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View Diary: Ancient America: Aboriginal Mining (22 comments)

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  •  In New Mexico (10+ / 0-)

    They may have been mining even more than turquoise. The pueblos had really extensive knowledge of mineral deposits like malachite, galena (lead/silver) cinnabar, gypsum, travertine and so on and helped the Spanish locate all kinds of promising formations (albeit with scanty deposits). There is some evidence that there was even pre-contact smelting, although that's pretty weak. The one major meso-American smelting site I know about is in South America.

    In the Galisteo Basin, south of Santa Fe, the Spanish moved right in with the Pueblos at sites like Pa'ako and San Marcos (and maybe other places like Tuerto Pueblo) to work together to mine and process the deposits in the Cerrillos Hills. It seems to have been a largely amicable partnership and there is a pretty extraordinary growth of fusion technology between the Puebloan and Spanish metallurgical techniques for several decades before the area collapsed.

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