This project will allow Dr. Webster and his colleagues to continue archaeological research in the Copan Valley, Honduras. Test pits will be placed in a number of areas within the site and obsidian tools and waste flakes collected. Using a hydration technique, it is possible to date when flaking occurred and thus the team will be able to make chronological determinations. Copan is one of the major precolumbian cities of Central America and has been studied by archaeologists for many years. With previous NSF support, Dr. Webster has conducted an archaeological survey of the region and has determined how the population was distributed during different periods of time. Ceramic materials provide the basis of dating and in most cases work well. During one interval however, these ceramics do not change enough to serve as sensitive time indicators. Thus the team must turn to obsidian and hydration analysis. The long-term goal of this research is to understand the roles of demography, trade and subsistence in the rise and subsequent fall of the Mayan empire. Dr. Webster has substantial experience in this region and with this type of research. Investigation into the origin and nature of early cities is one of the primary areas of new anthropological research.