OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Early Formative Period Exchange, Crafting, and Subsistence: An analysis of La Consentida’s chipped stone assemblage


The primary concern of this research is to quantify and analyze the lithic (chipped stone) assemblage previously excavated by Hepp (2015) at the archaeological site of La Consentida in Oaxaca, Mexico. The lithic assemblage is comprised mainly of obsidian and chert. Both materials were widely used in the ancient world for tool manufacture. The artifacts I propose to examine are crucial to determining the economic practices of this Early Formative period (2000– 1000 B.C.) site. Generating data from these artifacts requires the analysis of over 500 lithics comprising various methods including physical measurements, provenience information, artifact classification, and manufacturing techniques among many other analysis (approximately 20 variables in total). Ascertaining how lithic artifacts were distributed throughout the site will help expand current understandings of Early Formative period exchange, crafting, and subsistence practices. Furthermore, these results may have implications for developing our understanding of social organization at the earliest known settled village in coastal Oaxaca. Preliminary analysis of the lithic assemblage resulted in being able to relate chipped stone, ceramic, and ground stone artifact use in specific areas of the site. Additionally, the association of various artifact types within the same contexts may reveal specialized activities (i.e. subsistence or crafting) conducted in designated areas and may also expand current understandings of daily life at La Consentida.

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