Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2001:
Arthur A. Joyce

Household Archaeology in Coastal Oaxaca, México
Arthur A. Joyce and Stacie M. King
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Figure 6. Monument Stone in Op. RV00 A Patio.

Research Year:  2000
Culture:  Chatino, Mixtec
Chronology:  Pre-Classic Terminal to Early Post Classic
Location:  Oaxaca, México
Site:  Río Viejo

Table of Contents

Río Viejo Operation RV00 A
Río Viejo Operation RV00 B
List of Figures
Sources Cited


This project examines socio-economic organization at the coastal Oaxacan site of Río Viejo through large-scale horizontal excavations of residences (Figure 1). The lower Río Verde Valley on Oaxaca’s western Pacific Coast has been the focus of interdisciplinary research over the past 15 years (Joyce, 1991a; 1991b; 1993; 1999; Joyce et al., 1998a; Urcid and Joyce, 1999; Workinger and Colby, 1997). Archaeological research shows that by the Terminal Formative Period (100 B.C.-A.D. 250) the lower Río Verde Valley was the locus of a state polity with its capital at the urban center of Río Viejo (Joyce, 1993; 1999; 2001). While Río Viejo declined in size during the Early Classic (A.D. 250-500), by the Late Classic Period, the site had grown to its maximum area of 250 ha and was the capital of a state polity that dominated the lower Verde. While surface-visible structures in the areas studied during the 2000 field season were originally thought to date to the Late Classic (A.D. 500-800) florescence of the site, the research shows that these occupations actually pertain to the Early Postclassic (ca. A.D. 800-1100). The study, therefore, provides crucial data on the Early Postclassic Period, during which the city of Río Viejo was undergoing a significant transition, declining in both population and political importance. This report describes the results of the 2000 excavations at Río Viejo and discusses their significance for understanding social organization in the lower Río Verde Valley during the Early Postclassic Period.

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Household Archaeology in Coastal Oaxaca, México  (649 KB)

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Submitted 03/01/2001 by:

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