Proceedings of the American Nuclear Society Symposium on Nuclear Archaeology

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 196, Issue 2, pp 245-254

First online:

Compositional analysis of the Huitzila and La Lobera obsidian sources in the southern Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico

  • J. A. DarlingAffiliated withMuseum of Anthropology, University of Michigan
  • , F. M. HayashidaAffiliated withMuseum of Anthropology, University of Michigan

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Results of neutron activation analysis of 100 obsidian specinens from the southern Sierra Madre Occidental are discussed. Two separate peralkaline sources are identified, Huitzila and La Lobera, which are chemically and spatially distinct. Subsequent subdivision of each source into spatial and compositional subgroups suggest separate flows or subsources. Identification of archaeological artifacts which match these sources compositionally suggests that Huitzila and La Lobera were important sources of high quality obsidian which was distributed widely in northern Mesoamerica.