Constituting the Divine: Coastal Cuisine and Public Places in the Formative-period Lower Río Verde Valley
This is an abstract from the "The Archaeology of Oaxacan Cuisine" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Food was central to the constitution of sacred public spaces during the Formative period in the lower Río Verde valley on Oaxaca’s Pacific coast. Public facilities at small sites and at the region’s largest precolumbian architectural complex, the Río Viejo acropolis, were the location not only of collective food consumption but also of food preparation. Drawing on architectural and archaeological features, as well as analysis of fauna, flora and ceramics, we examine the context of cooking and eating in the lower Río Verde valley’s public spaces during the Terminal Formative period. If cuisine is understood as a regionally distinctive way of preparing, presenting, and consuming food, then our data allow us to begin defining a civic-ceremonial cuisine for coastal Oaxaca. We propose that the generation of this cuisine—from preparation to discard—was closely bound with manifestations of the divine. The experience of Formative period civic-ceremonial cuisine was thus far more than the ingestion of calories for survival. Instead, it was a means of creating spaces where people, the divine, and other animate beings requiring sustenance could encounter one another and simultaneously constitute, negotiate and contest regional social affiliations.
Cite this Record
Constituting the Divine: Coastal Cuisine and Public Places in the Formative-period Lower Río Verde Valley. Sarah Barber, Arthur Joyce, Petra Cunningham-Smith, Shanti Morell-Hart. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450848)
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min long: -98.679; min lat: 15.496 ; max long: -94.724; max lat: 18.271 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23091