Using pXRF to test for the market exchange of obsidian at Postclassic Santa Rita Corozal, Belize.

Author(s): Max Seidita; Lucas Martindale Johnson

Year: 2016


This poster discusses the levels of access to various obsidian sources and source regions as a prerequisite to testing a market exchange model for the distribution of obsidian during the Postclassic period (A.D 1150 - 1530) at Santa Rita Corozal, Belize. A sample of 247 obsidian artifacts dating to the Postclassic period were assayed using portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF) to determine the obsidian sources being exploited. Five sources were identified in the assemblage, including obsidian from Otumba, Mexico which had not previously been found in the Chetumal Bay region. The proportion of sources and source regions being exploited was compared across the social statuses of 15 structures using ANOVA tests. It was determined that no one status had exclusive access to a single source or source region. Additionally, no statistical difference was found in the proportion of obsidian sources or source regions being consumed across statuses. These patterns indicate that access to obsidian sources were not being restricted at Santa Rita Corozal during this the Postclassic period. The research presented here better characterizes the nature of the regional and local economy by strongly suggesting that obsidian was being distributed via market exchange.

Cite this Record

Using pXRF to test for the market exchange of obsidian at Postclassic Santa Rita Corozal, Belize.. Max Seidita, Lucas Martindale Johnson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404556)

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Spatial Coverage

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