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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2010

Olaf Jaime-Riverón*
University of Kentucky, Department of Anthropology, 211 Lafferty Hall Lexington, KY 40506, Phone: (859)257-2710, Fax: 859-323-1959
E-mail correspondence to:


The earliest uses of Olmec greenstone (jadeite, greenstone, schist, green quartz, and others) accelerated the interregional exchange of technology and raw materials. These relationships provoked asymmetry between polities of different parts of Mesoamerica and within Olmec sites. There were stronger relationships between the Gulf Coast and Chiapas. In general terms, greenstone artifacts display an evolutionary process similar to ceramics and basalt sculpture in the emergence of complex society during terminal Early Formative times. This paper focuses on the exchange of technological choices and asymmetry between Gulf Coast of Mexico and the rest of Mesoamerica.

Special Section: Rethinking the Olmecs and Early Formative Mesoamerica
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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