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Ceramic Molds for Mixtec Gold: New Insights into Lost Wax-Casting traditions of Late Postclassic Oaxaca

Author(s): Marc Levine

Year: 2015

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Lost-wax casting in prehispanic Mesoamerica reached its apogee in Late Postclassic Oaxaca, Mexico. Nowhere is this artistry more evident than in the spectacular gold and silver offerings from Tomb 7 at Monte Albán. Researchers have long understood the general process of lost-wax casting, but have incompletely examined variability in techniques utilized through space and time. This poster presents new evidence of ceramic molds from Late Postclassic Tututepec that are believed to have been used to make casting cores—an important component of the lost-wax casting process in Oaxaca. To date, archaeometallurgical studies in Mesoamerica have overlooked the use of ceramic molds for making casting cores. The relatively large sample of molds from Tututepec suggests that this Mixtec capital was an important production center for making gold and silver jewelry that was consumed by local elites and possibly exported to distant centers, such as Monte Albán.

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Ceramic Molds for Mixtec Gold: New Insights into Lost Wax-Casting traditions of Late Postclassic Oaxaca. Marc Levine. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397816)


Metallurgy Oaxaca Postclassic

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica Oaxaca

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -98.009; min lat: 15.538 ; max long: -95.713; max lat: 17.298 ;

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