Obsidian: Blades, Flakes, and Cores

Blades were the most common obsidian tool type and blade cores were correspondingly the most common core type. Given their sharp edge, obsidian tools are primarily used for cutting or piercing. They are found in both production and ceremonial contexts. Obsidian blades are often found in caches.

During the Preclassic period, obsidian was imported into Peten from one of the three main sources in the Guatemalan Highlands: El Chayal, Ixtepeque, and San Martin Jilotepeque. The latter seems to have been the main source for Nixtun-Ch’ich’ in the Middle Preclassic period (Meissner 2015:137).  The sources of obsidian tools can be determined using X-ray Fluorescence.