Margaret C. Nelson - Mimbres Lives And Landscapes
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Margaret C. Nelson con Mimbres Lives And Landscapes
People have called the mountains, rolling hills, wide valleys, and broad desert plains of southwestern New Mexico home for at least ten thousand years. When they began to farm a little over two thousand years ago, they settled near the rich soils in the river floodplains. Then, around 900, the people of this region burned all of their kivas and started gathering in large villages with small ritual spaces and open plazas. Between 900 and about 1100, they also made the intricately painted geometric and figurative bowls today called Mimbres, their best-known legacy. Then, in the 1130s, they stopped making this kind of pottery and drifted out of villages to more dispersed settlements. These dramatic changes frame the story told in Mimbres Lives and Landscapes. The well-illustrated essays in this book offer the latest archaeological research to explain what we know and what questions still remain about this ancient people. Beginning with an overview of the abrupt change in lifestyle that launched the distinctive Mimbres culture, the book explores men and women's lives, how they fed themselves, the changing nature of leadership, and the possible meanings of the dramatic pottery designs. Looking beyond southwestern New Mexico, the book explores the connections between the residents of the Mimbres region and the great civilizations of Hohokam and Chaco. Instead of asking the usual question, why the Mimbres culture disappeared, this book shows that by 1130, for a variety of reasons, people decided to reorganize their lives, just as they had in 900. The big decisions and daily strategies of these hardy and creative desert people have much to tell us about the relationships between social and environmental change. The closing chapter describes how landowners can support archaeological research on their land and be good stewards of the remnants of ancient times.
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