Late Formative Through Early Classic Occupation History in Eastern Soconusco


Deposits in the mangrove zone south of Izapa have abundant debris from salt and ceramic production, consistent with pyro-industrial specialization based on fuel wood and other resources. These archaeological deposits are also relatively intact, and thus they offer the opportunity to test hypotheses about demographic trends derived from more chronologically ambiguous deposits of the coastal plain and piedmont. A regional demographic bottleneck has been suggested for the Early Classic, when survey data indicate virtually no one was living on the coastal plain. This contraction may have started even earlier, since prevailing interpretations suggest a peak in monumental activity at Izapa during the Late Formative, with no new sculptures erected during the Terminal Formative. In the mangrove zone, demographic contraction seems to begin around AD 1, and there is very little use of the zone during Early through Middle Classic times. Thus, the trajectory of industrial activity on the lower coast seems to follow Izapa and coastal plain population trends. This paper presents stratigraphic evidence, chronometric dates, and ceramic data that support this interpretation of the Late Formative through Early Classic occupation history.

Cite this Record

Late Formative Through Early Classic Occupation History in Eastern Soconusco. Hector Neff, Sachiko Sakai, Brendan Culleton, Douglas Kennett. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431292)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16693