Mixing Business with Pleasure: Excavations of a Late Classic (A.D. 500 – 900) elite residential compound on Cerro Danush, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Cerro Danush features prominent in the history of Dainzú-Macuilxóchitl (DM), a Zapotec community in the Oaxaca Valley of Mexico, comprising the civic-ceremonial core and focus of settlement at the site during the Late Classic period (A.D. 500 – 900). My research incorporates intensive topographic mapping and survey, as well as comprehensive excavations in residential spaces, with the goal of reconstructing diachronic behavior on multiple status levels (commoner- intermediate-elite) and organizational scales (household-neighborhood-community). Here, I present recent finds from the excavation of an intermediate-elite domestic compound. Of particular interest is the coupling of production and ritual activities on a ceremonial platform adjacent to an elite residence. Additionally, I discuss the possible implications of these data for understanding the relationship between this household and the less-privileged ones that surround it, as well as later and even contemporary Zapotec household organization.
Ronald K. Faulseit, Post Doc Research Scientist, Field Museum in Chicago