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Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Print version ISSN 1405-3322


CASTANEDA GOMEZ DEL CAMPO, Alejandra et al. Operational chain of the Xajay ceramic production: statistical analysis of petrographic evidence. Bol. Soc. Geol. Mex [online]. 2019, vol.71, n.2, pp.359-381.  Epub Oct 30, 2019. ISSN 1405-3322.

The purpose of this article is to explore the operational chain involved in Xajay’s ceramic production through a petrographic and statistical analysis, in order to differentiate the ceramic produced locally from the one that was manufactured in other regions. The collection analyzed for this study comes from the excavations conducted in the main ceremonial center of Xajay culture, known as Pahñu, which was occupied between 300 and 950 AD, and located in the municipality of Tecozautla, Hidalgo, Mexico. The study was based in the petrographic analysis of 21 ceramic samples, and the micromorphologic analysis of 6 soil samples. In order to review the different methods of clay preparation, the samples were first grouped by mineralogical composition to be able to infer their origin related to a same source area. In a second moment, groups were defined in subgroups, taking into consideration proportions, morphology, and size of antiplastic particles. Likewise, the purpose of the micro-morphological analysis was the identification and characterization of soils, in order to correlate soils with corresponding ceramic samples. The analysis allows for an understanding of the dynamics involved in raw material exploitation and clay preparation for the elaboration of ceramic objects used at Pahñu. With regards to the different types of soil used in ceramic production-Vertisol, Luvisol and Feozem-the inhabitants of Pahñu opted for the latter two. The information obtained in this study leads to the conclusion that the Xajay culture produced most of their ceramic assemblage locally and acquired, to a lesser degree, ceramic produced in other regions.

Keywords : Operational chains; provenance analysis; Xajay culture; pottery; petrographic analysis.

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