Petrographic analysis of decorated ceramics from La Quemada, Zacatecas, Mexico


The hilltop center of La Quemada in the Malpaso Valley of Zacatecas, Mexico, was the focal point of one of several polities that developed along the northern frontier of Mesoamerica during the Epiclassic period (A.D. 500-900). Northern frontier polities are known to have interacted due to their shared material culture (i.e., patio-banquette complexes, colonnaded halls, and the exchange of obsidian and shell products), but the mechanism(s) of this interaction are not fully understood. Ceramic wares, such as red-on-buff, incised-engraved, and resist, are widely distributed across the northern frontier and provide a means of analyzing past social networks. Were decorated ceramics recovered from La Quemada local variations of a shared regional ideology or were some or all produced in other polities and consumed by La Quemada residents? This poster begins to answer this question by reporting on a petrographic analysis of decorated ceramics recovered from La Quemada. The results of the analysis include the description of a series of paste groups of likely local or, in the case of the rare decorated types, possibly nonlocal origin. Ultimately, the proportion and distribution of nonlocal ceramics within La Quemada will help to establish one component of the northern frontier social network.

Cite this Record

Petrographic analysis of decorated ceramics from La Quemada, Zacatecas, Mexico. Andrea Torvinen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404320) ; doi:10.6067/XCV84F1SH2

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 500 to 900 (C.E.)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.041; min lat: 21.535 ; max long: -101.854; max lat: 23.735 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Andrea Torvinen

Record Identifiers

INAH Permit Number (received on May 26, 2009)(s): C.A.401-36/1118

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Torvinen_SAA2016.pdf 54.67mb Mar 31, 2016 May 27, 2016 9:22:26 AM Public
Torvinen SAA 2016 Poster