cover of book

The Prehispanic Ethnobotany of Paquimé and Its Neighbors
by Paul E. Minnis and Michael E. Whalen
University of Arizona Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-0-8165-4211-6 | Cloth: 978-0-8165-4079-2
Library of Congress Classification GN560.M6M56 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 581.63097216

Paquimé (also known as Casas Grandes) and its antecedents are important and interesting parts of the prehispanic history in northwestern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. Not only is there a long history of human occupation, but Paquimé is one of the better examples of centralized influence. Unfortunately, it is also an understudied region compared to the U.S. Southwest and other places in Mesoamerica.

This volume is the first large-scale investigation of the prehispanic ethnobotany of this important ancient site and its neighbors. The authors examine ethnobotanical relationships during Medio Period, AD 1200–1450, when Paquimé was at its most influential. Based on two decades of archaeological research, this book examines uses of plants for food, farming strategies, wood use, and anthropogenic ecology. The authors show that the relationships between plants and people are complex, interdependent, and reciprocal. This volume documents ethnobotanical relationships and shows their importance to the development of the Paquimé polity.

How ancient farmers made a living in an arid to semi-arid region and the effects their livelihood had on the local biota, their relations with plants, and their connection with other peoples is worthy of serious study. The story of the Casas Grandes tradition holds valuable lessons for humanity.
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