Obsidian in the Wari Empire: sourcing material from the capital using pXRF

Author(s): Jessica Kaplan

Year: 2017


This paper examines the procurement and consumption of obsidian within the Wari capital (AD 600 – 1000) in the Ayacucho highlands of Peru. During the Middle Horizon, the Wari Empire expanded and controlled much of the Peruvian Andes, largely through the import, export and regulation of critical resources extracted from subject territories and populations. This project hypothesizes that obsidian may have operated as one such critical resource for imperial control and seeks to examine this hypothesis at the imperial capital of Huari. As part of ongoing dissertation research, analysis was conducted on obsidian collections of varying contexts deriving from the site of Huari, using x-ray fluorescence to determine the source location for each of the samples to explore varying temporal and spatial patterns of consumption of obsidian by imperial populations as well as the relationships between the capital and the hinterland regions from which the obsidian was extracted.

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Obsidian in the Wari Empire: sourcing material from the capital using pXRF. Jessica Kaplan. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429809)

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Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16583