Neighborhood Organization in Early States: Exploring Spatial Variability at El Palenque

Author(s): Lacey Carpenter

Year: 2018


The late Formative polity centered at the El Palenque site, near San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico was a densely populated settlement. The site was founded in the late Monte Albán I phase (300-100) during a period of hostility and violent conflict. The settlement at El Palenque consists of a 1.6 ha civic ceremonial plaza, a 28 ha core area of residential occupation, and an additional 43.5 ha with more dispersed evidence for residential occupation. There may be a number of factors influencing the structure and distribution of neighborhoods across the site including social and political status, a need for defense, kinship organization, and specialized economic production. In this paper, I investigate the underlying processes shaping neighborhood organization and composition in the residential sectors of the site. I use a combination of surface collections and excavated household data to define and compare neighborhoods at El Palenque. Specifically, I analyze the distribution of house foundations, the density of different materials collected during surface collections, and house size and architecture. Through this combination of artifact and architectural data I evaluate different models for neighborhood organization and identify the underlying processes at shaping neighborhoods at El Palenque.

Cite this Record

Neighborhood Organization in Early States: Exploring Spatial Variability at El Palenque. Lacey Carpenter. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443600)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -98.679; min lat: 15.496 ; max long: -94.724; max lat: 18.271 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20506