Technological and Archaeometric Analysis of Obsidian from Cerro Magoni

Author(s): Sean Carr; Alma Gabriela López Rivera

Year: 2017


This study addresses one of the fundamental goals of the TRIMP - to contextualize local processes with broader patterns on regional scales - by combining formal technological and geochemical source analysis of obsidian recovered from recent archaeological excavations at Cerro Magoni, a hilltop Epiclassic site in Tula, Hidalgo. Archaeologists can use a variety of archaeometric techniques to better understand ancient interaction networks. Obsidian is a chemically homogeneous volcanic glass that was widely traded in Mesoamerica throughout the prehispanic era. This valuable resource was procured at geographically specific source areas, each of which has a unique chemical signature. Portable X-ray Fluorescence (pXRF) permits archaeologists to detect the unique trace-element signature of obsidian artifacts with a high degree of certainty. With this information, the original source of each obsidian artifact can be determined. This paper presents a preliminary appreciation of patterns in local lithic production and regional exchange networks through the combined results of 1) formal technological analysis of the obsidian assemblage from Magoni and 2) pXRF source analysis of a sample of the assemblage to provide additional insight into the social and economic networks that operated during the Epiclassic period in the Tula region and beyond.

Cite this Record

Technological and Archaeometric Analysis of Obsidian from Cerro Magoni. Sean Carr, Alma Gabriela López Rivera. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431989)


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): 15615