What is Oxtotitlán Cave Communicating?


Cave murals, painted in Olmec style with iconographic links to the major Gulf coast center of La Venta, appear to communicate the dynamism of interregional relationships in an era of rising urbanism. The paintings seem to evoke the evolution of hierarchical positioning among political and religious actors. They might reveal the tools for local and long-distance power building. Yet the work that has clarified the nature of Oxtotitlán Cave and its associated site of Quiotepec has extended the enigma of the murals. Dating of both the murals and carbon recovered from archaeological excavations verifies the Middle Formative chronological timeline. Mural cleaning conducted by Mexican government conservators and our own intensive photographic documentation have revealed new figural details that strengthen visual associations with La Venta’s sophisticated carved stone monuments. On the other hand, other aspects of the paintings and especially the material culture coming forth from excavations in both Oxtotitlán Cave and at Quiotepec continue to be local to Guerrero with significant links to Central Mexico and much more tenuous traces of contact with the Gulf Coast. What is Oxtotitlán’s message and meaning?

Cite this Record

What is Oxtotitlán Cave Communicating?. Mary Pohl, Christopher von Nagy, Joseph Gamble, Gabriel Lima Estudillo, Eliseo Padilla Gutiérrez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404298)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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