures in the Basin of Mexico

Recent contributions
ByGuillermo Acosta-Ochoa, Emily McClung de Tapia, Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales

chapter 10|24 pages

The Preceramic in Oaxaca

ByMarcus Winter, Teresa Alarcón

chapter 11|27 pages

Preceramic Occupations in North-Central and Western Mexico

A regional perspective
ByBrigitte Faugère

chapter 12|42 pages

Las Estacas, An Early Archaic Site in Morelos

ByAleksander Borejsza, Luis Morett Alatorre, Jon C. Lohse

chapter 13|23 pages

Preceramic Lifeways on the Mesoamerican South Pacific Coast

ByBarbara Voorhies, Douglas J. Kennett

chapter 14|28 pages

Wetland Villages in Soconusco, 6000–2000 BCE

A new interpretation of Archaic shell mounds
ByJohn E. Clark, John G. Hodgson

chapter 15|33 pages

Yuzanú 36, A Late Archaic Site in the Mixteca Alta

ByAleksander Borejsza, Arthur A. Joyce, Jon C. Lohse, Isabel Rodríguez López

chapter 16|24 pages

The End of the Archaic in the Soconusco Region of Mesoamerica

A tipping point in the local trajectory toward agricultural village life
ByRichard G. Lesure, R. J. Sinensky, Thomas A. Wake

chapter 17|31 pages

Sourcing Preceramic Obsidian from Las Estacas, Morelos, And Yuzanú 36, Oaxaca, In the Context of Early Mesoamerican Lithic Procurement Patterns

ByArthur A. Joyce, Aleksander Borejsza, Jon C. Lohse, Luis Morett Alatorre, Brendan Nash

chapter 18|24 pages

Preceramic Archaeology in Mesoamerica

Recent developments and future directions
ByArthur A. Joyce