4. Ground, Pecked, and Polished Stone Artifacts and Unworked Stones and Minerals
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

4 Ground, Pecked, and Polished Stone Artifacts and Unworked Stones and Minerals General Considerations Summary Number Type Figure Page 1124 Manos B: 73-80k 37 1473 Metates B: 73-75, 80l-90 39 17 Unspecified mano or metate fragments 42 11 Mortars B: 91-92b 42 16 Grinding stones B: 92c-93a 42 538 Rubbing stones B: 93b-i, 94-96d 42 9 Polished stones B: 96e-h 43 5 Saws B: 93j, 96i, j 43 36 Whetstones B: 97a-g 43 1 Drill B: 97h 44 1 Stamp B: 97i 44 495 Hammerstones B: 62e, 98 44 71 Celts and chisels B: 99-100 44 33 Barkbeaters and barkmallets B: 101-105c 45 8 Cupped stones B: 105d-k 46 26 Spindle whorls B: 106 46 4 Pestles B: 107a-c 47 5 Ballgame handstones B: 107d, e 47 8 Centrally perforated disks B: 107f-i 47 11 Doughnut stones B: 108 48 8 Flattened-end spheres B: 109a-d 48 3 Stemmed spheres B: 109e-g 48 30 Small worked spheres B: 105l, 109h-l 48 9 Stones with a central depresssion B: 110 49 58 Elongate soft stone objects B: 111 49 8 Cordholders? B: 112 49 44 Selected architectural elements B: 62d, 88b, 113-114 50 119 Miscellaneous artifacts of pecked, ground, and polished stone B: 62c, 115-118 50 940 Unworked stones and minerals B: 119-120 50 The following artifact types of pecked, ground, and polished stone are described inTR. 27A: assemblages composed of stone and shell mosaic elements, loose mosaic elements, minor sculptures, Charlie Chaplin cutout figurines, debitage of jade, other greenstones, and specular hematite, composite pyrite plaques and loose pyrite elements, dental inlays, stone vessels, beads, earflares, small flares, finger rings, pendants, and any other kinds of ornaments. Monument fragments and other stone fragments bearing glyphs are described inTR. 33A as Miscellaneous Stones. GROUND, PECKED, AND POLISHED STONE ARTIFACTS 37 Generally it was easier to ascribe uses to artifacts of ground stone than to those of chipped stone, but several types remained completely enigmatic and these were given descriptive names. Most of the sample consisted of utilitarian artifacts assumed to have been used in a domestic setting to accomplish various tasks, such as food preparation, as well as in craft activities, such as the production of tools and cloth. The ballgame handstones and many of the miscellaneous artifacts may represent failed production attempts. Chert and chalcedony of different quality, nodules of fine-textured limestone, soft dolomite bedrock, concretions , and clay all appear to have been abundant at Tikal itself. Waterworn cobbles and boulders of coarse chert and fine limestone may have come from Lake Petén Itzá, a day’s walk away. Rock of metamorphic origin, particularly the large quantities of light-colored quartzite that comprised about half of the sample of milling stones at all times, is thought to have come from Belize. Igneous rock, such as granite and vesicular basalt, were imported from beyond the Lowlands, perhaps the Guatemalan and even the Central Mexican Highlands. Quartzite is present from the time of initial settlement, but artifacts of pecked and ground igneous rock do not appear until the Classic period (Chart 4.1 [which is located at the end of this chapter]). The variety of imported stones and minerals dated to the Classic period is impressive and attests to Tikal’s widespread commercial contacts. Ethnoarchaeological observations suggest that, unlike lithic production waste, debitage from the production of pecked stone artifacts with hammerstones (Hayden 1987a, Nelson 1987) is ordinarily not recognizable in archaeological context, which makes speculations about the extent and mode of utilitarian artifact production especially tenuous. There is not enough evidence from the Middle Preclassic period to tell if households made their own domestic artifacts of locally available or imported stones or if they acquired them from specialists. By the beginning of the Late Preclassic, however, well-made special-purpose artifacts begin to appear, among them whetstones, celts, barkmallets , centrally perforated disks, and flattened-end spheres, indicating the presence of craft specialists. The adoption of manos and metates of quarried stone during the Early Classic and the significant quantities of metamorphic and igneous rocks represented by the sample suggest that these varieties of milling stones were imported as finished products. Similar to the spatial distribution of other specialist -produced artifacts, those described here were concentrated in Zones 01 through 05, the more prosperous areas of Tikal during the Classic period. The preferential use of pieces of large stone artifacts in...


pdf