Evolution of Elite Residence at San Martín Tilcajete, 500-100 B.C.

Author(s): Charles Spencer; Elsa Redmond

Year: 2017


Between 1995 and 2014, we directed 11 seasons of horizontal excavation in and around the main plazas of two Formative Period sites, El Mogote and El Palenque, near San Martín Tilcajete in the Oaxaca Valley. Our results indicate that major changes occurred in public architecture and elite residence between the Early Monte Albán I phase (500-300 B.C.) occupation at El Mogote and the Late Monte Albán I phase (300-100 B.C.) site of El Palenque. In view of the evidence of fundamental cultural continuity between the two sites, we submit that the observed changes represent a case of "descent with modification," amenable to analysis and interpretation from an evolutionary perspective. We argue that the data reveal a major increase in the centralization and segregation of political and religious institutions between the Early Monte Albán I and Late Monte Albán I phases. Of particular relevance to this symposium is our discovery at El Palenque of a 1700-m2 palace complex, comprising both residential and governmental components, as well as a 5000-m2 temple precinct, containing three multiroom temples associated with two specialized priests’ residences; these architectural forms made their first appearance in the Late Monte Albán I phase.

Cite this Record

Evolution of Elite Residence at San Martín Tilcajete, 500-100 B.C.. Charles Spencer, Elsa Redmond. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431623)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14695