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Household Archaeology at Cerén, El Salvador

  • Payson D. Sheets (a1), Harriet F. Beaubien (a2), Marilyn Beaudry (a3), Andrea Gerstle (a4), Brian McKee (a1), C. Dan Miller (a5), Hartmut Spetzler (a6) and David B. Tucker (a1)...

Abstract

In the summer of 1989, major discoveries were made at the site of Joya de Cerén, El Salvador, where sudden depositions of volcanic ash in a.d. 600 resulted in unusually favorable conditions of preservation. The theoretical framework for the research is household archaeology, the study of prehistoric household groups. Household archaeology, as applied to Cerén can take advantage of the extraordinary preservation to study households in terms of their key activities of (a) production, including food, implements, vessels, and structures; (b) “pooling,” including storage, distribution, maintenance, and curation activities; (c) transmission of knowledge and material goods including access to resources; (d) reproduction in both the biological and sociocultural senses; and (e) co-residence/membership in the functioning residential group. One of the major finds was a possible codex or Precolumbian manuscript.

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Copyright

References

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Black, Kevin D. 1983 The Zapotitan Valley Archaeological Survey. In Archaeology and Volcanism in Central America: The Zapotitan Valley of El Salvador, edited by Sheets, Payson D., pp. 6297. University of Texas Press, Austin.
Sheets, Payson D. (editor) 1983 Archaeology and Volcanism in Central America: The Zapotitan Valley of El Salvador. University of Texas Press, Austin.
Sheets, Payson D. (editor) 1989 Summary and Conclusions. Preliminary Report, Excavations at Cerén, El Salvador, 1989, edited by Sheets, Payson D.. Museo Nacional “David Guzmán,” San Salvador, in press.
Zier, Christian J. 1983 The Cerén Site: A Classic Period Maya Residence and Agricultural Field in the Zapotitan Valley. In Archaeology and Volcanism in Central America: The Zapotitan Valley of El Salvador, edited by Sheets, Payson D., pp. 119143. University of Texas Press, Austin.

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