Early Farming and Warfare in Northwest Mexico

This volume presents the multiyear archaeological investigations of Cerro Juanaqueña and related sites in northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico. These remarkable terraced hilltop settlements represent a series of watershed developments, including substantial dependence on agriculture and early experiments with village living, fortified settlements, collective labor, and communal architecture. Part of a larger, regional development, they parallel changes in northern Sonora and southern Arizona. The emergence of large fortified agricultural villages at 1300 BC—before the use of ceramics—was an unexpected discovery that changed how archaeologists view early agriculture in this region.
The authors place their work in a regional and theoretical context, providing detailed analyses of radiocarbon dates, structures, features, and artifacts. Authors Hard and Roney, and their contributors, present innovative analyses of plant and animal remains, ground stone, chipped stone, and landscape evolution. Through comparisons with a global cross-cultural probe of hilltop sites and a detailed examination of the features and artifacts of Cerro Juanaqueña, Hard and Roney argue that these cerros de trincheras sites are the earliest fortified defensive sites in the region. Readers with interests in ancient agriculture, warfare, village formation, and material culture will find this to be a foundational volume.

Click here for a link to the supplementary electronic appendices.

Robert J. Hard is professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
John R. Roney completed a distinguished career with the Bureau of Land Management and is now an archaeological consultant in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Color Plates
List of Tables
List of Online Appendices
Publisher’s Note
1.  Introduction
2.  The Environment of the Río Casas Grandes Region of Northwestern Chihuahua
3.  Cerro Juanaqueña and Its Features
4.  Other Sites
5.  Radiocarbon Dating
6.  Overview of Material Culture
7.  Warfare and Society
8.  Plant Use by Karen R. Adams and J. Kevin Hanselka
9.  Analysis of Amaranth and Chenopod Seeds by Gayle J. Fritz
10. Pollen, Phytolith, Starch, and Stable Isotope Analyses
11. Faunal Remains by Kari M. Schmidt
12. Late Quaternary Landscape Evolution byLee C. Nordt
13. Manos, Metates, and Grinding Slabs
14. Chipped Stone Artifact Analysis by Bradley J. Vierra
15. Conclusions
List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:
“A significant contribution to the burgeoning literature on the early development of agricultural villages in northwest Mexico and the southwest United States. I applaud the authors’ work and appreciate their attention to addressing multiple alternative explanations and creating a comprehensive vision of the early hill settlements in the Casas Grandes Valley.”
—James T. Watson, associate curator of bioarchaeology and associate professor of anthropology, University of Arizona

“This volume is based on careful, detailed, and long-term study at one of the most important archaeological sites in northwest Mexico and the southwest United States. It will re-enforce a fundamentally new understanding of the emergence of village lifeways and the emergence of farming economies in the Southwest/Northwest and will have an important and continuing impact on Early Agricultural period studies.”
—Paul R. Fish, curator emeritus, Arizona State Museum, and professor emeritus, School of Anthropology, Arizona State University

Early Farming and Warfare belongs on the shelves of every archaeologist interested in the region’s early agricultural communities and is a must-read for anyone interested in Northwest Mexican archaeology in general.”
Latin American Antiquity

“This book makes a substantial contribution to understanding population aggregation and large-scale construction projects in early agricultural villages in the North American Southwest. Early Farming and Warfare in Northwest Mexico is essential reading for archaeologists of the southwestern United States, paleo ethnobotanists, and those interested in the origins and spread of farming in North America.”
Human Ecology