AffiliationUniv Arizona, Sch Anthropol
Univ Arizona, Dept Geosci
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherAMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE
CitationThibodeau, Alyson & López Luján, Leonardo & Killick, David & F. Berdan, Frances & Ruiz, Joaquin. (2018). Was Aztec and Mixtec turquoise mined in the American Southwest?. Science Advances. 4. eaas9370. 10.1126/sciadv.aas9370.
RightsCopyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractArchaeologists have long suggested that prehispanic states in Mesoamerica acquired turquoise through long-distance exchange with groups living in what is now the American Southwest and adjacent parts of northern Mexico. To test this hypothesis, we use lead and strontium isotopic ratios to investigate the geologic provenance of 43 Mesoamerican turquoise artifacts, including 38 mosaic tiles from offerings within the Sacred Precinct of Tenochtitlan (the Mexica or Aztec capital) and 5 tiles associated with Mixteca-style mosaics currently held by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. Most of these artifacts have isotopic signatures that differ from turquoise deposits in the American Southwest, but closely match copper deposits and crustal rocks in Mesoamerica. We thus conclude that turquoise used by the Aztecs and Mixtecs likely derives from Mesoamerican sources and was not acquired through long-distance exchange with the Southwest.
NoteOpen access journal.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsFlorence C. and Robert H. Lister fellowship
- The genetic impact of Aztec imperialism: ancient mitochondrial DNA evidence from Xaltocan, Mexico.
- Authors: Mata-Míguez J, Overholtzer L, Rodríguez-Alegría E, Kemp BM, Bolnick DA
- Issue date: 2012 Dec
- [The concept of illness and kidney diseases in Nahuatl medicine. Synthesis of Mesoamerican pre-Columbian medicine].
- Authors: Peña JC
- Issue date: 2002 Sep-Oct
- Pre-Columbian medicine and the kidney.
- Authors: Peña JC
- Issue date: 1999
- Evidence of cacao use in the Prehispanic American Southwest.
- Authors: Crown PL, Hurst WJ
- Issue date: 2009 Feb 17
- Detection of a population replacement at the Classic-Postclassic transition in Mexico.
- Authors: González-José R, Martínez-Abadías N, González-Martín A, Bautista-Martínez J, Gómez-Valdés J, Quinto M, Hernández M
- Issue date: 2007 Mar 7