Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Anthropology and University Honors
Obsidian -- Central America, Mayas -- Antiquities, Physical distribution of goods -- Central America, Central America -- Antiquities
Obsidian was an important resource throughout Mesoamerica, and found at nearly all sites. Sources of obsidian were located in the Mexican Highlands and Guatemalan Highlands, often being transported over hundreds of kilometers for distribution. In this paper I chose four Maya sites--El Ceibal, Tikal, Xtobo, and Actun Uayazba Kab--and used three obsidian distribution models previously published by De León et al. in 2009, to infer possible distribution methods used in the Maya Lowlands. Though limitations existed the results from this proof-of-concept analysis indicate that distribution models derived for central Mexican contexts are suitable for Maya regions, and that the Maya were engaged in multiple forms of blade trade depending on location.
Note: At the time of writing the author was known as Alex D. Tischler.
Tischler, Sabine, "Identifying Models of Obsidian Distribution in Preclassic Maya Lowlands Contexts" (2019). University Honors Theses. Paper 658.