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New Analysis of Pottery Stirs Olmec Trade Controversy

August 1, 2005

Clearing — or perhaps roiling — the murky and often contentious waters of Mesoamerican archeology, a study of 3,000-year-old pottery provides new evidence that the Olmec may not have been the mother culture after all. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists led by UW-Madison archeologist James Stoltman presents new evidence that shows the Olmec, widely regarded as the creators of the first civilization in Mesoamerica, imported pottery from other nearby cultures. The finding undermines the view that the Olmec capitol of San Lorenzo near the Gulf of Mexico was the sole source of the iconographic pottery produced by the earliest Mesoamerican civilizations. To read more, http://www.news.wisc.edu/11377.html

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