DR. RICHARD G. LESURE, University of California, Los Angeles, California, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Paso de la Amada and the Origins of Ancient Mesoamerican Civilization.' Analyses were conducted on a variety of archaeological materials from the site of Paso de la Amada, Chiapas, Mexico. The site is of interest as one of the earliest villages with ceremonial constructions in Mesoamerica; it was occupied from 1900 through 1300 BC. Materials analyzed in a field lab in Mexico included ceramics, grinding stones, and human skeletal remains. In addition, two sets of samples were exported from Mexico for scientific analyses: pottery fragments were analyzed for residues of the food the vessels once contained and fragments of bone were studied in an effort to assess the importance of maize in the diet. This work is providing researchers with valuable new information on diet and social organization at an important moment in the development of ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, the era immediately after the transition to settle, village life.
Lesure, Richard G., Thomas A. Wake, Aleksander Borejsza, et al. 2013. Swidden Agriculture, Village Longevity, and Social Relations in Formative Central Tlaxcala: Towards an Understanding of Macroregional Structure. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32(2):224-241.