Use-wear Analysis and Obsidian Tool Functions Before and After Teotihuacan

Author(s): David Walton

Year: 2016


Obsidian was one of the most important commodities for residents of ancient central Mexico before and after the great city of Teotihuacan. While previous research on stone tools in Mesoamerican archaeology has focused mostly on identifying production sequences, workshop locations, and market exchange, this presentation highlights how different technological forms of obsidian tools were actually used by household residents for specific tasks. A sample of 464 obsidian artifacts from the sites of La Laguna (Terminal Formative period), the Tlajinga Barrio, Teotihuacan (Classic period), and Cihuatecpan (Postclassic period) were analyzed through the methods of high power use-wear analysis. The results indicate change over time in the frequency of non-subsistence related activities associated with blade tools, which peak at Teotihuacan. Different spatial patterns also exist between the excavated compounds at 17:S3E1 and 18:S3E1 within the Tlajinga Barrio. The identification of ritual bloodletting instruments at La Laguna and Teotihuacan is discussed. The results of original use-wear experiments with central Mexican obsidian and materials such as maguey, turkey, wood, bone, and shell are presented and compared directly to archaeological examples. Specific directions will also be provided to help other researchers develop future use-wear studies.

Cite this Record

Use-wear Analysis and Obsidian Tool Functions Before and After Teotihuacan. David Walton. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403532)


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Spatial Coverage

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