Archaeometry of the Lapidary of Xalla and the Identification of Teotihuacan Relics in Tenochtitlan

Author(s): Emiliano Melgar; Reyna Solís

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the "The Palace of Xalla in Teotihuacan: A Possible Seat of Power in the Ancient Metropolis" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The new archaeometrical characterization of the lapidary objects from Xalla allowed us to distinguish local and foreign goods among this palace compound inside the multiethnic settlement of Teotihuacan. In this paper, we will present different nondestructive techniques (UVF, IRR, OM, SEM-EDS, and μRaman) employed on this lapidary assemblage to identify their chemical composition, mineralogy and provenance, and the characterization of their manufacturing traces. Using these methods, we detected raw materials from diverse geological origins, like jadeite, green quartz, serpentine, travertine, and amazonite, among others. With the traceological analysis, we distinguish four technological patterns. The comparison of them with the lapidary traditions developed in Classic Mesoamerica allowed us to identify them as Teotihuacan, Maya, and Zapotec. Also, we note specific relationships and cultural preferences between some types of raw materials, objects, and techniques. Finally, the temporal and spatial comparison of these lapidary items with other sites, like the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan, confirmed the existence of lapidary relics with the Teotihuacan technological style in Postclassic sites.

Cite this Record

Archaeometry of the Lapidary of Xalla and the Identification of Teotihuacan Relics in Tenochtitlan. Emiliano Melgar, Reyna Solís. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 466467)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 18.48 ; max long: -94.087; max lat: 23.161 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 32019