Lead isotopic studies of Pueblo I glazes and archaeological mineral specimens


The earliest glazes in the Southwest were produced during the Pueblo I period (ca. 700-850 CE) in the Upper San Juan region of Colorado. Lead isotope ratios of these glaze paints were collected using multi-collector ICP-MS in an attempt to identify the source of the lead used by the potters in the production of the glaze paints. This paper will present the results of this study, and compare it to published ratios of lead ores, as well as archaeological and geological galena samples from sites in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico, including galena samples recovered from Chaco Canyon. The lead isotope ratio suggests that the majority of the Pueblo I glazes were produced using the same lead ore which has been recovered from archaeological contexts in sites in the area, and as far away as Chaco, in New Mexico. Comparison of the archaeological ratios to geological ratios of galenas from mines in the San Juan and Rico districts of southwestern Colorado has not yet yielded a match and we continue to search for this source of lead.

Cite this Record

Lead isotopic studies of Pueblo I glazes and archaeological mineral specimens. Brunella Santarelli, Sheila Goff, David Killick, Kari Schleher, David Gonzales. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404658)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;