The Matacanela Archaeological Project 2014

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

The Matacanela Archaeological Project is a two season effort to more fully understand the transformation of Gulf lowland society at the end of the Classic period and through the Postclassic period. The Classic-Postclassic transition throughout Mesoamerica and the southern Gulf lowlands was characterized by shifting political, economic, and ideological frameworks, climatic and environmental change, and migration. In this session, we present the findings of the first season of field research, situate Matacanela within its broader regional and temporal contexts, and consider avenues for future research. We incorporate the perspectives of archaeologists, iconographers, and members of the community.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-8 of 8)

  • Documents (8)

  • Electromagnetic Induction Survey at Matacanela to Detect Off-Mound Structures and Landscape Features (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only George Crothers. Justin N. Carlson. David Gárate. Matthew Litteral.

    Approximately 2.28 ha of Matacanela were surveyed using an electromagnetic induction meter to measure near-surface variations in magnetic susceptibility and/or conductivity. Eight distinct areas were selected for survey deemed most likely to reveal Late Classic or Postclassic occupation or landscape features based on topographical features, LiDAR imagery, and surface finds. The primary areas of interest were off-mound and plaza areas containing domestic or non-elite contexts. The largest...

  • Introduction to the Matacanela Archaeological Project: Collapse and Political Reorganization in a Lowland Mesoamerican Society (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Marcie Venter.

    The Matacanela Archaeological Project is a two season effort to more fully understand the transformation of lowland Mesoamerican society at the end of the Classic period. Our particular focus is Classic collapse and Postclassic reorganization in the Tuxtla Mountains of the southern Gulf lowlands. Like other lowland regions (e.g., the southern Maya lowlands) that experienced political decentralization, demographic upheaval, environmental, and climatic change, collapse was not complete or...

  • Mapping Matacanela - the complementary work of topographical survey and LiDAR. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mauricio Cuevas. Carl Shields.

    This talk compares methods used for the topographical mapping of the archaeological site of Matacanela. Specifically, we compare the results of the GIS processing of LiDAR data collected and distributed for no charge by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía with the results of traditional topographical mapping, undertaken using a Sokkia total station. For the purposes of project planning, the LiDAR data was processed, and maps were generated using GIS. These LiDAR-based data enabled...

  • The Obsidian of Matacanela (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Shayna Lindquist. Xochitl Leon.

    The Matacanela Archaeological Project (MAP) seeks to add to the greater understanding of the Classic to Postclassic transition, within the Gulf lowlands of Mesoamerica. Within the surface obsidian assemblage analyzed from the first season of this two-year project, distribution patterns and source frequencies delineate a definite Classic presence, reflecting certain hallmarks of surrounding established Classic period sites. In this paper, we present the obsidian recovered, and further consider...

  • Perceptions of the Matacanela Archaeological Site by the People of Zapoapan de Cabañas (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maximiliano Sauza. David Gárate.

    The town of Zapoapan de Cabañas, located south of Lake Catemaco, Veracruz is adjacent to the archaeological site of Matacanela. Even though little historical continuity exists between the archaeological site and the contemporary settlement, perceptions that Zapoapan’s inhabitants have about the site are informative because they suggest how the site is internalized and integrated into daily life. The historical memory of the inhabitants of Zapoapan de Cabañas, through oral tradition and the reuse...

  • Prehispanic Sculpture from Matacanela (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lourdes Budar.

    This presentation offers a historiographic review of investigations that have documented and interpreted the stone monuments from the archaeological site of Matacanela, located in the Tuxtlas Mountains of southern Veracruz, Mexico. This study is designed to reconstruct the possible spatial location of these sculptures in an effort to improve our understanding of their original on-site contexts. In addition, the Matacanela sculptural corpus will be compared with the monuments and stylistic...

  • Settlement at Matacanela: Preliminary Interpretations (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Xochitl Leon Estrada. Heather Seale.

    In this presentation we discuss data collection strategies implemented in the Matacanela Archaeological Project and provide initial interpretations of these data. Field work, completed in the summer of 2014, consisted of systematic surface collection, geophysical survey, and mapping. This discussion focuses primarily on data acquired through surface collection. Using these data, we address the architectural organization of the site, identify possible areas of craft production, and site...

  • Surface Ceramic Distributions at Matacanela, Southern Veracruz, Mexico (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sara Rosiles Hernandez. Philip J. Arnold III.

    Prior archaeological research in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas, southern Veracruz, Mexico demonstrates significant sociopolitical transformations spanning the Formative through the Postclassic periods. Ongoing fieldwork at the site of Matacanela, located within the central portion of the Tuxtla Mountains, is contributing to this understanding. This paper discusses the results of the first season of fieldwork at Matacanela with a focus on patterning in the distribution of surface ceramic material....