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Pre-Columbian Huastec Metallurgy

Author(s): Diana Zaragoza ; Kim Richter

Year: 2017

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Although the Huasteca may have had an important role in the emergence and development of metallurgy in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, little has been published, apart from Dorothy Hosler and Guy Stresser-Péan’s short study on Huastec metallurgy (1992). They proposed that the Huasteca was second earliest region in Mesoamerica after West Mexico to produce bronze alloys artifacts during the Postclassic period. Their research positions the Huasteca as an early adopter and innovator of this technology. We follow up on this early important research by reviewing the known corpus of metal artifacts from the Huasteca ranging from copper alloys, silver, and gold objects and by investigating the possible relationship between the Huasteca and mining centers, such as Guadalcázar, and other metal-working regions, such as Guerrero and the American Southeast to identify patterns of technological exchange. We also analyze the representations of Huastec metal objects in Pre-Columbian and Early Colonial artworks to illustrate how metal objects were used and to gain insight into stylistic interchange between the Huasteca and other parts of Mesoamerica. We argue that the analysis of Huastec metal objects confirms that the region was deeply integrated in Mesoamerican exchange networks and that it developed local technical and artistic innovations in metal.

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Pre-Columbian Huastec Metallurgy. Diana Zaragoza, Kim Richter. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430109)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13198

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