The Weapons of the Mixton War (1541-1542)

Author(s): Angélica María Medrano

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "The Archaeologies of Contact, Colony, and Resistance" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The weapons used during the Conquest of Mexico have been described in ethnohistorical sources, both in documents written by the soldiers and in codices. The primary weapons described are steel swords, crossbows, cannons and the arquebus. From the Mixton War of 1540-1542, military material culture has been recovered from one of the battlefields: the Peñol of Nochistlan identified in the site archaeological El Tuiche, where vestiges of Spanish weapons consist of crossbow bolthheads and arquebus shot. Regarding indigenous warriors' weapons, the use of bow and arrow, darts and macuahuitl are considered. The physical evidence of these weapons are projectile points and bifacial and obsidian blades; however, these artifacts may be linked to other daily activities. At the Peñol de Nochistlán/El Tuiche more than a hundred lithic artifacts were found in surface and buried contexts, so the question arises: are these lithic artifacts from indigenous weapons of the Indian allies, or their enemy?

This paper will discuss the analysis of these materials, taking into account their typology, spatial distribution and contexts, in particular the lithic artifacts collected in the contexts where the crossbow bolthheads and arquebus shot were found.

Cite this Record

The Weapons of the Mixton War (1541-1542). Angélica María Medrano. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450984)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.117; min lat: 16.468 ; max long: -100.173; max lat: 23.685 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23313