Volcanic glass and iron nails: Networks of exchange and material entanglements at late prehispanic and early colonial Achiutla, Oaxaca, Mexico

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Abstract

In this paper, I examine how indigenous residents of the community of Achiutla—located in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca, Mexico—utilized long-distance trade routes between central Mexico and the Pacific coast, spanning the Postclassic (900–1521 CE) and Early Colonial (1522–1650 CE) periods. The maintenance of prehispanic interregional trade connections by native peoples allowed them to both continue traditional industries like those involving obsidian, while also facilitating their adoption of new types of material culture introduced from Europe. Over the long term, however, I suggest that entanglements in these economic networks had unintended consequences, which possibly included the demise of the prehispanic obsidian industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-511
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Volume21
Early online date10 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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