What do Juan Manuel de Rosas, English and French porcelain, and the remains of revienta caballos seeds have in common? Both are among the telling bits of evidence that demonstrate the new dimensions historical archaeology brings to the history. Rosas, the xenophobic governor of Buenos Aires province, prohibited imports of European products, but had English and French porcelain, French floor tiles and toothbrushes from Paris in his country residence. Revienta caballos, a plant with strong abortive qualities, was used by someone in at least one elite household between 1850 and 1895.

Daniel Schávelzon, the author of this study, is an acknowledged leader in the field of historical archaeology, a relatively new field in Latin America. The results of his extensive research on urban archaeology are presented in this interesting and highly readable book. Although he eventually plans to study Buenos Aires through...

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