This monograph, as its title implies, contains a listing of archaeological sites in Mexico and Central America which have remains relating to the earliest American Indians and their cultures. There is a short discussion of the system of classification of cultures used by the author, a description of types of sites included, and an explanation of the format of the paper. A selected bibliography pertaining to the sites listed is included. There also is a short appendix dealing with the recent finds at Valsequillo, Puebla.
Only sites assigned to the Paleoindian or Mesoindian phases are included. In the Paleoindian category are included localities of late Pleistocene age attributed to nomadic hunters of animals now extinct. The Mesoindian phase designates cultures of advanced collectors and semi-sedentary, incipient agriculturists whose remains constitute a transition between Paleoindian hunters and the beginnings of the high pre-Hispanic civilizations.
Seventy-five sites are catalogued; 70 are in Mexico, 5 in Central America. The culture phase represented at each site is listed, and its location, date of discovery or exploration, principal investigators, and brief outline of the finds are presented.
The work is primarily a reference tool for archaeologists or historians interested in prehistory. General readers will not find a comprehensive discussion of the antiquity of man in Mexico and Central America but can, of course, refer to the numerous bibliographic sources included for detailed discussions. The work is a most thorough compilation.
It may be noted that the type of archaeology exemplified by this report has come of age in Middle America only recently. There is such a large number of ruins of villages, cities, and ceremonial centers of the great civilizations that evolved in Middle America that archaeologists have long tended to concentrate their attention upon these sites. Much information and great quantities of artifacts, many of extraordinary artistic value, have been recovered. Archaeological finds that consist of a few stone implements associated with bones of extinct animals or scraps of dessicated plants are far from spectacular, but they do furnish valuable information about the age, distribution, and types of cultures possessed by our earliest American Indians.