28 Publications


Figurine ontologies, household ritual assemblages, and gendered concerns at Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico

This paper explores human engagement with ceramic figurines in household ritual practice at Postclassic Xaltocan (Mexico). Drawing on the ontological turn, figurines are understood to be other-than-human agential entities and momentary orderings of sacred and vital energy that come into...

Lisa Overholtzer
Aug 2021

Figurines and the materiality of ancient Maya humor

Identifying humor in the archaeological record is enormously difficult, if not impossible, since laughter, irony, and fun are highly dependent on contextual circumstances. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that humor was a part of the past as much as...

Christina T. Halperin
Jun 2021

Cadenas operatorias en la producción de objetos emplumados mexicas

In this work, the operational sequences in the production of luxury feather objects are presented in the context of the empire of Moctezuma II. The reflections focus on the corpus of six pieces of Mexica culture that are preserved in museums...

María Olvido Moreno Guzmán, Laura Filloy Nadal
May 2021

La Tumba II de Tingambato: una morada para una joven mujer de élite en el Epiclásico mesoamericano

Recent research carried out on the Epiclassic site of Tingambato (Michoacan) has shown that it participated in long-distance exchange networks to acquire prestigious goods and contribute to the circulation of ideas and knowledge. This insertion is particularly well reflected in...

José Luis Punzo Díaz, Alejandro Valdes Herrera
Dec 2020

How to make cassava bread: the introduction of metal graters in the Guianas during the 17th century

Recent archaeological research on Cayenne Island (French Guiana) showed that maize was a very important crop during the late pre-Columbian period (AD 900-1500), at least among the coastal population of this part of the Guianas. In contrast, the post-Columbian or Modern...

Martijn van den Bel
Sep 2020

Commensality, irrigation and agrarian entanglements in Early Horizon Nepeña, Coastal Peru

This article considers the extensification of cultivated fields and irrigation networks, and the concomitant intensification of farming practices in the lower Nepeña Valley during the Early Horizon (800-200 BC). This period marked shifts in local procurement strategies, production intensities and food...

David Chicoine, Caitlyn McNabb, Beverly Clement
Jul 2020

Secuencias performativas y destrucción ritual de esculturas en Mesoamérica. Algunas hipótesis desde Cacaxtla, Xochicalco y Cholula (México) durante el Epiclásico (600 a 900 d. C.)

The Mesoamerican Epiclassic (600 to 900 AD) is a period of important political, social and religious changes in the Central Highlands. The present work aims to present some hypothesis about possible performative sequences embodied in several deposits of the sites of Cacaxtla...

Juliette Testard
Dec 2019

Writing and ritual: the transformation to Mixteca-Puebla ceramics of Cholula

Codex-style ceramics are considered to be manifestations of the so-called Mixteca-Puebla style, a graphic system that developed in central Mexico in the last centuries before the Spanish Invasion. These ceramics were particularly frequent in Cholula, an important holy city and...

Araceli Rojas Martínez Gracida, Gilda Hernández Sánchez
Aug 2019

Xcalumkín: inscripciones e iconografía del Puuc temprano

The Classic Maya site of Xcalumkin is located in the western Puuc region of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico). Its occupation extends from AD 650 to 950. During the Early Puuc, buildings—constructed in two different groups—were decorated with bas-relief sculptures accompanied by hieroglyphic...

Pierre Becquelin
Jul 2019

From warless to warlike times in the Central Andes: the origins of institutional war between Moche and Casma Valleys, northern coast of Peru

The issue of the origins and modalities of war in prehistoric societies is an old and controversial debate. In this article, we focus on the beginning of institutionalized war on the northern coast of Peru at the Pre-Hispanic period using...

Vincent Chamussy, Nicolas Goepfert
Mar 2019

Análisis de áreas de actividad a partir de residuos químicos en pisos del sitio Loma de Piritícuaro en el río Balsas Medio, Michoacán, México

Despite its large quantities of archaeological remains, the Middle Balsas region has been the subject of few archaeological excavations. In 2015, a preventive archaeology project was developed in this region, as part of the construction of a dam close to...

Erika Ibarra Ávila, Meztli Hernández Grajales, José Luis Punzo Díaz, Agustín Ortiz Butrón, Diego Rangel Estrada, Jorge Blancas Vázquez, Luis Barba Pingarrón
Dec 2018

Intensificación productiva e ideología en las marismas de Escuinapa, Sinaloa. Patrón de asentamiento prehispánico y fuentes etnohistóricas

The salt marsh area of Escuinapa, Sinaloa, is part of the so-called Marismas Nacionales, an extensive network of coastal lagoons, marshes, swamps and mangroves in southern Sinaloa and northern Nayarit (Mexico). Thanks to the results of three field seasons of...

Luis Alfonso Grave Tirado
Nov 2018

Legua a legua. Análisis de la visita de Antonio de Caravajal a Michoacán (1523-1524) desde los Sistemas de Información Geográfica

In this paper, we examine the Antonio de Caravajal’s visit to Michoacán in 1523-1524 through the analytical tools of a Geographic Information System. In particular, we estimate the distances travelled by Caravajal by considering the friction offered by different types of...

Armando Anaya Hernández, Claudia Espejel Carbajal
Sep 2018

Bone tools and ornaments in the Classic period Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico

In prehispanic Mesoamerica, bone was a broadly recovered raw material for the fabrication of implements and ornaments, used in both ritual and domestic production activities. To date, researchers have employed broad, general descriptions for these tools such as awls, needles,...

Gary M. Feinman, Linda M. Nicholas, Heather A. Lapham
Sep 2018

Plaza settings and public interactions during the Formative Period in Nepeña, North-Central Coast of Peru

In this article, we evaluate the relationships between plaza settings, ritual performances, and modes of sociopolitical integration in coastal Ancash during the Formative Period (local Cerro Blanco, Nepeña, and Samanco phases, 1100-150 cal. BC). We chronicle shifts in the forms, dimensions, arrangements,...

 Matthew Helmer, David Chicoine, Hugo Ikehara, Koichiro Shibata
Aug 2018

The Regalia of Sacred War: costume and militarism at Teotihuacan

Throughout Mesoamerica costume and clothing formed an important part of marking identity. At the Classic Period site of Teotihuacan, Mexico, this was further reinforced through artistic representations that submerge the body beneath elaborate costume elements marking an individual’s identity whether...

Claudia García-Des Lauriers
Sep 2017

Beyond rain and storm: Tlaloc and his relationship with warfare, earth and territory in Teotihuacan

This article offers a series of reflections on the iconographic relations between the Tlaloc of Teotihuacan and the politico-military sphere of the city. In particular, it considers the explanations for the presence of Tlaloc iconography alongside the warriors and representatives...

Aurélie Couvreur
Sep 2017

Auto-sacrifice at Teotihuacan

Bloodletting, together with a variable amount of pain, was probably common practice in most of Mesoamerica, well before the beginnings of Teotihuacan. A mural painting from Tlacuilapaxco shows priests presenting or offering maguey spines planted into a thick layer of...

Claude-François Baudez †
Sep 2017

Economía y ritual en Teotihuacan y su órbita

During Teotihuacan’s apogee, the city served as a hub for the grandest rituals and most robust economic system in Mesoamerica. Tens of thousands of individuals gathered regularly for religious spectacles designed to sustain the cosmos and time itself. They also...

David M. Carballo
Sep 2017

La identificación de unidades sociales y administrativas en el seno de la ciudad maya clásica a través de sus sedes

Formal and spatial analysis of architectural groups surrounding the epicenter of Classic Maya cities can discriminate significant units in areas that would otherwise appear as an undifferentiated aggregation of domestic groups. The article starts introducing a procedure for the identification...

Jesús Adánez Pavón, Andrés Ciudad Ruiz, Alfonso Lacadena García-Gallo, María Josefa Iglesias Ponce de León
Sep 2017

Cocción experimental de tortillas de casabe (Manihot esculenta Crantz) y de camote (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam.) en planchas de barro: evaluando sus efectos en la morfometría de los almidones desde una perspectiva paleoetnobotánica

Previous paleoethnobotanical studies on clay griddles—an artifact traditionally related to the processing and cooking of cassava tortillas (Manihot esculenta Crantz) in the lowland Neotropics—has revealed a limited ubiquity of ancient manioc starch grains. In turn, other starchy plants such as...

Jaime R. Pagán Jiménez, Ana M. Guachamín-Tello, Martha E. Romero-Bastidas, Pablo X. Vásquez-Ponce
Sep 2017

Markets, tribute, and class in Tarascan commodity consumption: the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin

The Late Postclassic Tarascan society of West-Central Mexico has long been characterized as having had a state-dominated economy in contrast to the highly commercialized contemporary states in Mesoamerica. To test this model of the Tarascan political economy the production and...

Helen P. Pollard
Jul 2017

Agua-cerro, ideología y realidades en el área maya

The pair of words (or “difrasismo”) water/hill, in náhuatl atl/tepetl, refers both to a class of toponyms and a notion of polity. With the support of epigraphic and iconographic evidence, the present study is archaeological and mainly focuses upon the...

M. Charlotte Arnauld
Nov 2016

Tlalloc-Tlallocan: el altepetl arquetípico

More than a century ago, Georges Raynaud wrote with great clear-sightedness in a brief paper dedicated to Tlalloc “Of all the gods related to Cipactli, only one is linked as him by the earth and the water, the god that...

José Contel
Nov 2016

El señorío matlatzinca, una manera de abordar el altepetl

This article analyzes the transformations of the Matlatzinca seigneury between the 15th and 16th centuries. Between the period when the Calixtlahuaca seigneury was known as Pintanbati (before the Aztec conquest in 1474) until the foundation of the Toluca villa (in the 1530s), the Matlatzinco...

Nadine Béligand
Nov 2016

Tecnología cerámica y transiciones de tiempo y espacio: el caso de Malqui (Ecuador septentrional)

Located in an ecological and cultural border, the area of the village of Malqui (western foothills of northern Ecuador), was recently disclosed to science, through the discovery of its impressive structures related to at least the three last periods of...

Catherine Lara
Nov 2016

Why potters have not borrowed the kiln? Comparing narratives of Indian and Ecuadorian potters

In a recent study (Roux et al. forthcoming), it has been possible to demonstrate that in a context where different techniques are used for different types of objects by actors living in close geographical proximity, there is a cognitive bias which...

Valentine Roux, Catherine Lara
Nov 2016

Altepetl: el lugar del poder

In the center of Mexico, on the eve of the Spanish conquest, the human settlements formed around a sovereign received the nahuatl name of atl tepetl (“water/mountain”). The article shows that this pair or difrasismo expresses a concept and supports...

Danièle Dehouve
Nov 2016