The Huastec Region: A Second Locus for the Production of Bronze Alloys in Ancient Mesoamerica

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Science  28 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5074, pp. 1215-1220
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5074.1215


Chemical analyses of 51 metal artifacts, one ingot, and two pieces of intermediate processed material from two Late Post Classic archeological sites in the Huastec area of Eastern Mesoamerica point to a second production locus for copper-arsenic-tin alloys, copper-arsenic-tin artifacts, and probably copper-tin and copper-arsenic bronze artifacts. Earlier evidence had indicated that these bronze alloys were produced exclusively in West Mexico. West Mexico was the region where metallurgy first developed in Mesoamerica, although major elements of that technology had been introduced from the metallurgies of Central and South America. The bronze working component of Huastec metallurgy was transmitted from the metalworking regions of West Mexico, most likely through market systems that distributed Aztec goods.