Abstract: Mimbres, More than an Art Style


Mimbres is a world famous art tradition from the 11th century in southwestern New Mexico.  Images on Mimbres pottery appear widely on modern decorative art; Mimbres pots are prized items in museums around the world.  Yet there are no Mimbres national monuments or parks, nor is Mimbres widely known as an ancient society.  New excavations at Woodrow Ruin and the Black Mountain site (by Lekson and his students) and other Mimbres sites show that Mimbres was a remarkable chapter in the history of the ancient Southwest.  Mimbres towns, in their time, were larger than contemporary Anasazi/Pueblo sites to the north.  And Mimbres towns were longer lived, with histories in centuries compared to Anasazi/Pueblo sites which lasted a generation or two.  Mimbres was a player: first deeply engaged first with Hohokam, and later with Chaco, and finally as a major element in the rise of the great city of Casas Grandes.  Many aspects of modern Pueblo Indian life and worldview began, apparently, in Mimbres.  New data suggest a dynamic new history of Mimbres – the southwest’s most famous ancient art style, but least known major culture.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Lekson, Stephen H. 2009  A History of the Ancient Southwest.  School of Advanced Research Press.

Nelson, Margaret and Michelle Hegmon (eds.) 2010  Mimbres Lives and Landscapes.   School of Advanced Research Press.


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