Black Rocks Beyond the Border: Obsidian in the Casas Grandes World

Author(s): Sean Dolan

Year: 2015


Archaeologists in the North American Southwest have documented the source provenance of obsidian artifacts throughout the Ancestral Pueblo, Hohokam, and Mimbres Mogollon regions. These results have impacted how we portray obsidian lithic technology, procurement, and social interaction at both macro and micro regional and temporal scales. Despite the methodological and theoretical advances in southwestern archaeological obsidian studies over the years, obsidian from the Casas Grandes region in northern Chihuahua, Mexico has not been examined. Casas Grandes is the largest and most socially complex regional system in northern Mexico and the North American Southwest from A.D. 1200-1450 based on the large quantities of exotic objects, ceremonial activity, and architecture. This poster presents XRF analysis of 117 obsidian chipped stone artifacts from four Medio period Casas Grandes sites. Preliminary results suggest differences in obsidian procurement and source use at the Casas Grandes sites compared to contemporary sites further north in southwestern New Mexico with the occurrence of both local and non-local sources. This is the largest sourcing project in northern Chihuahua and these data show the importance of studying social interaction, economy, and lithic procurement using sourced obsidian artifacts to address the scale of Casas Grandes influence to the north.

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Cite this Record

Black Rocks Beyond the Border: Obsidian in the Casas Grandes World. Sean Dolan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397576)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;