Assessing Ceramic Production and Exchange in the Early Monte Albán State (Oaxaca, Mexico)

Author(s): Leah Minc; Jason Sherman

Year: 2015


In this paper we present the results of an ongoing study of ceramic production and exchange in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, during the Late to Terminal Formative (500 BC–AD 200)—the period when the Monte Albán state formed and consolidated control over its hinterland and surrounding regions. We have found that adopting a multifaceted approach that combines chemical (INAA) data with detailed qualitative and quantitative mineralogical (petrographic) data enables us to differentiate cultural from natural factors affecting paste composition, and is more effective than a single analytic technique for establishing ceramic provenance in the geologically complex Oaxaca Valley. Detailed analyses of natural clays collected throughout the valley, as well as sherds from Monte Albán and other key archaeological sites in the Valle Grande subregion, have allowed us to identify 12 distinct ceramic production loci and to track the movement of different pottery wares within the heartland of this early state.

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Cite this Record

Assessing Ceramic Production and Exchange in the Early Monte Albán State (Oaxaca, Mexico). Jason Sherman, Leah Minc. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397115)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;