October 28, 2021
Was there a turquoise trail?
Turquoise is the blue-green mineral that was highly valued and broadly used by prehispanic societies that lived in what is today the American Southwest and Mexico. In the American Southwest, traces of prehispanic turquoise mines are present across Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and California. However, archaeological evidence for the use of turquoise extends over a broader area, stretching through Mexico to parts of Central America. How can we trace the geologic origins of turquoise artifacts? Was turquoise exchanged or moved over long distances? This talk will address the current state of our knowledge on the use, mining, and exchange of the mineral by prehispanic groups in southwestern North America. In particular, Professor Thibodeau will discuss recent research on the source of Aztec and Mixtec turquoise artifacts that overturns traditional ideas about the long-distance movement of the mineral and provides a new perspective on the availability of turquoise outside of the American Southwest. The Zoom link will be sent to registrants on the morning of the event. Please register Wednesday, Oct. 27.