Jeffrey P. Blomster

Jeffrey Blomster headshot
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Hortense Amsterdam House 303
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Rise of complex societies, interregional interaction in Mesoamerica, symbolism and ideology, archaeological approaches to gender, material culture. Regional focus: Mexico.

Dr. Blomster is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in social complexity, interregional interaction and approaches to style, ritual and ideology.

To see Dr. Blomster's complete CV, click here.

Current Research

Dr. Blomster's regional and spatial research interests lie primarily in Mesoamerica, where he has focused on Mixtec, Zapotec, and Olmec cultures. He has conducted archaeological and laboratory fieldwork at Etlatongo, in the Mixteca Alta of Oaxaca, Mexico, which examines the emergence of social complexity in the Nochixtlán Valley, and explores the impact of interregional interaction in this area. His academic writings have focused on manipulation and movement of style, looking at both traditional stylistic analyses as well as compositional approaches.

Ongoing Projects

  • Early Formative socio-political complexity and interaction, especially the role of the Olmec. Ongoing laboratory analyses, with additional excavations to come, to understand the nature of both local and non-local ceramic and figurine traditions, and interaction's impact on socio-political complexity.
  • Diachronic change in urbanism and pottery production in Oaxaca. Research devoted to defining a new ceramic phase, the Yucuita (from 500 – 300 BCE), for the Mixteca Alta, and investigate the related but different processes of urbanism, specialization, and standardization.
  • Sociopolitical collapse and transformation in Oaxaca following the collapse of major Zapotec and Mixtec states around 800 CE.


Ph.D. 1998, Yale University
M.A. 1990, Yale University
B.A. 1987, Washington and Lee University



2008  Blomster, J.P., ed. After Monte Albán: Transformation and Negotiation in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mesoamerican Worlds Series. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

2004  Blomster, J.P. Etlatongo: Social Complexity, Interaction and Village Life in the Mixteca Alta of Mexico. Florence, KY: Wadsworth Publishing.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

2016  Blomster, J. P, and R.H. Ponce de Leon. “Knowing the dead in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca,” Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 13: 719-928, 2016.

2014  Blomster, J.P. "The naked and the ornamented: Embodiment and fluid identities in Early Formative Oaxaca."  In Orr, H., and M.G. Looper, eds. Wearing Culture: Dress and Regalia in Early Mesoamerica and Central America. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

2012  Blomster, J.P. "Early evidence of the ballgame in Oaxaca, Mexico," Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Published online May 7, 2012.

2010  Blomster, J.P. "Complexity, interaction, and epistemology: Mixtecs, Zapotecs, and Olmecs in Early Formative Mesoamerica," Ancient Mesoamerica 21(1): 135-149. DOI: 10.1017/S0956536110000039.

2008  Blomster, J. "Legitimization, negotiation, and appropriation in Postclassic Oaxaca: Mixtec stone codices." In J. Blomster, ed., After Monte Albán: Transformation and Negotiation in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mesoamerican Worlds Series. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

2011  Blomster, J.P., and M. Glascock. "Obsidian procurement in Formative Oaxaca, Mexico: Diachronic changes in political economy and interregional interaction," Journal of Field Archaeology 36(1): 21-41.

2008  Blomster, J. "Changing cloud formations: The socio-politics of Oaxaca in Late Classic/Postclassic Mesoamerica." In J. Blomster, ed., After Monte Albán: Transformation and Negotiation in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mesoamerican Worlds Series. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

2005  Blomster, J., H. Neff and M. Glascock. "Olmec pottery production and export in ancient Mexico determined through elemental analysis," Science 307: 1068-1072.

2002  Blomster, J. "What and where is Olmec style? Regional perspectives on Early Formative hollow figurines in Mesoamerica," Ancient Mesoamerica 13(2): 171-195.

Classes Taught

To see syllabi, click on the course title.

Anth 3804: Rise of the State and Urban Society
Anth 3812: The Aztecs of Mexico
Anth 3814: Archaeology of Mesoamerica
Anth 3833: Field Research: New World
Anth 3838: Theory and Practice in Archaeology
Anth 3891: Topics: The Olmecs and Their Neighbors
Anth 3891: Topics: Inkas, Moche and Their Ancestors
Anth 6103: Proseminar in Archaeology
Anth 6803: Problems in New World Archaeology: The Cloud People of Oaxaca
Anth 6838: Lab Research Methods in Archaeology
Anth 6838: Archaeological Theory


Last updated July 18, 2017