Kent V Flannery

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Accelerator mass spectrometry age determinations of maize cobs (Zea mays L.) from Guilá Naquitz Cave in Oaxaca, Mexico, produced dates of 5,400 carbon-14 years before the present (about 6,250 calendar years ago), making those cobs the oldest in the Americas. Macrofossils and phytoliths characteristic of wild and domesticated Zea fruits are absent from older(More)
New 14C dates from archaeological sites in Oaxaca, Mexico, support R. C. Kelly's observation that intervillage raiding may begin as soon as a region has segmentary societies. The oldest defensive palisade dates to 3260-3160 B.P. in conventional radiocarbon years, only a few centuries after village life was established. Over the next millennium raiding(More)
Excavations at Guilá Naquitz and Silvia's Cave, two dry rockshelters near Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico, yielded the remains of 122 chili peppers dating to the period A.D. 600-1521. The chilies can be assigned to at least 10 cultivars, all belonging to the species Capsicum annuum or Capsicum frutescens. The specimens are well enough preserved to permit an(More)
WE ARE DEEPLY DISTURBED BY THE RECENT ESCALATION OF POLITICAL ASSAULTS ON SCIENTISTS in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientifi c facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientifi c conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait(More)
New (14)C dates from Oaxaca, Mexico, document changes in religious ritual that accompanied the evolution of society from hunting and gathering to the archaic state. Before 4000 B.P. in conventional radiocarbon years, a nomadic egalitarian lifeway selected for unscheduled (ad hoc) ritual from which no one was excluded. With the establishment of permanent(More)
The Valley of Oaxaca's large flat floor, high water table, low erosion rate, and frost-free floodplain give it a higher agricultural potential than that of most surrounding areas. The development of the pot-irrigation system early in the Formative period gave it a head start over other valleys, where the low water table did not permit such farming; Oaxaca(More)
Petrographic analysis of Formative Mexican ceramics by J. B. Stoltman et al. (see the companion piece in this issue of PNAS) refutes a recent model of Olmec "one-way" trade. In this paper, we address the model's more fundamental problems of sampling bias, anthropological implausibility, and logical non sequiturs. No bridging argument exists to link motifs(More)