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Between A.D. 1181 and 1200, in the early part of a climatically wet period, corn was imported to Chaco Canyon from a region outside the Chaco Halo (defined in this paper as the region between the base of the Chuska Mountains and Raton Wells). Strontium-isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analyses of 12 corn cobs dating to this period match 87Sr/86Sr ratios from five potential source areas, including: the Zuni region, the Mesa Verde-McElmo Dome area, the Totah, the Defiance Plateau, and Lobo Mesa. The latter two areas were eliminated from consideration as possible sources of corn in that they appear to have been unpopulated during the time period of interest. Therefore, it appears that the corn cobs were imported from the Zuni region,...
USGS Historical Quadrangle in GeoPDF.
87Sr/86Sr sourcing of ponderosa pine used in Anasazi great house construction at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
Previous analysis of 87Sr/86Sr ratios shows that 10th through 12th century Chaco Canyon was provisioned with plant materials that came from more than 75 km away. This includes (1) corn (Zea mays) grown on the eastern flanks of the Chuska Mountains and floodplain of the San Juan River to the west and north, and (2) spruce (Picea sp.) and fir (Abies sp.) beams from the crest of the Chuska and San Mateo Mountains to the west and south. Here, we extend 87Sr/86Sr analysis to ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) prevalent in the architectural timber at three of the Chacoan great houses (Pueblo Bonito, Chetro Ketl, Pueblo del Arroyo). Like the architectural spruce and fir, much of the ponderosa matches the 87Sr/86Sr ratios...
A study of arroyo evolution in northern New Mexico (Friedman and others, 2015) assessed geomorphic change in the Chaco Wash arroyo from the 1930s to 2000. As part of this study, in October 2000 a trench was excavated across the arroyo bottom and a high-precision (Real-time kinematic) GPS survey was conducted. GPS survey data were used to georeference a 1930s topographic map and to identify key geomorphic features, including the tops of the arroyo walls and the channel thalweg. Linear features were mapped in a GIS for use in extracting channel thalweg profiles, an arroyo cross section, and arroyo widths (1930s and 2000) as a function of distance down-valley. These features have been converted to shapefiles included...