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This case study examines the rise of social complexity and the impact of inter-regional interaction at the village of Etlatongo, in the Mixteca Alta of Oaxaca. A broad perspective is taken, examining relations with other contemporaneous parts of Mesoamerica, including the Gulf Coast Olmec culture. Methods utilized are examined and critiqued. Alternative approaches to examining inter-regional interaction are employed, such as the neutron activation analysis of fragments of ceramic vessels. Houses and how people lived and died are explored, as is the growth of parts of the village through time. The book does not just report what the author did, but why he did it.
Born and raised in eastern Pennsylvania, Jeffrey Blomster received his undergraduate education at Washington and Lee University, Virginia, and his graduate degrees at Yale University. He has been involved in archaeological projects throughout the eastern United States (Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, as well as the Southwest, where he served as an archaeologist and educator for Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, a non-profit research and educational organization. Most of Blomster's research, however, has been in Mexico ' specifically Oaxaca, where he has pursued his interests in early social complexity and interregional interaction in the Mixteca Alta, a mountainous region north of the Valley of Oaxaca. He is currently teaching at Brandeis University, in Waltham, MA.