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Women in Ancient America
SECOND EDITION
with Karen E. Stothert
University of Oklahoma Press, 2014

A popular synthesis of new work concerning the roles of women and men in ancient American cultures. We cover a series of topics prominent in contemporary archaeological gender studies, using short case histories. We show that gender is a key dynamic in all human societies and demonstrate that female activities are significant and germane to the understanding of the human past.
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The Archaeology of Cihuatán, El Salvador
Karen O. Bruhns & Paul Amaroli B.
Lambert Academic Publishing, 2012

 
Cihuatán, El Salvador is a large urban site dating to the earliest Postclassic period (ca. AD 950-1050/1100. Investigations at the site since 1929 have revealed a walled ritual center with a main pyramid and two ball-courts while investigations in the 1970s and then in the 21st century directed by the authors have begun to reveal the Acropolis with its palaces, temples and associated structures. Cihuatán represents the southernmost complex manifestation of the international elite culture which arose in Mesoamerica in the Postclassic era, with a Mexican style royal palace and artifacts which represent long distance trade and the migration of ideas in art, religion, and ritual. Investigations at this site also reveal the strengths and weaknesses of archaeology in Latin America today and in the past. Cihuatán is now developed as a national archaeological park. This monograph, which traces the history of the site and of investigation there as well as what is currently known of the nature of the site and its inhabitants, is also available in Spanish.
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La Arqueología de Cihuatán, El Salvador
Karen O. Bruhns & Paul Amaroli B.
Editorial Académica Española, 2012

La antigua ciudad de Cihuatán (~950-1050/1100 d.C.) era el primer sitio urbano de El Salvador prehispánico. Esa obra presenta los resultados de más que 85 años de investigación en Cihuatán desde su descubrimiento en los años 1880, hasta el presente con una discusión de su aporte en el panorama de la prehistoria salvadoreña y una discusión crítica sobre su etnicidad y sus enlaces con las otras culturas contemporáneas de Mesoamérica y América Central durante la época turbulento del posclásico temprano. Este libro también está disponible en inglés.
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Faking Ancient Mesomerica
Nancy L. Kelker & Karen O. Bruhns
Left Coast Press, 2009

Crystal skulls, imaginative codices, dubious Olmec heads and cute Colima dogs: fakes and forgeries run rampant in the Mesoamerican art collections of international museums and private individuals. We discuss the most commonly forged classes and styles of artifacts, many of which were being duplicated as early as the 19th century. More important, we describe the system whereby these objects get made, purchased, authenticated, and placed in major museums as well as the complicity of forgers, dealers, curators, and collectors in this system. Unique to this volume are biographies of several of the forgers, who describe their craft and how they are able to effectively fool connoisseurs and specialists. An accessible introduction to pre-Columbian art fraud for archaeologists, art historians, and museum professionals alike.
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Faking the Ancient Andes
Karen O. Bruhns & Nancy L. Kelker
Left Coast Press, 2009

 
South America is a continent even less known to the average North American and European than Antarctica. But its ancient art is fascinating and has been an object of desire to collectors and museums for well over a century and a half. And, like in Mesoamerica, this desire to collect looted, unprovenienced artifacts (and to write fallacious "studies" of them) has resulted in a flourishing, today booming, business in forgery. Fake Nasca pots, Quimbaya figurines, Moche porn figures, stone shamans, mosaic "caciques." You name it, someone has faked it. Moreover, the fine art of inventing one's very own "Precolumbian" art style has been a growth industry since the late 19th century, to the reward of the world's dealers and detriment of its museums. A companion volume to Faking Ancient Mesoamerica, it can be read in conjunction or on its own.
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Women in Ancient America
with Karen E. Stothert
University of Oklahoma Press, 1999

A popular synthesis of new work concerning the roles of women and men in ancient American cultures. We cover a series of topics prominent in contemporary archaeological gender studies, using short case histories. We show that gender is a key dynamic in all human societies and demonstrate that female activities are significant and germane to the understanding of the human past.
Order online.


Archaeological Investigations in Central Colombia
BAR International Series 606, Tempus Reparatum, 1995

 
In 1969 and 1970 I conducted archaeological investigations in the Department of Quindio and the northernmost part of the Department of Valle in central Colombia. This region is the source of the famous Quimbaya style of precolumbian gold. Scientific investigations here have been hampered by widespread looting, political violence, and drug trafficking. This monograph is a report on the archaeological survey that I undertook with students of the University of Calgary and colleagues from the Museo del Oro and the Universidad de los Andes. The monograph also contains extracts from the memoirs of a professional looter of early in this century, Luis Arango Cano.
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Ancient South America
Cambridge University Press, 1994

This is the first synthesis of the archaeology and prehistory of all of South America to appear since 1970. It is also the first book on the subject to be written for the non-specialist audience. It is profusely illustrated with photographs, drawings and maps of sites and artifacts and encompasses all the latest research in topics such as studies of the most ancient Americans, the Paleoindians, research on intercontinental travel and trade, the origins of agriculture, metal working, and how studies of ancient art are revealing gender roles and religious practices around the continent.
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This book is out of print and a second, revised and updated, edition is underway.


Cihuatán: An Early Postclassic Town of El Salvador. The 1977-1978 Seasons
University of Missouri Monograph in Anthropology No. 5, 1980

This monograph deals with my investigations of the domestic life of the people who lived in El Salvador's first (and last) prehispanic city. Although the Western Ceremonial Center has been the focus of several projects (including my current one), little was known about how people of different social classes lived. We investigated, in two field seasons, 17 structures, including the better part of a single household cluster. This monograph is purely descriptive and includes information on the disposition of artifacts around houses that were unexpectedly burned and then never reoccupied.
Out of print. This monograph is now available in a pdf version on-line.


Monumental Art of Chontales: A Description of the Sculpture Style of Chontales, Nicaragua
with James Dotta and R. G. Zelaya
Treganza Museum of Anthropology Paper 14, 1973

A description of the known statues in the Chontales style. Mr. Zelaya spent some years photographing statuary in private collections, in museums, and in situ. I wrote the text, describing each statue illustrated and relating the style, in general, to the great stone sculptural tradition of Central America and the northern Andes, a style which is associated with mortuary ritual and shamanistic beliefs. Although there has now been considerable archaeological investigation in Nicaragua, this monograph remains the only English language study to focus upon the important Chontales style.

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