Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2001:
Heather S. Orr

The Pictographs of Piedra San Vicente, Coastal Oaxaca, México - September, 1996
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This report was written and submitted in 1996 and, barring some minor recent revisions, reflects data, research, and publications to that date.

Slide 4: View of Area A boulders from Cerro San Vicente

Research Year:  1996
Culture:  Chatino and Mixtec
Chronology:  Post Classic
Location:  Oaxaca, México
Site:  Piedra San Vicente

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction & Project Goals
Project Goals
Part II: Project Description and Results
List of Illustrations
Slide Photographs
Sources Cited


During the course of my dissertation research in the Valley of Oaxaca, project assistant Juan de Dios Gomez relayed to me that a Zapotec acquaintance had told him that when visiting the sacred places of the ancestors, before commencing investigations, it is important to petition for permission, and for the places reveal themselves. When we arrived at the summit of Cerro San Vicente early one wet May morning in the Spring of 1995, caught by the potency and beauty of the site, we jumped from rock to rock with near complete disregard for our physical persons or where our feet were landing. Suddenly, I felt something distinctly un-rock-like beneath my huarachi-clad foot and leapt back a couple of paces, to realize that I had stepped upon a rattlesnake - brutally startled from its slumber in the cool morning shade (Slide 1). The project assistant and I perceived that we had been advised of an oversight in protocol, and immediately lit the candles and incense which we had brought as offerings. Once we had both silently made our petitions, it was as if a calm descended and a veiling curtain had been drawn back. The hours slipped away as we became completely absorbed in the place, its paintings, and our work. It is this magic and profound respect which I hope I have preserved and conveyed in the photos, words, and drawings included in these pages—because, ultimately, it is the magic of these places which draws us, and it is with a deep sense of respect that we leave. The significance of this project now lies with future investigators and community members in the region who make use of the data presented herein.

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Submitted 09/01/1996 by:

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