Origins of the Ñuu: Archaeology in the Mixteca Alta, Mexico

Stephen A. Kowalewski, Andrew K. Balkansky, Laura R.Stiver Walsh, Thomas J. Pluckhahn, John F. Chamblee, Verónica Pérez Rodríguez, Verenice Y.Heredia Espinoza, Charlotte A. Smith

Research output: Book/ReportBook

60 Scopus citations


"This volume is a major contribution to Mesoamerican archaeology that every scholar will want to read for the vital information it provides on regional state development and population integretion. It will be used and referenced by generations of archaeologists interested in cultural development in the Mixteca Alta and its broader role in the emergence of economic and religious institutions throughout Mesoamerica." -Kenneth Hirth, Journal of Anthropological Research Combining older findings with new data on 1,000 previously undescribed archaeological sites, Origins of the ñuu presents the cultural evolution of the Mixteca Alta in an up-to-date chronological framework. The ñuu - the kingdoms of the famous Mixtec codices - are traced back through the Postclassic and Classic periods to their beginnings in the first states of the Terminal Formative, revealing their origin, evolution, and persistence through two cycles of growth and collapse. Challenging assumptions that the Mixtec were peripheral to better-known peoples such as the Aztecs or Maya, the book asserts that the ñuu were a major demographic and economic power in their own right. Older explanations of multiregional or macroregional systems often portrayed civilizations as rising in a cradle or hearth and spreading outward. New macroregional studies show that civilizations are products of more complex interactions between regions, in which peripheries are not simply shaped by cores but by their interactions with multiple societies at varying distances from major centers. Origins of the ñuu is a significant contribution to this emerging area of archaeological research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity Press of Colorado
Number of pages516
ISBN (Print)9780870819292
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'Origins of the Ñuu: Archaeology in the Mixteca Alta, Mexico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this