Local recipes or distant commodities? Lead isotope and chemical compositional analysis of glaze paints from the Salinas pueblos, New Mexico

Deborah L. Huntley, Katherine A. Spielmann, Judith A. Habicht-Mauche, Cynthia L. Herhahn, A. Russell Flegal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

For nearly four hundred years, Pueblo potters in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico produced technologically innovative glaze-decorated bowls and exchanged them widely among different villages. While potential sources of lead ores used to make glaze paints are found throughout the Rio Grande Valley region, researchers have only recently begun to identify which ore sources potters exploited and to understand the social and economic factors underlying patterns of ore resource use. In this paper we use stable lead isotope and electron microprobe analysis of glaze paints on Rio Grande Glaze Ware made at two Salinas pueblos to identify ore sources and glaze recipes used by their potters. Despite some isotopic overlap of ore sources, the lead isotope data point to regular exploitation of ores from the Socorro area of the southern Rio Grande. Salinas potters apparently used other sources as well, and likely mixed ores from different sources. We also identify four local glaze recipes that appear to incorporate multiple ore sources, suggesting that Salinas potters obtained raw ores rather than finished glaze paints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1147
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Electron microprobe
  • Glaze paint recipes
  • ICP-MS
  • Lead isotope sourcing
  • Pottery production and exchange
  • Rio Grande Glaze Ware
  • Salinas pueblos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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