Hueyatlaco Revisited
Dr. Sam VanLandingham
Dr. Sam VanLandingham
Eventually, Quaternary Research (1981) published an article by Virginia Steen-McIntyre, Roald Fryxell, and Harold E. Malde. It upheld an age of 250,000 years for the Hueyatlaco site. Cynthia Irwin-Williams (1981) objected to these findings in a letter responding to these authors. Her objections were answered point-for-point in a counter letter from Malde and Steen-McIntyre (1981).

The case of Virginia Steen-McIntyre opens a rare window into the actual social processes of data suppression in paleoanthropology, processes that involve a great deal of hurt and conflict. In general, however, this goes on behind the scenes, and the public sees only the end result—the carefully edited journals and books that have passed the censors.


In recent times the Hueyatlaco Site has been reinvestigated by Dr. Sam VanLandingham using diatom dating methodology to confirm the anomalously old dates assigned by Malde, Steen-McIntyre and Fryxell:

The diatom biostratigraphy presented herein establishes a minimum (Sangamonian) and a maximum (Illinoian) age for the younger (bifacial) artifacts at the Hueyatlaco archaeological site in units B,C, and E, Puebla, Mexico.  .


Source: VanLandingham, S.L., 2009. Use of diatom biostratigraphy in determining a minimum (Sangamonian = 80,000--ca.220,000 yr. BP) and a maximum (Illinoian = 220,000--430,00 yr. BP) age for the Hueyatlaco artifacts, Puebla, Mexico. Nova Hedwigia (February, 2009), Beiheft 135, pp. 15-36.

See also: Malde, Harold E., Steen-McIntyre, Virginia, Naeser, Charles W. and VanLandingham, Sam L. 2011. The stratigraphic debate at Hueyatlaco, Valsequillo, Mexico. Palaeontologia Electronica Vol. 14(3) 44A:26p