Analysis of Obsidian from Moho Cay, Belize: New Evidence on Classic Maya Trade Routes

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Science  27 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4660, pp. 414-417
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4660.414


Trace element analysis of obsidian artifacts from Moho Cay, Belize, reveals that the obsidian derives primarily from the El Chayal outcrop in highland Guatemala and not from the Ixtepeque source. This is contrary to the widely accepted obsidian trade route model for Classic Maya civilization and suggests that Classic Maya obsidian trade was a more complex economic phenomenon than has been recognized.