October 26, 2017

New Research in Ancient Southwest Turquoise Mining and Trade

Researchers in Arizona have found that Pre-Columbian turquoise mining at the Canyon Creek mine, on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation, was larger than thought in intensity. They found through isotopic analysis of the Canyon Creek turquoise that it has ratios of lead and strontium isotopes unique from other Southwest turquoise. Scientists can now determine where turquoise was mined using these new techniques. They also found that the site was mined between 1250-1400 CE. This new science will help in studying ancient turquoise trading routes. Researchers are now using the same techniques to study the turquoise found at Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital in Mexico. They may be able to determine the exact location of the mine the turquoise came from in the Southwest, and advance the study of Southwest/Mesomerica trading networks.

The research is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science,

Eurekalert has the story here:

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztlan World


Mike Ruggeri’s Casas Grandes World Magazine


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