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Smokescreens in the Provenance Investigation of Early Formative Mesoamerican Ceramics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Hector Neff
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology and Institute for Integrated Research in Materials, Environments, and Societies, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1003 USA
Jeffrey Blomster
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20052 USA
Michael D. Glascock
Affiliation:
Research Reactor Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211 USA
Ronald L. Bishop
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20013 USA
M. James Blackman
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20013 USA
Michael D. Coe
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology/Peabody Museum, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8277 USA
George L. Cowgill
Affiliation:
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 USA
Ann Cyphers
Affiliation:
Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, UNAM, Mexico 04510
Richard A. Diehl
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0210 USA
Stephen Houston
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Box 1921, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 USA
Arthur A. Joyce
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 233 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0233 USA
Carl P. Lipo
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1003 USA
Marcus Winter
Affiliation:
Centra INAH Oaxaca, Pino Suarez 715, 68000 Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico

Abstract

We are glad that Sharer et al. (this issue) have dropped their original claim that the INAA data demonstrate multidirectional movement of Early Formative pottery. Beyond this, however, they offer nothing that might enhance understanding of Early Formative ceramic circulation or inspire new insights into Early Formative cultural evolution in Mesoamerica. Instead, their response contains fresh distortions, replications of mistakes made in their PNAS articles, and lengthy passages that are irrelevant to the issues raised by Neff et al. (this issue). We correct and recorrect their latest distortions and misunderstandings here. Besides showing why their discussion of ceramic sourcing repeatedly misses the mark, we also correct a number of erroneous assertions about the archaeology of Olmec San Lorenzo. New evidence deepens understanding of Early Formative Mesoamerica but requires that some researchers discard cherished beliefs.

Nos agrada que Sharer et al. (this issue) hayan abandonado su afirmación inicial de que los resultados del INAA demuestran un patrón de circulación en múltiples direcciones para la cerámica del Formativo Temprano. No obstante, no ofrecen nada nuevo que pudiera mejorar el entendimiento de la circulación de la cerámica para este momento y tampoco proponen nuevas perspectivas sobre la evolución cultural en Mesoamérica. En cambio, usan una retórica de poca relevancia o patentemente falsa para desviar la atención y negar los resultados que no son de su agrado. En el presente texto corregimos sus últimas distorsiones y malentendidos. Además de mostrar las razones por las cuales su discurso sobre la determinación de las fuentes de cerámica fracasa en muchos puntos, también corregimos las numerosas declaraciones erróneas sobre la arqueología del centro olmeca de San Lorenzo. Las nuevas evidencias proporcionan un entendimiento más profundo del Formativo Temprano de Mesoamérica aunque requiere que ciertos investigadores abandonen algunas de las ideas más cercanas a su corazón.

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Copyright © 2006 by the Society for American Archaeology.

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