A Re-evaluation of Yotholin Pattern-Burnished: Evidence of Early Preclassic Ceramics?


In 1958, Brainerd first described "the earliest deposits yet to come from Yucatan"—composed primarily of narrow-mouthed jar fragments recovered from the lowest strata of excavations at the Mani cenote. This type, classified as Yotholin Pattern-Burnished, has a medium-fine paste and unslipped surfaces that had been smoothed or burnished in decorative patterns.

Since then, similar wares have been recovered from Preclassic contexts at a number of other sites. Although Brainerd originally described Yotholin as an Early Preclassic type, other archaeologists have attributed it to the late Middle Preclassic. In this paper, we will revisit the contextual evidence surrounding Yotholin and discuss it in light of our work in the Puuc and recent reevaluation of Middle Preclassic ceramics in general. This reanalysis suggests that Brainerd’s initial interpretation of Yotholin was correct and that it is contemporaneous with and/or slightly predates early Middle Preclassic Ek phase ceramics (900-700 BC). It is possible that Yotholin represents the earliest pottery yet identified in the Northern Lowlands. We examine the implications this would have for understanding the origins of the Maya in this region.

Cite this Record

A Re-evaluation of Yotholin Pattern-Burnished: Evidence of Early Preclassic Ceramics?. Betsy Kohut, George J. Bey III, Tomás Gallareta Negrón. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444262)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21009