Cultivated plants craft in Classic Maya society: experimental and functional approach of the gourd work with obsidian blades - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Poster Communications Year : 2019

Cultivated plants craft in Classic Maya society: experimental and functional approach of the gourd work with obsidian blades

Chloé Andrieu
Sylvie Beyries

Abstract

In pre-Hispanic Mayan societies, many species were cultivated, including trees producing fruits called "gourd". The use of these fruits is attested since pre-Columbian times, in daily and ritual activities. However, archaeological evidences of the use of these gourd in Maya societies in the Classic period (250 - 950 AD) are sparse, as they do not conserve in the archaeological record. Thus, how to highlight treatment of plant matters in pre-Hispanic times in Mesoamerica? We approach this question by analyzing the function of pre-Hispanic stone tools. This methodology, based on experimentation, is original in the studies on the Maya area. The experimental reproduction of activities on Mesoamerican materials with obsidian blades allowed us to highlight use-wear on the tools specific to the material processed. We replicated the work of a gourd species, combining ethnographic, ethnohistorical and archaeological data. The experimentation shows macroscopic and microscopic use damages of gourd work, as some general characteristics of the work of the vegetable material, thanks to the comparison with the experiment carried out on cedar. Following this preliminary study, the comparison of these traces of use with those found on archaeological tools will highlight the evidence of exploitation, or even crafts, of plant materials in a classic Maya society. Functional analysis, an innovative approach in studies of pre-Hispanic societies, will provide new data for the understanding of the environment exploitation, including some resources from agriculture, in Mesoamerica in the Classic period.
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Dates and versions

hal-04413730 , version 1 (28-02-2024)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-04413730 , version 1

Cite

Naya Cadalen, Felipe Trabanino, Chloé Andrieu, Sylvie Beyries. Cultivated plants craft in Classic Maya society: experimental and functional approach of the gourd work with obsidian blades. Millennial Tropical Agricultures: Cross-Cutting Approaches to Global Challenges, Oct 2019, Nice, France. 2019. ⟨hal-04413730⟩
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