Superior European technology is often uncritically invoked as key in the Spanish invasion of Mesoamerica. Drawing on archaeological investigations that eschew the historic/pre-Hispanic dichotomy, this volume offers a sociomaterial approach to understand why some indigenous technologies changed little and others significantly with transfers, adaptations, and reconfigurations of Eurasian technologies. Editor Rani Alexander frames the volume with an introductory discussion of common themes, including two hinges of rapid technological change: the sixteenth-century arrival of Europeans and Africans, and the nineteenth-century beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.

The volume covers an array of technologies—including ceramics, cutting tools, architecture, agriculture, hydraulics, decorticating machines, and mills—and varied contexts, such as rural and urban households, haciendas, and plantations. The contributions encompass both highland and lowland geographies and ecologies and apply a variety of analytical approaches. Following the introduction, the first set of chapters address indigenous technologies, ceramics, and...

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