During the Classic period (ad 200–800), urban Monte Albán in the Valley of Oaxaca was one of the most monumental cities in Mesoamerica. Yet relatively little is known about the Classic-period economy that sustained this prehispanic centre. In this paper, we compare the faunal assemblages at two outlying Classic-period sites located in the central valleys of Oaxaca—Ejutla and El Palmillo. This ... [Show full abstract] analytical comparison provides a new empirical perspective on two important aspects of the ancient Oaxacan economy, subsistence strategies and household craft manufacture. Although Ejutla and El Palmillo have rather distinct environmental settings, the faunal component of the diet at the sites is found to be similar with some subtle differences. More marked distinctions between the sites are noted in the use of bone as a raw material for tools and ornaments. When the findings from the faunal comparison are situated within the context of other domestic remains from Classic-period Ejutla and El Palmillo, intraregional variation in household strategies of production and exchange is evidenced, providing a preliminary vantage on the complex economy that underlay this prehispanic polity.