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3 The Scale and Structure of Bitumen Processing in Early Formative Olmec Households

3 The Scale and Structure of Bitumen Processing in Early Formative Olmec Households The organization of domestic production activities has received little attention in Olmec studies. Most scholars who research Olmec (1400–400 BC) production have considered those items and activities that are most closely associated with the elite, for instance monument carving and ilmenite working (e.g., Cyphers 1997 ; Clark 1995 ; Drucker 1952 ). While it is important to study craft items and aspects of production that factored prominently in the political and economic lives of the elite, it is also critical to study domestic production activities in order to have a balanced understanding of the intricacies, variation, and breath of Olmec production organization. A better understanding of the organization of Olmec domestic production systems may also provide insights into how adaptive strategies shifted from the Archaic to the Early Formative. Most broadly, this approach will provide a means to evaluate how domestic production was integrated into Olmec political economy. Bitumen processing among the Olmec ( Figure 1 ) represents some of the earliest evidence for domestic craft specialization in Mesoamerica, and is the earliest documented evidence for non‐elite domestic craft specialization in the southern Gulf lowlands ( Wendt and Cyphers 2008 ). In this chapter, I use data on http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association Wiley

3 The Scale and Structure of Bitumen Processing in Early Formative Olmec Households

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References (15)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2009 by the American Anthropological Association
ISSN
1551-823X
eISSN
1551-8248
DOI
10.1111/j.1551-8248.2009.01011.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The organization of domestic production activities has received little attention in Olmec studies. Most scholars who research Olmec (1400–400 BC) production have considered those items and activities that are most closely associated with the elite, for instance monument carving and ilmenite working (e.g., Cyphers 1997 ; Clark 1995 ; Drucker 1952 ). While it is important to study craft items and aspects of production that factored prominently in the political and economic lives of the elite, it is also critical to study domestic production activities in order to have a balanced understanding of the intricacies, variation, and breath of Olmec production organization. A better understanding of the organization of Olmec domestic production systems may also provide insights into how adaptive strategies shifted from the Archaic to the Early Formative. Most broadly, this approach will provide a means to evaluate how domestic production was integrated into Olmec political economy. Bitumen processing among the Olmec ( Figure 1 ) represents some of the earliest evidence for domestic craft specialization in Mesoamerica, and is the earliest documented evidence for non‐elite domestic craft specialization in the southern Gulf lowlands ( Wendt and Cyphers 2008 ). In this chapter, I use data on

Journal

Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological AssociationWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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