This article presents a microstructural study of a set of samples from the treasure of tomb 7 of Monte Alban, Oaxaca, in southeast Mexico. The purpose of this work was to elucidate the manufacturing methods used by the pre-Columbian artisans of the Oaxaca valley. An additional goal was to establish a point of comparison between Mesoamerican cultures and cultures in some other regions of the Americas. Ten gilt samples were analyzed corresponding to the post-classic period (700-1300 A.D). The microstructure and elemental composition of the samples were determined using optical, scanning, and transmission-electron microscopies and electron-energy-dispersive spectroscopy. The samples were classified by the method of manufacture. A predominant use of gold alloys was found, rather than the gilt copper commonly used by some cultures in South America.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)