Izapa and Highland El Salvador: Terminal Formative and Classic Period Ties

Author(s): Rebecca Mendelsohn

Year: 2017


This paper explores coastal and highland interaction in southern Mesoamerica between coastal Chiapas and highland El Salvador. Published accounts of Salvadoran excavations have reported that ties between highland Salvadoran sites and Mesoamerica declined at the close of the Formative period with the eruption of the Ilopango volcano. The dating of the Ilopango eruption has since been updated, and an renewed look at interaction between these zones is necessary. This paper reviews archaeological evidence including ceramics, burial and offering traditions, construction techniques, and monuments, to highlight similarities between the sites of Izapa, Chalchuapa, and Quelepa before and after the Ilopango eruption. Ties between Izapa and Chalchuapa are especially strong. These links suggest greater cultural continuity in both regions during the Terminal Formative to Early Classic transition than has been presented in past reports.

Cite this Record

Izapa and Highland El Salvador: Terminal Formative and Classic Period Ties. Rebecca Mendelsohn. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431283)


Coastal Maya Trade

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): 14859