Chipped Stone Tools in Formative Oaxaca, Mexico: Their Procurement, Production and Use 9781951538064

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Chipped Stone Tools in Formative Oaxaca, Mexico: Their Procurement, Production and Use
 9781951538064

Table of contents :
Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Plates
Introduction to Volume 8
Preface
Chapter 1. Introduction and Background
Introduction
The Formative Period in the Valley of Oaxaca
Previous Investigations
Some Basic Assumptions
Raw Materials as Measures of Interaction
Technological Attributes as Measures of Interaction
Functional Attributes
Chapter 2. The Sample
Emphasis on Floor Proveniences
Introduction
How Chipped Stone Becomes Incorporated Into Earthen Floors
Archaeological Definition of Floor Associations
The Sample of Floor Proveniences
San Jose Mogote
Abasolo
Barrio del Rosario, Huitzo
Fabrica San Jose
Tomaltepec
Chapter 3. The Procurement of Lithic Material
Introduction
Classification of Lithic Materials
Obsidian
Chert
Other Local Materials
Chert Sources in the Valley of Oaxaca
Early and Middle Formative Obsidian Procurement
The Redistribution Model
Problems With the Redistribution Model
Differential Access to Obsidian
Early and Middle Formative Local Stone Procurement
Introduction
The San Jose Phase
The Middle Formative Period
Chronological Changes in Local Raw Material Procurement
Summary
Chapter 4. The Production of Chipped Stone Tools
Introduction
Definition of Terms
Flakes and Flake Terminology
Other General Categories
Some Tool Types
Technological Classification of Flakes
The Blade Industry
Introduction
The Manufacture of Obsidian Blades
Evolution of the Obsidian Blade Industry
Absence of Chert Blades
The Biface Industry
Introduction
Biface Manufacture
Heat Treatment of Chert
Summary
The Flake Industry
Introduction
Ethnographic Flake Industries
Flake Manufacture
Organization of Flake Tool Production
Summary: Early and Middle Formative Tool Production
Chapter 5. The Uses of Chipped Stone Tools
Introduction
Edge Attributes as Indicators of Tool Function
Edge Angle
Edge Morphology
Retouch
Edge Damage
Classification of Early and Middle Formative Tools
The Relationship of Functional Types to Material and Morphological Types
Summary
Chapter 6. Spatial Patterns of Stone Tool Use
Introduction
Distribution of Activities Within Early Formative Houses
House 4 of Tomaltepec
House 2 of San Jose Mogote
House 4 of San Jose Mogote
Other Early and Middle Formative Houses
Distribution of Activities in an Early Formative Household Unit
Area B of San Jose Mogote
Activity Differences Between Households
San Jose Mogote
Middle Formative Households
Activity Differences Between Villages
San Jose Phase
Middle Formative Villages
Chapter 7. Late and Terminal Formative Chipped Stone Assemblages
The Late Formative Period
San Jose Mogote in the Terminal Formative Period
Terminal Formative Lithic Industries
Functions of Terminal Formative Tools
Differential Access to Stone Tools
Summary
Chapter 8. Nonutilitarian Chipped Stone Tools
Introduction
Burial Offerings
Floors of Public Buildings
Courtyards of Public Buildings
Special Artifact Types
Summary
Chapter 9. Summary and Conclusions
Bibliography
Appendix

Citation preview

PREHISTORY AND HUMAN ECOLOGY OF THE VALLEY OF OAXACA Kent V. Flannery and Richard E. Blanton General Editors Volume I The Use of Land and Water Resources in the Past and Present Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, by Anne V. T. Kirkby. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, No.5. 1973. Volume 2 Sociopolitical Aspects of Canal Irrigation in the Valley of Oaxaca, by Susan H. Lees. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, No.6. 1973. Volume 3 Formative Mesoamerican Exchange Networks with Special Reference to the Valley of Oaxaca, by Jane W. Pires-Ferreira. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, No.7. 1975. Volume 4 Fabrica San Jose and Middle Formative Society in the Valley of Oaxaca, by Robert D. Drennan. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, No.8. 1975. Volume 5 Part 1. The Vegetational History of the Oaxaca Valley, by C. Earle Smith, Jr. Part 2. Zapotec Plant Knowledge: Classification, Uses and Communication about Plants in Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico, by Ellen Messer. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, No. 10. 1978. Volume 6 Excavations at Santo Domingo Tomaltepec: Evolution of a Formative Community in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, by Michael E. Whalen. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, No. 12. 1981. Volume 7 Monte Alban's Hinterland, Part 1: The Prehispanic Settlement Patterns of the Central and Southern Parts of the Valley a/Oaxaca, Mexico, by Richard E. Blanton, Stephen Kowalewski, Gary Feinman, and Jill Appel. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, No. IS. 1982. Volume 8 Chipped Stone Tools in Formative Oaxaca, Mexico: Their Procurement, Production and Use, by William J. Parry. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, No. 20. 1987.

Related Volumes Flannery, Kent V. 1986 Guild Naquitz: Archaic Foraging and Ear(y Agriculture in Oaxaca, Mexico. New York: Academic Press.

Plate I (Frontispiece). A late San Jose phase residence (House 14, Area C, San Jose Mogote) seen in cross-section in a standing excavation profile, which illu trates some of the contexts in which the stone tools used in this study occurred . Zone C is a midden layer overlying the house. Wall col/apse is a layer of rain-melted clay from the collapse of House [4's wattle-and-daub walls. Floor 1 is the uppermost of the house's two sand floors (i.e., a "floor resurfacing"). Floor 2 is the lowermost of the house's two sand floors (i.e., the "original floor"). Zone D is a midden layer underlying the house . Artifacts trampled into Floor 2, trampled into Floor [, or trapped under the wall collapse would be regarded as associated with House [4. However, only those artifacts re ting directly on, or trampled into. one of the sand floors would have been piece-plotted. Total length of the wooden scale is 30 cm .

MEMOIRS OF THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN NUMBER 20

PREHISTORY AND HUMAN ECOLOGY OF THE VALLEY OF OAXACA Kent V. Flannery and Richard E. Blanton General Editors Volume 8

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA, MEXICO: THEIR PROCUREMENT, PRODUCTION AND USE

by William J. Parry

ANN ARBOR

1987

1987 Regents of Th e University of Michigan Th e Museum of Anthropology All rights reserved

@

Printed in the United States of America ISBN 978-0-915703-I0-4 (paper) ISBN 978-1-951538-06-4 (ebook)

TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables .................................................................................................................. vii List of Figures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. IX List of Plates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. xi Introduction to Volume 8 ........................................................................................................ xiii Preface ........................................................................................................................ xv CHAPTER 1.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ........................................................................... I Introduction ...................................................................................................... I The Formative Period in the Valley of Oaxaca ........................................................................ I Previous Investigations ............................................................................................. 4 Some Basic Assumptions ........................................................................................... 5 Raw Materials as Measures of Interaction .......................................................................... 5 Technological Attributes as Measures of Interaction .................................................................. 5 Functional Attributes ............................................................................................ 6

CHAPTER 2.

THE SAMPLE .................................................................................................... 7 Emphasis on Floor Proveniences ..................................................................................... 7 Introduction .................................................................................................... 7 How Chipped Stone Becomes Incorporated Into Earthen Floors ....................................................... 7 Archaeological Definition of Floor Associations ..................................................................... 8 The Sample of Floor Proveniences .................................................................................. 10 San Jose Mogote ............................................................................................... 10 Abasolo ....................................................................................................... 12 Barrio del Rosario, Huitzo .................................................................................... , .. 15 Fabrica San Jose ............................................................................................... 15 Tomaltepec .................................................................................................... 15

CHAPTER 3.

THE PROCUREMENT OF LITHIC MATERIAL ................................................................... 17 Introduction ..................................................................................................... 17 Classification of Lithic Materials .................................................................................... 17 Obsidian ....................................................................................................... 17 Chert ......................................................................................................... 18 Other Local Materials ........................................................................................... 18 Chert Sources in the Valley of Oaxaca ................................................................................ 19 Early and Middle Formative Obsidian Procurement ................................................................... 21 The Redistribution Model ....................................................................................... 21 Problems With the Redistribution Model .......................................................................... 21 Differential Access to Obsidian ................................................................................... 23 Early and Middle Formative Local Stone Procurement ................................................................ 25 Introduction ................................................................................................... 25 The San Jose Phase ............................................................................................. 27 The Middle Formative Period .................................................................................... 27 Chronological Changes in Local Raw Material Procurement ......................................................... 30 Summary ........................................................................................................ 32

CHAPTER 4.

THE PRODUCTION OF CHIPPED STONE TOOLS ................................................................ 33 Introduction ..................................................................................................... 33 Definition of Terms ............................................................................................... 33 Flakes and Flake Terminology ................................................................................... 33 Other General Categories ........................................................................................ 33 Some Tool Types ............................................................................................... 34 Technological Classification of Flakes ............................................................................. 35

v

The Blade Industry ............................................................................................... 37 Introduction ................................................................................................... 37 The Manufacture of Obsidian Blades .............................................................................. 37 Evolution of the Obsidian Blade Industry .......................................................................... 39 Absence of Chert Blades ........................................................................................ .41 The Biface Industry ............................................................................................... 41 Introduction .................................................................................................. .41 Biface Manufacture ............................................................................................. 41 Heat Treatment of Chert ........................................................................................ 52 Summary ...................................................................................................... 53 The Flake Ind ustry ............................................................................................... 53 Introduction ................................................................................................... 53 Ethnographic Flake Industries .................................................................................... 54 Flake Manufacture .............................................................................................. 54 Organization of Flake Tool Production ............................................................................ 57 Summary: Early and Middle Formative Tool Production .............................................................. 65 CHAPTER 5.

THE USES OF CHIPPED STONE TOOLS ......................................................................... 67 Introduction ..................................................................................................... 67 Edge Attributes as Indicators of Tool Function ....................................................................... 67 Edge Angle .................................................................................................... 67 Edge Morphology .............................................................................................. 68 Retouch ........................ " ............................................................................. 68 Edge Damage .................................................................................................. 68 Classification of Early and Middle Formative Tools ................................................................... 69 The Relationship of Functional Types to Material and Morphological Types ............................................. 73 Summary ........................................................................................................ 74

CHAPTER 6.

SPATIAL PATTERNS OF STONE TOOL USE ..................................................................... 93 Introduction ..................................................................................................... 93 Distribution of Activities Within Early Formative Houses .............................................................. 93 House 4 of Tomaltepec .......................................................................................... 93 House 2 of San Jose Mogote ..................................................................................... 94 House 4 of San Jose Mogote ..................................................................................... 96 Other Early and Middle Formative Houses ......................................................................... 97 Distribution of Activities in an Early Formative Household Unit ........................................................ 98 Area B of San Jose Mogote ...................................................................................... 98 Activity Differences Between Households ........................................................................... 106 San Jose Mogote .............................................................................................. 106 Middle Formative Households ................................................................................... 106 Activity Differences Between Villages ............................................................................... 107 San Jose Phase ................................................................................................ 107 Middle Formative Villages ...................................................................................... 108

CHAPTER 7.

LATE AND TERMINAL FORMATIVE CHIPPED STONE ASSEMBLAGES ........................................ The Late Formative Period ....................................................................................... San Jose Mogote in the Terminal Formative Period .................................................................. Terminal Formative Lithic Industries ............................................................................... Functions of Terminal Formative Tools ............................................................................ Differential Access to Stone Tools ................................................................................. Summary .......................................................................................................

CHAPTER 8.

NONUTILITARIAN CHIPPED STONE TOOLS ................................................................... 119 Introduction .................................................................................................... 119 Burial Offerings ................................................................................................. 119 Floors of Public Buildings ........................................................................................ 119 Courtyards of Public Buildings .................................................................................... 123 Special Artifact Types ............................................................................................ 124 Summary ....................................................................................................... 125

CHAPTER 9.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ........ '" .................................................................... 133

III III III 113 114 115 115

Bibliography ................................................................................................................... 135 Appendix ...................................................................................................................... 141

vi

LIST OF TABLES I. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. [0. II. [2. [3. [4. 15. [6. [7. [8. [9. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42.

Conjoinable items observed in this study ........................................................................................ 9 Maximum dimension of chipped stone artifacts from various San Jose phase proveniences ... " ............................... , ....... 10 The sample of chipped stone artifacts from San Jose phase floor proveniences ....................................................... 14 The sample of chipped stone artifacts from Middle Formative floor proveniences .................................................... 14 Type and frequency of local raw materials in the combined Early and Middle Formative assemblages .................................. [9 Source identifications of obsidian samples from San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote ....................................... 22 Comparison of obsidian frequencies between Structure [[ and House 4, two San Jose proveniences at Tomaltepec ....................... 24 Obsidian statistics for San Jose phase households ................................................................................ 24 Obsidian statistics for Middle Formative households ............................................................................. 24 Proportion of blades in the obsidian assemblages of Early and Middle Formative households ......................................... 26 Proportions of local material types in the chipped stone assemblages of San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote .................. 28 Comparison of chert proportions in San Jose phase households from three areas of San Jose Mogote and from Tomaltepec .............. 29 Proportions of chert types in the assemblages of Middle Formative households ...................................................... 3 [ Proportion of quartz in the local assemblages from Ear[y and Middle Formative households .......................................... 32 The products of reducing an obsidian nodule to prismatic blades .................................................................. 39 Mean widths of obsidian blade platforms from Chalchuapa, EI Salvador ................................................ " ., ...... .4[ Mean widths of obsidian blade platforms from the Valley of Oaxaca .............................................................. .4[ Frequency of heat-treated chert artifacts in San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote ........................................... 53 Numbers of heat-treated chert artifacts of different types in San Jose phase residential wards at San Jose Mogote ....................... 53 Relative sizes and shapes of flakes from San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote ............................................. 63 Some technological attributes of non-obsidian artifacts from San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote ........................... 65 Cross-tabulation of edge damage flake type and retouch for all Early and Middle Formative tools ..................................... 70 Cross-tabulation of edge damage flake type and edge damage size for all Early and Middle Formative too[s ............................. 70 Cross-tabulation of edge damage flake type and edge damage location for all Ear[y and Middle Formative tools ......................... 70 Cross-tabulation of edge damage flake type and edge damage continuity for all Early and Middle Formative tools ....................... 70 Cross-tabulation of edge damage flake type and edge angle for all Early and Middle Formative tools ................................... 70 Matrix of Cramer's phi-square coefficients for edge morphology and edge damage in Early and Middle Formative tools .................. 7 [ Functional classification of Early and Midd[e Formative chipped stone tools ........................................................ 72 Cross-tabulation of functional and morphological types of Early and Middle Formative tools ......................................... 73 Cross-tabulation of functional types and raw material of Early and Middle Formative tools ........................................... 73 Proportions of functional tool types from San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote ........................................... [07 Frequencies of functional tool types from excavated Midd[e Formative households ................................................. [09 Densities of chipped stone artifacts at Abasolo and San Jose Mogote ............................................................. [09 Densities of chipped stone artifacts and tools at Midd[e Formative sites ........................................................... 109 Proportions of different functional types represented by the chipped stone tools from Middle Formative sites .......................... [09 Summary statistics for the Middle and Late Formative chipped stone assemblages from Tomaltepec .................................. [[3 Inventory of chipped stone artifacts from Terminal Formative proveniences at San Jose Mogote ...................................... [ [3 Widths of obsidian blades from Termina[ Formative structures at San Jose Mogote ................................. " ........ , ..... [[5 Chipped stone artifacts from Formative burials in the Valley of Oaxaca ........................................................... [20 Chipped stone artifacts from Formative public buildings in the Valley of Oaxaca ................................................... [23 Contextual analysis of Formative projectile points .............................................................................. 125 Contextual analysis of Formative obsidian lancets .............................................................................. 126

vii

LIST OF FIGURES L The Valley of Oaxaca, showing excavated Formative sites and the modern city of Oaxaca de Juarez .................................... 2 2. Chronology of the Formative period in the Valley of Oaxaca ...................................................................... 3 3. Distributions of maximum dimensions of chipped stone artifacts from house floors and pit fill ........................................ II 4. Sketch map of San Jose Mogote, showing Areas A, B, and C ..................................................................... 13 5. The Valley of Oaxaca, showing the archaeological sites of San Jose Mogote and Monte Alban and known sources of chert ............... 20 6. Proportions of three categories of local raw materials in assemblages of San Jose Mogote ............................................ 29 7. Attributes of a typical flake ................................................................................................... 34 8. Selected obsidian prismatic blades from Formative proveniences ................................................................... 38 9. Stages in the manufacture of prismatic blades ................................................................................... 39 10. Irregular blades from Formative proveniences ................................................................................... 40 1L San Jose phase projectile points ............................................................................................... 42 12. Middle Formative projectile points ............................................................................................ 43 13. San Jose phase large bifaces ................................................................................................. .45 14. Stages in the manufacture of a biface .......................................................................................... 46 IS. Some unfinished San Jose phase bifaces from Area B of San Jose Mogote .......................................................... 47 16. More unfinished San Jose phase bifaces from Area B of San Jose Mogote .......................................................... 48 17. Selected San Jose phase biface thinning flakes from Area B of San Jose Mogote .................................................... 49 18. Stages in the manufacture of flakes for use as expedient tools ..................................................................... 55 19. Selected Formative flake cores ................................................................................................ 56 20. Obsidian bipolar cores and scaled flakes ........................................................................................ 59 21. Chert bipolar cores and scaled flakes ........................................................................................... 60 22. Obsidian scaled blades, and bipolar flakes removed from scaled blades ............................................................. 61 23. Sizes and shapes of intact flakes from San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote ............................................... 63 24. Technological attributes of non-obsidian artifacts from San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote ................................ 64 25. Some San Jose phase chipped stone tools from Area A of San Jose Mogote ........................................................ 75 26. Some San Jose phase chipped stone tools from Area B of San Jose Mogote ........................................................ 76 27. Some San Jose phase chipped stone tools from Area C of San Jose Mogote ........................................................ 77 28. Selected San Jose phase chipped stone tools from Abasolo and Tomaltepec ......................................................... 78 29. Some Rosario phase chipped stone tools from Mound I of San Jose Mogote ....................................................... 79 30. Rosario phase chipped stone tools from House 9 of Fabrica San Jose .............................................................. 80 31. Guadalupe phase chipped stone tools from House 3 of Huitzo .................................................................... 81 32. Late Rosario-Early Monte Alban Ia chipped stone tools from Structure I of Huitzo ................................................. 82 33. Distribution of chipped stone artifacts in House 4 at Tomaltepec .................................................................. 95 34. Plans of House 2 in Area C of San Jose Mogote ................................................................................ 96 35. Distributions of chipped stone artifacts in Houses 2 and 4, Area C, San Jose Mogote ................................................ 97 36. Distribution of chipped stone artifacts in Area B of San Jose Mogote .............................................................. 99 37. Distribution of biface debris in Area B of San Jose Mogote ...................................................................... 100 38. Distribution of heat-treated chert artifacts in Area B of San Jose Mogote .......................................................... 102 39. Relative densities of cores in Area B of San Jose Mogote ........................................................................ 103 40. Relative densities of tools in Area B of San Jose Mogote ........................................................................ 104 41. Reconstructed San Jose phase activity areas in Area B of San Jose Mogote ........................................................ 105 42. Proportions of three functional categories represented by tools from San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote .................... 108 43. Sketch map of the main plaza of San Jose Mogote, showing Terminal Formative structures .......................................... 112 44. Selected chipped stone tools from Terminal Formative residences at San Jose Mogote ............................................... 114 45. Distributions of obsidian blade widths for Terminal Formative proveniences at San Jose Mogote ..................................... 116 46. Chipped stone artifacts from Formative burials ................................................................................. 121 47. Artifacts from Tomb 10, a Rosario phase interment on Mound I of San Jose Mogote ............................................... 122 48. Obsidian bipolar flakes from Structure 6, a Tierras Largas phase public building in Area C of San Jose Mogote ........................ 124 49. Plan of Structure 35, a Terminal Formative temple on Mound I of San Jose Mogote ...................... , ........................ 126 50. Obsidian blades from Structure 35, a Terminal Formative temple on Mound I of San Jose Mogote ................................... 128 51. Fragments of obsidian bifaces from Terminal Formative temples on Mound I of San Jose Mogote ................................... 130 52. Formative obsidian lancets from San Jose Mogote .............................................................................. 131

ix

LIST OF PLATES I. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. I I. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

A late San Jose phase residence ...................................................................................... Frontispiece Early and Middle Formative projectile points ................................................................................... 44 San Jose phase biface preforms from Area B ..................... " ............................................................. 50 San Jose phase biface roughouts from Area B ................................................................................... 51 San Jose phase flake cores and a hammerstone .................................................................................. 58 Selected San Jose phase retouched tools from House 13 on Mound I .............................................................. 83 Selected San Jose phase perforators from Household C2 in Area A ................................................................ 84 Selected San Jose phase perforators from Household C4 in Area A ................................................................ 85 Two San Jose phase core tools from Household C4 in Area A .................................................................... 85 Selected San Jose phase retouched tools from Area B ............................................................................ 86 Selected San Jose phase scrapers from Area B .................................................................................. 87 Selected San Jose phase perforators and a spokeshave from Area B ................................................................ 88 San Jose phase perforators from Area B ....................................................................................... 88 Selected San Jose phase retouched tools from House 2 in Area C .................................................................. 89 Selected San Jose phase retouched tools from House 4 in Area C .................................................................. 90 Selected Rosario phase perforators from Structure 26 on Mound I ................................................................ 9 I Rosario phase projectile points from Tomb 10 on Mound I ...................................................................... 120 Obsidian bipolar flakes from the floor of Structure 6, a Tierras Largas phase building in Area C ..................................... 124 Obsidian blades from Structure 35, a Terminal Formative temple on Mound I ..................................................... 127 Two obsidian biface fragments and tip of an obsidian lancet from the floor of Structure 35 .......................................... 130

xi

AN INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME 8 OF THE SERIES

by Kent V. Flannery One of the goals of our Oaxaca project was to document changes in social partitioning and economic organization within and between Formative communities. We have used several lines of evidence for this, from architectural plans and burial offerings to the distribution and modification of exotic raw materials. Chipped stone tools are another potential source of social and economic information, but most Formative excavations have barely tapped that potential. The reasons for this are several. For one thing, the main interest and expertise of some Mesoamericanists are directed toward the definition of pottery types and sequences; chipped stone is not high on their list of priorities. Other excavators have been under the mistaken impression that literally anyone-for example, any student they happen to choose-can analyze chipped stone. Even in cases where a qualified analyst is available, the collection itself may suffer from a familiar problem: limited contextual information. For many Formative sites, the only provenience data available are designations such as "LeveI4, Pit 5." Unless we know whether such proveniences were house floors, courtyards, public space, middens, features, or arroyo fill, our analyses can only go so far. In the case of the study reported here, we have been extremely lucky. The excellent preservation of house floors, courtyards, features, and public buildings in Formative Oaxaca made it possible to key our chipped stone collections to actual Precolumbian cultural units. In addition, we were able to convince William J. Parry, an acknowledged expert at chipped stone analysis, to leave his North American sites long enough to study our collections. Our Formative Oaxacan villagers used a whole series of expedient flake tools and bifaces made on local cherts and chalcedonies, and a smaller number of obsidian tools, some of which were imported prismatic blades. However, not all these tools were made or used in equal numbers by all households. To give only one example: at the site of San Jose Mogote we had a sample of Early Formative households from three different residential wards, designated Areas A, B, and C. An earlier study by Jane Pires-Ferreira (Volume 3 of this series) had shown that such households could differ considerably in their use of magnetite, Pacific coast mollusc shell, and Atlantic coast molluscs. Now Parry has shown that Areas A, B, and C also differed significantly in the sources of chert they had access to, the ways in which they reduced cores, the sizes and shapes of the flakes they made, and the assemblages of tools they used. Despite these differences between residential areas, the houses within a given residential area showed great similarity. And since we had stratigraphic superimposition of household units in Areas A and C, we can even say that such similarities in procurement of raw materials, manufacturing procedures, and tool preferences were maintained for hundreds of years. As Parry indicates, this pattern suggests that households in different residential wards at San Jose Mogote were organized into larger, multifamily units (perhaps corporate descent groups), each with one or more part-time craft specializations. While this evidence of multifamily production remained in effect among villages and residential wards throughout the Early Formative, conditions had changed by the time of the Middle Formative Rosario phase. To use Parry's words, the evidence suggests that by that time "craft production was no longer organized by a number of corporate groups, but was under the direct control of elite administrators." Presumably, this change in the organization of craft production reflects the evolution of a lower-order San Jose phase chiefdom into a higher-order Rosario phase chiefdom, one now poised for the ascent to a Zapotec state. At this writing, one can see two very favorable trends in Formative archaeology. On the one hand, for the first time we are beginning to see the emergence of a small core of highly skilled chipped stone analysts whose major areal commitment is to Mesoamerica. On the other hand, we see an increasing awareness that there is only so much they can do when the contexts of their tool samples are ambiguous. In the future, I expect to see an increasing number of studies designed to answer anthropological questions with chipped stone analysis; and when that time arises, I expect that Parry's study will take on additional significance, this time at the level of interregional comparisons. xiii

Preface ably patient and tolerant. Materials from Tomaltepec were examined in the Ex-Convento de Cuilapan with the permission and assistance of Nelly Robles, Jaime Lopez, and Roberto Zarate Moran (Centro Regional de Oaxaca Memorandum No. A-403-77 /675). All of the artifacts described here are now curated at the Ex-Convento de Cuilapan, Cuilapan de Guerrero, Oaxaca, Mexico. My work in Oaxaca was supported by The University of Michigan through a grant from the James B. Griffin fund of the Museum of Anthropology and a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship. All drawings of chipped stone artifacts presented here follow the same conventions. Except where noted, flakes and flake tools are shown in dorsal aspect with their platforms toward the top of the page. Areas of stippling denote patches of cortex. Certain abbreviations are used throughout the figure captions and the text, including SJM (San Jose Mogote), FSJ (Fabrica San Jose), H. (House), and Str. (Structure). Each artifact was assigned an individual item number during analysis; these item numbers are included in figure and plate captions so that each illustrated specimen can be matched with its appropriate entry in the appendix. The appendix tabulates raw data for all chipped stone artifacts included in this study.

This study is a slightly revised version of my doctoral dissertation, submitted in 1983 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at The University of Michigan. As with any major undertaking, it would not have been possible without the assistance and support of many people. I am grateful to my doctoral committee-Kent Flannery, William Farrand, Joyce Marcus, and John Speth - for their helpful advice and constructive comments. I would particularly like to thank Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus for giving me the opportunity to work with their materials, and for patiently answering my endless stream of questions. Several other people also generously shared data and unpublished notes, including Robert Drennan, Hattula Moholy-Nagy, John Rick, Frank Hole, and Michael Whalen. Many friends provided helpful comments, advice, and support. I cannot name all of them here, but I would particularly like to thank John Clark, Carla Sinopoli, and Karen Rosenberg. Finally, I would like to thank my parents for their encouragement over many years. I analyzed artifacts from the sites of San Jose Mogote, Fabrica San Jose, H uitzo, and Abasolo during May through September 1981. Most of the analysis was carried out in the Hotel Principal, Oaxaca de Juarez, whose staff was remark-

xv

Chapter 1

Introduction and Background INTRODUCTION

Chapter 3, which describes the procurement of raw material. Chapter 4 discusses the manufacturing process, inferred through analysis of debitage, and Chapter 5 presents a functional classification of the tools. Chapter 6 concludes the analysis with an examination of the spatial patterning of stone tool manufacture and use. In Chapter 7, Late and Terminal Formative chipped stone assemblages are briefly noted, and Chapter 8 discusses stone tools from ritual contexts.

Chipped stone tools have, in recent years, attracted increasing attention from archaeologists. Many large archaeological projects now include a specialized lithic analyst, and the study of stone tools has almost become a fad. Contemporary investigations of chipped stone artifacts tend to focus on two major problems: analysis of use-wear on stone tools to infer the activities for which the tools were used; and studies of raw material sources, and of the distributions of artifacts made from those materials, to infer patterns of exchange and regional interaction. Both of these issues have been effectively addressed in many studies of stone tools. Other topics have not received similar attention, however. In particular, chipped stone artifacts have great potential for providing information on local interaction patterns, formation of task groups, and other aspects of social and economic organization within a prehistoric society. My analysis of chipped stone tools from Early and Middle Formative village sites in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, addresses questions of local interaction and social organization. Formative Oaxacan stone tools were mostly crude flakes, commonly made from poor-quality raw materials, which were used expediently without prior retouch or shaping. My first impulse on viewing these assemblages-which look little better than handfuls of gravel-was to assume that nothing could be learned from these irregular fragments of rock. This assumption would have been mistaken. In fact, even such "amorphous" flake tools may exhibit clear patterns of variation which permit the delineation of prehistoric social units or task groups, as this analysis will show. In this chapter I provide background information on the Formative period in Oaxaca, and review the current knowledge of Formative social organization. My assumptions concerning the relationships between chipped stone tools and social interaction are also discussed. In Chapter 2, I describe the sample of material that I analyzed. and discuss some of the pro blems and limitations of my data. The analysis of Early and Middle Formative stone tool use begins with

THE FORMATIVE PERIOD IN THE VALLEY OF OAXACA The Valley of Oaxaca is a semiarid, semitropical valley located in the southern highlands of Mexico. It is drained by the Rio Atoyac and its tributary, the Rio Salado, which converge near the modern city of Oaxaca, producing a river valley shaped like an inverted "Y" or a three-pointed star (Figure I; see Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981 :48). The valley floor, having a mean elevation of 1550 meters, contains about 700 square kilometers of relatively flat land. Surrounding the valley floor is a zone of rolling piedmont, and beyond this is a series of forested mountains which rise to 3000 meters (Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981). The archaeology of the Valley of Oaxaca has attracted professional interest for more than one hundred years, owing chiefly to spectacular sites like Monte Alban, a ruined city on a mountaintop in the center of the valley, and Mitla, a Postclassic site with elegant stone palaces (H olmes 1897). Prior to 1966, however, the earliest periods of the valley's prehistory (the Preceramic and Formative periods) attracted very little attention, and the antecedents of Monte Alban were totally unknown. In 1966, Kent V. Flannery and his associates initiated a long-term interdisciplinary project entitled "The Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca." The goals of this project included the investigation of the ecological factors involved in the development of early agriculture, and the evolution of chiefdoms and early states, with special emphasis on earliest Mesoamerican civilization 1

2

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

-

Limit of valley drainage Approximate limit of high alluvium

tN 10

0 km

Figure I. The Valley of Oaxaca, showing excavated Formative sites and the modern city of Oaxaca de Juarez.

(Flannery et al. 1970:4). In pursuit of this goal, six Formative sites (together with several Preceramic sites) were excavated or tested between 1966 and 1980, including San Jose Mogote, Fabrica San Jose, Huitzo, Tierras Largas, Abasolo, and Tomaltepec (Figure I; see Flannery 1976a, 1976b; Flannery and Marcus 1976a, 1976b, 1983a; Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981; Marcus, in press; Flannery and Winter 1976; Flannery et al. 1970; Drennan 1976; Drennan and Flannery 1983; Whalen 1981, 1983; Winter 1972). The work of Flannery and his associates has defined a chronological framework for the Valley of Oaxaca, permitting the Formative period to be subdivided into several phases, as shown in Figure 2. The earliest sedentary village communities in the valley, prior to 1400 B.c., are assigned to the poorly known Espiridi6n complex (presently known only from San Jose Mogote). This, and the subsequent

Tierras Largas phase (about 1400-1150 B.c.) are thought to represent periods of egalitarian "tribal" social organization (Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981:68). These phases will not be discussed in any detail here, as I have very few data from that time period. Most of the analyses presented here focus on the period between 1150 B.c. and 500 B.c.: the San Jose, Guadalupe, and Rosario phases. Later Formative phases are discussed briefly in Chapter 7. During the San Jose phase, San Jose Mogote was the largest site in the Valley of Oaxaca, expanding to perhaps 70 hectares (Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981:71). All other known San Jose phase sites in the Valley of Oaxaca are small hamlets of three hectares or less. There appears to be a size hierarchy of sites during the late Early Formative and Middle Formative periods, with San Jose Mogote as a seventy-hectare "first order" site with

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

PERIOD DIVISIONS

3

DATE

OAXACA PHASE

A. D. 100 MONTE ALBAN /I

TERMINAL FORMATIVE

B. C./A. D. 100B. C.

MONTE ALBAN Ie

LATE FORMA TlVE

300B. C. MONTE ALBAN la 500B. C. ROSARIO

MIDDLE FORMA TlVE

lit. .. ~ALUPE roo IVV~egiOn only) 1------------1

600B. C. 700B C . . 850 B. C.

Late SANJOSE ------~ 1000B. C. Early 1150 B. C. EARL Y FORMATIVE TlERRASLARGAS 1400 B. C. ESPIRID16N I-

1600 B. C. (?)

Figure 2. Chronology of the Formative period in the Valley of Oaxaca.

many public buildings, several three-hectare "second order" sites with perhaps one public building each, and a large number of one- to two-hectare "third order" sites, without apparent public architecture (Flannery and Marcus 1983a:53). It is possible, but not yet demonstrated, that a corresponding administrative hierarchy existed during this period. The beginnings of hereditary status ranking are suggested during the San Jose phase by variations in domestic architecture, differential access to deer meat and to exotic materials such as jade, and burial associations (Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981:71; Whalen 1981). Thesevar-

iations became more pronounced during the Guadalupe and Rosario phases, and suggest "that there were emerging status differences, but that these took the form of a continuum from relatively higher to relatively lower status, without a true division into social classes such as took place in later periods" (Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981:71). The indications of status differentiation, together with the existence of a site hierarchy, strongly suggest that a ranked form of political organization (or a "chiefdom") persisted throughout the San Jose, Guadalupe, and Rosario phases. Social differentiation probably increased throughout that interval,

4

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

culminating in the founding of Monte Alban at the end of the Rosario phase, and state formation during the Monte Alban I period (Spencer 1982). There is evidence of the presence of multifamily social or political units within the site of San Jose M ogote. Based on controlled surface collections, the mapping of deposits exposed in cut banks, and the results of nine seasons of excavation, Flannery and his associates (1970; Flannery and Marcus 1976a) proposed that San Jose Mogote, unlike smaller hamlets, was subdivided into perhaps four or more distinct residential wards or barrios during the San Jose phase. The tendency for different "Olmec" iconographic motifs to occur on pottery vessels from different wards prompted the suggestion that the wards may have been occupied by different descent groups (Pyne 1976; Flannery and Marcus 1976a). These freestanding motifs include stylized representations of supernatural beings which Michael Coe has identified as the "fire-serpent" and the "were-jaguar" (see Flannery and Marcus 1976a:381). Pyne's (1976) study of the distributions of these motifs suggests that they were more frequently associated with residential units and the people occupying them than with public buildings or institutions. Moreover, the two mythico-religious beings were almost mutually exclusive: certain groups of households showed a positive statistical association with the fire-serpent and a negative association with the werejaguar, while other groups of households, occupied at the same period, showed the reverse. Houses at sites such as Tomaltepec, Abasolo, and the east and west residential wards at San Jose Mogote featured fire-serpents on black and gray pottery, while the sites of Tierras Largas, Huitzo, and the south residential ward at San Jose Mogote featured were-jaguars on white or yellow pottery. Some adult males at San Jose Mogote and Tomaltepec (and some infants of indeterminate sex at Abasolo) were buried with vessels bearing fire-serpents .... It is therefore possible that early Oaxacan villages included at least two major descent groups, with the fire-serpent or were-jaguar as mythical ancestor or patron, and with some tendency to cluster by residential ward. [Flannery and Marcus 1976a:381-82]

Households in the different wards at San Jose Mogote may also have shared economic or craft specializations. All excavated households within the east residential ward, for example, engaged in the manufacture of magnetite mirrors, an activity absent in the south and west wards (Flannery and Winter 1976; Pires-Ferreira 1975). This perhaps implies that the wards were corporate units, with households within a ward cooperating in craft production. These assertions regarding the prehistoric social and economic organization of San Jose Mogote and other Oaxacan Early and Middle Formative sites, made possible by the rich and detailed archaeological data now available for this area, will be examined in the subsequent sections of this study.

PREVIOUS INVESTIGATIONS Despite the extensive archaeological investigations which have been conducted in the Valley of Oaxaca during the past century, there have been few detailed or systematic studies of chipped stone tools. In fact, prior to the inception of the Prehistory and Human Ecology Project in the Valley of Oaxaca, the only published descriptions of stone artifacts were of scattered surface finds from the vicinity of Mitla. Large ignimbrite cores and flake tools from the Postclassic ruins of Mitla have attracted attention since the nineteenth century, and specimens were described and illustrated by Holmes (1897), Adan (1927), and Williams and Heizer (1965). Preceramic artifacts were also collected in the Mitla region and briefly reported by Lorenzo and Messmacher (1963), and Jewell (1966). Early and Middle Formative stone tools were first systematically collected in Oaxaca by Flannery and his associates in 1966. Since that time, several individuals have examined portions of the excavated chipped stone collections, and some of their observations have been published. Stone tools, particularly obsidian, from Tierras Largas and San Jose Mogote were briefly discussed in several publications (Flannery and Winter 1976; Pires-Ferreira 1975; Winter 1972). These studies examined the distribution of stone tools among different households, evidence of craft specialization (Flannery and Winter 1976), and patterns of exchange and interaction as indicated by source analysis of obsidian artifacts (Pires-Ferreira 1975). Drennan (1976) published a complete, although somewhat generalized, inventory of all artifacts from Fabrica San Jose and made a number of interesting observations on lithic technology and raw material procurement. More recently, Rick (1981) published a concise report on the Early Formative chipped stone tools from Tomaltepec, which provides useful information on stone tool manufacture and use. In addition to these brief published accounts, several scholars generously made available unpublished manuscripts and notes. These include Frank Hole's tabulation of stone tools from Area A of San Jose Mogote, and John Rick's (l974a, I974b) detailed notes on chipped stone from House 4 and Structure II ofTomaJtepec and Houses 13 and 16-17 of San Jose Mogote. During May through September 1981, I analyzed Early and Middle Formative chipped stone artifacts from San Jose Mogote, Fabrica San Jose, Huitzo, and Abasolo, and briefly examined artifacts from Tomaltepec. The results of these analyses, combined with the previous observations of the authors named above, form the basis for the discussions presented here.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

SOME BASIC ASSUMPTIONS I am sometimes approached by friends, returning from the field clutching sacks of unwashed flakes, who ask: "What can I do with these rocks?" This is a reasonable question. Many archaeologists assume that little of interest can be learned from rocks, or that any question which can be answered by stone tools can be more efficiently addressed through analysis of ceramics or of subsistence remains. This assumption is, I believe, mistaken. While it is true that chipped stone artifacts are not particularly amenable to answering certain types of questions, there is a wide range of issues that can be effectively addressed through analysis of stone tools and, in some cases, stone tools provide information which can not be obtained from other classes of artifacts. In this study, I use data on chipped stone artifacts to infer information on the social and economic organization of Early and Middle Formative villages in the Valley of Oaxaca. My basic premise is that the acquisition, manufacture, and use of chipped stone tools occurs in a social context, and that the organization of these activities is dependent on that social context. Analysis of stone tools, therefore, permits inferences regarding those aspects of prehistoric social organization which affect the production and use of stone tools. This is not a novel idea-many studies of ceramic artifacts have echoed the same theme-but for some reason, few analysts of chipped stone artifacts have taken this approach. This does not mean that stone tools are not suitable for such analyses, but rather that appropriate methodologies for addressing these problems have not yet been developed. I place particular emphasis on the use of chipped stone artifacts as measures of social and economic interaction. Patterns of interaction should affect (directly or indirectly) the nature and composition of chipped stone assemblages in several ways, and should have a detectable impact on patterns of raw material procurement, stone tool manufacture, and tool use.

Raw Materials as Measures of Interaction

5

measures of interaction between individuals at a local level, just as they may be used to monitor interaction between regions. The Valley of Oaxaca is particularly well-suited for such an analysis. There are numerous sources of chert scattered throughout the valley, all of which contain materials of similar quality but distinct appearance. In such circumstances, if individuals obtained chert independently (without interacting with other people), I anticipate that the major constraint on raw material procurement would be the distance to the sources. Individuals would tend to exploit sources which were close at hand, so chert from the quarry nearest to the village would be collected most frequently, and other sources would be exploited less often, but might be visited when other activities (such as hunting, collecting, or visiting fields) brought people to that area. Therefore, different types of cherts would be obtained in similar (but not identical) proportions by individuals in different households. Some unpatterned variability in chert proportions would be expected between households, due to the vagaries of individual needs and scheduling, as well as sampling error. Such a pattern, although expectable, would not be very interesting. Fortunately, people do not operate independently in a social vacuum. All individuals are affiliated with social groups which influence their activities and interactions. One might belong to a corporate group, for example, whose members have collective rights to property, who form work parties to cooperatively perform laborious chores, or who frequently share and exchange objects. Any of these instances would affect raw material procurement, since access to sources may vary (depending on corporate use rights), material might be acquired cooperatively, or materials might be mutually exchanged, even redistributed. In each case, interacting individuals belonging to the same corporate group would tend to acquire different types of chert in similar frequencies, while individuals who interact less frequently would not. In Chapter 3, I will show that this is true for Early and Middle Formative Oaxacan households (ignoring complications caused by patterns of trash disposal, to be dealt with in Chapter 2). Patterned variations in raw material frequencies within a single site, which cannot be attributed to differences in distances to sources, permit the definition of groups of households which must have had relatively intensive interactions and, therefore, presumably represent social groupings larger than the nuclear family.

The use of exotic lithic materials, imported from great distances, is frequently noted by archaeologists. These observations form the basis for many discussions of interaction and exchange between distant regions. In Mesoamerica, source analyses of obsidian artifacts have been emphasized as indiTechnological Attributes as Measures of Interaction ces of regional interaction networks (Pires-Ferreira 1975). Patterns of exploitation of local materials have not received The manufacture of chipped stone tools is a reductive similar attention, however. I suggest that patterns of pro- process: a lump of raw material is reduced into smaller pieces curement and consumption of raw materials may be used as to make tools. The process is irreversible. Every blow which

6

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

is struck permanently alters the stone, and if the worker later positions, while the work habits of people who learn indechanges his mind, he cannot undo what he has previously pendently may vary tremendously. These variations result in done. Every successful blow fractures a flake from the stone. differences in their output, which can be seen in attributes Therefore, the entire work process is permanently recorded such as flake proportions, platform and core preparation ("graven in stone," as it were) by the flakes and by the scars techniques, etc., as will be discussed in Chapter 4. These aton the tool left by flake removal. In theory, it should be pos- tributes are not consciously controlled by the maker (to any sible to reconstruct the entire process by detailed examina- great degree) for functional or stylistic purposes, but rather tion of chipped stone debris. A record is preserved of every relate to basic motor habits. Thus, I argue that persons work motion, in sequence, and the choices or decisions made within a community whose chipped stone artifacts share by the knapper during work can be inferred. Thus, chipped similar technological attributes may have interacted relastone tools and waste (debitage) provide an unparalleled tively closely during learning, while people whose artifacts record of past technological and work behaviors. differ technologically probably learned to make them indeWork behavior is relevant to a study of interaction, since pendently. work behavior is learned behavior, and learning is certainly a close form of interaction. There is, unfortunately, very Functional Attributes little ethnographic information on how stoneworking was Functional analysis of stone tools permits reconstruction taught and learned. I suspect that stoneworking, like most of the activities in which the tools were used, at least in a genhousehold crafts, was learned by children from their parents. eral way (Chapter 5). Information obtained in this way on A child may watch his father (or other adults in the houseactivities, and the distribution of activities, can provide hold) work, or be taught through explicit verbal instruction. useful information on economic interaction. Consistent patBoth processes may be witnessed today among the Lacanterning of work areas, for example, may provide informdon Maya, where sons are still taught by their fathers to chip ation on division' of labor within families (Flannery and stone (Clark 1982a). Winter 1976). Differences between households may be the It is important to note that, unlike some ceramic studies result of economic specialization, if some families engaged in (e.g., Hill 1970), this discussion is not focused on explicit certain productive activities not shared by others. If groups stylistic motifs, but rather on technological attributes which of specialized households were located together in resireflect learned (possibly even unconscious) work habits and dential wards, a degree of cooperation or interaction among motor skills. Based on my own experiences in teaching my them is suggested; most likely, they formed a multifamily contemporaries to chip stone, and watching other people corporate group which cooperated in production. This arguteach, I would argue that motor habits-the position in ment will be elaborated in Chapters 5 and 6. Inference of which the stone and the flaking tools are held, the way the economic activities through functional analysis of stone stone is abraded before striking, the angle of striking, and so tools has been a common technique among archaeologists on-are learned by the students from their teacher. People for many years. who learn together share similar motor habits and work

Chapter 2

The Sample following sections. If this is true, then floors potentially are the most informative proveniences for the questions I am addressing, since the artifacts on them retain meaningful spatial relationships.

EMPHASIS ON FLOOR PROVENIENCES

Introduction Chipped stone artifacts were recovered from a variety of proveniences at Oaxacan Formative sites. They have been excavated from the earthen floors of wattle-and-daub houses, middens, pit fill, construction fill, burials, and a variety of other deposits. In this study, I focus on floor proveniences, including both interior house floors and exterior dooryard 1 surfaces. Early and Middle Formative house floors appear in the field as packed earthen surfaces, commonly covered with a thin layer of sand (Flannery 1976a). Numerous artifacts usually are present, resting on the surface of the floor or buried in the thin sand layer. Except for public buildings, which had plastered floors, all of the Early and Middle Formative floors discussed here were from small (3 X 5 to 4 X 6 m) wattle-and-daub houses, and had sand or clay surfaces (Plate I). I concentrate on floor proveniences for several reasons. The first was a practical consideration. Most excavations of the Prehistory and Human Ecology Project in the Valley of Oaxaca emphasized exposure of floors, and all floors were excavated in the same careful manner. Floors were excavated using a I X I-meter grid to provide horizontal control (and some objects, such as retouched tools, were plotted in situ), all sediment was screened through 6 mm (Y4 inch) mesh, and all chipped stone artifacts were saved. These simple procedures insured that comparable samples of chipped stone were available from all floor proveniences, so meaningful quantitative comparisons could be made. Relatively large samples of chipped stone were recovered from floor proveniences from all sites considered in this study. Second, I contend that a substantial proportion of the artifacts from floor proveniences represent primary refuse: that is, objects discarded near the place where they were produced, or last used. This assertion will be elaborated in the 1( prefer the term "dooryard" (as opposed to "courtyard") because these open areas were on the exterior, not the interior, of the house.

How Chipped Stone Becomes Incorporated Into Earthen Floors There is one place in Mesoamerica where people still chip stone tools inside their houses. The Lacand6n Maya, in Chiapas, manufacture chert blades and retouch them to make arrowpoints. These arrowpoints are now made for sale to tourists, but the techniques used to manufacture them appear to be almost unchanged since the Spanish Conquest (Clark 1981a; Nations and Clark 1983). Lacand6n stoneworking was recently studied in detail by Clark (l98Ia, 1982a), who made a number of observations on the disposal of lithic artifacts in earthen-floored houses. The Lacand6n Maya tend to dispose of their debris carefully, because they traditionally flaked stone inside their temple or "god house." Now that they flake inside their own homes, some are less fastidious. They flake into a backdrop of cotton cloth draped over two upright sticks, which catches the blades (preventing breakage) and debris. Cleaning is easy, because the debris can be dumped from the cloth into a container, and carried outside. Clark (l982a) discovered, however, that regardless of the care taken in cleaning, large numbers of tiny flakes inevitably escape from the cloth and become impressed into the floor in the work area. Flakes are quickly trampled into the floor, especially during the rainy season when the surface becomes muddy. When the floor dries, it may crack, and many flakes fall into the cracks. In some households, debris is not dumped into a container and carried outside, but is dumped or pushed against the nearest wall. The refuse is removed periodically, but between cleanings a large quantity of debitage, together with cores and tools, is "stored" in the work area. When a house is abandoned, this trash usually is left in the house. Evidently, the Lacandones do not bother to clean a house that is about to be abandoned. As a result of these disposal practices, 7

8

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

large quantities of chipped stone flakes and debitage commonly remain on and in the house floor in the work area in close proximity to the spot where they were produc~d, stored, and discarded. Clark (1982a) sampled one abandoned house which had I 1,700 pieces of chipped stone on its floor, not including microdebitage.

Archaeological Definition of Floor Associations Distinguishing materials associated with an earthen floor (those which were left on the floor when the house was abandoned) from artifacts which were introduced later can be a difficult problem in practice. Several approaches were taken during excavations by members of the Prehistory and Human Ecology Project in the Valley of Oaxaca. Perhaps the most conservative approach was that of Spencer (1981), who excavated an Early Formative house floor at Tomaltepec. He considered artifacts to be associated with that floor only when they were both in direct contact with the floor and partially impressed into it. These items were unquestionably associated with the floor, but it seems likely that many of the artifacts which he excluded were also associated with the floor. Another approach is the inclusion of all artifacts from the level immediately below the floor surface. Items from this level are presumed to have been impressed into the floor during the occupation of the house, or were buried when a new sand layer was added to the floor. It is important to note that many floors were resanded repeatedly (House 4 in Area C of San Jose Mogote, for example, had been resurfaced at least seven times, and many artifacts which were resting on the floor were buried by the new sand layers). Items found within the sand layers, below the final surface of the floor are presumed to represent primary refuse. A few might no~ be primary refuse, but redeposited, having been brought in with the fill which created the floor (when sand was spread on the surface, for example). The occasional occurrence in these layers of small, unworked chert pebbles and, very rarely, water-worn artifacts, attests to this practice. I assume that relatively few artifacts were introduced in this manner however. ' Still another approach is the inclusion of all artifacts from the level immediately above the floor surface, but below the layers of daub from wall collapse. Items from this level are supposed to have been left on the floor at the time of the abandonment of the house. Some ofthe artifacts in this level could be redeposited trash thrown on the floor after abandonment, however. Most floor proveniences analyzed in this study include artifacts from all three levels: that is, all items from immediately above a floor surface (but below wall collapse), those rest-

ing directly on the floor, and artifacts from the sand layers immediately below the floor surface. For plaster floors, of course, only materials from above the floor surface are included. Th~s~ levels may include both artifacts in primary floor aSSOCiatIOn, and redeposited specimens. With a few exceptions, it does not appear to be possible to distinguish the redeposited items during excavation. I suggest, even so, that the majority of artifacts from levels both immediately below, and immediately above, earthen floor surfaces represent primary refuse dropped during occupation of the house, or left on the floor at abandonment. ~~ile this point can not be demonstrated during excavation, It IS supported by my analysis. First, if the artifacts are primary refuse, they should exhibit patterned spatial distributions which are constrained by walls and other architectural features. As Chapter 6 will show, this is true in several Early Formative households. In some cases, the types and densities of artifacts differ between ~he interior and exterior surfaces of the houses, and in a few Instances discrete activity areas can be recognized. Such patterns are expected in primary refuse, where debris remains near the work areas where it was produced, but are less likely to occur in redeposited materials, where spatial distributions are the result of vagaries of dumping. Second, if chipped stone debitage was deposited as primar~ debris near the place it was produced, then conjoining artifacts should be common. If materials that were manufactured or used together were discarded together, one should find chunks which fit back together, flakes which fit back on co:es (Figure 20a), blade segments which can be rejoined (Figure 8a, and so on). Such conjoining artifacts may be less common in redeposited materials, as artifacts become dispersed. I m~de no systematic attempt to refit artifacts during my analYSIS, but a number of conjoining specimens were noted incidently. These are tabulated in Table 1. Obvious recent fractures (due to breakage during excavation) were not included in the tabulation. There are undoubtedly many more c?njoini~g artifacts that were not noticed. During the analySIS of artifacts from San Jose Mogote, I studied each onemeter-square unit separately, so I had no opportunity to look for refitting pieces between units. Thus, all of the conjoinable fragments listed in Table I remained in close spatial association, suggesting that they also remained close to the location where they were produced. Artifacts from Fabrica San Jose were examined one at a time, and no effort to refit pieces from that site was made. Samples from other sites were too small to yield conjoining pieces. In general, all adequate samples of chipped stone from floor proveniences included some conjoining artifacts. There

9

THE SAMPLE

TABLE I Conjoinable Items Observed in This Study Item(s)

Household Unit

Pieces

Type

131 1296 1306 1562 2149 2278 2309 2400 2422 2444 2514 2726+ 2727 2797 2898 3253 3262+ 3263 3712 3766 4059 4272+ 4286+ 4316 4561 5232 5699

SJM-Md.I/H.13 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17

2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2

flake fragments blade segments flake fragments blade segments blade segments flake fragments flake fragments angular fragments blade segments' flake fragments flake fragments

SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-CjH.2

2 3 2 2

core and flake angular fragments blade segments blade segments

SJM-CjH.2 SJM-C/ HA SJM-Cj HA SJM-CjH.7

2 2 2 2

core and flake flake fragments' flake fragments flake fragments

SJM-C/ H.9 SJM-Cj H.lO SJM-Md.l/ Str.28 FSJ/H.14

3 2 2 17

core frags. and flake flake fragments blade segments angular fragments

SJM = SanJose Mogote; B = Area B;C=AreaC; FSJ= FabricaSanJose; H. =House;Str.=Structure; Md. = Mound. 'Probably broken b~rore use: the two fragments have different wear patterns.

were two notable exceptions, however. One was the San JOSe phase household units in Area A of San Jose Mogote, and the other was the Rosario phase elite residences (Structures 25-27) on Mound I of San Jose Mogote. Despite large samples, I found no conjoining specimens in either of these proveniences. This may be because the excavations in Area A more often hit dooryards than floor areas, reducing the likelihood of finding primary refuse discarded together. Conjoining fragments of shell, mica, and ceramics are present in Area A, however (Kent Flannery, personal communication). Finally, if most chipped stone artifacts from floor proveniences were primary refuse, I anticipated that relatively small flakes should be common. Clark's (l982a) observations on Lacandon Maya houses indicate that very small flakes tend to remain near the location where they were produced, since they may escape even the most careful cleaning. Conversely, I expect redeposited trash to contain a disproportionate number of large specimens, since large pieces are more likely to be picked up and removed when floors are cleaned. This proposition can be examined by comparing floor proveniences with contexts which contain redeposited mate-

rials. Chipped stone artifacts mixed in pit fill, for example, are presumed to be redeposited trash which was discarded into the pits. Artifacts from pit fill tend to be relatively large, and small pieces are uncommon. Chipped stone specimens from floor proveniences, on the other hand, are predominantly small in size. This is illustrated in Figure 3 and Table 2. The sizes of artifacts (as measured by their maximum dimension, in mm) are compared between House 17 (a San Jose phase house in Area B of San Jose Mogote) and Feature 58, an adjacent cistern. Also compared are House 2 (the best-preserved San Jose phase house in Area C of San Jose Mogote) and an aggregate sample from Features 25, 29, and 32 (three pits in the same area, but not directly associated with House 2). Table 2 also compares house floors to dooryard surfaces. Dooryard surfaces adjacent to houses are very similar to house floors. Like house floors, they are hard-packed earthen surfaces, but less frequently covered with a layer of sand. Excavations in Area B of San Jose Mogote uncovered portions of a house (House 17), an attached outbuilding ("House" 16, to the north of House 17), and patches of open dooryard surfaces. All of these proveniences had chipped stone artifacts with similar size distributions (mean maxi-

10

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

TABLE 2 Maximum Dimension ("Length" in mm) of Chipped Stone Artifacts from Various San Jose Phase Proveniences at San Jose Mogote Provenience

Mean

S.D.

Range

SJM-BjHouse 17 Floor SJM-B/"House" 16 Floor SJM-Bj Dooryard SJM-Bj Feature 58

30.1 30.7 25.5 39.4

13.9 13.6 10.7 13.7

10-94 10-95 9-94 16-87

SJM-Cj House 2 Floor

24.2 25.6 24.4 42.0

10.3 1l.0 1l.0 18.3

10-97 10-86 10-76 18-107

23.5 26.8

10.8 9.9

9-72 12-126

SJM-Cj House 4 Floor

SJM-C/"House" 8 Dooryard SJM-Cj Feats. 25, 29, 32 SJM-Md.lj House 13 Floor SJM-Aj Households C I-C4

mum length of 25-30 mm; Table 2). The same is true for house floors and dooryards in Areas A and C. The artifacts from dooryards, like those from house floors, are probably primary refuse dropped or discarded near the work areas where they were produced or used. The differences in artifact size between floor proveniences (houses and dooryards) and pit fill is, I think, the most compelling argument in support of the proposition that artifacts from floors are mostly primary refuse. . In summary, chipped stone artifacts from floor provenIences in this study are mostly materials which were dropped and trampled into the floor during occupation of the house, or left on the floor when the house was abandoned, in close proximity to the work areas where they were manufactured or last used. This assertion is supported by the patterned spatial distribution of artifacts, by the presence (in most cases) of conjoining artifacts, and by the relative abundance of small flakes (which are uncommon in redeposited contexts, such as pit fill). Floor deposits, of course, do not contain all artifacts which were used or discarded within a household. Some objects probably were removed when the house was vacated, and waste was periodically removed and discarded. The material which remains includes the trash which had accumulated shortly before abandonment, as well as a portion ofthe smaller items which were lost prior to earlier cleanings. Some of the variability in the chipped stone assemblages of different households may be due to idiosyncratic differences in cleaning practices, or the frequency with which floors were resurfaced with clean sand. Differences between house and dooryard floors, on one hand, and pits and middens, on the other, may also be due to cleaning and trash disposal practices. Artifacts from pit fill and middens probably are secondary refuse removed from houses, while specimens from floors represent the residue remaining after cleaning.

Thus, these two types of proveniences are not comparable; rather, they are complementary. THE SAMPLE OF FLOOR PROVENIENCES

San Jose Mogote The earliest Formative phases, Espiridi6n and Tierras Largas, will not be discussed here in any detail. The Espiridi6n complex is known from a small remnant of one house at San Jose Mogote, which yielded only seven pieces of chipped stone. The Tierras Largas phase is better known, but no samples from house floor contexts were available for analysis. All of the Tierras Largas phase artifacts I studied were from pits or construction fill, with the exception of a few flakes from one public building, described in Chapter 8. For reasons outlined in the previous section, I believe that meaningful comparisons can not be made between floor contexts and redeposited fill, so I have not used these data in my household analysis. The San Jose phase (about 1150-850 B.c.) is well known. By the end of the San Jose phase, San Jose Mogote had become a large nucleated village with a residential core covering twenty hectares, and scattered outlying settlement over an additional fifty hectares (Figure 4; Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981). All other known San Jose phase sites in the Valley of Oaxaca are small hamlets of three hectares or less. Based on excavations in Areas A, B, and C, plus mapping of other deposits exposed in cut banks, Flannery and his associates (1970) proposed that San Jose Mogote, unlike smaller hamlets, was divided into perhaps four distinct residential wards or barrios during the San Jose phase. These wards were separated by unoccupied areas, dissected by gullies or barrancas. Excavations in three areas of the site (Areas A, B, and C) fall within three of the hypothetical resi-

11

THE SAMPLE

15

H. 17 floor

-

F.5S

fill

10 %

1\

1\

5

I I

I \ I

15

\' 30

\ \

\ 60

45 Length

1\ 75

\ 90

lmml

15

H.2 floor

fl

f\

I\ I\

I \

I \

I\

10 %

\

II

5

-

-'

V

F.25 29, 32

\\ \

\ \ 15

30

45

60

75

90

Length I mml Figure 3. Distributions of maximum dimensions ("lengths") of chipped stone artifacts from house floors (solid lines) and pit fill (dashed lines). Top: a comparison of artifacts from the floor of House 17 and the fill of Feature 58, two SanJose phase proveniences in Area B of San Jose Mogote. Bottom: a comparison of artifacts from the floor of House 2 and the combined sample from the fill of Features 25, 29, and 32, San Jose phase proveniences in Area C of San Jose Mogote.

12

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMA TIVE OAXACA

dential wards, each area corresponding to a different ward (Figure 4). Area A was the first area to be tested at San Jose Mogote. A 3 X 4-meter excavation uncovered a sequence of midden deposits, collapsed houses, and construction fill. The materials I analyzed are from Zone C of Area A, which consisted of four superimposed San Jose phase households, designated Household Units CI, C2, C3, and C4 (Flannery et al. 1970:39-42). Unit C3 had only a dooryard surface, while the other three contained portions of both house floors and dooryards. No house was completely exposed. Another San Jose phase house was excavated on Mound I of San Jose Mogote, about 70 meters west of the Area A excavation. This well-preserved house, House 13, was built directly on bedrock (Flannery 1976a: Figure 2.3; Flannery, Marcus and Kowalewski 1981 :71). Only the south half of this house could be excavated, together with an area of dooryard to its south; the north half of the house is buried beneath a massive masonry platform begun in the Rosario phase. For the purposes of this study, I assumed that House 13 was part of the Area A residential ward. A large area (about 80 m 2) was excavated in Area B of San Jose Mogote in order to define and expose a complete household unit (that is, the house, its dooryard and associated features). Area B is located about 300 meters southwest of Area A. San Jose phase structures in Area B were built on a series of terraces which were cut into bedrock on the sloping hillside. Two of the terraces were exposed. Excavations on the lower terrace uncovered the north half of a poorly preserved house (House 17; the south half was destroyed by modern adobe makers), an attached outbuilding ("House" 16), and a surrounding dooryard surface which contained numerous features. These features included two cisterns linked by a small drainage canal (Winter 1976: Figure 2.10; Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981:7 I), a hearth, a burial, and several pits. A small area of dooryard, probably part of a second household unit, was uncovered on the upper terrace. The stratigraphy of Area B was fairly complex. While the House 17 and "House" 16 structures were probably occup.ied simultaneously, they are the end product of a long and complex construction sequence in this area. At the time I analyzed the artifacts from Area B, the final interpretations of the stratigraphy were not available, so I treated this area as if it were a single unit. When interpreting the results of my analysis, however, it must be kept in mind that the materials I describe include not only artifacts which were associated with the House 16- 17 floors, but also some specimens from deeper levels which were associated with earlier phases of construction in this same household unit. A series of San Jose phase houses were excavated in Area

C, 400 meters west of Area A (Flannery et al. 1970:46-57; Flannery and Winter 1976). None of these houses was completely intact, as all had been truncated to some degree by modern adobe makers. Substantial portions of four houses (Houses I, 2, 4, and 9) and a separate dooryard area ("House" 8) were excavated. Small remnants of a number of other houses were also encountered (Houses 5, 6, 7, 10, and 14). Altogether, appreciable samples of chipped stone artifacts were recovered from twelve San Jose phase household units at San Jose Mogote, including five in Area A( Mound I, two in Area B, and five in Area C. Smaller samples were recovered from five or six additional household units (Table 3). Several Middle Formative household units were excavated at San Jose Mogote (Table 4). One small remnant of an Early Guadalupe phase house (House 21) was uncovered in Area B. On Mound I, a series of Rosario phase public buildings and elite residences were excavated. These buildings were constructed on top of Structure 19, a massive platform faced with large limestone blocks (Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981 :80). On this platform were constructed a series of adobe structures surfaced with lime plaster, of which the best preserved was Structure 28 (Flannery and Marcus 1983a:57). Structure 28, probably a public building, had no in situ chipped stone artifacts. A large sample of chipped stone artifacts from the interior patio of Structure 28 appears to represent redeposited domestic refuse from nearby households; it is similar to the chipped stone from other Middle Formative household units, and differs from the assemblages from other public buildings (see Chapter 8). It is thought to have been dumped in the Structure 28 patio after the latter fell into disuse. Superimposed over Structure 28 was a series of adobe residential compounds. The earliest was a poorly preserved building, Structure 27. Over that were built Structures 25 and 26, which were parts of the most recent Rosario phase compound built on that spot (Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981:80-82; Flannery and Marcus 1983a:5860). These buildings (Structures 25-26, and 27) are thought to have been elite residences, judging by their placement on a massive platform, and the presence of finely worked jade ornaments and considerable quantities offancy pottery with negative painting. Abasolo

During the San Jose phase, San Sebastian Abasolo was a small hamlet in the eastern arm of the Valley of Oaxaca. San Jose phase deposits were encountered in three test excavations, including part of a house (House I), and several exten-

13

THE SAMPLE

C,~:~~

~ --

--.~

" Main Plaza

"-

..........

tN

- - -, 5

'-

---

) 0

50

100

METERS

Figure 4. Sketch map of San Jose Mogote, showing Areas A, B, and C as well as other landmarks. Contour interval is 5 meters (above an arbitrary datum). The present topography of the site is largely the result of leveling and construction during the Terminal Formative period. The dashed line indicates the approximate limits of San Jose phase occupation in the central core area of the site (based on excavation data). Circled x's mark areas of excavated Formative houses.

14

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

TABLE 3 The Sample of Chipped Stone Artifacts from San Jose Phase Floor Proveniences Number of Chipped Stone Artifacts

Household Unit.

261 184 229 363 205 1754 109 91 301 509 21 18 13 201 290 27 34 6

SJM-Md.ljHouse 13 SJM-Aj Household CI SJM-Aj Household C2 SJM-Aj Household C3 SJM-Aj Household C4 SJM-BjHouse 16-17 SJM-Bj Upper Terrace SJM-Cj House I SJM-Cj House 2 SJM-Cj House 4 SJM-Cj House 5 SJM-Cj House 6 SJM-Cj House 7 SJM-Cj"House" 8 SJM-Cj House 9 SJM-Cj House 10 SJM-Cj House 14 Abasoloj House I + Midden SJM

= San Jose Mogote

TABLE 4 The Sample of Chipped Stone Artifacts from Middle Formative Floor Proveniences Number of Chipped Stone Artifacts

Household Unit

Phase

SJM-Bj House 21 FSJ j House 18 Huitzoj House I Huitzoj House 3 Huitzoj House 5 Huitzoj House 7 FSJjHouse I FSJjHouse4 FSJ j House 5 FSJ j House 14 FSJjHouse 6 FSJjHouse9 SJM-Md.1 jStr. 25-26 SJM-Md.ljStr. 27 SJM-Md.1 j Str. 28 Patio H uitzoj Str. I

E. Guadalupe E. Guadalupe Guadalupe Guadalupe Guadalupe Guadalupe L. Guadalupe L. Guadalupe L. Guadalupe L. Guadalupe L. Guad.-Ros. Rosario Rosario Rosario Rosario Ros.-M.A. la

SJM

= San Jose Mogote; FSJ = Fabrica San Jose;

M.A. = Monte Alban.

31 9 23 34 16 15 35 31 14 69 82 155 264 239 138 40

15

THE SAMPLE sive midden deposits (Zones C and D) (Flannery et al. 1970:70-75; Drennan and Flannery 1983:67-68). Few chipped stone artifacts were found, however-only six flakes were recovered from San Jose phase deposits. Thus, little can be said about Early Formative stone tools at Abasolo. The extremely low density of chipped stone at this site is an interesting phenomenon in itself, however, as it appears to be a real pattern, and not a function of sampling (see Chapter 6).

Barrio del Rosario, Huitzo Huitzo is located at the northern end of the north arm of the Valley of Oaxaca. Test excavations in a Formative mound in the Barrio del Rosario at Huitzo exposed a long sequence of Middle Formative construction, including several Guadalupe phase houses, and Guadalupe and Rosario phase platforms. Most work at H uitzo was stratigraphic and dealt with the sequence of public buildings, but fragments of at least four Guadalupe phase houses were exposed in the course of excavation (Flannery et al. 1970:28-31; Flannery and Marcus 1983a:60-62). These houses (Houses 1,3,5, and 7) were observed in a profile cut by modern adobe makers, which was then cut back 50 cm to obtain a stratigraphic sequence. Consequently, only transects (of 5 X 0.5 m, or less) were obtained of each house floor, and the samples of chipped stone are small. Chipped stone artifacts were also recovered from the floors of Structure I at Huitzo. This badly damaged and enigmatic structure, dating to the Late Rosario-Early Monte Alban Ia transition, was composed of stone masonry walls. The walls form a row of small (1.5 X 1.5 m) cells, which have

plastered floors and may be small storage rooms. This building "may have been a large residential unit of some kind" (Flannery and Marcus 1983a:62), but its exact function remains unknown.

Fdbrica San Jose Extensive excavations at Fabrica San Jose (Drennan 1976; Drennan and Flannery 1983:65-67) uncovered a large number of Middle Formative (Guadalupe and Rosario phase) household units, including house floors, pits, middens, burials, and other features. Owing to time limitations, I was only able to include materials from house floors in my analysis. Seven Middle Formative house floors (Houses 1,4, 5,6,9, 14, and 18) were excavated by Drennan; most ofthese were only small remnants, disturbed by later intrusive features (see Drennan 1976), and had relatively small samples of chipped stone (Table 4).

Tornaltepee The site of Santo Domingo TomaJtepec, in the eastern arm of the Valley of Oaxaca, was excavated by Whalen (1981), who exposed a number of Formative households, structures, and features. Of particular interest are Structure I I, a small San Jose phase platform which seems to have supported a high-status residence, and House 4, a wellpreserved low-status San Jose phase house. Chipped stone artifacts from these households were analyzed by Rick (1981, 1974a), whose results will be cited frequently in subsequent chapters.

Chapter 3

The Procurement of Lithic Material INTRODUCTION Obtaining raw material is a necessary first step in making and using a chipped stone tool. In this chapter I discuss Early and Middle Formative procurement of lithic materials in the Valley of Oaxaca. I begin by explaining how I classified different types of stone. Next, sources of lithic material in the Valley of Oaxaca are described. Finally, the proportions of different stone types in different household units are examined to determine how raw material procurement was organized, which in turn allows inferences regarding status differences, administration, and corporate group organization in Early and Middle Formative society. CLASSIFICATION OF LITHIC MATERIALS Several different types of stone were used for the manufacture of chipped tools in prehispanic Oaxaca. Most of these stones, including chert, quartz, and fine-grained volcanics, could be obtained from sources within the Valley of Oaxaca. One type of stone, obsidian, was not locally available but was obtained from distant localities. In this section, I will define the types of stones used for tools in Oaxaca, and describe the criteria used to classify them.

Obsidian Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass, vitreous in texture and typically gray or black in color (occasionally, green or brown). Obsidian tools were used by almost every Formative household, although they usually form a minority of the total chipped stone assemblage in Oaxacan Formative sites. There are no obsidian sources in the Valley of Oaxaca, and the closest documented quarries are more than 250 km away. At least 20 major obsidian sources are known in Mesoamerica outside of Oaxaca (Pires-Ferreira 1975: Figure 3). In this study, obsidian specimens were divided into four groups based on differences in their color and translucency: 17

green obsidian, translucent gray (or black) obsidian, translucent cloudy gray obsidian, and opaque black obsidian. Banding was ignored. I do not know if these distinctions reflect differences in source. Sheets (1977) has argued that differences in color cannot be used as reliable indicators of obsidian sources, but John Clark reports considerable success in identifying Guatemalan obsidians through variations in their appearance (Clark and Lee 1984). My classification probably is less effective than Clark's, as I had no prior experience with Mesoamerican obsidian, so I could not anticipate the nature of the variation in the samples prior to classifying the materials. Some of the distinctions I made probably do reflect differences in source. The only sources of green obsidian currently known in Mesoamerica are located near Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico, and it is likely that all green obsidian artifacts found in Oaxaca come from that area. Pires-Ferreira (1975) analyzed some green obsidian specimens which she attributed to a different source, since their trace elements differed slightly from her Pachuca samples. She suggested that this "unknown source" might be located in Oaxaca. In my opinion, the "unknown" source was more likely some locality in the Pachuca area other than the Cerro de las NavajasRancho Guajolote quarry which she sampled. In fact, at least four geochemically distinct varieties of green obsidian come from the Pachuca area (Spence, Kimberlin, and Harbottle 1984: 100). The existence of a Oaxacan source of obsidian (much less, green obsidian) has never been demonstrated. Of course, it would be unwise to rule out the possibility that other undiscovered sources of green obsidian might exist in Mesoamerica. The categories of cloudy gray obsidian and opaque black obsidian are also very distinctive types, and probably derive from two different obsidian sources. The cloudy gray obsidian frequently has tiny spherical black inclusions; R. D. Drennan submitted several specimens of this type for geochemical analysis and they were identified as deriving from the Otumba source in the Basin of Mexico (R. D. Drennan, personal communication).

18

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

My category of translucent gray or black obsidian probably includes specimens from several different sources. In retrospect, at least four visually distinctive types of obsidian were included. Therefore, this category may not be analytically useful or meaningful, and should be regarded with caution. Two major varieties are a translucent, uniform gray obsidian, and a translucent black obsidian with small clear mottles and streaks. Both these varieties were classified as "translucent gray or black obsidian." In addition, two rare types were also lumped in this category: a nearly colorless clear obsidian with gray bands (common in the Postclassic, but rare in Formative assemblages), and a grainy translucent black obsidian. Only two or three specimens of the latter variety were observed. One of these was identified by PiresFerreira (1975) as obsidian from the E1 Chayal, Guatemala, source. Guatemalan obsidian seems to be extremely rare in Oaxacan Formative sites (based both on the visual appearance of the specimens and on the source analyses of PiresFerreira [1975]), with virtually all obsidian specimens deriving from sources in Mexico to the north of Oaxaca.

specimens are coarse-grained and/ or nonlustrous (with rough or matte surfaces). Finally, cherts were sorted according to color. Oaxacan cherts are extremely variable in color, and specimens commonly have mottles of several colors. Many specimens have tan spots or mottles (which seem to represent impurities, inclusions, or incompletely silicified areas of the stone), and frequently patches of other colors. Mottling was ignored in my analysis, and specimens were subjectively classified according to their dominant color. Based on these three criteria, all chert specimens were grouped into the seventeen categories listed in Table 5. Admittedly, this classification is somewhat arbitrary, and is based entirely on the visual appearance of the specimens. In the absence of physical and chemical analyses (thin-sections, neutron activation, etc.) I cannot judge how meaningful these categories are. In some of the subsequent analyses, many of the categories will be collapsed or lumped into broader types.

Other Local Materials

In addition to chert, several other materials were used occasionally for chipped stone tools. These materials include The term "chert" is used generically in this study to refer to white glass, fine-grained volcanic rocks, and quartz (Table various locally available cryptocrystalline quartz stones. 5). Although the specific sources of these rocks are not The different types of chert are probably all similar in their known, they probably all are locally available in the Valley chemical and mineralogical composition, but differ greatly of Oaxaca. in appearance due to small amounts of impurities. Based on The material I call "white glass" is a vitreous, translucent, differences in appearance, chert specimens from Oaxacan milky-white stone which is identical in appearance to the Formative sites have been classified into seventeen catego- white glass from which cold cream jars are made. (The same ries. The criteria used for this classification are the trans- material was called "very fine white chert" by Drennan lucency, texture, and color of the specimens. [1976].) Mexican gem dealers call this stone "opal," but it The first distinction separates translucent from opaque probably is a metamorphic stone fused or vitrified by volcherts. Translucent specimens are classified as chalcedony, canic activity. It may be a highly vitrified ignimbrite. White which is a relatively pure and fine-grained variety of glass is present in almost every Middle Formative household cryptocrystalline quartz. Opaque samples are referred to as unit at Fabrica San Jose, and absent at other sites, which chert (in a more restricted use of the term). This distinction suggests that the source of this material may have been lowas made by holding the specimen in front of a bright incan- cated within the area exploited by the residents of Fabrica descent light to see if the light was visible through the center San Jose (perhaps in the mountains to the east?). of the artifact. Both chert and chalcedony are translucent I use the term "fine volcanics" to refer to a wide variety of when viewed through thin edges. Note that the distinction fine-grained igneous and sedimentary rocks which were used made here between chert and chalcedony, while conforming occasionally by Formative toolmakers. These include tuff, to the usual practice of North American archaeologists, is at ignimbrite, rhyolite, andesite, and siltstone. Similar materivariance with standard geological usage. Geologists restrict als were termed "siltstone" by Rick (198 I). In most cases, the the term "chalcedony" to those specimens which have fine, specific composition of the stone cannot be identified waxy surface texture (see below). visually, due to weathering and patination. These rocks are Next, a SUbjective distinction was made between "coarse" widespread in the Valley of Oaxaca, forming the bedrock in and "fine" types based on texture. "Fine" specimens are rela- several areas (Williams and Heizer 1965). tively fine-grained and lustrous (freshly fractured surfaces The term "quartz" is used to refer specifically to the mastend to be smooth and "waxy" in appearance), while coarse" sive variety of quartz (sometimes called "vein quartz"). This

Chert

THE PROCUREMENT OF LITHIC MATERIAL

TABLE5 Type and Frequency of Local Raw Materials in the Combined Early and Middle Formative Chipped Stone Assemblages of San Jose Mogote, Fiibrica San Jose, and Huitzo Material Type Fine white/It. gray/clear chalcedony Coarse white/It. gray/ clear chalcedony Fine white/It. gray chert Coarse white/It. gray chert Fine red/ pink chalcedony Red/ pink chert Fine gray chalcedony Fine gray chert Coarse gray chert Fine gray+brown mottled chalcedony Fine brown chalcedony Fine brown chert Coarse brown chert Fine dk. gray/black chalcedony Fine dk. gray/black chert Coarse dk. gray/black chert Fine green chert/ chalcedony White glass Fine volcanic Coarse igneous Quartz Quartzite/ sandstone

Number

Percent

810 59 466 602 24

16.2 1.2 9.3 12.0 0.5 0.7 8.0 2.6 4.4 8.0 17.6 3.9 4.4 0.3 1.3 0.8 0.0 0.8 2.9 0.1 4.7 0.3

35 399 129 218 399 883 196 220 15

65 41 2 39 144 6 236 16

white stone is hard, often badly flawed, and fractures irregularly, with vitreous yet rough surfaces. "Quartzite" refers to metamorphosed sandstone, whose individual quartz grains are clearly visible. Quartzite is a hard and very coarsegrained, rough-surfaced stone. Both quartz and quartzite cobbles seem to be widespread in the Valley of Oaxaca. Several bedrock sources of quartz wererecorded in the southern arm of the valley during Blanton's survey (at Sites 3-4-10, 35-27, 3-8-220, and 3-8-308), including one (Site 3-5-27) where a tunnel had been dug into bedrock, following a quartz vein (Blanton et al. 1982:262-65). CHER T SOURCES IN THE VALLEY OF OAXACA Eight chert sources are presently known in the Valley of Oaxaca (Figure 5). These sources were located by Michael Whalen (1971) during a survey of the northern arm, the central area, and the north side of the eastern arm of the valley. Additional sources, as yet unreported, may be located elsewhere in the valley. Chert samples from these eight sources are highly variable in appearance. Specimens from anyone source include almost the entire range of colors and textures represented in the archaeological assemblage. However, the frequencies of different types and colors of material vary from source to source: some quarries produce mostly light-colored cherts and chalcedonies, while others yield predominantly dark

19

gray or brown cherts. Even though the source of individual specimens seldom can be identified by eye, collections derived from different sources can be distinguished based on differences in the proportions of various chert types. This point may be illustrated by describing each source individually. Three sources are known in the northern arm of the valley, located at Rancho Aleman, Rancho Matadamas (Loma Soledad), and Guadalupe Hidalgo (Loma Trapiche). The Rancho Matadamas and Guadalupe Hidalgo outcrops produce similar materials and might be regarded as a single source. The cherts and chalcedonies from this source are described by Whalen as mostly "white, bluish-white, grayishwhite, and brownish-white, frequently mottled with opaque white and brown, gray, or blue patches." Using the categories defined in this study, the most common types at Rancho Matadamas are fine whitejlight gray chert, fine whitejlight gray chalcedony, and fine gray chalcedony. Other types are present but less common, including coarse whitejlight gray chert, fine red chert, fine gray-brown mottled chalcedony, fine gray chert, and coarse gray chert. Rare types include fine brown chalcedony, fine brown chert, and fine dark gray chert. The Rancho Aleman source is a series of outcrops extending several kilometers along a nearly north-south line from Rancho Aleman to San Lazaro Etla. Samples from this source are somewhat more variable than those from Rancho Matadamas, and commonly include fine gray chalcedony, fine gray-brown mottled chalcedony, and fine dark gray! black chalcedony. Also present are fine whitejlight gray chert, coarse whitejlight gray chert, fine brown chalcedony, fine brown chert, coarse gray chert, and fine dark gray! black chert. Only one minor source of chert is known in the central area of the valley. This outcrop is located southeast of the city of Oaxaca, near Rojas de Cuauhtemoc (Whalen 1971; this is probably the source recorded by Blanton et al. [1982:255] as their Site 2-6-137). Cherts from this source are generally of poor quality, and include coarse dark gray! black chert, coarse brown chert, and a few pieces of coarse light gray chert. There are no chert sources on the hills of Monte Alban or Atzompa, or elsewhere in the central part of the valley. Several sources have been reported in the eastern arm of the valley. Cherts from a small source at Caballito Blanco are described by Whalen (1971) as predominantly "dull red ... occasionally mottled with yellow or tan." Also present are "black, tan, amber, and grayish-white" cherts. I have not seen any samples from this source. A substantial source near Diaz Ordaz produces mostly fine gray chalcedony, fine gray chert, and fine dark gray! black chert, as well as occasional

20

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMA TIVE OAXACA

o

10 km

Figure 5. The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, showing the archaeological sites of San Jose Mogote and Monte Alban and the modern city of Oaxaca. Stars indicate known sources of chert. RA = Rancho Aleman, RM = Rancho Matadamas, GH = Guadalupe Hidalgo, RC = Rojas de Cuauhtemoc, DO = Diaz Ordaz, CB = Caballito Blanco, LL = Lorna Larga, MF = Mitla Fortress.

examples of fine whitejlight gray chalcedony, fine graybrown mottled chalcedony, and coarse dark gray/black chert. A source near Lorna Larga has fine gray chalcedony, fine gray-brown mottled chalcedony, fine brown chalcedony, fine dark gray/black chalcedony, fine dark gray / black chert, fine gray chert, and some fine light gray chalcedony. The most important source in the eastern arm of the Valley of Oaxaca is located at the base of the Fortified Hill (La Fortaleza) just west of Mitla. This series of outcrops has been described by Holmes (I 897) and Williams and Heizer (1965). Whalen (1971) reports that cherts from this source

are "light brown, dark brown, white, black, and gray, although the predominant color of all beds is medium to dark brown." Common types at the Mitla Fortress are fine brown chalcedony, fine gray-brown mottled chalcedony, and fine brown chert. Fine gray chert, fine white/ light gray chert, and fine red chert are present but not common. Although these descriptions are SUbjective and unquantified, they do indicate the degree of variation within and between sources. Any given type or color of chert may be found at nearly every source, but it will be common only at a few of them, and uncommon at the others. For example, fine white

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

chalcedony is found at most sources, but is common only at Rancho Matadamas. Thus, while I would hesitate to identify the source of a single piece of this material, any assemblage which contains substantial quantities of it is likely to derive, at least in part, from Rancho Matadamas. Unfortunately, more specific assignments will not be possible without physical and chemical analysis of the artifacts (through neutron activation, thin sections, etc.). Local sources of other materials (white glass, quartz, and fine volcanics) have not been reported. Quartz and volcanic rocks probably are widespread in the Valley of Oaxaca. Whalen (1981) suggests that a source of fine volcanics is located close to Tomaltepec, in the eastern arm of the valley. As noted previously, bedrock sources of quartz were recorded by Blanton et al. (1982) in the southern part of the valley, and probably occur in other parts as well. Further work is needed to determine the distribution ofthese materials. EARL Y AND MIDDLE FORMATIVE OBSIDIAN PROCUREMENT

The Redistribution Model

21

movement of prismatic obsidian blades, beginning around 1000-900 B.c. in Mesoamerica .... In contrast to the variation in source utilization from household to household characteristic of reciprocal exchange, uniform distribution of obsidian from several sources among all households at large ceremonial-civic centers like San Jose Mogote ... suggests pooling of obsidian by some central agency prior to distribution to members of the community [Pires-Ferreira 1975:4; also Pires-Ferreira and Flannery 1976:287-88].

This elegant model was supported by source identification of obsidian samples, using neutron activation analysis (Pires-Ferreira 1975: 1 I). The samples that were analyzed included a small number from San Jose phase household units in Areas A and C of San Jose Mogote; the results are summarized in Table 6. The most striking result is the great uniformity in obsidian proportions within Area A. All four Area A household units had exactly equal amounts of obsidian from the Zinapecuaro and Barranca de los Estetes (Otumba) sources, and only minor quantities of other types. The uniform distribution of obsidian from different sources among these households led Pires-Ferreira (1975; Winter and Pires-Ferreira 1976) to tentatively conclude that obsidian had been pooled and redistributed by an elite family in Area A of San Jose Mogote. The analyzed sample was not adequate to determine if obsidian also was pooled and redistributed within Area C. Unlike Area A, the proportion of Barranca de los Estetes obsidian was more than twice the proportion of Zinapecuaro obsidian in Area C (Table 6), which implies that obsidian was not redistributed throughout the site. It seems more likely that obsidian proportions were fairly uniform within an area of the site, but differed between areas. Unfortunately, the obsidian artifacts from Areas A and C are no longer available for restudy, so I cannot provide any additional information.

Obsidian does not occur naturally in the Valley of Oaxaca. In fact, the closest documented sources are located more than 250 kilometers to the north, in the state of Veracruz. Therefore, all obsidian used in Oaxaca must have been obtained through long-distance exchange. The evidence for obsidian exchange and the mechanisms through which it may have occurred have been discussed in detail by Jane Wheeler Pires-Ferreira in a series of publications (Wheeler [973; Pires-Ferreira 1975, 1976, 1978; PiresFerreira and Flannery 1976; Winter and Pires-Ferreira 1976). Problems with the Redistribution Model Pires-Ferreira and her associates distinguished several different mechanisms through which exchange may occur. Two There are a number of analytical difficulties associated of these are specifically relevant to Formative obsidian ex- with the redistribution model. While these problems do not change: necessarily invalidate the results of the analysis, they still require discussion. I) Reciprocal exchange of utilitarian commodities ... to which every The model, in effect, confounds two separate processes. single villager had access. An example of such exchange would be the movement of obsidian flakes and chunks during the Early Formative Obsidian was brought into the site from outside of the area period .... through long-distance exchange, then it was subsequently distributed or redistributed within the site. There are two In the Early Formative, obsidian trade was probably an egalitarian form of exchange in which all villagers participated. In the Valley of separate questions: first, was obsidian being obtained through Oaxaca, where house-by-house data on obsidian are available, varia- exchange by many different individuals, or only by a few adtion in the percentage of obsidian from different sources is usually so ministrators or entrepreneurs? Second, how was obsidian great as to suggest that each household obtained its obsidian on an in- distributed to individual households after it entered the site? dividual basis .... These two issues are not independent: if the obsidian was ob2) Pooling of utilitarian commodities for later distribution to all mem- tained by a few administrators it must, of course, have been bers of the community. An example of such exchange would be the redistributed. Even if obsidian was obtained by many indi-

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

22

TABLE6 Source Identifications of Obsidian Samples from San Jose Phase Households at San Jose Mogote'

Household SJM-A/CI SJM-A/C2 SJM-A/C3 SJM-A/C4 Area A Total SJM-C/ H.I SJM-C/H.2 SJM-C/H.S SJM-C/H.6 SJM-C/H.8 SJM-C/H.9 SJM-C/H.IO Area C Total

Zinapecuaro

Barranca de los Estetes

Guadalupe Victoria

B,F B,F,F B,B,B F,F

B,B B,F,F F,F,F F,F

C,F

10

10

3

B

B F C F B,F,F

B F,F

Guatemalan

F 0

F

F F,F

9

Unknown (Pachuca?)

F F

B,B 4

Altotonga

F F

2

2

[After Pires Ferreira 1975: Table 7, with corrections] '8

= blade, C =

flake core, F = flake or chunk.

viduals, however, it still could have been redistributed, shared, or reciprocally exchanged between households within the community. In such a situation, sharing and exchange between families could produce a pattern where the interacting households would end up with similar proportions of obsidian, without requiring the intervention of an elite administrator. In fact, chert frequencies exhibit just such a pattern, which I will argue later in this chapter is the result of cooperative interaction between households, since chert is locally available near the site and need not be obtained through long-distance exchange, I have no doubt that the similarities in obsidian frequencies among the Area A households resulted from close interaction, but this fact is not sufficient by itself to demonstrate the presence of elite administrators. Other evidence-such as the presence of a platform in Area A which appears to have supported an elite residence (Flannery, Marcus, and Kowalewski 1981)-is required to make this distinction, A second problem with the redistribution model is that it implicitly assumes either that the households being compared are contemporary, or that there was no change in long-distance exchange patterns over time. Pires-Ferreira's (1975) data demonstrate that exchange networks did change with time, and obsidian from different sources was obtained in varying proportions during different periods. In this case, households which were not contemporary may contain different proportions of obsidian due to changes in the types of obsidian brought into the site, regardless of redistribution. Thus, while uniformity in obsidian proportions indicates redistribution (or some other form of interaction), variability in obsidian proportions does not demonstrate the absence of redistribution, unless the households in question were strictly contemporary.

A final problem results from lumping categories together. In the passages quoted previously, Pires-Ferreira (1975:4) suggested that obsidian flakes and blades may have been obtained through different mechanisms: perhaps blades were pooled and redistributed, while flakes were obtained through reciprocal exchange. This insightful suggestion is supported by her observations that flakes and blades tend to be made from different types of obsidian, and that blades probably were imported in finished form (1975:27; also see Chapter 4). Obsidian flakes and blades were two separate commodities which may have been obtained through different mechanisms, and therefore must be analyzed separately, In her analysis, unfortunately, Pires-Ferreira did not treat blades and flakes separately, but only examined proportions of "obsidian" as a whole. Due to the small size of her sample, she really had no alternative. This comment is not intended as a criticism; in fact, she is to be commended for recognizing that lithic analyses are complicated by the relationship of raw material and technology. But this problem must be kept in mind when interpreting the results. In this case, if flakes and blades are examined separately (Table 6), the small remaining samples provide no evidence in support of the redistribution model. These problems all relate to the practical application of the redistribution model, rather than its logical basis. I think the fundamental premise is sound, and the conclusions are not refuted. The San Jose phase households within Area A of San Jose Mogote contain very uniform proportions of obsidian from different sources; other areas may differ. This suggests that families residing within Area A cooperated during procurement of obsidian. Procurement may even have been coordinated by an administrator who pooled and redistributed obsidian, as suggested by Pires-Ferreira (1975).

23

THE PROCUREMENT OF LITHIC MATERIAL

Differential Access to Obsidian

of obsidian to sherds dropped dramatically (see Table 36). Features identified as pottery kilns first appeared at the same Many writers have postulated that obsidian was a scarce time (Whalen 1981). It seems likely that the excavated Late a.nd valued commodity in precolumbian Mesoamerica, parFormative households at Tomaltepec were producing potticularly in areas such as Oaxaca where it had to be imported tery, and therefore contain a greater abundance of sherds from long distances. Because of the high value placed on obrather than less obsidian. ' sidian, and the scarcity of the material, all individuals may A third measure is the ratio of obsidian to excavation area not have had equal access to obsidian tools. In Oaxaca, it has or volume. These density figures (N / m 2 or N / m 3) directly been suggested that this pattern of unequal access arose control for differences in excavation size. They do not conduring the Early Formative San Jose phase (Whalen 1981). trol for other factors, however, unless it can be assumed that At Tomaltepec, for example, debris from Structure 11 a San sediment accumulates at a constant rate. This seems to me to Jose phase platform which supported a high-statu's resib~ an unreasonable assumption, at least when comparing dence, contains more obsidian flakes than does House 4 a dIfferent types of deposits. Consider an earthen house floor contemporary lower-status residence (Whalen 1981). Si~i­ for example. This stable surface need not increase in volum; lar patterns of variation have been reported at a Middle du~ing use. The volume of the deposit is nearly constant, Formative site in the Cuicatlan Canada, north of the Valley whIle the number of artifacts increases through time as of Oaxaca (Spencer 1982). ref~s~ .acc~mulates. Conversely, earthen platform fill, by One difficulty in comparing access to 0 bsidian lies in finddefInItIon, IS the result of deliberate addition of sediment to ing a good measure of obsidian quantities. One should not increase volume, while the number of artifacts may remain simply compare counts of obsidian between households, as constant. Thus, differences in artifact density (the ratio of arthe absolute quantity of obsidian artifacts depends not only tifact number to sediment volume) between house floors and on access to the material, but also on the size of the excavatplatform fill are not likely to relate directly to either difion (and the proportion of the household unit that was exferences in length of occupation or differences in access to posed), the length of occupation, and the nature of refuse materials. When similar deposits are compared, however disposal practices (which differ between floors, middens, and ~eposition rates can be assumed the same, then densit; and pits). Some relative measure is needed, to control for prOVIdes a useful measure of obsidian quantity. these other. factors. Several measures have been proposed, Choice of an appropriate measure of obsidian quantity none of whIch, in my opinion, is entirely satisfactory. One is can be a serious practical problem. This is best illustrated by the proportion of obsidian in the total chipped stone assema concrete example. In Table 7, I present six different measblage: a measure of the frequency of obsidian relative to ures of obsidian quantity for Structure II and House 4 of other raw materials such as chert. If it can be assumed that Tomaltepec. Artifacts from Structure II are from fill in the obsidian an~ chert tools were used in the same general range uppermost levels of a platform and its internal cell while of tasks (WhICh seems to be true at Oaxacan Formative sites' specimens from House 4 are from the earthen floors (Floor see Chapter 5), and if chert was locally available in unlimited D-sub E) of a house and its adjacent dooryard. All six measquantities, then this measure should relate directly to access. ures differ. On four of them, Structure II has more obsidian When obsidian tools were available, they were substituted than House 4, one is about even, and on one, House 4 has f?r equivalent chert tools. Factors such as length of occupamore obsidian. Which best represents reality? I think that tIOn and area of excavations should affect chert and obsidian the percentage of obsidian in the total chipped stone assemdensities alike, so the ratio of obsidian to chert should be inblage may be the most reliable measure in this case, but this dependent of those factors. obviously remains an open question. Anot~er measure which has been used frequently in In Tables 8 and 9 I present several measures of obsidian Oaxaca IS the ratio of obsidian to ceramic sherds (Drennan density for the Early and Middle Formative households that 1976; Spencer 1982). This statistic is useful since ceramics I analyzed. Differences among these household units in doare ubiquitous in Formative sites. Unless it can be assumed mestic architecture, access to deer meat and to exotic materithat every household had eq ual access to ceramic vessels and als such as jade, and burial associations, suggest that these discarded them at a constant rate, however, this measure is households may have been occupied by families of differing somewhat ambiguous. It never is clear if the differences bestatus. For the San Jose phase, Flannery, Marcus, and tween households are the result of differential access to obKowalewski (1981) have suggested that House 13 on Mound sidian, or differential access to pottery. This point can be il1 of San Jose Mogote, and some of the Area C houses were lustrated using figures from Tomaltepec. During the Late occupied by relatively low-status persons. The Area and Formative period (Monte Alban Ie) at Tomaltepec, the ratio most Area A, households probably represent higher-status

Ii,

24

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

TABLE 7 Comparison of Obsidian Frequencies Between Structure II and House 4, Two San Jose Phase Proveniences at Tomaltepec'

Provenience Str. I I House 4

Number of Obsidian Pieces

Percent of Chipped Stone

Percent of Tools

Ratio of Obsidian X 100/ Sherds

Number per m 2

Number per m]

42 8

10.0 0.9

15.6 4.0

11.0 9.2

2.1' 0.4

3.4' 6.9

[After Rick 1981, 1974a; Whalen 1981] 'Cell fill only.

TABLES Obsidian Statistics for San Jose Phase Households

Household SJM-Md.I/H.13 SJM-A/Cl b SJM-A/C2 SJM-A/C3 SJM-A/C4 SJM-B/ H.16-17 SJM-B/ upper ter. SJM-C/H.I SJM-Cj H.2 SJM-C/ HA SJM-CjH.5 SJM-C/ H.6 SJM-C/ H.7 SJM-Cj H.8 SJM-Cj H.9 SJM-C/ H.IO SJM-Cj H.14

Number of Pieces

Percent by Count of Chipped Stone

Percent by Weight of Chipped Stone

Number per Square Meter of Floor

28 31 31 53 32 200 22 12 39 120 5 4 I 46 52 S 4

10.7 16.S 13.5 14.6 15.6 11.4 20.2 13.2 13.0 23.6 23.8 22.2 7.7 22.9 17.9 29.6 11.8

1.3

1.4 2.6 2.4 4.1 2.7 4.2

1.0 1.5

Number per Sherd' .06 .04 .04 .03

1.2 .10 .21 .24 .06 .04 .02 .23 .15 .21

2.7 4.9 6.0 2.0 1.0 5.4 9.5 2.7

1.6 O.S

2.1

'Sherd counts from Wheeler 1973: Appendix 4. bThe values for Area A published by Pires-Ferreira (1975: Table 8) are based on incomplete counts, and do not represent the final frequencies for this area.

TABLE 9 Obsidian Statistics for Middle Formative Households

Household SJM-B/H.21 SJM-Md.1 / Str.25-26 SJM-Md.1 / Str.27 SJM-Md.1 / Str.28 FSJ/H.I FSJ/HA FSJ/H.5 FSJ/H.6 FSJ/H.9 FSJ/H.14 FSJ/H.18 Huitzo/H.l b Huitzo/ H.3 Huitzo/ H.5 Huitzo/ H.7 Huitzo/ Str.1 SJM

Number of Pieces

Percent by Count of Chipped Stone

Percent by Weight of Chipped Stone

Number per Square Meter of Floor

S

25.8

5.2

4.0

28 18 28 6 7 I 10 36 9 I

10.6 7.5 20.3 17.1 22.6 7.1 12.2 23.2 13.0 Il.l

2.0' 1.5 8.1 3.2

4.3

3 2 2 0 4

13.0 5.9 12.5 0.0 10.0

3.0

1.7

1.2

0.3 1.8 0.9 0.3

0.7 1.0 1.5 1.2 0.2

0.8 0.5 2.3 0.0

3.0 1.0 1.0 0.0

1.7

= San Jose Mogote; FSJ = Fabrica San Jose.

'Excluding one large chert nodule of about 2.5 kg. If this nodule is included, the percent obsidian by weight drops to about 0.5%. bThe percentage for Huitzo published by Pires-Ferreira (1975: Table 4) is based on an incomplete count, and does not represent a typical value for this site.

THE PROCUREMENT OF LITHIC MATERIAL

residences. None of these houses, however, should be regarded as an "elite" residence. During the Middle Formative period, Structures 25 through 27 on Mound 1 of San Jose Mogote and Structure 1 of Huitzo (multiroom compounds on masonry platforms) probably were occupied by persons of very high status, while the houses excavated at F:ibrica San Jose represent relatively low-status residences. If all individuals did not have equal access to obsidian, as postulated by Whalen (1981), I anticipate that household units occupied by high-status individuals should contain more obsidian than those occupied by persons of lower status. Inspection of Tables 8 and 9 reveals that this is not the case. Although the proportion of obsidian varies greatly between households, there is no obvious relationship between the amount of obsidian and the inferred status. If there were differences in access to obsidian, they can not be detected in these data. Even if there were no differences in access to obsidian in general, it is possible that access to specific types of obsidian tools may have varied. Perhaps all individuals had equal access to obsidian flake cores, flakes, or chunks, but highstatus persons obtained disproportionate numbers of prismatic blades. In Table 10, I have tabulated the proportion of obsidian blades in those Early and Middle Formative households which had adequate samples of obsidian. Once again, while there is tremendous variation between households, the differences appear to be unrelated to status. Some highstatus households do contain a high proportion of blades, but so do some low-status households. Conversely, some high status households had relatively few blades. I suggest elsewhere (Chapter 7 and Parry, in press) that greater value may have been attached to large obsidian blades, and that high-status individuals may have had differential access to larger blades, even if not to blades in general. This is suggested by a statistically significant tendency for blades of greater width to be present in elite contexts of the Terminal Formative and subsequent periods. Unfortunately, the small sample of measurable blades from Middle Formative households is not sufficient to see if this pattern extends back in time. Analysis of Early Formative blades was hindered because the specimens from Areas A and C of San Jose Mogote were not available for restudy. It was possible, however, to compare the blades from House 13 (thought to be an extremely low-status San Jose phase residence) with those from the House 16-17 area of San Jose Mogote (a relatively high-status household unit). Eight measurable obsidian blades from House 13 have a mean width of9.9 mm (S.D. = 1.5, range = 9 - 13). A sample of 59 blades from the House 16-17 area has an identical mean width of 9.9 mm (S. D. = 1.8, range = 6 -16). Thus, there is no evidence that blades of greater width were differentially

25

procured by persons of high status during the San Jose phase. In summary, there are no obvious indications of differential access to obsidian artifacts during the Early and Middle Formative periods. Obsidian trade may therefore have been the "egalitarian form of exchange" it was purported to be in the quotation on page 21; at the very least, there is considerable variability between households in obsidian quantity which seems to be unrelated either to status differences or to residential area, and which remains unexplained. Probably a number of factors, as yet unknown, affected obsidian densities. One particular problem is that obsidian tools seem to have been curated, recycled, and reworked. Many obsidian artifacts, particularly in Middle Formative contexts, appear to have been scavenged from older deposits and resharpened. This practice could create many difficulties for the archaeologist. Evidence for differences in access to some other classes of chipped stone tools will be discussed in Chapter 8. EARLY AND MIDDLE FORMATIVE LOCAL STONE PROCUREMENT Introduction Local raw materials, such as chert, fine volcanics, and quartz, were probably procured through different mechanisms from obsidian. These materials, unlike obsidian, could be obtained within the Valley of Oaxaca. Chert and other workable stones are widely distributed in the valley, and most Formative villages were located within 10 km of a chert source. Due to the close proximity of sources, it would have been practical for persons from each household to collect stones for their own use. This easily could have been done during the course of other activities, such as visiting outlying agricultural fields, collecting wild plants and wood, or hunting small animals, which sometimes would have taken them to the vicinity of chert sources in the piedmont (Flannery 1976b; see Binford 1979 for a discussion of "embedded" procurement strategies). It would not have been necessary to rely on exchange to obtain chert, although local exchange of materials may have occurred. If individuals from each household independently collected chert for their own use, such an "embedded" procurement strategy probably would result in different sources being exploited with different frequencies by each household. The details of each family's activity schedule and the locations of their fields and other resources probably differed, so each family may have visited different chert sources at various times when opportunities arose. Thus, this strategy would produce a pattern where each household unit acquired a slightly different mix of raw materials. Each

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

26

TABLE 10 Proportion of Blades in the Obsidian Assemblages of Early and Middle Formative Households.

Household(s)

Phase

SJM-Md.1 j H.13 SJM-AjCl b

San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose L. Guadalupe Rosario Rosario Rosario Rosario

SJM-AjC2 SJM-AjC3 SJM-AjC4 SJM-Bj H.16-17 SJM-Bj upper ter.

SJM-CjH.I SJM-CjH.2 SJM-CjH.4 SJM-CjH.8 SJM-CjH.9

FSJj H.I,4,5,6,14 FSJjH.9 SJM-Md.1 j Str.25-26 SJM-Md.lj Str.27 SJM-Md.lj Str.28 SJM

Number of Obsidian Pieces 28 31 31 53 32 200 22 12 39 120 46 52 33 36 28 18 28

Percent Blades' 28.6 45.2 22.6 11.3 12.5 35.2 45.5 9.1 15.4 30.0 21.7 0.0 15.2 13.9 17.9 16.7 28.6

= San Jose Mogote; FSJ = Eibrica San Jose.

'Number of obsidian blades x 100/ total number of obsidian. b The values for Area A published by Pires-Ferreira (1975: Table 8) are based on incomplete counts, and do not represent the final frequencies for this area.

family's procurement pattern would be slightly different, and might also vary over time-even seasonally-as field locations and wild food resources changed. The expected result is that each household unit would contain different proportions of the various chert types, and that the differences between households would be unpatterned and seemingly random. If households were organized into larger multifamily corporate groups, a different procurement pattern may be anticipated. The existence of corporate groups is likely to affect or constrain raw material procurement in several ways. First, corporate units, by definition, have collective rights to property and may cooperate in production. Agricultural fields often were corporately controlled, and in parts of North America individual extended families or lineages claimed exclusive use rights to certain natural resource localities. Well-known examples include the control of fishing sites, berry and acorn groves, and shellfish gathering areas in California and on the Northwest Coast (Richardson 1982; Waterman 1920); and the family hunting territories of postcontact Eastern Algonkian groups (Speck 1915; Wallace 1947). While I know of no cases of family ownership of chert quarries reported in North America, it is possible that a quarry could be included within, or in close proximity to, a field or resource locality to which a corporate group claims exclusive use rights. In such cases, that source is more likely to be exploited by members of the corporate group which

controls the adjacent resource, simply because they are likely to be in that area to exploit the other resource (see Binford 1979). This pattern has been observed in New Guinea. Among the Duna, for example, men only exploited chert quarries if they had kinship connections with the people on whose territories the quarries occurred. Men lacking such kinship connections "had no socially acceptable reason for visiting the resource area." After acquiring chert during visits to relatives in a quarry area, men subsequently distributed it to others through gifts and, less frequently, exchange. "Thus the distribution across the landscape of stone from a particular quarry will reflect the location of men who have rights to resources in the quarry area and the kinship, obligation, trade and friendship networks of those men" (White and Modjeska 1978). Second, in some cases different localities (and the lithic sources associated with them) may have special ritual significance for particular descent groups. In such cases, members of those descent groups might preferentially obtain materials from those sources. In Australia, for example, men sometimes bypass local chert sources to acquire stones from distant localities with special ritual associations: [S]ome quarries occur at or near sacred sites-that is, totemic 'dreaming' People who believe themselves to be descended patrilineally from the particular totemic being at one of these sites will make special trips to the quarry to secure the stone there. A man places high value on stone from a site of his dreamtime totem .... Because of his patrilineal relationship to the site, a man sees the stone as part of his own being-a fact which motivates him to carry the stone to other, distant sites, even when functionally better stone is already present at these places [Gould 1977: 164]. ~Iaces.

Finally, it is likely that members of a corporate group would cooperate in raw material procurement, even when chert sources are not associated with owned or sacred localities. I assume that members of a corporate unit, particularly a localized corporate group, are more likely to interact, travel together, coordinate their schedules, procure materials together, and exchange objects with each other than with members of other groups. This sort of cooperative interaction is expected to produce a pattern where households belonging to a single corporate unit would acquire materials in similar proportions, as they would tend to exploit the same quarries at the same times. Households belonging to different units may exhibit a different mix of chert types. If the chert sources were associated with corporately controlled or sacred sites, the procurement pattern would be stable over time, perhaps even for many generations. In this case, the resulting pattern-one of similar material frequencies in several different households-would be similar to the pattern which was postulated by Pires-Ferreira (1975) to result from pooling and redistribution of materials,

THE PROCUREMENT OF LITHIC MATERIAL

which was discussed in a previous section. I do not think that acquisition of chert needs to be explained in this way, since chert is locally abundant and can be procured directly without recourse to exchange. It will be difficult analytically, however, to distinguish cooperative procurement by a corporate group from pooling and redistribution by an administrator. The San Jose Phase

These expectations provide a basis for evaluating the suggestion, proposed in previous chapters, that three excavated areas (Mound 1/ Area A, Area B, and Area C) of San Jose Mogote were occupied by three different corporate groups during the San Jose phase. If this was the case, then household units within an area should contain similar frequencies of local chert types, resulting from the cooperative procurement of materials within a corporate framework. Raw material frequencies may differ between areas, if each area was in fact occupied by a different corporate unit. This is precisely the pattern observed at San Jose Mogote. Households within a single excavated area have similar proportions oflocal raw materials (Table 11, Figure 6). For each of the three areas, the differences among households within an area are not statistically significant. The differences between the three areas, although not dramatic, are highly significant. 1 This pattern suggests that households within an area did cooperate in procurement or exchange of local raw materials, but did not cooperate with households in different residential wards, a pattern consistent with the suggestion that each area was occupied by a different corporate group. As Table II and Figure 6 indicate, the differences between the three areas occur mainly in the proportions of white and red chert or chalcedony (the dominant materials at the Matadamas source), gray and brown chalcedony (the dominant materials at most of the sources in the eastern arm of the valley), and fine volcanics. Households in Area B have the highest proportion of "Matadamas" (white and red) chert and the lowest proportions of gray and brown chalcedony and fine volcanics; Area A households are intermediate; and Area C households have the highest proportions of gray and brown chalcedony and fine volcanics, and the least Matadamas chert. In fact, Matadamas chert comprises only about a third of the chipped stone from Area C, despite the fact that the Rancho Matadamas source is located only 3 km west of San Jose Mogote. The chert types used in Area Care more similar to materials used at sites in the eastern arm of the valley than to those found in the other areas of San Jose 'Chi-square statistic, computed using raw counts: comparing the 5 Area A households, X' = 35.2, d.f. = 24, prob. = .07; comparing the 2 Area B households, X' = 8.7, d.f. = 6, prob. = . 19; comparing the 5 Area C households, X' = 23.5, d.f. = 24, prob. = .49; comparing the totals for the 3 areas, X' = 285.3, d.f. = 12, prob. < .0001.

27

Mogote, This fact is illustrated in Table 12, where chert proportions are compared between the three areas of San Jose Mogote and Tomaltepec, a contemporary site in the eastern arm of the valley located about 22 km southeast of San Jose Mogote, The Early Formative chipped stone assemblage of Tomaltepec is dominated by locally available fine volcanic rock (Rick 1981), which is similar in appearance to some of the fine volcanics which occur in the Area C households. If chert is considered alone, the relative proportions of whitered Matadamas chert and gray and brown chalcedony are very similar in Area C and Tomaltepec (Table 12). These observations suggest that the residents of Area C may have obtained a portion of their lithic materials from sources in the eastern arm of the valley, perhaps in cooperation (or through exchange) with the inhabitants of villages such as T omaltepec. There are various indications of ties between Area C of San Jose Mogote and the eastern arm of the valley, Both Area C and Tomaltepec, for example, seem to have been occupied by people featuring the "fire-serpent" on their pottery (Pyne 1976; Whalen 1981). A study by Plog (1976) also showed that designs on A toyac Yellow-White pottery from Abasolo in the eastern arm were more similar to designs from Areas A and C of San Jose Mogote than one would predict based on their geographic distance, suggesting relatively strong interaction. And now we have seen that the very small sample of chert artifacts from Abasolo is dominated by gray and brown chalcedony, like that from Tomaltepec and Area C of San Jose Mogote, In this case it appears that chert frequencies, like ceramic motifs, may be fairly good measures of interaction. Cooperative procurement of raw materials is, of course, a significant form of interaction. The patterns reported here closely parallel previous observations based on ceramic analyses. The proportions of different chert types, like the frequencies of different iconographic motifs on pottery vessels, differ significantly between areas at San Jose Mogote. Conversely, chert frequencies at different localities are, in some instances, more similar than one would expect considering the distances between the sites and their proximities to different sources of raw materials, The Middle Formative Period

The sample of Middle Formative households from San Jose Mogote is, unfortunately, very small. Well preserved Middle Formative residences have been excavated only on Mound I, so it is not possible to compare different areas of the site to see if localized corporate groups persisted into the Middle Formative period. Several Middle Formative household units have been excavated at smaller sites, including Huitzo and Fabrica San

7.7

Area C Total

1123

30.1

42.7

10.4

12.7 12.6 9.8 8.4 9.7

3.8 8.4 8.2 7. 1 7.6

79 262 389 155 238

40.5 37.0 42 2 51 .6 44.5

C/H.1 C/H.2 C/H.4 C/H.8 C/H.9

38.0 30.9 30.3 28.4 27.3

6.2

7.4

24.0

58.4

6.2 5.7

7.3 10.3

1641

23.4 34.5

Area B Total

9.1

6.5

59.0 47. 1

11 . 2 3.3 8. 1 11 .9 7.5

Brown Chert

7.3 6.5 6.6 7.1 4.0

1554 87

36.0

39.1 35.9 34.8 35.2 34.7

Gray Chert

B/H.16-17 B/upper' ter.

41.0

35.2 41.8 47.0 38.4 45.7

Gray/Brown Chalcedony

1067

233 153 198 310 173

Md. 1/H. 13 A/C1 A/C2 A/C3 A/C4

White/Red Chert/Cha 1 .

Area A Total

N

Household

2.4

1 .3 2.3 2.8 1.9 2.5

2.4

2.4 2.3

2.7

3.9 4.6 1 .5 2.3 1 .7

Black/Mise. Chert/Cha 1 .

6. 1

2.5 8.4 5.7 2.6 7.6

0.7

0.7 0.0

3.3

1.7 5.9 1 .5 4.2 3.5

Fine Volcanics

0.7

1 .3 0.4 1.0 0.0 0.8

0.9

1 .0 0.0

1 .5

1 .7 2.0 0.5 1.0 2.9

Quartz

TABLE 1 1 Proportions of Local Material Types in the Chipped Stone Assemblages of San Jose Phase Households at San Jose Mogote

:A.

(J

:A.

~

a:A.

' c.

a.

b.

cm Figure 51. Fragments of obsidian bifaces from Terminal Formative temples on Mound I of San Jose Mogote. a. Biface midsection, opaque black obsidian; Structure 35, S4E2,SE b. Biface midsection, opaque brown-black obsidian; Structure 35, S3E I,SW c. Biface tip, cloudy gray ob idian; Surface of Mound I

o 1 2 3 I......----.,1__1_I em Plate 20. Two obsidian biface fragments and the tip of an obsidian lancet from the floor of Structure 35, a Terminal Formative temple on Mound I of San Jose Mogote (see Figs. 5la,b and 52f).

NONUTILITARIAN CHIPPED STONE TOOLS

131

o /, /,

./, /'

" "

/'

"

./

-- "

b.

o

c.

a.

o

o

o

f.

e. d.

__==-_cm

Figure 52. Formative obsidian lancets from San Jose Mogote. a. "Imitation stingray spine" lancet, green obsidian, Rosario phase; Structure 28 Patio, S5E8,SE (5232) b. Lancet, green obsidian, Rosario phase; Zone B (level of Structures 25-26), S7EIO,SW c. Lancet, green obsidian, Rosario phase; Structure 26, Room I (4765) d. Lancet(?), cloudy gray obsidian, Rosario phase; Tomb II fill, S7E6 (4992) e. Lancet, green obsidian, Monte Alban II; Trash dumped off NE corner of Structure 19 f. Lancet, cloudy gray obsidian, Monte Alban II; Structure 35, near south wall of inner room

132

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

many of the obsidian tools from public buildings were used for ritual purposes, such as autosacrifice or bloodletting (Flannery and Marcus 1976a), although edge damage patterns suggest a wider range of uses (see Chapter 7). Obsidian tools were not exclusively "ceremonial" artifacts, however, as they are also found in domestic contexts. While some of the obsidian flakes and blades found on house floors and in middens may have been used in household rituals, the ma-

jority certainly were used for utilitarian purposes, as they have edge damage resulting from a variety of cutting, sawing, and scraping tasks (see Tables 29, 30). Thus, while it may be true that stone tools used in rituals were exclusively obsidian, obsidian tools were not used exclusively for ritual purposes. Finally, chert flake tools were exclusively utilitarian implements and have not been reported from Formative ritual contexts in the Valley of Oaxaca.

Chapter 9

Summary and Conclusions Chipped stone artifacts have been used to infer prehistoric social and economic interaction along several lines. Examination of raw material procurement and exchange, stone tool manufacture, and tool use all yielded evidence which, in this case, provided clear and consistent information pertaining to Early and Middle Formative social and economic organization in the Valley of Oaxaca. The most interesting results relate to the internal organization of San Jose Mogote. This large San Jose phase village was divided into perhaps four or more distinct residential wards. Excavated households from three areas of the site, each thought to represent a different ward, were compared. In every analysis, the same pattern emerged: families within a residential area of San Jose Mogote handled chipped stone in a similar manner, while the three areas differed. Households within each area acquired similar proportions of each type of chert (and of obsidian from different sources), made flakes of similar sizes and shapes, followed the same procedures in reducing cores to make flake tools, and used similar assemblages of functional tool types (or similar "tool kits"). Houses in different areas differed in each of these attributes. This strongly suggests that San Jose phase households at San Jose Mogote were organized into larger multifamily units, and that each of the three areas was occupied by a different unit. Families within each unit cooperated in procurement of raw materials, shared preferences for tools of particular size and shape, followed the same procedures in manufacturing stone tools, and used the tools in the same productive activities. This pattern is consistent with the suggestion that each unit may have been a corporate descent group, although other types of organization might also produce similar patterns. Regardless, the presence of organized units larger than the nuclear family, and smaller than the village, is indicated. The strength of the pattern suggests that residential organization was stable at San Jose Mogote throughout the San Jose phase. These social units may not have been exclusive to San Jose Mogote, but may have spanned a larger area. Some distant hamlets have lithic assemblages which are surprisingly simi133

lar to those of particular areas of San Jose Mogote (most notably, Tomaltepec is similar to Area C of San Jose Mogote), suggesting fairly intensive interaction or cooperation among families in the two localities. Both inter- and intracommunity similarities and differences in chipped stone materials closely parallel variations in ceramic design motifs (Plog 1976; Pyne 1976), and are consistent with the suggestion that some families in different hamlets belonged to the same corporate groups (see Flannery and Marcus 1976a). Part-time craft specialization seems to have been common during the San Jose phase. Specialized production is indicated not only by the differences in tool assemblages among wards of San Jose Mogote, which suggest that households within a ward all shared specializations which were lacking in other wards, but also by differences among contemporary sites. Particularly striking is the contrast between San Jose Mogote and Abasolo. Households in San Jose Mogote averaged more than sixty times as many stone tools as those in the hamlet of Abasolo. It seems that families at Abasolo specialized in activities which required few stone tools: perhaps vegetable gardening, like the modern inhabitants of that village. Some craft activities were not specialties of a ward or a village, but were practiced by only a few families. One example is the manufacture of bifacial tools (projectile points and knives), which seems to have been restricted to a single household (House 16-17 of San Jose Mogote) of the excavated sample. Other examples of possibly unique specializations have been reported by Flannery and Winter (1976). The organization of craft production seems to have changed during the Middle Formative period. Middle Formative households exhibited tremendous variations in proportions of both raw material and tool types, even within a site or an area of a site. While the small sample sizes do not permit any definitive conclusions, this pattern may indicate that localized corporate groups either did not persist into the Middle Formative period, or else no longer engaged in cooperative procurement and production. In fact, obvious evi-

134

CHIPPED STONE TOOLS IN FORMATIVE OAXACA

dence of specialized craft production, as reflected in the chipped stone assemblage consisted of quartz. The use of stone tool assemblage, was found only in the very high- quartz decreased during the Late Formative, and was neglistatus Rosario phase residences on Mound I of San Jose gible again by Terminal Formative times. Patterns of obsidian procurement also varied over time. Mogote. Thus, it is possible that craft production was no longer organized by a number of corporate groups, but was The frequency of obsidian artifacts in Oaxacan sites deunder the direct control of elite administrators by this time. creased during the Middle Formative (from about 15 to 10 Status differences among Early and Middle Formative percent of chipped stone), perhaps as a result of a shift or inhouseholds, indicated by variations in domestic architecture terruption in external trade networks (see Pires-Ferreira and access to exotic items, are only faintly reflected in the 1975). Starting during the Late Formative period, obsidian chipped stone assemblages. There is no compelling evidence artifacts were again imported in increasing quantities. Parthat persons of higher status had greater access to imported ticularly striking was an influx of large numbers of green obobsidian tools-either in quantity or quality-at any time sidian blades during the Monte Alban Ie and II periods. during the Early and Middle Formative periods. Not until These blades probably were produced in the Basin of the Terminal Formative period, in fact, are there any indi- Mexico, and their import may mark the establishment of sigcations of differential access, and these are slight. Relatively nificant economic interactions between Teotihuacan and the higher-status persons seem to have been able to obtain expanding Monte Alban state. slightly wider obsidian blades during the Terminal FormaAt present, I can say little more about changes over time, due to the nature of my sample, which is restricted almost entive period, but not greater quantities of blades overall. The only evidence of differential access to chipped stone tirely to the San Jose, Guadalupe, and Rosario phases. Data tools during the Middle Formative period is found in the dis- covering the Classic and Postclassic periods are needed to tributions of certain rare types of retouched tools, such as adequately characterize change over time. This would be a projectile points and finely retouched obsidian lancets. fruitful area for further research. Additional analyses in a These objects were usually found in association with high- number of other areas would also be helpful in clarifying status residences. It is possible that elite persons had exclu- some of the problems raised in this study. In particular, misive access to these items, but their extreme rarity precludes croscopic study of use-wear on the stone tools would contribute valuable data, permitting more specific and accurate any conclusive analysis of their distributions. Finally, there are some changes over time in the chipped identifications of tool functions, and perhaps clarifying the stone assemblages. One interesting but unexplained change activity differences between households, wards, and sites. was a dramatic increase in the use of vein quartz for tools Geochemical analyses of local cherts would help identify the during the Middle Formative period. Quartz formed a negli- specific raw material sources exploited by Formative toolgible proportion (about one percent) of the chipped stone as- makers, and provide additional information on patterns of semblage through the Tierras Largas, San Jose, and Early material procurement and interaction. This, then, is not the Guadalupe phases. In sites in the northern arm ofthe valley, final word on Formative Oaxaca lithic industries, but rather the use of quartz increased dramatically during the Late the first step, which I hope will stimulate further discussion Guadalupe phase, until as much as 30 to 50 percent of the and analyses, both in Oaxaca and elsewhere.

Bibliography Aditn, Elfego 1927 Nota Acerca de Unas Piedras Talladas de Aspecto Prehist6rico, Procedentes de Mitla, Est. de Oaxaca. Anales del Museo Nacional de Arqueologfa, Historia y Etnograjfa CEpoca 4a) 5: 157-67. Appel, Jill 1982 Political and Economic Organization in the Late Postclassic Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico: An Evolutionary Perspective. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Sociology and Anthrppology, Purdue University. Binford, Lewis R. 1979 Organization and Formation Processes: Looking at Curated Technologies. Journal ofAnthropological Research 35(3):255-73. Binford, Lewis R., and George I. Quimby 1963 Indian Sites and Chipped Stone Materials in the Northern Lake Michigan Area. Fieldiana-Anthropology 36:277-307. Blalock, Hubert M., Jr. 1972 Social Statistics. New York: McGraw-Hill. Blanton, Richard E., Stephen Kowalewski, Gary Feinman, and Jill Appel 1982 Monte Alban's Hinterland, Part ]: The Prehispanic Settlement Patterns of the Central and Southern Parts of the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. University of Michigan, Museum of Anthropology, Memoirs 15. Boksenbaum, Martin W. 1978 Lithic Technology in the Basin of Mexico During the Early and Middle Preclassic. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, City University of New York. 1980 Basic Mesoamerican Stone-working: Nodule Smashing? Lithic Technology 9( I): 12-26. Bordes, Fran