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 The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

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

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

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication by Barbara Voorhies

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2001. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Lowland Mesoamerican Archaic (NY50)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF 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: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document 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: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 5

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ny50-005

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English with Spanish translation of concluding section

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

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1971, 1973, 1974

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Archaeologist-4, 5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Sarah Berry; 1999

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 5,000 BP-4,000 BP (3,000 B.C.-2,000 B.C.)

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Chantuto phase; Chiapas, Mexico

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Indians of Central America--Antiquities/Indians of


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