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H 290 x W 205 mm

176 pages

43 figures, 34 tables (colour throughout)

Published Dec 2022

Archaeopress Archaeology


Hardback: 9781803273600

Digital: 9781803273617

DOI 10.32028/9781803273600

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The Americas; Compositional Analysis; Obsidian; New World Archaeology; Exchange Networks; Marketplace Exchange; X-Ray Fluorescence

Related titles

Archaeopress Pre-Columbian Archaeology 17

Obsidian Across the Americas

Compositional Studies Conducted in the Elemental Analysis Facility at the Field Museum of Natural History

Edited by Gary M. Feinman, Danielle J. Riebe

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This volume draws attention to recent obsidian studies in the Americas and acts as a reference for archaeologists and scholars interested in material culture and exchange. Moreover, it provides a wide range of case studies in obsidian characterization, material application, and theoretical interpretations in the Americas.



Chapter 1. Chipping Away at the Past: An Introduction – Danielle J. Riebe and Gary M. Feinman ;

Chapter 2. Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence: The Role of Inter-Laboratory Collaborations in a Lake Huron Archaeological Discovery – Danielle J. Riebe, Ashley K. Lemke, Jeffrey R. Ferguson, Alex J. Nyers, Elizabeth P. Sonnenburg, Brendan S. Nash, John M. O’Shea ;

Chapter 3. A (Near) Comprehensive Chemical Characterization of Obsidian in the Field Museum Collections from the Hopewell Site, Ross County, Ohio – Mark Golitko, John V. Dudgeon, Claire Stanecki ;

Chapter 4. Emergent Economic Networks in the American Southwest – Danielle J. Riebe, Gary M. Feinman, Jeffrey R. Ferguson ;

Chapter 5. Changing Patterns of Obsidian Procurement in Highland Oaxaca, Mexico – Linda M. Nicholas, Gary M. Feinman, Mark Golitko ;

Chapter 6. Instrument Source Attributions of Obsidian Artifacts from Tikal, Guatemala – Hattula Moholy-Nagy ;

Chapter 7. Classic Maya Obsidian Blades: Sourced from Afar and Produced in the Local Marketplace – Bernadette Cap ;

Chapter 8. Macroscale Shifts in Obsidian Procurement Networks Across Prehispanic Mesoamerica – Gary M. Feinman, Linda M. Nicholas, Mark Golitko ;

Chapter 9. The Characterization of Small-Sized Obsidian Debitage Using P-XRF: A Case Study from Arequipa, Peru – David A. Reid, Patrick Ryan Williams, Kurt Rademaker, Nicholas Tripcevich, Michael D. Glascock ;

Chapter 10. Obsidian Utilization in the Moquegua Valley through the Millennia – Patrick Ryan Williams, David A. Reid, Donna Nash, Sofia Chacaltana, Kirk Costion, Paul Goldstein, Nicola Sharratt ;

Chapter 11. Concluding Thoughts: Open Networks, Economic Transfers, and Sourcing Obsidian – Gary M. Feinman and Danielle J. Riebe

About the Author

Gary M. Feinman is the MacArthur Curator of Anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL, USA. His research interests include the archaeology of urban societies, preindustrial economics, comparative governance, social networks, and inequality. He has co-directed archaeological field projects for decades in both Oaxaca, Mexico and Shandong, China. His publications include: Images of the Past, 9th edition (2023), (authored with T. Douglas Price), Archaeological Perspectives on Political Economies (2004), (edited with Linda M. Nicholas), Ancient Oaxaca, 2nd edition (2022), (authored with Richard E. Blanton, Stephen A. Kowalewski, and Linda M. Nicholas), and Archaic States (1998), (edited with Joyce Marcus).

Danielle J. Riebe is an instructor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia and a research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History. While her primary archaeological research focuses on prehistoric Eastern and Southeastern Europe, her methodological expertise in compositional techniques and theoretical interests have enabled her to expand her studies to the North American Great Lakes, the North American Southwest, and South America.