After Monte Albán reveals the richness and interregional relevance of Postclassic transformations in the area now known as Oaxaca, which lies between Central Mexico and the Maya area and, as contributors to this volume demonstrate, achieved cultural centrality in pan-Mesoamerican networks. Large nucleated states throughout Oaxaca collapsed after 700 C.E., including the great Zapotec state centered in the Valley of Oaxaca, Monte Albán. Elite culture changed in fundamental ways as small city-states proliferated in Oaxaca, each with a new ruling dynasty required to devise novel strategies of legitimization. The vast majority of the population, though, sustained continuity in lifestyle, religion, and cosmology.
Contributors synthesize these regional transformations and continuities in the lower Rio Verde Valley, the Valley of Oaxaca, and the Mixteca Alta. They provide data from material culture, architecture, codices, ethnohistoric documents, and ceramics, including a revised ceramic chronology from the Late Classic to the end of the Postclassic that will be crucial to future investigations. After Monte Albán establishes Postclassic Oaxaca's central place in the study of Mesoamerican antiquity.
Contributors include Jeffrey P. Blomster, Bruce E. Byland, Gerardo Gutierrez, Byron Ellsworth Hamann, Arthur A. Joyce, Stacie M. King, Michael D. Lind, Robert Markens, Cira Martínez López, Michel R. Oudijk, and Marcus Winter.
Author Denise C. Hodges examines the osteological remains from 14 archaeological sites in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, in an attempt to address the relationship between the intensification of agriculture and the health status of the prehistoric population. Volume 9 of the subseries Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca.
Monte Albán was the capital of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, ca. 500 BC–AD 600, but once its control began to wane, other sites filled the political vacuum. Archaeologists have long awaited a meticulous excavation of one of these sites—one that would help us better understand the process that transformed second-tier sites into a series of polities or señoríos that competed with each other for centuries.
This book reports in detail on Ronald Faulseit’s excavations at the site of Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl in the Valley of Oaxaca. His 2007–2010 mapping and excavation seasons focused on the Late Classic (AD 600–900) and Early Postclassic (AD 900–1300). The spatial distributions of surface artifacts—collected during the intensive mapping and systematic surface collecting—on residential terraces at Cerro Danush are analyzed to evaluate evidence for craft production, ritual, and abandonment at the community level. This community analysis is complemented by data from the comprehensive excavation of a residential terrace, which documents diachronic patterns of behavior at the household level. The results from Faulseit’s survey and excavations are evaluated within the theoretical frameworks of political cycling and resilience theory. Faulseit concludes that resilient social structures may have helped orchestrate reorganization in the dynamic political landscape of Oaxaca after the political collapse of Monte Albán.
Chipped stone tools from archaeological sites can be a source of social and economic information about the inhabitants. In this volume, author William J. Parry presents his analysis of chipped stone tools found at Early and Middle Formative sites in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Volume 8 of the subseries Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca.
Cueva Blanca lies in a volcanic tuff cliff some 4 km northwest of Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico. It is one of a series of Archaic sites excavated by Kent Flannery and Frank Hole as part of a project on the prehistory and human ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca. The oldest stratigraphic level in Cueva Blanca yielded Late Pleistocene fauna, including some species no longer present in southern Mexico. The second oldest level, Zone E, produced Early Archaic material with calibrated dates as old as 11,000–10,000 BC . Zones D and C provided a rich Late Archaic assemblage whose closest ties are with the Abejas phase of Puebla’s Tehuacán Valley (fourth millennium BC). Spatial analyses undertaken on the Archaic living floors include (1) the drawing of density contours for tools and animal bones; (2) a search for Archaic tool kits using rank-order and cluster analysis; and (3) an attempt to define Binfordian “drop zones” using an approach drawn from computer vision.
Using more than 300 illustrations, the authors present an encyclopedic analysis of the many types of pottery found in the Oaxaca Valley in the Early Formative period. From details of sherd profiles and tempers to discussions of the growth of various villages, this volume is an exhaustively thorough treatment of the topic and represents decades of archaeological fieldwork in the region.
This volume, part of a series on the prehistory and human ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, focuses on Cerro Tilcajete, a secondary administrative center below Monte Albán, the capital of the prehispanic Zapotec state.
In 1974, Michael E. Whalen excavated the Formative site of Tomaltepec, a village with houses, public buildings, and a large cemetery. Here he reports on the results of the excavation and provides a regional perspective on Formative period development in the Valley of Oaxaca.
The Valley of Oaxaca was unified under the rule of Monte Albán until its collapse around AD 800. Using findings from John Paddock’s long-term excavations at Lambityeco from 1961 to 1976, Michael Lind and Javier Urcid examine the political and social organization of the ancient community during the Xoo Phase (Late Classic period).Focusing on change within this single archaeological period rather than between time periods, The Lords of Lambityeco traces the changing political relationships between Lambityeco and Monte Albán that led to the fall of the Zapotec state. Using detailed analysis of elite and common houses, tombs, and associated artifacts, the authors demonstrate increased political control by Monte Albán over Lambityeco prior to the abandonment of both settlements. Lambityeco is the most thoroughly researched Classic period site in the valley after Monte Albán, but only a small number of summary articles have been published about this important locale. This, in combination with Lambityeco’s status as a secondary center—one that allows for greater understanding of core and periphery dynamics in the Monte Albán state—makes The Lords of Lambityeco a welcome and significant contribution to the literature on ancient Mesoamerica.
In this work, the authors interpret archaeological data on roughly 3000 years of human history in the Valley of Oaxaca, from roughly 1500 BC to AD 1500. They integrate information on settlement patterns, political and social organization, artifact distribution, and more.