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Smokescreens in the Provenance Investigation of Early Formative Mesoamerican Ceramics

  • Hector Neff (a1), Jeffrey Blomster (a2), Michael D. Glascock (a3), Ronald L. Bishop (a4), M. James Blackman (a4), Michael D. Coe (a5), George L. Cowgill (a6), Ann Cyphers (a7), Richard A. Diehl (a8), Stephen Houston (a9), Arthur A. Joyce (a10), Carl P. Lipo (a11) and Marcus Winter (a12)...

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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