The experimental determination of the function of obsidian scrapers recovered from the formative period site of La Laguna, Tlaxcala, Mexico: a scanning electron microscope approach

dc.contributorMurphy, Michael D.
dc.contributorJacobi, Keith P.
dc.contributorCarballo, David M.
dc.contributor.advisorLeCount, Lisa J.
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Carl Anthony
dc.contributor.otherUniversity of Alabama Tuscaloosa
dc.date.accessioned2017-03-01T16:24:21Z
dc.date.available2017-03-01T16:24:21Z
dc.date.issued2011
dc.descriptionElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.description.abstractSmall obsidian scrapers recovered at the archaeological site of La Laguna and other sites throughout Central Highland Mexico have been interpreted as tools used to process Mexican agave plants for the production of sap. Ethnographic research conducted by Parsons and Parsons (1990) illustrated a striking similarity between the form and function between the modern iron scrapers utilized by modern populations to scrape agave plants for the production of sap and archaeologically recovered obsidian scrapers. However, these tools are possibly multi-purpose implements and Parsons and Parsons (1990) suggest the use of high-powered microscopic analysis to sort out agave scrapers from tools used to process other materials. Using replica obsidian scrapers, several materials were processed to understand the formation of microscopic use-wear on the edge surfaces of tools used to scrape agave, local Mexican woods, deer bone and deer hide. These tools were analyzed with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and compared to archaeological tools from La Laguna. Analysis indicated that use-wear formation from each different material was distinguishable from one another based on the development and prevalence of microflaking, polishing, and striations. As a result, likely functions were assigned to archaeological tools based on the unique wear patterns present on their used edges. Results indicate that residents were creating spoon-shaped obsidian scrapers to process maguey for sap, while some scrapers were created as multipurpose implements.en_US
dc.format.extent138 p.
dc.format.mediumelectronic
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.otheru0015_0000001_0000817
dc.identifier.otherSmith_alatus_0004M_10932
dc.identifier.urihttps://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/1321
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.hasversionborn digital
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.rightsAll rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.en_US
dc.subjectArchaeology
dc.titleThe experimental determination of the function of obsidian scrapers recovered from the formative period site of La Laguna, Tlaxcala, Mexico: a scanning electron microscope approachen_US
dc.typethesis
dc.typetext
etdms.degree.departmentUniversity of Alabama. Department of Anthropology
etdms.degree.disciplineAnthropology
etdms.degree.grantorThe University of Alabama
etdms.degree.levelmaster's
etdms.degree.nameM.A.
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