The Excavation of the Prehistoric Burial Tumulus at Lofkënd, Albania
By John K. Papadopoulos, Sarah P. Morris, Lorenc Bejko, and Lynne A. Schepartz
Publication Date: September 2014
Series: MA 34
The burial tumulus of Lofkënd lies in one of the richest archaeological areas of Albania (ancient Illyria) home to a number of burial tumuli spanning the Bronze and Iron Ages of later European prehistory. Modern understanding of the pre- and protohistory of Illyria has largely been shaped by the contents of such burial mounds, yet some were robbed long ago, others reused for modern burials, and few were excavated under scientific conditions. What inspired this systematic exploration by UCLA was more than the promise of an unplundered necropolis; it was also the chance to revisit the significance of this tumulus and its fellows for the emergence of urbanism and complexity in ancient Illyria. In addition to artifacts, the recovery of surviving plant remains, bones, and other organic material contributed to insights into the environmental and ecological history of the region. Full analysis of all the skeletal remains, inhumed and cremated, enhanced knowledge about the demography and human population in this region of Albania. Finally, an intensive survey of the environment around the burial mound revealed the long-term history of its human and natural landscape.
An Archaic Mexican Shellmound and Its Entombed Floors
By Barbara Voorhies
Publication Date: 2015
Series: MO 80
Tlacuachero is the site of an Archaic-period shellmound located in the wetlands of the outer coast of southwest Mexico. This book presents investigations of several constructed floors, built during the 600–800 years of site formation in the Archaic period (ca. 8000–2000 BCE), the crucial timespan in Mesoamerican prehistory when people were transitioning from full blown dependency on wild resources to the use of domesticated crops. The constructed floors at the site are among the region’s earliest permanent architecture, and are now deeply buried in a limited area within the shellmound. The authors explore what activities were carried out on their surfaces, discussing the floors’ patterns of cultural features, sediment color, density and types of embedded microrefuse and phytoliths, as well as chemical signatures of organic remains.
The studies conducted at Tlacuachero are especially significant in light of the fact that data-rich lowland sites from the Archaic period are extraordinarily rare; the wealth of information gleaned from the floors of the Tlacuachero shellmound can now be widely appreciated.
Vilcabamba and the Archaeology of Inca Resistance
By Brian S. Bauer, Javier Fonseca Santa Cruz, and
Miriam Aràoz Silva
Publication Date: May 2015
Series: MO 81
The sites of Vitcos and Espíritu Pampa are two of the most important Inca cities within the remote Vilcabamba region of Peru. The province has gained notoriety among historians, archaeologists and other students of the Inca, since it was from here that the last independent Incas waged a nearly forty year-long war (AD 1536–1572) against Spanish control of the Andes. Building on three years of excavation and two years of archival work, the authors discuss the events that took place in this area, speaking to the complex relationships that existed between the Europeans and Andeans during the decades that Vilcabamba was the final stronghold of the Inca empire. This has long been a topic of interest for the public; the results of the first large scale, scientific research conducted in the region will be illuminating for scholars as well as for general readers who are enthusiasts of this period of history and archaeology.