Exploring formative period obsidian blade trade: Three distribution models

Jason P. De León, Kenneth G. Hirth, David M. Carballo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Obsidian prismatic blades were widely traded across Mesoamerica during the Early and Middle Formative periods. However, it was not until the Late Formative period (400 b.c. - a.d. 100) that prismatic blade cores began to be exchanged extensively. Although it is generally accepted that the trading of blades preceded the trading of cores by almost 1,000 years, little is know about the structure of blade trading during the Early and Middle Formative periods. We describe three distributional models for the trade of obsidian prismatic blades: whole-blade trade, processed-blade trade, and local-blade production. These models were evaluated using obsidian consumption data from Oaxaca, the Basin of Mexico, and Tlaxcala. The results indicate that Formative period blade trade involved different forms over time and space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalAncient Mesoamerica
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 30 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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