Geoarchaeology of ceramics out of Xaltocan

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Jones, Emily C.
Hughes, David T.

Practicing archaeologists have numerous objectives when investigating a site, the main goal is learning and understanding about those who once lived there and reconstructing their lives through the materials they left behind. What we discover is then interpreted and compared to what we see in other sites. With more advanced technology, we take our studies to greater heights, giving concrete evidence to our work. This research employs multiple geoarchaeological methods to develop geological signatures of ceramics production locales in the Basin of Mexico and determine the provenance of Aztec figurines found in Xaltocan, a site in the northern Basin of Mexico. Geoarchaeological methods have great potential for the determination of provenance, or production locale, of archaeological ceramics and other artifacts, but the success of such methods depends on our understandings of the geological variation present in the geographical region of interest. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and petrographic analysis will be combined with previously completed Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) to characterize geological variation resulting from the source of the clay and temper.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology