Using Geochemistry To Differentiate Copper On The Spanish Colonial Frontier


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Plus Ultra: An examination of current research in Spanish Colonial/Iberian Underwater and Terrestrial Archaeology in the Western Hemisphere." , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Over the past three years, more than 200 copper vessels from archaeological and museum collections deriving from Spanish colonial contexts were analyzed with a handheld portable X-Ray Fluorescence analyzer (pXRF). Originally developed as an industrial tool for differentiating metals, here pXRF provides tantalizing evidence into the origin of these copper vessels. This presentation draws on data from contexts dating from the mid- 16th to the early 19th centuries, including materials from shipwrecks and archaeological sites in CA, NM, TX & FL. Preliminary findings suggest four distinct geochemical groups which characterize these materials. These four groups hint at the differing sources merchants, clergy, and quartermasters occupying the Spanish colonial frontier used to stock their copper goods and highlight the evolving nature of copper production and consumption in the New World.

Cite this Record

Using Geochemistry To Differentiate Copper On The Spanish Colonial Frontier. Russell K Skowronek, Brandi Reger, Richard E Johnson, James R. Hinthorne. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457302)


Copper New Spain pXRF

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 681