Ancient West Mexican Metallurgy: South and Central American Origins and West Mexican Transformations
Metallurgy first appeared in Mesoamerica at about A.D. 800, introduced via a maritime route from Central and South America into West Mexico. During the initial period of the establishment of the technology (approximately A.D. 800 to between A.D. 1200 and 1300) technical links were closest with the metallurgies of Ecuador, Colombia, and lower Central America. During the second period of West Mexican metallurgy (A.D. 1200–1300 to the Spanish invasion) new elements from these same regional metallurgies were introduced, in addition to technical components from the metallurgy of southern Peru. Although the roots of West Mexican metallurgy lay in the metallurgies to the south, the elements that had been introduced from those areas were reinterpreted and transformed, resulting in the development of a technically original, highly inventive regional technology in West Mexico.