Published: June 16, 2022

Christopher S. Beekman, Professor in the Department of Anthropology, recently published an edited volume titled, Waves of Influence: Pacific Maritime Networks Connecting Mexico, Central America, and Northwestern South America (Dumbarton Oaks). The Pacific Coast of the Americas linked Pre-Columbian complex societies from Mexico to Peru, facilitating exploration, communication, and transportation in a way that terrestrial routes could not match. Yet West Mexico, the Isthmo-Colombian Area, and Ecuador, with their great stretches of coastline, were marginalized by the definition of the Mesoamerican and Andean culture areas in the 1940s. Waves of Influence seeks to renew the inquiry into Pacific coastal contacts and bring fresh attention to connections among regions often seen as isolated from one another.