The role of the Pacific Ocean is taking on increasing importance in Pre-Columbian, Colonial, and Contemporary studies of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Our project focuses on a key region within this vast system— the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and its adjacent Pacific Coast— one of the most ethnically complex and biologically diverse regions in the world. For over two millennia Oaxacan Indigenous cultures constructed here monumental sites; ruled over vast city-states; invented complex writing systems and iconography; and crafted among the finest artistic traditions in the world, some of which are still perpetuated to this day. The clash of the Indigenous and the European worlds in the 16th century created a most unique culture, the legacy of which underlies the modern nation of Mexico. By traveling from the bustling Oaxaca City through the valleys, mountains, and down to the Pacific Coast, students will be introduced to a dynamic arena where long-term colonial interests were negotiated between Indigenous and European powers such as the Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Aztecs, Pochutecs, Chontal, Huaves, Spanish and, even English, Dutch, and French Pirates! Students will conduct interactive exercises in ceremonial centers and off-the-beaten track archaeological sites and museums, learn to decipher and employ Indigenous pictorial documents and European maps, experience urban and rural lifestyles in various geographical zones, visit sacred sites where rituals are still being performed today, and actively participate in local festivities. Finally, through the study of long-term colonial processes in southern Mexico, students will gain a better understanding of this fascinating modern nation-state and its direct impact on contemporary debates. Please note that this field school does not involve an active participation in archaeological fieldwork.