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The Materiality and Mobility of Jade in the Upper Usumacinta Basin

Author(s): Brigitte Kovacevich

Year: 2015

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Distributions of jade in the Upper Usumacinta basin suggest that the movement of jade followed political connections and were not purely instances of down-the-line trade motivated by economic gain. Jade objects were likely gifted between elites to solidify political relationships. Some sites along the Usumacinta River received a wealth of jade, while others were relatively impoverished and turned to replicas or other forms of symbolic capital. The materiality of jade during the Classic period gave it a unique role within Maya society in the constitution of social identity and social connections.

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The Materiality and Mobility of Jade in the Upper Usumacinta Basin. Brigitte Kovacevich. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395995)


Gifting Jade Materiality

Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America