Preliminary Results on Regional Postclassic Aztatlán Obsidian Usage Patterns

Author(s): Daniel Pierce

Year: 2015


The usage and trade of obsidian from various sources is well established during the Postclassic in West Mexico. Different qualitatively similar obsidian sources were used in different ways within sites, which suggests preferences for certain sources over others for different types of reduction. No studies, however, have explored this differential usage regionally. Here, I have macroscopically and microscopically analyzed collections from three Aztatlán regional centers in Nayarit: Coamiles, San Felipe Aztatán, and Amapa. The results are preliminary, pending further analysis on lithics from broader excavations within these centers. However, the large sample size for each of these sites is sufficient to make broad generalizations despite incomplete excavations. These results are also complimented by the inclusion of selective data from various smaller sites. In this study, I identify differences in how obsidian sources were used within and among sites. Results indicate that while some sites used substantial amounts of distantly traded obsidian, others favored locally produced blades. Further, there are marked differences in how these sources were used within the sites. All artifacts considered in this project were sourced using portable XRF technology in Nayarit, Mexico in the summer of 2014 and analyzed at the University of Missouri Research Reactor

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Cite this Record

Preliminary Results on Regional Postclassic Aztatlán Obsidian Usage Patterns. Daniel Pierce. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396250)


Aztlatlan Obsidian XRF

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;