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Archaeology of the Mimbres Region Southwestern New Mexico U.S.A.

Stephen H. Lekson
Publication Year:
169pp. Includes 15 tables 14 figures, maps, plans, drawings and photographs
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This volume summarizes the archaeology of the Mimbres area. Mimbres is the archaeological term for ancient Native American peoples who lived along the river of that name (the Rio Mimbres) and several other valleys in the southwestern corner of the state of New Mexico. They flourished, artistically, from about A.D. 950 to 1150; and the characteristic black-on-white pottery of that period is represented in art museums and private collections around the world. A single Mimbres bowl can fetch tens of thousands of dollars at auction. The pottery itself was not technically remarkable (hand-formed, indifferently finished earthenware) but the designs - painted in black pigment on the white-slipped interior of bowls - constitute one of the most appealing, intriguing and recognizable Native artistic tradition of ancient North America. Any reader of this volume almost certainly has seen Mimbres art, and the chances are good that the reader possesses a Mimbres image or two on a T-shirt, a trivet, a tea towel, oreven a tattoo. As well as pottery, the author investigates: cremations and burial rituals, shells and canal irrigation, and other aspects of Mimbres archaeology, as well as indicating areas for future research.