International Pots of Mystery: Using PXRF spectroscopy to identify the provenance of botijas from 16th Century sites on Peru's north coast

Sarah J. Kelloway, Parker VanValkenburgh, César Astuhuamán Gonzáles, Andrea Gonzáles Lombardi, Diego Bedoya Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd This study presents the results of visual and portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analyses of botijas/olive jars from the 16th Century sites of San Miguel de Piura and Carrizales, north coast Peru. Although visual analysis generally enabled the discrimination of Spanish- from New World-made sherds, PXRF analyses permitted further provenance determinations to specific regions and countries of origin. The results show that botijas from these sites variously derive from Spain, Panama and South America, with only Spanish sherds present at the church contexts under study in San Miguel de Piura. At Carrizales, Spanish botijas are abundant across church and domestic associated spaces, with only slightly higher concentrations recovered from church-affiliated contexts, and Panamanian and South American sherds also present. These results suggest that numerous economic, socio-religious and political factors were at play in the use and potential re-use of botijas at these sites.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

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