Mesoamerica

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LIBRARY CATALOG

COD LIBRARY CATALOG: Books and Videos in the COD Library only

Outline of the Library of Congress Classification System (what C.O.D. uses to arrange its books)
I-SHARE (formerly Illinet Online): Get books from over 80 Illinois academic libraries
Interlibrary Loan, to get books and journal articles from other libraries around the country.
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REFERENCE BOOKS

Why Reference Sources?

Is your research topic too big to cover in a short paper?  Is your topic so specific that sources will be hard to find?

Before you even begin your research, start the process with reference sources-- in the Library's Reference Section or online in our databases.  Reference books, like subject encyclopedias, can give you a head start and make your research easier in the long run.  Use reference sources to:

  • find a topic
  • narrow your topic
  • find keywords
  • get background information on your topic

General Reference Books
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Print edition Reference AE 5 .E 363 2005
Iconic Mexico: An Encyclopedia from Acapulco to Zócalo. (2015)
Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History. (2004)
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. Reference F 1218.6 .O 95 2001
The World's Writing Systems. General P 211 .W 714 1996

Use the menu below to find the other reference resources by broad subject areas.

  1. Anthropology/Ethnography
  2. Architecture
  3. Art
  4. History
COD Library Research Guide for Ancient Civilizations
Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encyclopedia. Reference F 1218.6 .A 73 2001
Encyclopedia of Ancient Mesoamerica. General F 1219 .B 932 1996
Encyclopedia of the Ancient Maya. (2016)
Encyclopedia of the Incas. (2015)
Facts and Artifacts of Ancient Middle America : A Glossary of Terms and Words used in the Archaeology and Art History of Pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America. General F 1219 .M 97 1978
The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya : An Illustrated Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion. General F 1435.3 .R 3 M 55 1993
Handbook of Mesoamerican Mythology. General F 1219.3 .R 38 R 42 2000
Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World. General F 1435 .F 676 2002
Handbook to Life in the Aztec World. General F 1219.73 .A 35 2007
The Indians of Central and South America : An Ethnohistorical Dictionary. General F 1434 .O 45 1991
Myths of Ancient Mexico. General F1219.3 .R 38 G 7213 1997
Native Mesoamerican Spirituality : Ancient Myths, Discourses, Stories, Doctrines, Hymns, Poems from the Aztec, Yucatec, Quiche-Maya and Other Sacred Traditions. General F 1219.3 .R 38 N 37 1980
The Ancient Americans : A Reference Guide to the Art, Culture, and History of Pre-Columbian North and South America. General E 59 .P 42 S 3613 2001
Encyclopedia of World Architecture. General NA 200 .S 74 1983
List of COD Library books on Mayan Art and Architecture.
List of COD Library books on pre-Columbian Architecture.
Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Art. General N 6502 .E 53 2000
Historical Art Index, A.D. 400-1650 : People, Places, and Events Depicted Reference N 8210 .R 6 1989
Oxford Art Online database
Full-text of scholarly encyclopedia articles covering the visual arts. Links to images of artistic works and to selected Web sites.
The Oxford Dictionary of Art Reference N 33 .O 93 2004
List of COD Library books on Pre-Columbian Art
The Ancient Americans : A Reference Guide to the Art, Culture, and History of Pre-Columbian North and South America. General E 59 .P 42 S 3613 2001
Atlas Histórico de Mesoamérica. General F 1219 .A 85 1993
Conflict in the Early Americas : An Encyclopedia of the Spanish Empire's Aztec, Incan, and Mayan Conquests. (2013)
Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon : The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization. General F 1219.3 .C 2 M 25 1997
Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Reference F 1406 .E 53 1996
Historical Atlas of Ancient America. General G 1101 .E 6 B 3 2001
Historical Atlas of Central America. General G 1551 .S 1 H 2 2003
Historical Dictionary of Mesoamerica. (2012)
The History Atlas of South America. General G1701 .S 1 E 4 1998
Latin America, History and Culture: An Encyclopedia. Reference F 1406 .L 38 1999
Literary Cultures of Latin America : A Comparative History. Reference PQ 7081 .A 1 L 525 2004
Mesoamerican Writing Systems: Propaganda, Myth, and History in Four Ancient Civilizations. (1992)

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ARTICLE DATABASES

You must have a valid College of DuPage library card to access the electronic indexes and databases from off-campus.

General Databases
Academic OneFile (formerly Expanded Academic Index ASAP). An index to over 2500 magazines and journals covering a variety of topic areas including anthropology. This database provides references, abstracts, and many times the full-text of articles. A COD library card is required for off-campus use.

Academic Search Premier/Complete. [EBSCOhost]1984 to present; 1990 to present- full text). Abstracts from nearly 3000 journals and full text for 1250 journals including general reference, education, social sciences, humanities, general science, multi-cultural studies, library and information science. A COD library card is required for off-campus use.

JSTOR
Excellent source for credible scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Articles in database were published between the early 1700s and between 1-5 years ago.

Project MUSE
Project MUSE offers full-text current and archival articles from 500+ scholarly journals from major university presses covering literature and criticism, history, performing arts, cultural studies, education, philosophy, political science, gender studies, and more. Updated continually.
List of COD Library Image databases

Use the menu below to find the other databases by broad subject areas.

Anthrosource. This provides citations and texts for articles in the professional journals and newsletters of the American Anthropological Association. Look at the top right side for the journal citation search feature. Those who are members of the AAA can log in and retrieve the full-text of the articles.
The American Museum of Natural History Publications, full-text online. The free site has the contents of the following publications: American Museum Novitates, Anthropological Papers of the American Musuem of Natural History, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, and the Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History.
Art and Architecture Complete

This database provides full-text coverage of more than 350 periodicals and 220 books. In addition, Art & Architecture Complete offers cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 800 academic journals, magazines and trade publications. Subjects include Antiques, Architecture and Architectural History, Archaeology, Costume Design, Decorative Arts, Graphic Arts, Interior and landscape design, Painting, Printmaking and Sculpture. The database also provides selective coverage for more than 70 additional publications and an Image Collection of over 64,000 images provided by Picture Desk and others.

  • Art &Architecture Complete
    Articles from journals, magazines, and trade publications covering all aspects of the arts.
  • Artstor
    The Artstor Digital Library provides over 1.6 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with an accessible suite of software tools for teaching and research.

  • History Study Center
    Primary and secondary history collections providing access to rare British, American and world history sources, full text articles and reference materials. Includes multimedia sources.

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    OTHER RESEARCH GUIDES

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    Midwest Conference on Mesoamerican Archaeology and Ethnohistory

    39th Annual Conference, Friday - Saturday, March 11 - 12, 2016
    The Culinary and Hospitality Center, The College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137
    Contact:
    David A. Ouellette
    Instructor of Art History
    College of Dupage
    [email protected]
    630-942-2586

    PROGRAM
    Friday March 11th

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS (6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
    Culinary and Hospitality Center (CHC) Room 1020
    “From ‘Decorative Art’ to ‘Indian Art of the Americas’: a History of the Mesoamerica Collection
    at the Art Institute of Chicago”
    Elizabeth I. Pope, Art Institute of Chicago

    RECEPTION (7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
    MacAninch Arts Center (MAC) Room 117

    Refreshments with access to Cleve Carney Art Gallery and cash bar.
    For those looking for something else to do while in the area, the MAC is hosting Monterey Jazz Festival,
    as well as a performance of Julius Caesar by the College of DuPage Theatre Friday evening.
    More information and tickets can be found here: http://www.atthemac.org

    Saturday March 12th
    BREAKFAST (8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.)
    Culinary and Hospitality Center (CHC) Room 1020

    Light breakfast and Kaqchikel-Grown Conscious Bean Coffee provided.

    RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (AND MISMANAGEMENT?) (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
    Culinary and Hospitality Center (CHC) Room 1020

    “Smash-and-Trash” Deposits at Ka’Kabish, Belize: How Theoretical and Analytical
    Approaches Can Affect Interpretation
    Kerry L. Sagebiel, Northern Illinois University
    Helen R. Haines, Trent University
    Joshuah J. Lockett-Harris, Trent University
    It is quite common for Maya archaeologists to discover “smash-and-trash” deposits consisting of large
    quantities of broken sherds, lithics, faunal materials, and other remains in varying contexts on Maya sites.
    The interpretation of these deposits has varied from simple trash or midden deposits, to remains of
    feasting, to termination and other rituals. These interpretations are often strongly influenced by the
    theoretical and analytical approaches taken. At Ka’Kabish, Belize, a series of “smash-and-trash”
    problematical deposits, consisting primarily of sherds and reconstructible vessels, was encountered in
    Plaza D South. This paper will explore how different analytical and theoretical approaches to these
    deposits can influence how they are interpreted, and attempt to gain some insights into which approaches
    are most reasonable for analyzing and explaining these kinds of deposits.

    Lime Powder Production in the Puuc Maya Region (AD 600-950):
    An Experimental Pit-Kiln

    Ken Seligson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Tomás Gallareta Negrón, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia
    Rossana May Ciau, Universidad Autónomo de Yucatán
    Powdered lime was one of the most significant materials in the daily lives of the Prehispanic Maya, and
    yet archaeologists have uncovered little evidence of production methods or locales prior to the Spanish
    Conquest in the 16th century. The recent identification of a series of pit-kilns dating to the Terminal
    Classic Period (ca. 650-950 AD) in and around the site of Kiuic in the Puuc region of the Northern
    lowlands provides the opportunity to investigate a distinctive sub-regional Prehispanic lime production
    technology. This article presents the preliminary excavation results of nine pit-kilns and then describes
    the experimental reconstruction and firing of a lime pit-kiln modeled. The results indicate that the pitkilns
    are more fuel-efficient than the aboveground pyres used during the Post-Conquest Period. This in
    turn suggests that the local Prehispanic Maya managed their consumption of natural resources for
    producing lime during a period of sociopolitical, demographic and environmental changes.

    Cultivating Roots: An ethnographic documentary showcasing a Kaqchikel community
    working to sustain their environment.

    Hale Ekinci, North Central College
    Rachel Pierson, North Central College
    Cultivating Roots examines a community-based reforestation project in the Kaqchikel community of San
    Lucas Toliman, Guatemala. This film endeavors to place highland Maya families and social organizations
    in global context. The film is intended to raise environmental awareness and gain support from donors
    and institutions. Ekinci and Pierson will screen the film and discuss the intergenerational,
    interdisciplinary, intercultural, and transnational dialogues present in the films and in its production.

    COFFEE BREAK (10:30 – 11:00 a.m.)
    Featuring Kaqchikel-Grown Conscious Bean Coffee

    MOVEMENTS WITHIN (11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
    Culinary and Hospitality Center (CHC) Room 1020

    A New Proposal for the Reading Order of the Yaxchilan Structure 23 Lintels
    Claudia Brittenham, University of Chicago
    The lintels of Yaxchilan Structure 23 are among the most famous of all Maya monuments. Dedicated by
    Lady K’abal Xook in 726, while her husband Itzamnaaj Bahlam IV was the ruler of Yaxchilan, these
    sculptures are both a tour-de-force of carving and a powerful demonstration of ancient women’s agency.
    Yet substantial puzzles remain about the dates on the lintels, the order in which they should be read, and
    the relationship between text and image in the lintel program. In this presentation, I offer a proposal for a
    new reading order for the lintels, arguing that they structure a particular kind of movement through the
    building.

    Avian Actors: Transformation and Sorcery in Mesoamerica
    Kerry Hull, Brigham Young University
    Mark A. Wright, Brigham Young University
    Shape-shifting and animal transformation has long been an ability characteristic of deities, sorcerers, and
    ritual specialists in Mesoamerica. In this paper we investigate avian transformations—perhaps the most
    common type of metamorphosis in Mesoamerican indigenous tradition due to the profound cultural and
    mythological significance of birds. We look at the role of birds in supernatural journeys by religious
    specialist and sorcerers. We draw upon archaeological evidence of human-bird transformations in the
    iconographic, epigraphic, and ceramic record. We also discuss the use of bone whistles and bird-shaped
    ceramic whistles with their imitative function and, using ethnographic data from our field research,
    explore their possible ritual uses. Finally, based largely on our ethno-ornithological research data with
    various Maya groups, we detail the specific mythologies associated with individual birds in the
    Mesoamerican area to show how these connections are exploited in sorcery and other ritual activities.

    Altars by the Lake: a documentary film in process
    Matthew Krystal, North Central College
    “Altars by the Lake” examines religious continuity and change in San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala.
    Kaqchikel Maya practitioners and cultural activists discuss the history and meaning of two sacred spaces
    in their community. One altar reflects Pre-Columbian cosmology in its configuration, but colonial and
    neocolonial oppression in its placement in the forest outside of town. The second altar reflects Maya
    cultural revitalization in context of globalization. It was constructed in a predominant public space in
    anticipation of December 21, 2012. Krystal will screen an excerpt of the film that focuses on the new
    altar. The ‘Imox annex’ altar is an intentional counter-appropriation, a wresting of a key symbol from illinformed
    outsiders. It also is locus of appropriation of Classic era calendrics, a new and interesting
    popular deployment of knowledge generated by Mayanist epigraphers and archaeologists.

    LUNCH (12:30 – 2:00 p.m.)
    Culinary and Hospitality Center (CHC) Room 2001

    Taco Bar provided by Chicks n’ Salsa of Glen Ellyn.

    MOVEMENTS ACROSS AND BEYOND (2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
    Culinary and Hospitality Center (CHC) Room 1020

    Pilgrimage Material Culture in Mesoamerica
    Joel Palka, University of Illinois-Chicago
    My presentation covers material signatures of pilgrimage ritual in Mesoamerica. Pilgrimage sites and
    ceremonial contexts cross-culturally present similar artifacts and archaeological residues. Pilgrims
    visiting shrines follow typical behaviors, such as piling objects at a place for penance or payments to
    divine forces, leaving small objects as “blessings”, making pilgrim’s marks, and taking sacra from shrines
    in the form of earth or water in diminutive containers. Specific iconography regarding pilgrimage visits to
    ritual landscapes, such as people walking with offerings, in addition to hand and foot prints, is also
    apparent. The evidence discussed here has implications for the interpretation of the material record in
    Mesoamerica, including heaps of ceramic sherds and shells in Maya caves, graffiti on Maya temple walls,
    “mutilated” Olmec stone monuments, miniature ceramic vessels in Jalisco and Oaxaca, rock art in
    Veracruz, and footprints at Teotihuacan.

    No Direction Home; refining the date of occupation at Tikal’s 19th century refugee village
    James Meierhoff, University of Illinois-Chicago
    In the latter half of the 19th Century, the ancient Maya ruined city Tikal was briefly reoccupied. The
    village was established some time before 1876, and had a maximum population of 15 households
    comprised of at least three distinct Maya speaking groups. However, the site was again abandoned when
    archaeologists visited Tikal in 1881. Most of the inhabitants were reportedly said to be Yucatec refugees
    fleeing the violence and upheavals of the Caste War of Yucatan (1847-1901) that raged for over 50 years.
    However, similar conflicts with English woodcutters in British Honduras also caused displacements, as
    many of the Yucatec refugees’ initial settlements were destroyed by British Troops. Was Tikal
    reoccupied by Maya refugees fleeing British violence? Ongoing artifact analysis from the 2014 field
    season, as well as previously excavated material and documentary evidence will attempt to refine the
    occupation sequence at the historic Tikal village.

    "The Chaco World" as a Mesoamerican Iyahqueh (Pochtecan) outpost
    Theodore R. Frisbie, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
    The notion that Chaco had direct input from Mesoamerican is neither new nor popular; however, recent
    research has added considerable importance to this idea. The key factor relates to the fact that turquoise
    replaced jade as the "God Stone" during the Epiclassic (Toltec Era) and the American Southwest has
    numerous sources. Rather than trading this elite commodity to the south, direct involvement is suggested
    by the Iyahqueh who established exploitative outposts in frontier areas. This paper addresses not only the
    numerous Mesoamerican traits found in the Chaco phenomenon, but related behavioral correlates. The
    amassed data strongly support the proposed thesis and clearly places the area within the sphere of
    "Greater Mesoamerica."

    Striking Evidence of Postclassic Contacts with Medieval Southeast Asia
    Alice B. Kehoe
    Careful critical evaluation of Postclassic similarities between Mesoamerica and Asia are warranted since
    the excavation of South American sweet potatoes in a thirteenth century CE site on Mangaia in Central
    Polynesia (reported by Jon Hather, paleobotanist, and Patrick Kirch, archaeologist, in Antiquity, 1991). A
    suite of data from Cihuatán and Nocuchich are striking anomalies in American context, as is a temple in
    central Java. The time is the height of the lucrative medieval spice trade in Asia, when well-capitalized
    merchants had excellent seagoing vessels exploring eastward in the Pacific, seeking spices and other
    exotic imports.

    Co-sponsor: The Department of Sociology and Anthropology, North Central College
    COD Press Announcement