The presence and potential representation of turquoise at the Mimbres Site of Galaz

Author(s): Will Russell; Sarah Klassen; Katherine Salazar

Year: 2017


Turquoise, both the mineral and the color, are inexorably linked to contemporary ideas of the indigenous Southwest. Without doubt, the importance of turquoise extends back into prehispanic times, although we know relatively little about its cultural significance. The mineral turquoise may also have been represented in a more abstract way; J.J. Brody and Stephen Plog have suggested that Chacoan contemporaries of the Mimbres tradition may have used hachured elements on pottery to represent the color turquoise. In this paper, we examine the distribution of both hachured pottery and actual turquoise from nearly 1,000 Mimbres burial assemblages to understand whether this conceptual association extended to Mimbres ceramics. We also analyze the distribution of turquoise artifacts and hachured pottery from mortuary assemblages to determine whether they were preferentially associated with a particular social group or class. Our findings, which intersect with Puebloan ethnographic data, contribute to the study of Mimbres inequality, identity, and exchange, as well as the situation of Mimbres society within a larger social landscape.

Cite this Record

The presence and potential representation of turquoise at the Mimbres Site of Galaz. Will Russell, Sarah Klassen, Katherine Salazar. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431421)


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): 14626