Voorhies, Barbara. The Chantuto people: an archaic period society of the Chiapas Littoral, Mexico

Table of Contents

Publication Information


Background And Objectives

Cultural Backdrop Of Study

Coeval Occupations

Cultural History Of The Soconusco

Prehistoric Coastal Dwellers

Present-day Environment


Resource Community Zones

Shallow Water Marine

Beach Sand And Low Beach Scrub

Mangrove Forest

Herbaceous Swamp


Tropical Savanna

Forest And Field Systems

Marine Estuary And Lagoon System

Community Periodicities







Limiting Factors

Ecological Analysis

Reconstruction Of Prehistoric Social Systems: Excavations And Dating




Depositional History

Dating The Occupations




Reconstruction Of Paleoenvironments And Effective Ecosystems


Invertebrate Remains

Vertebrate Remains






Human Remains

Postclassic Period

Archaic Period

Coastal History


Reconstruction Of Prehistoric Social Systems: Material Culture


Stone Artifacts: Non-obsidian

Stone Grinding Tools

Hemispherical Mortars Or Bowls (fig. 29)

Metates With Concave Grinding Surfaces (fig. 30)

Metates With Planar Grinding Surfaces (fig. 31; Fig. 32)

Ovoid Manos (fig. 33)

Oblong Mano (fig. 34)

Probable Mano Fragments (fig. 35)

Fragments Of Grinding Tools

Simple Silhouette Stone Bowl, Unrestricted (fig. 36)

Stone Sphere (fig. 37)

Pebble Choppers (fig. 38)

Hammerstones (fig. 39)

Possible Abrader Saws (fig. 40)

Bifacial Flake Tool (fig. 41)

Possible End-scrapers (fig. 42)

Thin Flake, One Edge Possibly Utilized (fig. 43)

Crude Blade (fig. 44)

Pumice Fragments

Polishing Stones (fig. 45)

Flat Ovoid Small Boulders (fig. 46)

Unworked Waterworn Pebble And Cobble Fragments

Unworked Waterworn Pebbles And Cobbles

Shell Artifacts

Pigment Containers (fig. 47)

Perforated Shells (fig. 48)

Bone Artifacts

Antler Point (fig. 49)

Bone Cylinder (fig. 50)

Stone Artifacts: Obsidian


Description Of Artifact Classes

Prismatic Blades (fig. 51)

Flake Tools (fig. 52)

Cores (fig. 53)

Waste Flakes (figs. 54, 55)

Utilized Whole Flakes (fig. 54a)

Utilized Flake Fragments (fig. 54b)

Non-utilized Whole Flakes (fig. 55)

Non-utilized Flake Fragments (fig. 55b)

Shatter Chunks (fig. 56)


Functional Analysis Of Obsidian Artifacts


Structural Remains

Summary Of The Material Culture Of The Chantuto People

Reconstruction Of Prehistoric Social Systems: Discussion And Conclusions

The Ecology Of The Chantuto People

The Chantuto Phase In Time And Space


Demographic Structure

Residence Pattern

Exchange Networks

Reconstruccion De Sistemas Sociales Prehistoricos: Discusion Y Conclusiones 1

La Ecologia De La Gente De Chantuto

La Fase Chantuto En Tiempo Y Espacio



Patrones Residenciales

Redes De Intercambio

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: The Chantuto people: an archaic period society of the Chiapas Littoral, Mexico

Published By: Provo, Utah: New World Archaeological Foundation, 1976. xvi, 147 p.: ill., maps

By line: by Barbara Voorhies

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2001. Computer File

Culture: Lowland Mesoamerican Archaic (NY50)

Subjects: Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Organization and analysis of results of research (128); Fauna (136); Diet (262); Lithic industries (324); General tools (412); Cultural stratigraphy (912);

Abstract: Voorhies excavated along the coast of Chiapas, Mexico at three sites (Cs-6, Cs-7, and Cs-8) with Archaic components. The sites are shell middens located in what is now mangrove swamp. This preceramic component was discovered in the 1940s when Philip Drucker excavated the Chantuto site (Cs-3). Voorhies refers, "to this sociocultural system as the Chantuto society," (page 1). In the Archaic component Voorhies mostly found unworked shell and stone tools. The shells were identified as species which are found in estuarine environments. The stone tools included some that were made from obsidian. Obsidian is only found in the highlands so this indicates some form of exchange was occurring during the Archaic. Voorhies speculates that dried fish and shell fish meat might have been exchanged for the obsidian. She also speculates that the Chantuto people were catching shrimp in the lagoon and the shrimp might also have been used for exchange and subsistence. Also found during the excavations was a clay layer with a burial in it. Voorhies interprets the clay layer as a possible house floor.

Document Number: 5

Document ID: ny50-005

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English with Spanish translation of concluding section

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 143-147)

Field Date: 1971, 1973, 1974

Evaluation: Archaeologist-4, 5

Analyst: Sarah Berry; 1999

Coverage Date: 5,000 B.P.-4,000 B.P. (3,000 B.C.-2,000 B.C.)

Coverage Place: Chantuto phase; Chiapas, Mexico

LCSH: Indians of Central America--Antiquities/Indians of Mexico--Antiquities


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