The Materiality and Mobility of Jade in the Upper Usumacinta Basin

Author(s): Brigitte Kovacevich

Year: 2015


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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Cite this Record

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 ;