Complex and time-consuming to produce, iron-ore mirrors stand out among Prehispanic artifacts for their aesthetic beauty, their symbolic implications, and the complexity and skill of their assembly. Manufactured Light presents the latest archaeological research on these items, focusing on the intersection of their significance and use and on the techlogical aspects of the manufacturing processes that created them. The volume covers the production, meaning, and utilization of iron-ore mirrors in various Mesoamerican communities. Chapters focus on topics such as experimental archaeology projects and discussions of workshops in archaeological contexts in the Maya, Central Mexico, and rthwest Mexico regions. Other chapters concentrate on the employment and ideological associations of these mirrors in Prehispanic times, especially as both sacred and luxury items. The final chapters address continuities in the use of mirrors from Prehispanic to modern times, especially in contemporary indigeus communities, with an emphasis on examining the relationship between ethgraphic realities and archaeological interpretations. While the symbolism of these artifacts and the intricacy of their construction have long been recognized in archaeological discussions, Manufactured Light is the first synthesis of this important yet under-studied class of material culture. It is a must-read for students and scholars of Mesoamerican archaeology, ethgraphy, religion, replicative experimentation, and lithic techlogy. Contirbutors include: Marc G. Blainey, Thomas Calligaro, Carrie L. Dennett, Emilia Gallaga, Julie Gazzola, Sergio Gomez Chavez, Olivia Kindl, Brigitte Kovacevich, Achim Lelgemann, Jose J. Lunazzi, John J. McGraw, Emilia Melgar, Joseph Mountjoy, Reyna Solis, and Karl Taube.
Emiliano Gallaga is a Mexican archaeologist interested in northwest Mexico and experimental and historical archaeology. He is the director of the Escuela de Antropologia e Historia del Norte de Mexico (EAHNM) INAH, Chihuahua. Marc G. Blainey is a research fellow at the Trent University Archaeological Research Centre (TUARC). He received a PhD in anthropology from Tulane University and served as a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. His research and publications bridge the anthropology of religion, medical anthropology, cognitive archaeology, and consciousness studies.