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Bone tools and ornaments in the Classic period Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico

Abstract : In prehispanic Mesoamerica, bone was a broadly recovered raw material for the fabrication of implements and ornaments, used in both ritual and domestic production activities. To date, researchers have employed broad, general descriptions for these tools such as awls, needles, and perforators, but little consistency exists in the terminologies and categories that describe the range of osseous tools. Through excavations at four Classic period sites in the Valley of Oaxaca, we have amassed over 1100 bone tools, ornaments, and other worked pieces. Here we illustrate and define the principal classes of bone implements and the animal species (including human) that were utilized, while offering preliminary thoughts regarding the tasks for which they were used. Specific animal species seemingly were preferred for making certain tools, but local availability also was a factor. Across our Valley of Oaxaca contexts, the variability in tool assemblages points to diversity in household economic activities with implications for how we understand the Classic period economy. In line with previous Mesoamerican research, we surmise that a key use of bone tools was associated with fiber working and weaving.
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Feinman et Nicholas - Bone too...
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  • HAL Id : hal-02051791, version 1



Gary M. Feinman, Linda M. Nicholas, Heather A. Lapham. Bone tools and ornaments in the Classic period Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Americae. European Journal of Americanist Archaeology, CNRS, 2018, 3, pp.33-63. ⟨hal-02051791⟩



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