The Archaeology of Indigenous Resistance to the Spanish Conquest

Short Seminar

November 5–6, 2008

The Archaeology of Indigenous Resistance to the Spanish ConquestThe Archaeology of Indigenous Resistance to the Spanish ConquestCo-chaired by Matthew Liebmann, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of William and Mary and Melissa Scott Murphy, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of WyomingThe Archaeology of Indigenous Resistance to the Spanish ConquestCo-chaired by Matthew Liebmann, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of William and Mary and Melissa Scott Murphy, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Wyoming

The Spanish conquest of the Americas instituted a new era in human history, but Spanish colonialism in the Americas was neither comprehensive nor uncontested. Rather, it developed as a patchwork of domination, resistance, accommodation, and negotiation as indigenous peoples exerted a variety of strategies in their attempts to adapt to the colonizing and evangelizing efforts of the Spaniards.

“The material culture of this era is a crucial tool for documenting the limits of Spanish domination because the Native peoples of the New World rarely recorded their versions of these events in writing,” wrote the co-chairs of this short seminar. “Surprisingly, the varieties of indigenous resistance to Spanish colonialism have been remarkably under-studied. In recent years new studies investigating the archaeology of indigenous experiences of the colonial encounter have been conducted, led by many of the participants in this session.”

The gathering’s primary contribution was to explore the Spanish colonial era from indigenous perspectives via archaeology, documenting the various forms of resistance and accommodation through which people opposed colonization and, in some cases, managed to preserve indigenous ways of life. The participants had worked in diverse places—the Andes, Mesoamerica, the Caribbean, the southeastern and southwestern United States, and California.

Matthew Liebmann, Chair Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, College of William and Mary The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Pueblo Resistance and Complicity during the Spanish Reconquista of New Mexico
Melissa Scott Murphy, Chair Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Wyoming Resistance, Persistence and Accommodation at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru
Robin Beck Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma Resisting Resistance: Colonial Encounters and Local Politica in Native Carolina, 1566-1568
Minette C. Church Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs We may have a perfectly harmless and well affected inhabitant turned into a designing and troublesome neighbor”: Archaeology of Resistance Explored through the Case Study of San Pedro, Belize
Kathleen Deagan Distinguished Research Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida Native American Resistance to Spanish Presence in Hispaniola and La Florida
Patricia Fournier Professor, División de Posgrado, Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico Pots and Plots: The Roles of Early Colonial Red Wares in the Basin of Mexico, Identity, Negotiation, and Accommodation
Robert W. Preucel Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania Hybrid Identities and Invented Traditions: Re-rethinking the Pueblito Phenomenon
Jeffrey Quilter Deputy Director, Curatorial Affairs, Peabody Museum, Harvard University Cultural Encounters at Magdalena de Cao Viejo in the Early Colonial Period
Rus Sheptak Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley Pragmatic Choices, Colonial Lives: Resistance, Ambivalence, and Appropriation in Northern Honduras
Barbara Voss Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University Indigenous Heritage at Spanish-Colonial Military Settlements
Steve Wernke Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University Convergences: The Origins of Colonial Hybridity at an Early Mission Complex in Highland Peru

Sponsored by The Annenberg Foundation

Follow us: