Foil, Copper Alloy

Zacpeten, Str 602, Cache 4, Copper Foil
Zacpeten, Str 602, Cache 4, Copper Foil

“Copper was found in three forms at Zacpetén: foil, bells, and a hatchet head. At nearby Topoxté, tweezers were found as well. Late Postclassic copper alloy artifacts at Lamanai were primarily from West México (Hosler 1994: 211), and we assume those at Zacpetén were from the same source. Copper artifacts primarily fulfilled ritual or ornamental functions. Each of the forms had various significances, but copper was associated with creation as in West Mexican myth, the first humans were partially composed of metal (Hosler 1994: 227). Among the Tarascans, bells produced sacred sounds; tweezers were emblems of priests and were used to remove body and facial hair; and axes were symbols of power (Hosler 1994: 158, 192, and 233-243). The significance of copper artifacts among the Maya is not clear” (Pugh 2001).

Copper alloy foil is generally found in caches in ceremonial groups. It was likely imported from outside of Peten, since local production areas have not been found.