Isotopic Evidence for the Provenance of Turquoise, Mineral Paints, and Metals in the Southwestern United States

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/243111
Title:
Isotopic Evidence for the Provenance of Turquoise, Mineral Paints, and Metals in the Southwestern United States
Author:
Thibodeau, Alyson Marie
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release after 03-Aug-2014
Abstract:
Lead and strontium isotopes are two powerful tracers that can be used to identify or constrain the provenance of a wide range of archaeological materials, but these two isotopic tracers have been rarely employed to infer the sources of artifacts in the southwestern USA. This dissertation contains four studies that demonstrate how these isotopic systems can address questions about the sources of three types of archaeological materials found in this region: turquoise, lead-based glaze-paints, and metals. The analysis of 116 samples of turquoise from 17 deposits in the southwestern USA reveals that lead and strontium isotopes are robust and sensitive tracers of turquoise at multiple scales. Isotopic variation among turquoise deposits correlates with broad regional differences in the geologic and tectonic setting of the rocks and mineral deposits which host turquoise mineralization. Many turquoise deposits also have unique isotopic signatures that will enable insights into ancient patterns of turquoise acquisition at regional and local levels. To show the utility of these tracers when applied to archaeological turquoise, I use lead and strontium isotopic measurements to establish that the Silver Bell Mountains are the likely source turquoise found at the Redtail site in the Tucson Basin, Arizona, USA. This dissertation also contains new, high-precision isotopic ratios of lead ores (galena and cerrusite) from four mining districts in New Mexico, including the Cerrillos Hills. All districts studied are possible sources of lead used by Pueblo IV communities to produce glaze paints. These new measurements, made by multiple-collector ICP-MS, define the isotopic composition of the ore deposits with greater precision and accuracy than achieved in previous studies, indicating an opportunity to improve interpretations about the provenance of lead in glaze paints. Lead isotopes are also found to be useful tools for identifying lead and copper metal associated with the 1540-1542 Vázquez de Coronado expedition. Lead shot and copper crossbow boltheads from two sites with archaeological evidence for the expedition's presence were determined to share similar or identical lead isotopic ratios. I propose this specific isotopic "fingerprint" can be used to identify other artifacts belonging to the expedition in the Southwest.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
lead isotopes; Southwestern U.S.A.; strontium isotopes; turquoise; Geosciences; Coronado; glaze paints
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Geosciences
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Ruiz, Joaquin

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleIsotopic Evidence for the Provenance of Turquoise, Mineral Paints, and Metals in the Southwestern United Statesen_US
dc.creatorThibodeau, Alyson Marieen_US
dc.contributor.authorThibodeau, Alyson Marieen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseRelease after 03-Aug-2014en_US
dc.description.abstractLead and strontium isotopes are two powerful tracers that can be used to identify or constrain the provenance of a wide range of archaeological materials, but these two isotopic tracers have been rarely employed to infer the sources of artifacts in the southwestern USA. This dissertation contains four studies that demonstrate how these isotopic systems can address questions about the sources of three types of archaeological materials found in this region: turquoise, lead-based glaze-paints, and metals. The analysis of 116 samples of turquoise from 17 deposits in the southwestern USA reveals that lead and strontium isotopes are robust and sensitive tracers of turquoise at multiple scales. Isotopic variation among turquoise deposits correlates with broad regional differences in the geologic and tectonic setting of the rocks and mineral deposits which host turquoise mineralization. Many turquoise deposits also have unique isotopic signatures that will enable insights into ancient patterns of turquoise acquisition at regional and local levels. To show the utility of these tracers when applied to archaeological turquoise, I use lead and strontium isotopic measurements to establish that the Silver Bell Mountains are the likely source turquoise found at the Redtail site in the Tucson Basin, Arizona, USA. This dissertation also contains new, high-precision isotopic ratios of lead ores (galena and cerrusite) from four mining districts in New Mexico, including the Cerrillos Hills. All districts studied are possible sources of lead used by Pueblo IV communities to produce glaze paints. These new measurements, made by multiple-collector ICP-MS, define the isotopic composition of the ore deposits with greater precision and accuracy than achieved in previous studies, indicating an opportunity to improve interpretations about the provenance of lead in glaze paints. Lead isotopes are also found to be useful tools for identifying lead and copper metal associated with the 1540-1542 Vázquez de Coronado expedition. Lead shot and copper crossbow boltheads from two sites with archaeological evidence for the expedition's presence were determined to share similar or identical lead isotopic ratios. I propose this specific isotopic "fingerprint" can be used to identify other artifacts belonging to the expedition in the Southwest.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectlead isotopesen_US
dc.subjectSouthwestern U.S.A.en_US
dc.subjectstrontium isotopesen_US
dc.subjectturquoiseen_US
dc.subjectGeosciencesen_US
dc.subjectCoronadoen_US
dc.subjectglaze paintsen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGeosciencesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorRuiz, Joaquinen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKillick, David J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberChesley, John T.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberQuade, Jayen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberReiners, Peteren_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRuiz, Joaquinen_US
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