Seventeenth-Century Metallurgy on the Spanish Colonial Frontier

Pueblo and Spanish Interactions

Noah H. Thomas (Author)
Paperback ($19.95), Ebook ($19.95) Buy
A unique contribution to the archaeological literature on the Southwest, Seventeenth-Century Metallurgy on the Spanish Colonial Frontier introduces a wealth of data from one of the few known colonial metal production sites in the Southwest. Archaeologist Noah H. Thomas draws on and summarizes ten seasons of excavation from the Pueblo of Paa-ko to provide a critical analysis of archaeological features and materials related to metal production during the early colonial period (AD 1598–1680). Extrapolating from the data, Thomas provides a theoretical interpretation of these data that is grounded in theories of agency, practice, and notions of value shaped in culture. In addition to the critical analysis of archaeological features and materials, this work brings to light a little-known aspect of the colonial experience: the production of metal by indigenous Pueblo people.

Using the ethnography of Pueblo peoples and seventh-century European manuals of metallurgy, Thomas addresses how the situated agency of indigenous practitioners incorporated within colonial industries shaped the metallurgy industry in the Spanish colonial period. The resulting analysis investigates how economic, technical, and social knowledge was communicated, contested, and transformed across the social and cultural boundaries present in early colonial communities. Viewing these transformations through an ethnohistorical lens, Thomas builds a social and historical context within which to understand the decisions made by colonial actors at the time.
"Seventeenth-Century Metallurgy on the Spanish Colonial Frontier offers vital insight into early interactions between the Spanish and Native groups as well as important data and conclusions on metallurgy in this remote colony."—John G. Douglass, California Archaeology

“This is the most extensive research into the establishment of an early metals industry in the Spanish Southwest, and it tells an interesting story of the early interaction of Spaniards and Puebloans. It will also help lead archaeologists to other metallurgy locales in the Southwest and elsewhere.”—American Archaeology

“The research conducted by Thomas is meticulous, thoughtful, and creative; it reflects the kind of disciplinary integration that characterizes some of the best work in anthropology.”—Mary Van Buren, Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University

“Analyzing and synthesizing a wealth of data gathered by himself and others over ten field seasons at Paa-ko, Noah H. Thomas provides a rare perspective on the development of seventeenth-century metallurgical practices in the context of both the Spanish Colonial and Pueblo worlds.”—Teresita Majewski, Statistical Research, Inc.
Seventeenth-Century Metallurgy on the Spanish Colonial Frontier
108 Pages 8.5 x 11
Published: November 2018Paperback ISBN: 9780816538584
Published: November 2018Ebook ISBN: 9780816539123

For Authors

The University of Arizona Press publishes the work of leading scholars from around the globe. Learn more about submitting a proposal, preparing your final manuscript, and publication.



The University of Arizona Press is proud to share our books with readers, booksellers, media, librarians, scholars, and instructors. Join our email Newsletter. Request reprint licenses, information on subsidiary rights and translations, accessibility files, review copies, and desk and exam copies.


Support the Press

Support a premier publisher of academic, regional, and literary works. We are committed to sharing past, present, and future works that reflect the special strengths of the University of Arizona and support its land-grant mission.