An Obsidian Workshop at Budsilhá Chiapas, Mexico


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

One of the persistent difficulties in understanding Classic Maya (AD 250–900) economies has been the challenge of identifying the loci of production (e.g., workshops) and exchange (e.g., marketplaces), and thus interpreting how the two figured into local and regional economies. During the 2013 fieldwork at the site of Budislha, Chiapas, Mexico–a subsidiary site of Piedras Negras–Golden, Scherer and colleagues excavated what they interpreted as an obsidian workshop. In this paper we present a preliminary analysis that supports this hypothesis from the data collected over the course of the 2013 and 2018 field and laboratory seasons of the Proyecto Arqueológico Busiljá-Chocoljá. We focus on the differences between household versus non-household areas, drawing comparisons with known production areas in Mexico and Guatemala to argue that Budsilha artisans were among the major producers of prismatic blades in the region. We also present the data from other lithic industries collected during the 2018 field and laboratory seasons, such as chert, to argue for a possible shift from the manufacturing of chert implements to obsidian blades and other artifacts.

Cite this Record

An Obsidian Workshop at Budsilhá Chiapas, Mexico. Alejandra Roche Recinos, Charles Golden, Andrew Scherer. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449910)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23631