The Early Horizon at Tres Zapotes: Implications for Olmec interaction

Christopher A. Pool, Ponciano Ortiz Ceballos, María Del Carmen Rodríguez Martínez, Michael L. Loughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Modeling Olmec participation in Early Horizon interaction networks requires better understanding of the relations of Gulf Olmec communities with one another as well as with contemporaries elsewhere in Mesoamerica. We compare pottery, figurines, and obsidian assemblages from a recently isolated Early Formative component at Tres Zapotes with contemporary assemblages from San Lorenzo and Macayal, both in the Coatzacoalcos basin. Our analysis indicates that village inhabitants at Tres Zapotes interacted with populations in eastern Olman but also forged their own economic and social ties with central Veracruz and the Mexican highlands. This evidence suggests a heterogeneous politico-economic landscape in which multiple polities of varying complexity participated in overlapping networks of interaction, alliance, and competition within and beyond Olman.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalAncient Mesoamerica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research at Tres Zapotes reported in this paper was conducted under NSF grant BCS-0242555 with the permission of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia of Mexico. Ceramic analysis was conducted by Ponciano Ortiz Ceballos and students from the University of Kentucky, the Universidad Veracruzana, and UNAM. The obsidian was analyzed by Charles Knight, Eric Stockdell, and Esmeralda Robles Fernández. Ground stone was analyzed by Olaf Jaime-Riverón. Jeff Blomster, David

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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