Altica ceramics and figurines: Stylistic and chronological analyses

Author(s): Jennifer Carballo; Oralia Cabrera

Year: 2017


Craft specialization and exchange feature prominently in explanations for the development of the first complex societies in Mesoamerica. It is clear from analyses of surface collections at Altica that during the Early and early Middle Formative periods (c. 1300-850 B.C.) its inhabitants exported obsidian tools and imported pottery from long distances, including the southern Gulf Coast. Altica is one of the few early agricultural settlements located in the northern Basin of Mexico from which we have excavated ceramics and figurines, and thus provides an important opportunity to investigate early craft specialization, including the interregional exchange of obsidian and ceramics. Employing a multi-scalar approach, we investigate differences in the uses and styles of newly excavated ceramic vessels and figurines from Altica, focusing particularly on objects decorated with symbols of ideological importance. We also compare these materials to pottery and figurines at contemporary sites. This study provides evidence of how the first sedentary communities of the Basin of Mexico participated in an extensive network of societies exchanging goods, ideas, and decorative motifs, during a significant period of increasing sociopolitical complexity.

Cite this Record

Altica ceramics and figurines: Stylistic and chronological analyses. Jennifer Carballo, Oralia Cabrera. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429680)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14856