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Who provided maize to Chaco Canyon after the mid-12th-century drought?

Journal of Archaeological Science

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2009.10.027

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Abstract

Between A.D. 1181 and 1200, in the early part of a climatically wet period, corn was imported to Chaco Canyon from a region outside the Chaco Halo (defined in this paper as the region between the base of the Chuska Mountains and Raton Wells). Strontium-isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analyses of 12 corn cobs dating to this period match 87Sr/86Sr ratios from five potential source areas, including: the Zuni region, the Mesa Verde-McElmo Dome area, the Totah, the Defiance Plateau, and Lobo Mesa. The latter two areas were eliminated from consideration as possible sources of corn in that they appear to have been unpopulated during the time period of interest. Therefore, it appears that the corn cobs were imported from the Zuni region, the Mesa Verde-McElmo Dome area, or the Totah area during a time when the climate was relatively wet and when a surplus of corn was produced in regions outside Chaco Canyon. Based on proximity to and cultural affiliation with Chaco Canyon, it is hypothesized that the corn probably was imported from the Totah.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Who provided maize to Chaco Canyon after the mid-12th-century drought?
Series title:
Journal of Archaeological Science
DOI:
10.1016/j.jas.2009.10.027
Volume
37
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Archaeological Science
First page:
621
Last page:
629