In this engaging study, Christina Bueno examines the role that archaeology played in centralizing government power in Mexico during one of the most crucial periods of the nation-building era, known as the Porfiriato (1876–1911). With concise chapters and crisp writing, Bueno's book will appeal to readers interested in the history of Mexico, archaeology and nation building, and indigenous studies. Bueno's project is a contribution to the broader literature exploring the centralization of government in the Porfirian era and its role in shaping Mexican national identity, and her work leads the way in a small but growing field of scholarship dedicated to documenting the development of archaeology and patrimony in the postindependence period.

In part 1, Bueno considers the meanings that archaeology held both for the local people who lived in or near the archaeological zones and for the foreigners who visited them....

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