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Prehispanic Obsidian Exploitation in the Department of Chinandega, Nicaragua

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Date Issued:
2018
Abstract/Description:
This thesis examines the fabrication and provenance of 2,871 obsidian artifacts collected from twelve prehispanic archaeological sites in four physiographic zones throughout the Department of Chinandega, the northwesternmost department of Nicaragua. This research represents the first systematic study of obsidian artifacts in the region and focuses on two aspects of the obsidian artifacts. First, I present a macroscopic technical analysis of artifacts collected from twelve sites in the Department. The second part of the thesis presents a collaborative geochemical provenance study of obsidian procurement across these sites. Results indicate that most prehispanic sites participated in multiple sets of long-distance trade networks centered on obsidian as early as the Late Preclassic, up until the Late Postclassic, exploiting trade from four obsidian sources to the north. Analyses show that populations in the Department primarily, though not exclusively, utilized a core-flake industry that was worked on-site with material from the Güinope source in Honduras. A limited number of prismatic blades and a few other formal tools sourced from two additional further sources (La Esperanza in Honduras and Ixtepeque in Guatemala) appear almost exclusively as imported finished products more recently in the archaeological sequence. Additionally, the archaeological sites situated in the eastern coastal plains of the Department contained the largest variety of source material, followed by the sites of the northern foothills, a single site in the Nicaraguan depression, and lastly a single site in the Maribios volcanic front. Although ceramic analyses from the collection are partially complete and developing, this region is best understood as a cultural mosaic connected to the Mesoamerican populations in the north.
Title: Prehispanic Obsidian Exploitation in the Department of Chinandega, Nicaragua.
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Name(s): Colón, Justin Bradford, author
Brown, Clifford T., Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of Anthropology
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2018
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 1118 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis examines the fabrication and provenance of 2,871 obsidian artifacts collected from twelve prehispanic archaeological sites in four physiographic zones throughout the Department of Chinandega, the northwesternmost department of Nicaragua. This research represents the first systematic study of obsidian artifacts in the region and focuses on two aspects of the obsidian artifacts. First, I present a macroscopic technical analysis of artifacts collected from twelve sites in the Department. The second part of the thesis presents a collaborative geochemical provenance study of obsidian procurement across these sites. Results indicate that most prehispanic sites participated in multiple sets of long-distance trade networks centered on obsidian as early as the Late Preclassic, up until the Late Postclassic, exploiting trade from four obsidian sources to the north. Analyses show that populations in the Department primarily, though not exclusively, utilized a core-flake industry that was worked on-site with material from the Güinope source in Honduras. A limited number of prismatic blades and a few other formal tools sourced from two additional further sources (La Esperanza in Honduras and Ixtepeque in Guatemala) appear almost exclusively as imported finished products more recently in the archaeological sequence. Additionally, the archaeological sites situated in the eastern coastal plains of the Department contained the largest variety of source material, followed by the sites of the northern foothills, a single site in the Nicaraguan depression, and lastly a single site in the Maribios volcanic front. Although ceramic analyses from the collection are partially complete and developing, this region is best understood as a cultural mosaic connected to the Mesoamerican populations in the north.
Identifier: FA00013005 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2018.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Chinandega (Nicaragua : Department)
Obsidian
Archaeology
Provenance studies
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013005
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.