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  • Rosemary A. Joyce (a1) and John S. Henderson (a2)

Practices and features that many researchers have identified as “Olmec,” even when found outside of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, supposed by some to be the heartland of an Olmec culture, are often a minority within local assemblages with vast differences in style and form. This is the case in Honduras, where objects identified as “Olmec” were clearly locally made. Thus they cannot be explained simply in terms of the import to Honduras of “Olmec” objects made elsewhere. This paper seeks to address the question, “what did it mean to the inhabitants of Formative period Mesoamerican villages to make and use objects whose stylistic features made them stand out as different from others in their own communities?” Drawing on data from original fieldwork at multiple sites in Honduras and reanalysis of museum collections, this paper proposes a model for understanding this phenomenon rooted in social theories of materiality, the phenomenological experience of personhood, and the creation of identity through entanglement with things.

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Pierre Bourdieu 1977 Outline of a Theory of Practice. Translated by Richard Nice . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Brenda J. Bowser 2000 From Pottery to Politics: An Ethnoarchaeological Study of Political Factionalism, Ethnicity, and Domestic Pottery Style in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 7:219248.

Brenda J. Bowser 2004 Domestic Spaces as Public Places: An Ethnoarchaeological Case Study of Houses, Gender, and Politics in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 11:157181.

Boyd Dixon , Leroy Joesink-Mandeville , Nobukatsu Hasebe , Michael Mucio , William Vincent , David James , and Kenneth Petersen 1994 Formative Period Architecture at the Site of Yarumela, Central Honduras. Latin American Antiquity 5: 7087.

David C. Grove 1997 Olmec Archaeology: A Half Century of Research and its Accomplishments. Journal of World Prehistory 11:51101.

John S. Henderson , Rosemary A. Joyce , Gretchen R. Hall , W. Jeffrey Hurst , and Patrick E. McGovern 2007 Chemical and Archaeological Evidence for the Earliest Cacao Beverages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 1893718940.

Rosemary A. Joyce 2003 Making Something of Herself: Embodiment in Life and Death at Playa de los Muertos, Honduras. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 13: 248261.

Rosemary A. Joyce 2004 Unintended Consequences? Monumentality as a Novel Experience in Formative Mesoamerica. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 11:529.

Rosemary A. Joyce , and John S. Henderson 2001 Beginnings of Village Life in Eastern Mesoamerica. Latin American Antiquity 12: 523.

Rosemary A. Joyce , and John S. Henderson 2007 From Feasting to Cuisine: Implications of Archaeological Research in an Early Honduran Village. American Anthropologist 109:642653.

C. Jill Minar , and Patricia Crown 2001 Learning and Craft Production: An Introduction. Journal of Anthropological Research 57:369380.

David J. Rue 1989 Archaic Middle American Agriculture and Settlement: Recent Pollen Data from Honduras. Journal of Field Archaeology 16:177184.

Helene Wallaert-Pétrie 2001 Learning How to Make the Right Pots: Apprenticeship Strategies and Material Culture, a Case Study in Handmade Pottery from Cameroon. Journal of Anthropological Research 57:471493.

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Ancient Mesoamerica
  • ISSN: 0956-5361
  • EISSN: 1469-1787
  • URL: /core/journals/ancient-mesoamerica
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