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Non-Invasive Analysis of Green Stone Pieces from Tomb 1 of Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas

  • M. D. Manrique-Ortega (a1), P. Claes (a1), E. Casanova-González (a1), J. L. Ruvalcaba-Sil (a1), Ma. A. García-Bucio (a1) and L. Lowe (a2)...

Abstract

Recently, a team of archaeologists discovered the existence of the oldest burial in a pyramid known to date in Mesoamerica. The tomb, referred to as Tomb 1, was discovered in Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico. In here, two skeletons were excavated along with a rich offering of green stone pieces, indicating their elite origin. The burial dresses consist of various necklaces, bracelets, belts, and anklets from which some beads were carved in the shape of gourds, monkeys, and alligators. Here we present a full, integrated methodology based on a variety of non-invasive and non-destructive analytical techniques, such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF), Raman, and Fourier Transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. These techniques are used to characterize and identify the minerals which were found in these burials. This information contributes not only to conservation and restoration purposes, but also gives more insights on the green stone (jadeite and other minerals) trading networks between different cultures in south Mesoamerica in the Pre-Classic period (c.a. 750 – 700 B. C.).

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