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The Geopolitical Implications of Sub-flow Variation within the Zaragoza-Oyameles Obsidian Source

Author(s): Aurelio Lopez Corral ; A. Gabriel Vicencio Castellanos ; Bianca L. Gentil ; Nora A. Pérez Castellanos

Year: 2017

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Chemical analysis of obsidian is a useful proxy for studying the control of obsidian goods exchange and the presence of pre-Hispanic geopolitical boundaries. Recent studies on obsidian sourcing show that during the Late Postclassic period (A.D. 1250-1519), regional altepemeh imported obsidian from several sources within highland Mesoamerica. Analysis of data suggests that no single political entity fully controlled the distribution of obsidian goods from a particular source, suggesting that perhaps a single obsidian source was geopolitically exploited by several rival altepemeh. In order to examine this issue, we used pXRF analysis to analyze variation in sub-flow chemical signatures of 20 locations within the Zaragoza-Oyameles source area (located in Puebla, Mexico). Results were then compared to chemical signatures of archaeological obsidian artifacts from Late Postclassic sites of the Puebla-Tlaxcala region. Here, we present our preliminary results with special reference to the economic relationship between competing rival political entities.

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The Geopolitical Implications of Sub-flow Variation within the Zaragoza-Oyameles Obsidian Source. Aurelio Lopez Corral, A. Gabriel Vicencio Castellanos, Bianca L. Gentil, Nora A. Pérez Castellanos. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431137)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16099

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