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Obsidian and the Teotihuacan State: Weaponry and Ritual Production at the Moon Pyramid
La obsidiana y el Estado teotihuacano: La producción militar y ritual en la Pirámide de la Luna

by David M. Carballo, with contribution by Rodrigo Nestor Paredes Cetino

Archaeological study detailing the excavation and analysis of obsidian workshop deposits located next to the Moon Pyramid at the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico. The manufacturing activities that resulted in these deposits involved the large-scale production of weaponry and martially themed ceremonial items. It is argued that these activities were organized as centralized yet episodic labor tribute and served part of the military and ideological underpinnings on which state political authority rested. The study suggests that greater insights into past cases of craft production are obtained by coupling technologically informed analyses with detailed consideration of the social, symbolic, and ideational dimensions within which production activities were embedded. Aspects of material culture associated with warfare and ritualized violence appear to have frequently formed part of the strategies of early state governance, serving to publicize political authority in a tangible form. Complete text in English and Spanish.

Memoirs in Latin American Archaeology, No. 21, published by University of Pittsburgh Center for Comparative Archaeology and Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (México, D.F.), 2011. 214 pp. ISBN: 978-1-877812-89-7.

Paperback: $34.00 (shipping included). Order code M021.
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