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Digital Companion to 'The Zooarchaeology of Olmec and epi-Olmec Foodways along Mexico’s Gulf Coast'

Content related to a chapter in 'The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals'

Project Abstract

Project Note

This content pertains to the chapter “The Zooarchaeology of Olmec and epi-Olmec Foodways along Mexico’s Gulf Coast” in The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals (Christopher Götz and Kitty F. Emery, eds.), published by Lockwood Press. The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals is an edited volume that links many of its chapters to rich digital content published open access with Open Context. The authors have chosen to link their chapters to related online content (including primary data, maps, and additional images) in order to provide additional research resources in their subject area. The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals is available for purchase from ISD.


It has been nearly three decades since any substantial works on Olmec zooarchaeology have been published, leaving a void in the recent literature for this important chronological and cultural period in Mesoamerica. This chapter synthesizes new and published studies on Formative (Olmec and epi-Olmec) zooarchaeology along Mexico’s Gulf Coast from the sites of Bezuapan, La Joya, San Lorenzo, and Tres Zapotes. The data we present here are fundamental to understanding regional foodways and the importance of different ecological zones to human subsistence. We compare subsistence data from early and late phases of the Formative period, between elite and nonelite inhabitants, and between rural villages and political centers to understand whether animal-use patterns were related to local ecology, status, or the needs of a nucleated population. We include here the dataset used in the present analysis, a regional map showing locations of the sites discussed in the text, and several informal photos of the authors taken at Tres Zapotes during the lab season in 2004.

Site Names

Bezuapan, La Joya, San Lorenzo, Tres Zapotes


1400 BCE-300 CE


Peres, Tanya M., Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA,

Pool, Christopher A., Department of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA,

VanDerwarker, Amber M., Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA,

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Suggested Citation

Tanya M Peres, Amber M VanDerwarker, Christopher A Pool. "Digital Companion to 'The Zooarchaeology of Olmec and epi-Olmec Foodways along Mexico’s Gulf Coast'". (2017) In The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals. Christopher M Götz, Kitty F Emery (Eds.) . Released: 2017-02-12. Open Context. <> DOI:

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