Early Formative Anthropomorphic Figurines from La Joya, Southern Veracruz, Mexico
This paper describes Early Formative (3250-2700 b.p., uncalibrated) anthropomorphic figurines from the site of La Joya, located in the Tuxtla Mountains of southern Veracruz, Mexico. Although recovered within the region traditionally identified as the "Olmec Heartland," the La Joya figurine collection diverges in some fundamental ways from other published Early Formative Gulf Olmec collections. While the torsos from La Joya generally reflect the poses, postures, and costumes noted at contemporaneous sites, the La Joya figurine heads display characteristics that rarely conform to the traditional "San Lorenzo" stylistic canons. Rather, the overwhelming majority of figurine heads are similar to the Trapiche figurines from north-central Veracruz. These differences suggest that myriad intra- and interregional connections characterized Early Formative occupation along the southern Gulf lowlands. This variation also raises concerns regarding the suitability of the San Lorenzo material as necessarily "representative" of Early Formative Gulf Olmec lifeways.
Art and Design
Arnold, Philip J., and Billie JA Follensbee. "Early Formative anthropomorphic figurines from La Joya, southern Veracruz, Mexico." Ancient Mesoamerica 26, no. 1 (2015): 13.