Non-Invasive Analyses of Metal Artifacts from The Milpillas Site, Zacapu, Michoacán.


The West Mexican region of Zacapu (today Michoacan, Mexico) is known to have witnessed the rise and development of the Tarascan Empire during middle Postclassic period. Archaeological evidence indicates that this area underwent major spatial and social reorganization around 1200 AD, events that indicate socio-political and ideological changes generated by the centralization of power in Tarascan society. Tarascan metallurgy represents a valuable reference for understanding the cultural context in which these transformations developed. This paper presents the results of a pioneering interdisciplinary research committed to the characterization of the microstructure of a collection of copper based metal artifacts -rings, bells, and other small items-, all recovered from survey and excavation at the Milpillas archaeological site, (Milpillas phase 1250-1450 A.D), particularly from burial contexts. Based on a scientific methodology and the state of the art analytical techniques, all of them non-invasive (micro-XRD, SEM-EDX, micro-XRF and optical microscopy), this study is fundamental to our ability to generate new knowledge and databases on Tarascan and Western Mesoamerican metallurgy.

Cite this Record

Non-Invasive Analyses of Metal Artifacts from The Milpillas Site, Zacapu, Michoacán.. Manuel Espinosa-Pesqueira, Blanca Maldonado, Isabel Medina-González, Gérald Migeon. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430122)


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): 16616