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Canyon Creek Turquoise Mine

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Canyon Creek Turquoise Mine

Canyon Creek Turquoise mine specimen

One of the original Turquoise mines in the Southwestern United States is the Canyon Creek Turquoise mine. Research has shown that this mine was key in the trade of the sky stone with the Native American cultures before the arrival of the Spaniards. 

The Canyon Creek mine appears to have been the most active during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Canyon Creek mine produced both green and blue Turquoise.  Most of the Turquoise from the mine appeared to be lighter in color and softer. 

Much of this Turquoise was used in sacred objects, alters, masks, amulets and other adornments. 

Canyon Creek Turquoise Mine History

Turquoise mines near Canyon Creek Ruin (AZ V:2:100 [ASM]), on the escarpment of the Grasshopper plateau in east-central Arizona, provide a supply-side perspective on the production and distribution of one of Pre-columbian North America's most highly valued commodities. Although a minimum of 1,000 work days were spent by prehistoric peoples in quarrying at Canyon Creek, the site has been overlooked as a significant turquoise source. Compositional analyses link the mine to turquoise excavated from the Room 113 manufacturing area at Grasshopper Pueblo (AZ P:14:1 [ASM]). Both the commodity and the Canyon Creek source apparently were important in east-central Arizona prehistory, but there is as yet no material evidence that the quarry was monitored or systematically exploited by a managerial elite. 

Learn More about the Canyon Creek Turquoise Mine

The Canyon Creek Turquoise Mine, Arizona | Request PDF. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307794112_The_Canyon_Creek_Turquoise_Mine_Arizona [accessed Aug 03 2018].



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