The researchers focused on an independent republic called Tlaxcallan in what is now central Mexico, about 75 miles east of modern Mexico City.
Tlaxcallan supported Corts and played a critical role in the Spanish Conquest of Mexico in the 16th century.
The new research focuses on where the people of Tlaxcallan obtained their obsidian in the century before the arrival of Corts.
Tlaxcallan did not have a source of obsidian within its territory – so where did it come from?
“Almost no one else was using El Paredn at the time, and it fell just outside the boundaries of the Aztec Empire. So, one question it raises is why the Aztecs – who were openly hostile to Tlaxcallan – didn’t intervene.”
At the same time, the research makes clear that there was an economic rift between Tlaxcallan and the Aztecs.
The new research finds that only 14 percent of the obsidian at Tlaxcallan was from Pachuca – most of the rest came from El Paredn.