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date: 20 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Obsidian was the primary lithic or stone material used for cutting activities in Aztec society, including domestic food production, craft production, hunting, warfare, and ritual. The demands of millions of consumers within and outside of the Aztec Empire shaped a diversity of industries and distribution networks that operated through merchants, markets, and state taxes in goods and labor. This chapter provides an overview of the primary obsidian sources, quarry activities, artifact types, use contexts, and innovations in lithic technology during the Aztec (Middle and Late Postclassic) period. A particular focus is the Sierra de Las Navajas (or Pachuca) mine and the detailed history of quarrying and manufacturing activities that have been documented there.

Keywords: obsidian, lithic technology, Postclassic period, Aztec, Sierra de Las Navajas mine, quarrying activities, stone tools

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