Recognizing People in the Prehistoric Southwest

In the prehistoric Southwest, if you traveled from one community to another, you would have observed tremendous diversity in how people looked and spoke. This volume is the first to look at how prehistoric people’s appearance and speech conveyed their identities. Previously, Southwest archaeologists have studied identity using architecture, ceramics, textiles, and jewelry. This book uses a holistic, comparative approach to consider all aspects of appearance. Advocating a people-centered perspective for studying the past, Neitzel and her colleagues show how these characteristics conveyed information about an individual’s social status, cultural affiliation, inter-group connections, religious beliefs, and ceremonial roles.

Contributors: Ann L. W. Stodder, Museum of New Mexico, and Department of Anthropology, The University of New Mexico; Laurie Webster, University of Arizona; and Jane H. Hill, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona (emerita) 

Jill Neitzel is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware. 

Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction – Jill E. Neitzel
1. Physical Variation – Ann L. W. Stodder
2. Clothing – Laurie D. Webster
3. Ornaments – Jill E. Neitzel
4. Hair – Jill E. Neitzel
5. Facial Decoration – Jill E. Neitzel
6. Language – Jane H. Hill
Conclusion – Jill E. Neitzel
Appendix (Tables)
Figure Sources and Permissions

Praise and Reviews:
“This is the first broad-based comparison that focuses on these particular perspectives—how the ancient people of the Southwest looked and talked at different points in time. There is plenty of food for thought in all of the chapters.”
—Catherine S. Fowler, Foundation Professor Emerita, Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno 

“Fills a niche of intelligent books about archaeology understandable by students and non-archaeologists. The only other books of this sort are those that simply describe some kind of material culture (sandals or jewelry); this book is refreshingly different because it draws together several lines of evidence and makes sense of them.”
—Michelle Hegmon, professor of anthropology, Arizona State University 

“[A] groundbreaking study that develops distinct identities for the prehistoric people of the Southwest. Richly illustrated and written for the general public, it is an essential addition to the study of the people of the prehistoric Southwest.”—American Archaeology