Reports on the discovery of Gheo-Shih, an Archaic site in the Valley of Oaxaca, and subsequent archaeological investigations.


Gheo-Shih, an Archaic site in the Valley of Oaxaca, was a 1.5-hectare open-air macroband camp near the Mitla River. It was repeatedly occupied in the summer rainy season during the period (cal.) 7500–4000 BC, possibly by 25–50 people. At other times of the year the local population dispersed in smaller, family-sized groups, occupying microband camps in caves and rockshelters. The available macrofossil and palynological data suggest that between 5000 and 4000 BC, the inhabitants were cultivating maize, squash, gourds, and (possibly) runner beans, while continuing to collect wild plants and hunt deer, rabbit, and mud turtle. This site report describes the discovery of Gheo-Shih and the subsequent research carried out there: a systematic surface pickup, a series of test pits, targeted excavations, and analysis of the materials recovered. 

Frank Hole is C. J. MacCurdy Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University. Kent V. Flannery is Curator of Human Archaeobiology and James B. Griffin Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan.