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Mixtec Goldworking: New Evidence for Lost-Wax Casting from Late Postclassic Tututepec, Oaxaca.

Author(s): Marc Levine

Year: 2017

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Gold jewelry and ornaments produced in Late Postclassic Oaxaca were among the finest ever made in Mesoamerica. Yet the paucity of archaeological evidence for metallurgical production in Oaxaca has frustrated efforts to better understand these spectacular objects and their role in Postclassic society. This paper presents the results of an analysis of 42 ceramic molds from the Late Postclassic (1100-1522 CE) Mixtec Capital of Tututepec. I argue that the molds were utilized to cast internal cores, which played a pivotal role in the overall process of lost-wax casting. No other molds of this type have ever been reported from Mesoamerica. The presence of casting core molds, in conjunction with ancillary household evidence for metallurgical production, suggests that Tututepec was an important metalworking center. Finally, I discuss how metallurgical production and gold jewelry may have figured in Tututepec’s political, social, and economic spheres.

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Mixtec Goldworking: New Evidence for Lost-Wax Casting from Late Postclassic Tututepec, Oaxaca.. Marc Levine. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430116)


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): 14572

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