Postclassic expansion of MesoAmerican biocultural characteristics into Sonora, Mexico

James T Watson, Cristina García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recent excavations at the Postclassic period (circa A.D. 1000-1521) mortuary mound of El Cementerio (SON P:10:8), located along the Río Yaqui in central Sonora, Mexico, have documented 105 mortuary features (111 individuals) many of which display elongated intentional cranial modification and several cases of tooth filing. These constitute biocultural traits common across much of Mesoamerica throughout its Prehispanic cultural sequence, which expanded along West Mexico and into northwest Mexico beginning in the late Classic period. The examples from El Cementerio represent the northernmost concentrated expression of these traits and could represent the spread of MesoAmerican/West Mexican identity associated with macroregional trade and the expansion of the Aztatlán archaeological tradition during the Postclassic period in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-235
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


  • Cranial modification
  • Postclassic period
  • Sonora
  • Tooth filing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


Dive into the research topics of 'Postclassic expansion of MesoAmerican biocultural characteristics into Sonora, Mexico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this