thumbnail

Ancient maize from Chacoan great houses: Where was it grown?

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

By:
, , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2135068100

Links

Abstract

In this article, we compare chemical (87Sr/86Sr and elemental) analyses of archaeological maize from dated contexts within Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, to potential agricultural sites on the periphery of the San Juan Basin. The oldest maize analyzed from Pueblo Bonito probably was grown in an area located 80 km to the west at the base of the Chuska Mountains. The youngest maize came from the San Juan or Animas river flood-plains 90 km to the north. This article demonstrates that maize, a dietary staple of southwestern Native Americans, was transported over considerable distances in pre-Columbian times, a finding fundamental to understanding the organization of pre-Columbian southwestern societies. In addition, this article provides support for the hypothesis that major construction events in Chaco Canyon were made possible because maize was brought in to support extra-local labor forces.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Ancient maize from Chacoan great houses: Where was it grown?
Series title:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.2135068100
Volume
100
Issue:
22
Year Published:
2003
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
First page:
13111
Last page:
13115