Variation in Obsidian Source Consumption within the Kingdom of Piedras Negras


This is an abstract from the "Advances in Obsidian Studies of the Old and New Worlds" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

More than a decade of archaeological research has characterized the political landscape of the middle Usumacinta river valley as a tense political rivalry between the Classic period Maya (250 – 900 C.E.) kingdoms. Recent archaeological work in the kingdoms of Piedras Negras and Yaxchilan has sought to unravel how the internal economies of these kingdoms functioned. Here we contribute to these efforts by presenting the results a pXRF study (n ̴ 2100) from nine archaeological sites in the modern nations of Guatemala and Mexico. This includes large data sets from the polity capital of Piedras Negras; an obsidian workshop at the subsidiary site of Budsillha; hinterland communities within the suspected borders of the Piedras Negras kingdom and interstitial communities which were not affiliated with any known political entity. By elucidating how obsidian source consumption shifts in terms of political borders and relationship to political centers, this regional study aims to add a nuanced perspective to the economic structure of these kingdoms. In particular, we emphasize that within the borders of Maya kingdoms the availability of obsidian sources is uneven with more politically centralized communities enjoying greater access to a variety of obsidian sources despite apparent access to markets.

Cite this Record

Variation in Obsidian Source Consumption within the Kingdom of Piedras Negras. Max Seidita, Whittaker Schroder, Alejandra Roche Recinos, Charles Golden, Andrew Scherer. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452207)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25131