Maya Lithic Production

  • Chloé Andrieu
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_9950-2

Introduction

From the Preclassic period to the Spanish conquest (Fig. 1), the Maya relied exclusively on lithic (stone) tools for most cutting and blunting activities, from agriculture to crafts, war, sacrificing, and butchering, as well as quarrying and stone carving for architecture. One of the main reasons for this is probably that chert (sedimentary rock) was easily available in the Maya lowlands. In fact, with the exception of a few coastal zones in Yucatan and Quintana Roo (Andrieu, 2009; Hearth & Fedick, 2010), regular-quality chert sources are evenly distributed in the limestone bedrock of Yucatan, Guatemala, and Belize where most of the Maya cities were located (Fig. 2). Fine-grained chert sources were more localized and sometimes exchanged over hundreds of kilometers. Conversely, in the highlands of Guatemala, chert is scarce, but obsidian, a volcanic glass, was used instead for producing everyday tools and exchanged in the lowlands where it was employed for the production...

Keywords

Classic Period Projectile Point Pressure Blade Mayan Area Maya Lowland 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Archéologie des AmériquesCNRS, Maison de l’archéologie et de l’ethnologieNanterre UniversitéFrance