Chert Extraction and Production in Resource-Rich Regions: Chert Economies among the Late Classic Maya of Western Belize
Author(s): Rachel Horowitz
Global studies of raw material extraction permit us to examine the methods and involvement of different individuals in the extraction and production of lithic materials. One variable which can influence the organization of extraction and production is the abundance or scarcity of raw materials in a region. This paper addresses the extraction and production of chert materials among the Late Classic Maya (A.D. 600-900) in the lowland Maya region, specifically western Belize, a chert-rich area, to address the relative economic involvement of varying individuals in those processes and how these activities linked people throughout the region. Specifically, this paper compares the extraction mechanisms and reduction sequences from a chert quarry and production area, Callar Creek Quarry, and a nearby production area, Succotz Lithic Workshop, using detailed lithic attribute and aggregate analyses to examine regional trends in lithic production and the economic activities involved in these trends. This paper finds that householders living adjacent to chert source areas produced specialized lithic materials for exchange through a range of mechanisms, including reciprocal and market exchanges, thus creating regional connections. The density of chert sources in the region influenced both people’s abilities to produce tools but also the mechanisms of their exchange.
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Chert Extraction and Production in Resource-Rich Regions: Chert Economies among the Late Classic Maya of Western Belize. Rachel Horowitz. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444031)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 18858