Obsidian sources and elemental analyses of artifacts in southern mesoamerica and the northern intermediate area

Payson Sheets, Kenneth Hirth, Fred Lange, Fred Stross, Frank Asaro, Helen Michel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Obsidian sources, and the proportions of those sources represented in site collections, are known poorly in the southeast mesoAmerican periphery. The Honduran sources of La Esperanza and Güinope are described and fingerprinted chemically, and their utilization is explored in selected sites in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Although prehistoric Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans used obsidian from sources as far away as Honduras and Guatemala, most of their cutting tools were made from local materials, using informal manufacturing techniques. The analytical results indicate two sources of new types of obsidian have yet to be found; they may lie in western Nicaragua.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-158
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology

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