Obsidian in the Casas Grandes world: Procurement, exchange, and interaction in Chihuahua, Mexico, CE 1200-1450The Casas Grandes area in Chihuahua, Mexico and the site of Paquime was the center of one the largest regional systems in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest (SW/NW) during the Medio period (CE 1200-1450). People participated in local and distant exchange networks with groups in the SW/NW, Mesoamerica, and West Mexico. Our knowledge of which obsidian sources people used in Casas Grandes is limited, despite how obsidian could have derived from many different places. We examine how the use of specific obsidian sources may relate to broader political and economic relationships within the Casas Grandes regional system and itsmore »
A piece of mahogany obsidian came to the attention of the senior author during an excavation project near the town of Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico in 2015. Because mahogany obsidian in northwestern Mexico is particularly rare, the question was raised, what obsidian source did this sample derive? Here, using energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometry, we demonstrate it comes from the Agua Fria obsidian source in northeastern Sonora, Mexico. Unfortunately, we do not know where this sample was collected from. We discuss these results and the significance of this find in this paper, but more investigation is certainly warranted.
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