Foodways and Human-Animal Relations at Early Formative Etlatongo: An Ontology of Differentiation

Author(s): Jeffrey Blomster; Victor Salazar Chavez

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Archaeology of Oaxacan Cuisine" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The origins of Oaxacan cuisines can be found in the later half of the Early Formative period, a time of emerging socio-political complexity. The incorporation of maize as a dietary staple and less reliance on wild plants and animals were part of a profound change in subsistence practices and conceptions of food in much of Mesoamerica. We argue that newly excavated zooarchaeological data from Etlatongo, in the Nochixtlan Valley, indicate that changes in Early Formative foodways both reflect and contributed to emerging socio-political differentiation. Focusing on the Cruz B phase (1150-850 uncal BC), we explore intra-site comparisons, contrasting public and domestic spaces. Commensal events provide an arena to explore the ways in which animals were prepared and consumed, as well as the incorporation of particular animal species and parts of the carcass into specific deposits in the public space at the site. We also track the changing nature of ceramic vessels and figurines with the start of the Cruz B phase, looking at dramatic shifts in inventories of vessel forms and figurine imagery. Changes in foodways and human-animal relationships represent an important transformation in ontologies, reflecting greater differentiation within societies and the world in which they were situated.

Cite this Record

Foodways and Human-Animal Relations at Early Formative Etlatongo: An Ontology of Differentiation. Jeffrey Blomster, Victor Salazar Chavez. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450851)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25234