Title

Trace-element analysis of Mayan obsidian blades from Yucatan and Campeche Provinces, Mexico

Publication Title

Chemical Geology

Publication Date

10-15-1990

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/0009-2541(90)90110-S

Disciplines

Geochemistry | Geology

Abstract

Nine Mayan obsidian knife blades from two Late Classic (i.e. 700-900 A.D.) sites in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, have been analyzed by inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICPES) for the elements Ca, Fe, K, Ba, La, Mn, Sr, Ti, Zn and Zr, Rb was analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. These data permit unique assignment of a volcanic obsidian source for each artifact. Obsidian for five of the blades originated from the Pachuca and Zinapecuaro-Ucareo localities near present-day Mexico City; obsidian for the other four was derived from El Chayal, a locality near present-day Guatemala City, Guatemala. These results indicate that extensive trade and supply networks existed during Late Classic times. From purely an analytical standpoint, these results demonstrate that ICPES is a potentially valuable tool in geo-archaeological studies.

Share

COinS