The Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico has been the focus of extensive research on the evolution of socio-political complexity. In particular, the formation of a primary state at Monte Albán and a secondary state at Tilcajete have been documented through regional survey and the excavations of civic-ceremonial architecture. My research at the Tilcajete sites builds on this body of work through an examination of households before, during, and after the formation of a secondary state. A household perspective provides data on the effects of state formation on daily life, household organization and activities as well as the conditions and social context in which the state emerged. In this presentation, I will discuss preliminary results from the analysis of ceramics collected from two structures dating to the Middle Formative (700-300 B.C.) occupation at Tilcajete. I will offer some preliminary interpretations of status differences among houses at the pre-state occupation at El Mogote.