Re: Large cities at time of contact Re: diseases and immunity
Mon, 01 Jul 1996 17:21:22 -0700

Philip Deitiker wrote:

>> Glass was an introduction by the Spanish.

> Not exactly, glass was introduced by natural processes, the volcanic
> glass was process by chipping to produce the glass knives present
> before the spanish arrived, the quality of the knives was quite high.

I'm sorry if it was not clear that I was refering to manufactured glass. My
assumption was that you were referring to manufactured glass, which was a popular
import from Spain.

To suggest identifying the Aztec technology for the use of volcanic glass seems

First,the use of volcanic glass is not usually distinguished from the use of any
other stone. It is not the material which defines technology, but the process of
manufacturing tools. The process of knapping volcanic glass is the same as that
used on silicates.

Second, it seems highly unlikely that volcanic glass played a major role in Aztec
technology. Volcanic glass makes a highly unreliable blade. It is not as hard nor
as isotropic as other alternatives. It is also quite brittle. Besides, wasn't
flint and jade more commonly used?