Obsidian blade provides valuable clues to past trade networks
This obsidian (volcanic glass) blade from the ancient Mayan port site Vista Alegre provides valuable clues to past trade networks. Based on its chemical composition, researchers traced the source of the obsidian to the highlands of Guatemala. Other obsidian materials at Vista Alegre came from as far away as central Mexico (near modern day Mexico City) and provide researchers with key pieces of evidence to reconstruct ancient trade networks and to track how they changed over time.
An international team of researchers, supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation, is researching the dynamic interplay between social and natural processes that shaped the lives of the ancient Maya over the last 3,000 years. Called "The Proyecto Costa Escondida," or "hidden coast" project, the research focuses on the ancient Mayan port sites of Vista Alegre and Conil.
[Research supported by U.S. National Science Foundation grant BCS 1530245.]
Learn more in the Georgia State University news story Unlocking the secrets of the ancient coastal Maya. (Date of image:unknown; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Oct. 09, 2022)
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Proyecto Costa Escondida
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