Sourcing Preceramic obsidian from Las Estacas, Morelos, and Yuzanu 36, Oaxaca


Understanding of long-distance exchange during the Mesoamerican Preceramic suffers from a limited range of materials whose source locations can be determined relative to later periods. Obsidian is one of the few materials that can provide evidence for long-distance exchange through geochemical analysis, although relatively few sourcing studies have been carried out on Preceramic obsidian. In this paper, we report recent pXRF results from obsidian recovered at two Preceramic sites: Las Estacas, an Early Archaic period site in the Yautepec Valley of Morelos, and Yuzanu 36, a Late Archaic site from the Nochixtlán Valley, Oaxaca. Our results show that in each case a single obsidian source predominates, with at least 94% of the Las Estacas sample (n=100) from Otumba and 100% of the Yuzanu 36 sample (n=31) sourced to Guadalupe Victoria. We compare the results from Las Estacas and Yuzanu 36 to Preceramic and Early Formative period obsidian sourcing data from elsewhere in Mesoamerica. Data for the Preceramic and initial Early Formative indicate that in most cases obsidian procurement was focused on a small number of sources with procurement diversifying by the later Early Formative. We discuss the implications of the evidence for means and patterns of obsidian exchange.

Cite this Record

Sourcing Preceramic obsidian from Las Estacas, Morelos, and Yuzanu 36, Oaxaca. Arthur Joyce, Aleksander Borejsza, Jon Lohse, Luis Morett Alatorre, Brendan Nash. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444119)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20067