The Tamtoc Scroll Style: Assessing the Relationship Between the Huasteca and Classic Veracruz

Author(s): Kim Richter

Year: 2017


What were the Huastec region’s interregional relations during the Pre-Columbian period? This is one of the pressing questions about the Huasteca that archaeologists, linguists, and art historians have tried to tackle since the nineteenth century. Scholars have identified cultural relations with the southeastern United States, central Veracruz, central Mexico, west Mexico, and the Maya region. Yet, the archaeological data supporting these identifications are sparse because few scientific long-term excavations have been carried out in the Huasteca. Recent excavations at the site of Tamtoc, one of the major and most extensively excavated sites in southern San Luis Potosí, however, have shed new light on this question. Monumental sculptures in particular have yielded stylistic and iconographic details, such as interlaced scroll designs, that indicate links to central Veracruz during the Classic period. This paper establishes that Tamtoc sculptures present a local variant of the Classic Veracruz style as defined by Tatiana Prokouriakoff (1953, 1954), while also maintaining a distinctively Huastec identity. This analysis of the sculptural evidence from Tamtoc sheds new light on the relationship between the Huasteca and Classic Veracruz and redresses the frequent omission of the Huastec region in discussions about cultural interactions along the Gulf Coast.

Cite this Record

The Tamtoc Scroll Style: Assessing the Relationship Between the Huasteca and Classic Veracruz. Kim Richter. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429906)


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): 13177