Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2005:
Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery

The Radiocarbon Dating of Public Buildings and Ritual Features in the Ancient Valley of Oaxaca
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Figure 1a. Diagram of the valleys of Oaxaca and Tehuacán in México, showing the places mentioned.

Research Year:  2004
Culture:  Zapotec
Chronology:  Pre-Classic
Location:  Valley of Oaxaca, México
Site:  San José Mogote

Table of Contents

A Note on the Presentation of Dates
The Men's Houses of the Tierras Largas Phase (1500-1150 b.c.)
A Temple of the Rosario Phase
Structure 23 and Feature 77: Evidence for a Postabandonment Ritual
Monte Albán II Temples on Mound 1
List of Figures
Sources Cited


In preparation for publishing a three-volume work on our research at San José Mogote, Oaxaca, México, we asked FAMSI for funding to run ten new AMS dates. All those dates have now been run, and the results are very gratifying.

Unexpectedly, we received an additional sum of money from our own university. When combined with the FAMSI grant, it allowed us to run more than the ten proposed dates. The results of all the dates will be presented here, in order to enlarge the context for the FAMSI-sponsored dating.

Perhaps the most exciting result of the expanded 14C series is that we were also able to date the oldest ritual feature ever recovered in Oaxaca (or Mesoamerica, for that matter), the "dance ground" at the Archaic site of Gheo-Shih. When combined with the dates from San José Mogote, this gives us a 7000-year sequence of dated ritual behavior from a single Mesoamerican highland valley. This unique sequence of dates would not have been possible without the support of FAMSI.

All new dates were run by Beta Analytic of Miami, Florida.

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The Radiocarbon Dating of Public Buildings and Ritual Features in the Ancient Valley of Oaxaca  (673 KB)

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Submitted 12/27/2004 by:
Joyce Marcus
Museum of Anthropology
University of Michigan

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