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Movement of Goods and Ideas in Early Formative Western and Central Mesoamerica: New Evidence from Coastal Oaxaca, Mexico

Author(s): Guy Hepp

Year: 2016

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Summary

For decades, scholars have discussed Mesoamerica as a land characterized by two ancient linguistic and cultural traditions: Mixe-Zoque to the southeast, and Otomanguean to the west. Recent evidence from the initial Early Formative (2000–1500 cal BC) village site of La Consentida in coastal Oaxaca suggests that early “Red-on-Buff horizon” ceramics of Otomanguean-speaking peoples compete temporally with the earliest southern pottery traditions, such as that of the Soconusco region’s Barra phase (1900–1700 cal BC). In this paper, I discuss the movement of goods and ideas between the people of La Consentida and its interaction partners, both near and distant. With particular attention to ceramic and lithic evidence, I suggest that La Consentida was a village of the Otomanguean tradition, and that the site’s Tlacuache phase (1950–1500 cal BC) ceramics exemplify early Red-on-Buff pottery. While pottery forms, iconography, and obsidian exchange evidence indicate extensive interaction with peoples of western and central Mesoamerica, La Consentida was also in contact with communities to the southeast. I thus conclude that the aforementioned linguistic and cultural “boundary” was a porous one. I therefore agree with other scholars who have suggested that Mesoamerica was a land defined in part by far-reaching interaction, exchange, and mobility.


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Movement of Goods and Ideas in Early Formative Western and Central Mesoamerica: New Evidence from Coastal Oaxaca, Mexico. Guy Hepp. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404128)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America