Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gold and tribute in Aztec Tlapa: An ethnohistoric and experimental analysis
by Fernandez, Esteban Jose, M.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2013, 149; 1546536
Abstract (Summary)

Though highly advanced and of remarkable sociopolitical importance, Mesoamerican metallurgy has been an understudied field. Recently the study of Archaeometallurgy has begun to establish itself within the region, and archaeologists are increasingly using metal artifacts to address a wide variety of inquiries. While this new emphasis on Mesoamerican metallurgy is seen as a welcomed shift, rarely any studies have focused on the production of gold artifacts. The study of goldwork in this region is laden obstacles, which include the lack of well-defined mining sites, as well as the limited amount of artifacts from provenienced contexts. In the face of these obstacles, I propose a multidisciplinary approach that combines ethnohistoric, and experimental evidence in order compensate for the lack of archaeological evidence of gold production. This thesis attempted to recreate and evaluate the efficiency of four metal casting techniques that could have been available to pre-Columbian goldsmiths for the manufacture of gold sheets that were used by the province of Tlapa as part of their tributary payments to the Aztec Empire. Along with assessing the efficiency of these metal-casting techniques, this thesis also analyzed the debris discarded from each of these techniques in order to identify potential archaeological markers of gold production in Mesoamerica.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gutierrez, Gerardo
Commitee: Cameron, Catherine M., Joyce, Arthur, Sheets, Payson
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 52/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Archaeology
Keywords: Aztec, Experimental archaeology, Gold production, Mexico
Publication Number: 1546536
ISBN: 9781303459238
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