Production and exchange of stone tools among Preclassic Maya communities: Evidence from Cuello, Belize.
AuthorMcSwain, Rebecca Anne.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAnalysis of lithics, particularly flake debitage, from a small Preclassic Maya community provides data bearing upon the manufacture and distribution of stone tools in the northern Belizean region during the Middle and Late Preclassic eras. These data suggest a complex relationship among contemporaneous communities with regard to raw material and tool acquisition and manufacture. There is no evidence of monopoly of raw material resources by any one group; rather, a mixed pattern is seen involving distribution both of partly processed raw material and of certain finished formal tool types. These formal types, as well as befaces in general, are seen to be increasingly important through time, possibly related to changing agricultural practices. While no conclusions can be drawn on the basis of presently available lithic data as to the nature of the Preclassic regional lithic distribution system, ethnographic and archaeological analogies are used to suggest some possible economic scenarios.