Closing the Gap at Aztec Ruins: Refining the Dating Sequence Using Corn and Pottery

Author(s): Aron Adams; Lori Reed; Linda Scott Cummings

Year: 2017


Excavation of a recent test unit at Aztec West revealed stratigraphic deposits yielding corn samples that were well distributed throughout. The primary research objective was to use Accelerator Mass Spectometry (AMS) Radiocarbon dating to date charred corn from the test unit and compare the results with date ranges for pottery from the same levels. A tree-ring date of AD 1130 was also obtained from charred wood in a pit feature below the levels yielding corn, suggesting that the deposits, corn, and pottery in the levels above post-date AD 1130. AMS dates on the corn samples correlate well with the relative ceramic dates and the tree-ring date, supporting the initial interpretations of the stratigraphy in the test unit. The study provides well-dated evidence of the McElmo phase occupation of Aztec West, which Earl Morris doubted during his early 20th century excavation of the site.

Cite this Record

Closing the Gap at Aztec Ruins: Refining the Dating Sequence Using Corn and Pottery. Aron Adams, Lori Reed, Linda Scott Cummings. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429985)



Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16982