Olmec Civilization, Veracruz, Mexico: Dating of the San Lorenzo Phase

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Science  17 Mar 1967:
Vol. 155, Issue 3768, pp. 1399-1401
DOI: 10.1126/science.155.3768.1399


Archeological excavations at San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, Veracruz, show that the Olmec sculptures of this zone are associated with the San Lorenzo phase, which can be placed in the Early Formative period (1500-800 B.C.) on the basis of ceramic comparisons. Five of six radiocarbon dates for the San Lorenzo phase fall within the 1200-900 B.C. span. The San Lorenzo phase therefore marks the beginning of Olmec civilization, and the sites forming the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan group represent the oldest civilized communities known in Mexico or Central America.