Figurines, Households, and Social Identities at La Blanca during the Middle Preclassic Period (900-600 B.C.E.)

Author(s): Karleen Ronsairo

Year: 2017


La Blanca was one of two major regional centers during the Conchas phase (900-600 B.C.E.) of the Middle Preclassic period in the Soconusco region of Pacific Guatemala. Household differentiation and social stratification at Preclassic sites in this region can be explored by analyzing the distribution of ceramic figurines across elite and commoner households at La Blanca. Through an analysis of typological distributions of figurines from La Blanca, I provide insight into the production and consumption of figurines and how figurines may have been used in practices of identity formation and social negotiation. Moreover, I consider standardization and variation in figurine attributes in order to further investigate figurine production and consumption as ways for their makers and users to distinguish themselves from others and to maintain household identity and status. Through my analysis of the La Blanca figurines, it is my goal to provide further insight into emerging centralized political systems in Preclassic Mesoamerica. By taking a microlevel approach to analyzing household differentiation and social identities at La Blanca, the results of this figurine study will inform us of the different ways people responded to increasing social and political inequality during the development of social complexity in ancient Mesoamerica.

Cite this Record

Figurines, Households, and Social Identities at La Blanca during the Middle Preclassic Period (900-600 B.C.E.). Karleen Ronsairo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430634)

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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): 17470