The elegant, stylized images of Mimbres pottery have intrigued visitors to the American southwest for over a century. But there was more to this ancient culture than first meets the eye. Earthwatch teams on the Mystery at NAN Ranch project in the 1980s helped archaeologist Dr. Harry Shafer (Texas A&M University) dig into centuries of social and architectural change in the intriguing Mimbres culture. Now Shafer has published two decades of research findings from the Nan Ranch ruin, the most productive single Mimbres site in New Mexico.
Mimbres Archaeology at the NAN Ranch Ruin offers new information and interpretations of the rise and disappearance of the ancient Mimbres culture that thrived in the arid southwest from about a.d. 600 to 1140. For instance, the introduction of irrigation agriculture in the late ninth century led to a restructuring of Mimbres society visible in their architecture, mortuary practices, and ceramic decoration. Shafer's book is a comprehensive survey of Mimbres social customs, subsistence, and symbolism that will make fascinating reading for anyone interested in southwestern archaeology or ancient art.
Mimbres Archaeology at the NAN Ranch Ruin. Harry J. Shafer. University of New Mexico Press, 2003.