Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Christopher A. Pool


This dissertation analyzes the basalt ground stone industry at the archaeological site of Tres Zapotes, Mexico. Artifacts and by-products were recovered in the excavations conducted by a University of Kentucky project directed by Christopher Pool. All contexts were examined, and the corpus of this study comprises the whole sequence of production, use, and discards of basalt such as by-products of manufacture, unfinished and finished tools, and discarded artifacts. In this opportunity was possible to study over time a change from the Early/Middle Formative period (Olmec occupation) a centralized and exclusionary political economic system to the Late/Terminal Formative period (Epi-Olmec occupation) when there was a corporate system. This work applied contemporary concepts in social sciences such as agency, practice theory, technological choice, and chaîne opératoire. The variation of raw materials over time was studied recoding physical characteristics and a sample of artifacts was analyzed with X-ray florescence in order to see variation in acquisition of rocks over time.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)