Hand modeled Preclassic figurines and early expression of concepts of replication

Author(s): Julia Guernsey; Michael Love

Year: 2017


This paper concentrates on the vast corpus of hand modeled ceramic figurines from Preclassic Pacific slope of Mesoamerica, in particular those from Middle Preclassic La Blanca, Guatemala. We argue that, within this collection of figurines and related ones from elsewhere in Middle Preclassic Mesoamerica, one can find evidence for the concept of replication – or an emphasis on a recurring "type" or "character" – that pre-dates the invention of the mold. Although Preclassic figurine assemblages are invariably marked by any number of unique examples that attest to the creative potential of these miniature objects, they are also characterized by recurring human characters whose "sameness" warrants consideration, especially with regards to questions of personhood, social identities, social norms, and concepts of destiny. While these Preclassic examples are not identical, nor produced en masse through a technology of replication, we argue that they do shed insight into the potential conceptual precursors for later technologies, especially those engaged in (re)production of the human form.

Cite this Record

Hand modeled Preclassic figurines and early expression of concepts of replication. Julia Guernsey, Michael Love. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430007)


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): 14551