Sán Lorenzo

Information

San Lorenzo is located on the Rio Chiquito, a tributary of the Rio Coatzacoalcos in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. It is the largest and earliest Olmec settlement in Mesoamerica with evidence of Early Formative period occupations beginning about 3800 cal BP, but evidence of later occupations lasting through the Classic period as well (Coe and Diehl 1980). Beginning in the 1990s, excavations at the site by Ann Cyphers and her colleagues have recovered many ceramic types and vessel forms from well-dated deposits (Cyphers 1999, Powis et al. 2011). Powis et al. (2011) conducted a chemical analysis of residue in 156 pottery sherds and vessels from Early Preclassic occupation contexts at San Lorenzo (154) and the neighboring secondary center of Loma del Zapote (2) to assess the presence of cacao (theobromine) in these vessels and confirm the continuous presence and use of cacao by the Olmec. Powis et al. (2011) confirmed the presence of cacao's main chemical component in 27 pottery sherds and vessels of different forms, dates, and composition. Furthermore, the authors also suggest the possibility of the use of cacao in an elite mortuary ritual for sacrificial victims (Powis et al. 2011).

ID Other ID Type Subtype Uncal BP (years) ± 1 σ (years) Median cal BP (years) Lower cal BP (years) Upper cal BP (years) δ13C Contaminated?
Sample 97 ChemicalSample Theobromine
Sample 101 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2994 126 3167 3451 2853 No
Sample 103 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2994 126 3167 3451 2853 No
Sample 107 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2988 68 3172 3354 2975 No
Sample 108 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2988 68 3172 3354 2975 No
Sample 110 ChemicalSample Theobromine
Sample 111 ChemicalSample Theobromine
Sample 119 ChemicalSample Theobromine 3027 114 3209 3465 2886 No
Sample 120 ChemicalSample Theobromine 3027 114 3209 3465 2886 No
Sample 122 ChemicalSample Theobromine
Sample 123 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2988 68 3172 3354 2975 No
Sample 124 ChemicalSample Theobromine 3027 114 3209 3465 2886 No
Sample 11 ChemicalSample Theobromine
Sample 125 ChemicalSample Theobromine 3027 114 3209 3465 2886 No
Sample 126 ChemicalSample Theobromine 3027 114 3209 3465 2886 No
Sample 129 ChemicalSample Theobromine 3027 114 3209 3465 2886 No
Sample 146 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2988 68 3172 3354 2975 No
Sample 145 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2988 68 3172 3354 2975 No
Sample 147 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2988 68 3172 3354 2975 No
Sample 152 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2988 68 3172 3354 2975 No
Sample 22 ChemicalSample Theobromine
Sample 51 ChemicalSample Theobromine
Sample 67 ChemicalSample Theobromine
Sample 85 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2861 59 2989 3208 2845 No
Sample 90 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2994 126 3167 3451 2853 No
Sample 133 ChemicalSample Theobromine 2988 68 3172 3354 2975 No
Sample 30 ChemicalSample Theobromine

Attached Files

No attached files

References Cited

Coe, Michael D. and Richard A. Diehl
     1980   In the Land of the Olmec. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Cyphers, Ann
    1999    From Stone to Symbols: Olmec Art in Social Context at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán. In Social Patterns in Pre-Classic Mesoamerica, edited by D.C. Grove and R.A. Joyce, pp. 155-181. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C.

Powis, Terry G., Ann Cyphers, Nilesh W. Gaikwad, Louis Grivetti and Kong Cheong
     2011    Cacao Use and the San Lorenzo Olmec. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 108(21):8595-8600.