Based on stratigraphic excavation data and associated radiocarbon dates we argue that the pre-Hispanic city of Cerro Jazmín, in the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca, underwent a period of political change between the Late Formative (300 b.c.-a.d. 50) and the Terminal Formative periods (a.d. 50-300). This shift is reflected in the city's layout and in the timing of construction and use of two different monumental sectors. During the city's Late Formative occupation, we found evidence of more exclusionary feasting activity taking place in a secluded monumental sector called the Sunken Courtyards near the hilltop. In the Terminal Formative, however, monumental construction expanded in the more accessible Tres Cerritos sector where larger and accessible public areas were the focus of activity. We argue that changes in the city's layout, along with the differing patterns of feasting, suggest that the city's leaders went from a more exclusionary form of government to a more collective political strategy during the Terminal Formative period. Despite of these efforts monumental construction largely stopped and the city's population declined by the start of the Classic period (a.d. 300).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)