Domestic Production and Use of Mold-made Whistles and Figurines in Late Classic Oaxaca, Mexico


Mold-made ceramic figurines and whistles are a common component of Late Classic assemblages in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, yet little is known about their ceremonial significance or context of use. Our excavation of an elite residential complex at the site of Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl yielded nearly 5,000 fragments of these ritual objects, the majority from midden deposits associated with an open stone platform that likely served as a ceremonial space for the residents. A small ceramic kiln located adjacent to this platform and recovery of 30 figurine molds from the same deposits provide solid evidence that many of these objects were produced on-site by members of this household. These findings suggest that figurine production and use were an important part of elite domestic ritual and that these activities were not exclusive to ceremonies held in the civic-ceremonial core of the site. This is consistent with broader patterns of political and social reorganization during the Late Classic, which were manifest in part through a shift in ceremonial focus from public, communal ritual to more private activities emphasizing the importance of individual lineages of elites.

Cite this Record

Domestic Production and Use of Mold-made Whistles and Figurines in Late Classic Oaxaca, Mexico. Jeremias Pink, Ronald K. Faulseit, Carlos Rojas Ortíz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430063)

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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): 16579