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Jadeite and Exotic Greenstones in the Huastec: The Mayan Style Lapidary Prestige Goods at Rancho Aserradero and Tamtoc

Author(s): Reyna Solis ; Emiliano Melgar

Year: 2017

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Summary

The archaeologist of INAH recovered hundreds of lapidary items at Tamtoc and Rancho Aserradero. Among these pieces, there are glossy greenstone objects restricted to the burials of both sites. The chemical composition and mineralogical characteristics of them with Micro-Raman, XRF, and FTIR, allowed us to identify two exotic raw materials, jadeite and green quartz from the Motagua Valley in Guatemala. Also, with the technological analysis of their manufacturing traces with Experimental Archaeology and Scanning Electron Microscopy, these objects showed a foreign lapidary style that shares the tools and techniques detected on Mayan jewelry, especially jadeite pieces, and differs with the Huastec lapidary technology. Based on these results, we could infer the symbolic employment of these exotic greenstones in the burials as long-distance prestige goods for the elite members. Also, these are the northernmost confirmed jadeite pieces found in Mesoamerica, opening new researches about the acquisition, production, and distribution of luxury items in Ancient Mexico.


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Cite this Record

Jadeite and Exotic Greenstones in the Huastec: The Mayan Style Lapidary Prestige Goods at Rancho Aserradero and Tamtoc. Reyna Solis, Emiliano Melgar. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429899)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15317

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