"LARGE THIN AZTEC CULTURE BLADE"
This photo of the Pyramid of the Moon was taken several years ago by Bill
Fecht of the spectacular Late Stone Age site of Teotihuacan in Mexico.
This was the largest ancient city in the New World covering more than 8
square miles when it was fully urbanized. Teotihuacan was the sixth
largest city in the world in A.D. 600 with a population of somewhere
between 125,000 to 200,000. At least 350 obsidian workshops are known to
have existed in the city. Large ancient urban centers enjoyed the luxury
of specialized craftsman. These people were able to focus on their
particular skill and produce objects, in this case flaked stone artifacts,
into some of the most skillfully crafted ceremonial and utilitarian stone
tools ever made in the Americas.
This extraordinary large Blade (one of the finest examples in the world) is a silent testimony to the
highly skilled "flint smiths" or flintknappers of Pre-Columbian
Mexico. No modern day flintknapper, that we know of, has been able to
duplicate large bifaces of this size and thinness. One of the main
problems that prevents someone to be able to develop this skill level is acquiring
enough large pieces of high quality chert to practice on. Ancient highly
organized urban societies whether they were located in Pre-Spanish Mexico
or on the Mississippian site of Cahokia in the Central Mississippi Valley
were supplied with all the raw materials the craftsman needed to make
their stone tools. The large pieces of Mill Creek chert that was needed to
supply the agricultural community of Cahokia with Hoes and Spades were
supplied via the Mississippi River from the large chert mining industry to
the south in southern Illinois. To this day large craters (some filled
with water) can be seen where they dug for various types of stone.
ON PICTURE FOR LARGE IMAGE