The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

The emergence of Early–Middle Formative exchange patterns in Mesoamerica

A view from Altica in the Teotihuacan Valley
Faculty Scholarship
January 22, 2015
Deborah
L.
Nichols,
Dartmouth College, Department of Anthropology,
Author

Executive Summary

Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, Volume 39, September 2015, Pages 19–35.

Early and Middle Formative exchange networks in Mesoamerica initiated lasting patterns of interaction that persisted through the duration of Prehispanic Mesoamerica. This is particularly true with relationships between the Gulf Coast and central Mexico. Recent analyses of Formative pottery from the Teotihuacan Valley identified a group of incised white-slipped pottery from the site of Altica that is compositionally distinct from any known central Mexican ceramics. We have determined through NAA, LA–ICP–MS, and petrographic thin section analyses that the majority of the white ware in the Altica sample was produced in the southern Gulf Coast. At the same time in that region, the Olmec center of San Lorenzo had increased its use of Otumba obsidian, an economic resource located within 10 km of Altica. We explore the significance of these relationships to model early exchange relationship in Mesoamerica.

Notes

Rockefeller Center Faculty Grant Proposal: "Cerro Portezueolo: A Teotihuacan Regional Center and the Classic to Post-classic Transition"

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