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Beginnings of Village Life in Eastern Mesoamerica

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

Excavations in northern Honduras have produced evidence of initial village life that is among the earliest cases documented in Mesoamerica. Settlement beginning prior to 1600 B. C., the production of sophisticated pottery by 1600 B. C., and integration in economic exchange networks extending into Guatemala and Mexico by 1100-900 B. C. (calendar ages), are all consistent with patterns recorded in the Gulf Coast, Central Highlands, and Pacific Coast of Mexico. Supported by a suite of 11 radiocarbon dates, these findings overturn traditional models that viewed Honduras as an underdeveloped periphery receiving delayed influences from Mexican centers.


Gracias a las excavaciones que se han realizado en el norte de Honduras se han recuperado evidencias de los orígenes de la vida aldeana en la región, que se cuentan entre los casos más tempranos en Mesoamérica. Los inicios de los asentamientos en fechas anteriores a 1600 a. C., la producción de cerámica elaborada hacia 1600 a. C. y la integración a redes de intercambio económico que llegaban hasta Guatemala y México alrededor de 1110-900 a. C. (años calendáricos), son consistentes con los patrones que se han registrado en la costa del Golfo de México, el altiplano central mexicano y la costa del Pacífico, en particular el Soconusco. Con base en la posición estratigráfica de los artefactos y 11 fechas de radiocarbono, se definen cinco fases tempranas que abarcan desde fines del periodo Arcaico (Sauce), el Formativo Temprano (Barahona, Ocotillo, Chotepe) y principios del Formativo Medio (Playa). Con estos fundamentos, se cuenta con evidencias contrarias a los modelos tradicionales, en los que se conside raba que Honduras era una periferia subdesarrollada de centros ubicados en México desde donde llegaban con retraso influencias culturales.

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Latin American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 1045-6635
  • EISSN: 2325-5080
  • URL: /core/journals/latin-american-antiquity
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