January 10, 2023
Research into the K’iche led region of Guatemala shows that trade in obsidian was manage by local people through independent trade networks. And it was based on availability and craftsmanship. So it appears this is a system based on a free market. Research was done on a geochemical and technological analysis on obsidian artifacts excavated from 50 sites around the K’iche’ capital. Where did raw material come from and what were the manufacturing techniques used.
In the capital area, centralized control and managed trade was in operation. Outside the core area in conquered areas, they obtained their own obsidian and developed obsidian markets.
The research is published in Latin American Antiquity
Phys.org has the report here;