February 23, 2017

New Research Discoveries in the Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Researchers at Chaco have analyzed 60 sets of human remains at the Chaco site in New Mexico. The remains were found at the Pueblo Bonito structure of the site. These were elite burials with turquoise, pendants and pottery found in the graves. The researchers found that the vast majority were from Chaco Canyon, and not from more distant areas as many experts thought. So the Chaco phenomenon was brought about by the original settlers in the area. Isotope analysis was done on the teeth of these remains, which are scattered in museums throughout the US. The researchers found that the population of the elite was very homogeneous. There were 3 outliers that still have to be studied further to see where they may have come from among the 61 studied. The remains also exhibit cranial deformation, a sign of elite status throughout the Americas.
The team reports their findings in The Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
Price, T., Plog, S., LeBlanc, S., & Krigbaum, J. (2017). Great House origins and population stability at Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico: The isotopic evidence Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 11, 261-273 DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.11.043

Western Digs has the report here;

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