“Brings the archaeology of first contact between Europeans and American Indians front and center. A major contribution to the archaeology, ethnohistory, and history of early colonial America.”—Robbie Ethridge, author of From Chicaza to Chickasaw: The European Invasion and the Transformation of the Mississippian World, 1540–1715
“Provides a wealth of new scholarship addressing the archaeology of sixteenth century Spanish entradas. Focusing on European-made artifacts, the authors reveal new insights into the Spanish expeditions that impacted Native American societies across much of the North American Southeast and Southwest.”—Jon Bernard Marcoux, author of The Cherokees of Tuckaleechee Cove
In Modeling Entradas: Sixteenth-Century Assemblages in North America, Clay Mathers brings together leading archaeologists working across the American South to offer a comprehensive, comparative analysis of Spanish entrada assemblages. These expeditions into the interior of the North American continent were among the first contacts between New- and Old-World communities, and the study of how they were organized and the routes they took—based on the artifacts they left behind—illuminates much about the sixteenth-century indigenous world and the colonizing efforts of Spain.
Focusing on the entradas of conquistadors Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, Hernando de Soto, Tristán de Luna y Arellano, and Juan Pardo, contributors offer insights from recently discovered sites including encampments, battlefields, and shipwrecks. Using the latest interpretive perspectives, they turn the narrative of conquest from a simple story of domination to one of happenstance, circumstance, and interactions between competing social, political, and cultural worlds. These essays delve into the dynamic relationships between Native Americans and Europeans in a variety of contexts including exchange, disease, conflict, and material production.
This volume offers valuable models for evaluating, synthesizing, and comparing early expeditions, showing how object-oriented and site-focused analyses connect to the anthropological dimensions of early contact, patterns of regional settlement, and broader historical trajectories such as globalization.
Clay Mathers, a registered professional archaeologist based in Albuquerque, is the coeditor of Native and Spanish New Worlds: Sixteenth-Century Entradas in the American Southwest and Southeast and Heritage of Value, Archaeology of Renown: Reshaping Archaeological Assessment and Significance.