Ixtepeque Obsidian and the Polity: a Network and Boundary Approach in Southeastern Mesoamerica
Author(s): Erlend Johnson
This is an abstract from the "I Love Sherds and Parasites: A Festschrift in Honor of Pat Urban and Ed Schortman" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Edward Schortman and Patricia Urban (2012) borrow theoretical approaches from Bruno Latour (1996), Giddens (1984), and Bourdieu (1977) to highlight networks of shared inter-elite interaction in southeastern Mesoamerica that interpenetrate ethnic and political boundaries. The following paper builds upon Schortman and Urban’s work by considering the role of boundaries in addition to networks (Campbell et al. 2009) for reconstructing interaction networks in Southeastern Mesoamerica. Specifically, the paper examines the results of pXRF sourcing studies of obsidian in the Cucuyagua and Sensenti valleys of southeastern Honduras consider what role, if any, the polity of Copan played in distributing Ixtepeque obsidian. Previous obsidian sourcing studies have claimed that the Copan polity directly controlled Ixtepeque distribution and limited its spread to regions under its suzerainty (Aoyama 1999). A critical analysis of past work combined with sourcing studies from the Cucuyagua and Sensenti valleys cast doubt on the idea that the Copan polity directly controlled the Ixtepeque source and failed to find significant drop-offs in Ixtepeque obsidian when crossing the Copan polity’s boundaries. Rather, Ixtepeque obsidian may have been transported along networks of individuals that existed parallel to and cross-cut political identities and boundaries.
Cite this Record
Ixtepeque Obsidian and the Polity: a Network and Boundary Approach in Southeastern Mesoamerica. Erlend Johnson. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451969)
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min long: -94.471; min lat: 13.005 ; max long: -87.748; max lat: 17.749 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23830