Polity and Ecology in Formative Period Coastal Oaxaca

Polity and Ecology in Formative Period Coastal Oaxaca

EDITED BY ARTHUR A. JOYCE
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 392
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt4cgr23
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    Polity and Ecology in Formative Period Coastal Oaxaca
    Book Description:

    Encapsulating two decades of research, Polity and Ecology in Formative Period Coastal Oaxaca is the first major treatment of the lower Río Verde region of Oaxaca, investigating its social, political, and ecological history. Tracing Formative period developments from the earliest known evidence of human presence to the collapse of Río Viejo (the region's first centralized polity), the volume synthesizes the archaeological and paleoecological evidence from the valley. This period saw the earliest agricultural settlements in the region as well as the origins of sedentism and social complexity, and witnessed major changes in floodplain and coastal environments that expanded the productivity of subsistence resources. The book addresses theoretically significant questions of broad relevance such as the origins and spread of agriculture, the social negotiation of complex political formations, the effects of long-distance trade and interaction, the macroregional effects of landscape change, and prehispanic ideology and political power. Focusing on questions of interregional interaction, environmental change, and political centralization, Polity and Ecology in Formative Period Coastal Oaxaca provides a comprehensive understanding of the Formative period archaeology of this important and long neglected region of Oaxaca.

    eISBN: 978-1-60732-212-2
    Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. FOREWORD
    (pp. xv-xx)
    Robert N. Zeitlin

    In the early 1960s Richard Macneish designed a groundbreaking regional archaeological study focused on Mexico’s Tehuacán Valley. Enlisting the collaboration of specialists in paleobotany, zoology, geology, geography, hydrology, lithic technology, ethnography, and ethnohistory, MacNeish and his colleagues applied the results of their Tehuacán field and laboratory research to a processual-ecological model through which they fashioned a wide-ranging reconstruction of sociocultural evolution in that arid highland valley. Beginning with the arrival of nomadic hunter-gatherers, their story continued through the development of agriculture, settled village life, and increasing sociopolitical complexity, right up to the time of the sixteenth-century Spanish conquest of indigenous...

  6. ONE POLITY and ECOLOGY in FORMATIVE PERIOD COASTAL OAXACA: An Introduction
    (pp. 1-42)
    Arthur A. Joyce

    The archaeology of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca (Figure 1.1) is best known for research on the prehispanic culture of the Valley of Oaxaca, especially the ancient city of Monte Albán (Blanton 1978; Caso et al. 1967; Joyce 2010; Joyce and Winter 1996; Kowalewski et al. 1989; Marcus and Flannery 1996; Martínez et al. 2000; Winter 1989, 1994a, 1995). While the Oaxacan highlands have been a focus of archaeological research for more than 100 years, investigations of coastal Oaxaca began only in the 1950s with the pioneering work of Donald Brockington (Brockington 1966; Brockington et al. 1974; De Cicco...

  7. TWO PALEOECOLOGICAL EVIDENCE for EARLY AGRICULTURE and FOREST CLEARANCE IN COASTAL OAXACA
    (pp. 43-64)
    Michelle Goman, Arthur A. Joyce and Raymond G. Mueller

    The intensive paleoecological analysis of lake and wetland sediments in Mesoamerica has provided important evidence of the origins and development of agriculture and the manipulation of the landscape by prehistoric groups (e.g., Deevey 1978; Jones and Voorhies 2004). This evidence not only complements the archaeological data but can temporally extend the record of human land use to periods of time for which no archaeological remains have been discovered for a region (e.g., Goman and Byrne 1998; Horn 2006; Jones 1994; Leyden 2002). The paleoecological record has also played an important role in the development and refinement of models of the...

  8. THREE ANTHROPOGENIC LANDSCAPE CHANGE and the HUMAN ECOLOGY of the LOWER RÍO VERDE VALLEY
    (pp. 65-96)
    Raymond G. Mueller, Arthur A. Joyce, Aleksander Borejsza and Michelle Goman

    Environmental degradation caused by human land use is often viewed as a problem of the modern industrial age. Recent research in Europe, the Near East, and Mesoamerica, however, has yielded evidence for anthropogenic landscape change dating back thousands of years (Redman 1999). In Mesoamerica evidence of land clearance for agriculture is present in lake and estuarine cores since the mid-Holocene (Dunning et al. 2002; Kennett et al. 2010; Lesure 2008; Neff et al. 2006; Piperno et al. 2007), with increasingly significant ecological changes triggered by agricultural practices accompanying the growth of large sedentary populations in the first millennium BC (e....

  9. FOUR FORMATIVE PERIOD BURIAL PRACTICES and CEMETERIES
    (pp. 97-134)
    Sarah B. Barber, Arthur A. Joyce, Arion T. Mayes, José Aguilar and Michelle Butler

    The lower Verde has an extensive, well-studied sample of human remains that spans the Late to Terminal Formative periods (400 BC–AD 250). The 156 individuals securely dated to the Late/Terminal Formative periods have been excavated or identified at six sites (Figure 4.1; see Barber 2005, 2009; Butler 2011; Joyce 1991a, 1991b, 1999; Joyce et al. 1998: Figure 1.2). Taken together, this burial sample represents domestic and public contexts, covers the entire demographic spectrum, and includes individuals of varying social statuses. Continuity and change through time in burial practices provide insight into shifting social relations as communities became increasingly hierarchical...

  10. FIVE PLACE-MAKING and POWER in the TERMINAL FORMATIVE: Excavations on Río Viejo’s Acropolis
    (pp. 135-164)
    Arthur A. Joyce, Marc N. Levine and Sarah B. Barber

    Archaeological research in the lower Río Verde Valley shows that a centralized polity first developed in the region during the Terminal Formative period (150 BC–AD 250). The region experienced significant population growth at this time with the area occupied in the regional survey zone increasing from 299 ha in the Late Formative Minizundo phase (400–150 BC) to 699 ha by the late Terminal Formative Chacahua phase (AD 100–250). Social inequality also increased, as shown by evidence from mortuary offerings, domestic architecture, ceremonial caches, and monumental buildings (Barber 2005, Chapter 6; Joyce 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 186–195)....

  11. SIX DEFINING COMMUNITY and STATUS at OUTLYING SITES DURING the TERMINAL FORMATIVE PERIOD
    (pp. 165-192)
    Sarah B. Barber

    The development of a regional polity in the Terminal Formative period (150 BC–AD 250) was inevitably a process that involved people throughout the lower Río Verde Valley (Figure 1.2). For those living in the many midsize and small sites that dotted the valley, the development and maintenance of regional political structures would have created new opportunities and challenges. The expansion of Río Viejo as a political center resulted in regional population movements (Joyce 2005, 2008; Joyce et al., Chapter 5); new economic demands were placed on populations valley-wide (Joyce 2010, 191; Levine, Chapter 8); social and political hierarchies changed...

  12. SEVEN COASTAL/HIGHLAND INTERACTION in OAXACA, MEXICO: The Perspective from San Francisco de Arriba
    (pp. 193-226)
    Andrew Workinger

    At first glance, interaction between ancient polities of unequal sociopolitical complexities suggests a situation of dominance. Yet, as archaeologists continue to broaden their focus from major centers to peripheral regions, such an assumption becomes less tenable (Stein 1999). It is increasingly apparent that there exists great variability in the archaeological record when it comes to the dynamics of interregional interaction, particularly when agency is taken into account.

    Situated in a narrow secondary valley of the lower Río Verde region in Oaxaca, Mexico, San Francisco de Arriba was the focus of archaeological investigations geared toward understanding the site’s role in a...

  13. EIGHT EXAMINING CERAMIC EVIDENCE for the ZAPOTEC IMPERIALISM HYPOTHESIS in the LOWER RÍO VERDE REGION of OAXACA, MEXICO
    (pp. 227-264)
    Marc N. Levine

    Monte Albán emerged as one of Mesoamerica’s first urban societies and a regional center in Oaxaca during the Late/Terminal Formative periods (Blanton 1978; Blanton et al. 1999; Flannery and Marcus 1983; Joyce 2000; Joyce and Winter 1996; Marcus and Flannery 1996; Winter 1989). Scholars have proposed that at this time, during the Pe (300–100 BC) and Nisa (100 BC–AD 200) phases, the Zapotecs undertook an imperial program of expansion to bring hinterland communities under their power (Marcus and Flannery 1996). Whether by colonization, negotiated takeover, or outright conquest, the goal was the same: to increase the frequency and...

  14. NINE from FLESH to CLAY: Formative Period Iconography from Oaxaca’s Lower Río Verde Valley
    (pp. 265-300)
    Guy David Hepp and Arthur A. Joyce

    This chapter presents our analysis of 256 Formative period (1600 BC–AD 250) ceramic figurines, musical instruments, and iconographic vessel appliqués from the lower Río Verde Valley of coastal Oaxaca, Mexico (Barber 2005; Barber and Hepp 2012; Fernández Pardo 1993; Hepp 2007, 2009; Hepp and Hepp n.d.; Joyce 1991, 2005). The collection includes anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and transformational figures that combine human and nonhuman traits. The purpose of our analysis is twofold. First, the study allows us to describe physical attributes of the collection, including dimensions and patterns of diagnostic accoutrements such as clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, and anatomical features. We consider...

  15. TEN COASTAL OAXACA and FORMATIVE DEVELOPMENTS in MESOAMERICA
    (pp. 301-340)
    Christopher A. Pool

    Over the past two decades, archaeologists have focused increasingly on how individuals and groups use material, social, and ideological resources to acquire and maintain power (e.g., Baines and Yoffee 1998; Blanton et al. 1996; Clark and Blake 1994; Demarest and Conrad 1992; Demarrais et al. 1996; Earle 1997). Arthur Joyce has been a particularly thoughtful proponent of archaeological approaches that, drawing on Giddens (e.g., 1984), view “people as dynamic actors in a social process” and “population-level phenomena . . . as the outcome of behavioral strategies which are both enabled and constrained by the biophysical and social environment” (Joyce and...

  16. List of Contributors
    (pp. 341-342)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 343-350)