skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Obsidian in the Casas Grandes world: Procurement, exchange, and interaction in Chihuahua, Mexico, CE 1200-1450

Abstract

The Casas Grandes area in Chihuahua, Mexico and the site of Paquime was the center of one the largest regional systems in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest (SW/NW) during the Medio period (CE 1200-1450). People participated in local and distant exchange networks with groups in the SW/NW, Mesoamerica, and West Mexico. Our knowledge of which obsidian sources people used in Casas Grandes is limited, despite how obsidian could have derived from many different places. We examine how the use of specific obsidian sources may relate to broader political and economic relationships within the Casas Grandes regional system and its association with the Mimbres and Animas regions of the SW/NW. We sourced 116 artifacts using EDXRF spectrometry from four sites that neighbor Paquime. Results demonstrate people used obsidian from Chihuahua, Sonora, and New Mexico. Furthermore, there were varying levels of social interaction and regional integration because there is diversity in source use at the site level, and Casas Grandes were more connected to the Animas region than Mimbres regarding obsidian resource procurement.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK (United States)
  3. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
  4. Geoarchaeological XRF Lab., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security (AU)
OSTI Identifier:
1345137
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-21520
Journal ID: ISSN 2352-409X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 2352-409X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Earth Sciences; Obsidian, archaeology, Mexico

Citation Formats

Dolan, Sean Gregory, Whalen, Michael E., Minnis, Paul E., and Shackley, M. Steven. Obsidian in the Casas Grandes world: Procurement, exchange, and interaction in Chihuahua, Mexico, CE 1200-1450. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.12.040.
Dolan, Sean Gregory, Whalen, Michael E., Minnis, Paul E., & Shackley, M. Steven. Obsidian in the Casas Grandes world: Procurement, exchange, and interaction in Chihuahua, Mexico, CE 1200-1450. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.12.040.
Dolan, Sean Gregory, Whalen, Michael E., Minnis, Paul E., and Shackley, M. Steven. Mon . "Obsidian in the Casas Grandes world: Procurement, exchange, and interaction in Chihuahua, Mexico, CE 1200-1450". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.12.040. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1345137.
@article{osti_1345137,
title = {Obsidian in the Casas Grandes world: Procurement, exchange, and interaction in Chihuahua, Mexico, CE 1200-1450},
author = {Dolan, Sean Gregory and Whalen, Michael E. and Minnis, Paul E. and Shackley, M. Steven},
abstractNote = {The Casas Grandes area in Chihuahua, Mexico and the site of Paquime was the center of one the largest regional systems in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest (SW/NW) during the Medio period (CE 1200-1450). People participated in local and distant exchange networks with groups in the SW/NW, Mesoamerica, and West Mexico. Our knowledge of which obsidian sources people used in Casas Grandes is limited, despite how obsidian could have derived from many different places. We examine how the use of specific obsidian sources may relate to broader political and economic relationships within the Casas Grandes regional system and its association with the Mimbres and Animas regions of the SW/NW. We sourced 116 artifacts using EDXRF spectrometry from four sites that neighbor Paquime. Results demonstrate people used obsidian from Chihuahua, Sonora, and New Mexico. Furthermore, there were varying levels of social interaction and regional integration because there is diversity in source use at the site level, and Casas Grandes were more connected to the Animas region than Mimbres regarding obsidian resource procurement.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.12.040},
journal = {Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports},
number = C,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 09 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Mon Jan 09 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:
  • The effects of the presence of a silicate boundary phase on the high-temperature creep behavior of a model refractory system MgO--CaMgSiO/sub 4/ (monticellite, CMS) were studied at 1200 to 1450/sup 0/C. A change in the dominant mechanism of deformation was determined with increasing temperature and decreasing applied stress. It was concluded that, at 1200/sup 0/C, deformation is controlled by a dislocation mechanism in the MgO framework, whereas at higher temperatures creep is the result of simultaneous mechanisms but dominated by viscous deformation of the silicate boundary region.
  • A baseline study was conducted to evaluate the overall quality of the Rio Conchos (Chihuahua, Mexico) and to identify those chemical parameters that can best represent the water quality in different segments of the river. Chemical analyses included the measurement of 62 elements at more than 100 sampling stations along the river, in addition to conventional field analyses (e.g., pH, conductivity). Concentrations of these elements are reported and water quality indicators were identified. Based on the element concentration patterns, the segment of the river in which the water quality is most endangered corresponds to that receiving irrigation drain returns nearmore » the confluence of the Rio San Pedro. Self-cleaning and dilution processes account for the improvement in water quality observed as the Rio Conchos approaches the Rio Grande.« less
  • The Nopal I site in the Pena Blanca uranium district has a number of geologic and hydrologic similarities to the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, making it a useful analogue to evaluate process models for radionuclide transport. The PB-1 well was drilled in 2003 at the Nopal I uranium deposit as part of a DOE-sponsored natural analogue study to constrain processes affecting radionuclide transport. The well penetrates through the Tertiary volcanic section down to Cretaceous limestone and intersects the regional aquifer system. The well, drilled along the margin of the Nopal I ore body, was continuously coredmore » to a depth of 250 m, thus providing an opportunity to document the local stratigraphy. Detailed observations of these units were afforded through petrographic description and rock-property measurements of the core, together with geophysical logs of the well. The uppermost unit encountered in the PB-1 well is the Nopal Formation, a densely welded, crystal-rich, rhyolitic ash-flow tuff. This cored section is highly altered and devitrified, with kaolinite, quartz, chlorite, and montmorillonite replacing feldspars and much of the groundmass. Breccia zones within the tuff contain fracture fillings of hematite, limonite, goethite, jarosite, and opal. A zone of intense clay alteration encountered in the depth interval 17.45-22.30 m was interpreted to represent the basal vitrophyre of this unit. Underlying the Nopal Formation is the Coloradas Formation, which consists of a welded lithic-rich rhyolitic ash-flow tuff. The cored section of this unit has undergone devitrification and oxidation, and has a similar alteration mineralogy to that observed in the Nopal tuff. A sharp contact between the Coloradas tuff and the underlying Pozos Formation was observed at a depth of 136.38 m. The Pozos Formation consists of poorly sorted conglomerate containing clasts of subangular to subrounded fragments of volcanic rocks, limestone, and chert. Three thin (2-6 m) intervals of intercalated pumiceous tuffs were observed within this unit. The contact between the Pozos Formation and the underlying Cretaceous limestone basement was observed at a depth of 244.40 m. The water table is located at a depth of {approx}223 m. Several zones with elevated radioactivity in the PB-1 core are located above the current water table. These zones may be associated with changes in redox conditions that could have resulted in the precipitation of uraninite from downward flowing waters transporting U from the overlying Nopal deposit. All of the intersected units have low (typically submillidarcy) matrix permeability, thus fluid flow in this area is dominated by fracture flow. These stratigraphic and rock-property observations can be used to constrain flow and transport models for the Pena Blanca natural analogue.« less
  • An integrated field, laboratory, and modeling study of the Pena Blanca (Chihuahua, Mexico) natural analogue site is being conducted to evaluate processes that control the mobilization and transport of radionuclides from a uranium ore deposit. One component of this study is an evaluation of the potential for radionuclide transport through the unsaturated zone (UZ) via a seepage study in an adit at the Nopal I uranium mine, excavated 10 m below a mined level surface. Seasonal rainfall on the exposed level surface infiltrates into the fractured rhyolitic ash-flow tuff and seeps into the adit. An instrumented seepage collection system andmore » local automated weather station permit direct correlation between local precipitation events and seepage within the Nopal I +00 adit. Monitoring of seepage within the adit between April 2005 and December 2006 indicates that seepage is highly heterogeneous with respect to time, location, and quantity. Within the back adit area, a few zones where large volumes of water have been collected are linked to fast flow path fractures (0-4 h transit times) presumably associated with focused flow. In most locations, however, there is a 1-6 month time lag between major precipitation events and seepage within the adit, with longer residence times observed for the front adit area. Seepage data obtained from this study will be used to provide input to flow and transport models being developed for the Nopal I hydrogeologic system.« less