PETROGRAPHIC AND STABLE ISOTOPE ANALYSES OF LATE CLASSIC ULÚA MARBLE VASES AND POTENTIAL SOURCES*

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Abstract

Ulúa marble vases from the Ulúa Valley of northwestern Honduras are a hallmark luxury good from Late Classic (ad 600–900) Mesoamerica. Archaeological and stylistic data point to centralized production at one site, Travesía. This paper analyses stable isotope and petrographic data from the vases and three potential procurement areas. The results indicate that the vases were produced from one primary source with one, potentially two, secondary sources. Procurement patterns most probably corresponded to contemporary communication routes. The results clearly indicate that a multi-method approach is necessary for sourcing marble from Honduras.

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