Vol. 48 (2021), pp. 8–29 • 2.64 MB • español
Catalog of Absolute Dates Available for the Archaeological Area of La Quemada, Zacatecas, Northern Mesoamerica

Alejandra García Pimentel, Carlos Torreblanca, Miguel Cervantes Solano,
Rubén Cejudo, Rafael García, Avto Goguitchaichvili, Juan Gerardo Rivera Belmontes,
Juan Morales

Arqueol. Iberoam.

The archaeological area of La Quemada is one of the largest and most important settlements in the northern border of Mesoamerica. It is located in the municipality of Villanueva, in the State of Zacatecas. Archaeological research has allowed to define the occupational sequence of the site in three phases: Malpaso (400–600/650 AD), sharing incised decoration with the Canutillo ceramics corresponding to the Chalchihuites culture; La Quemada (600/650–850 AD), during which the settlement presented its greatest architectural growth and consolidated as a center of power; and Ciudadela (850–1000 AD), a period in which the process of abandonment and a strong fire took place. The first absolute chronological data obtained for La Quemada correspond to radiometric methods and were the result of field work carried out by Pedro Armillas in 1951 and 1952, obtaining 3 dates; later, in 1963 and 1964, he obtained 7 more dates for La Quemada and 2 for the Ambosco Dam site, located 6 km from La Quemada. In 1986, Peter Jiménez and Charles Trombold obtained 4 dates for the Las Adjuntas site, located 4 km from La Quemada. Subsequently, from excavations conducted between 1988 and 1993 by SUNY Buffalo at La Quemada, 39 dates were achieved and, in 1997, Ben A. Nelson published the stratigraphic contexts of those dates. In 2018, Paula Turkon et alii published 6 dates corresponding to La Quemada, obtained by dendrochronological methods. Finally, in 2019 and 2020, the last absolute dates for La Quemada were announced, obtained using archaeomagnetic methods. The first of these studies (López et al. 2019) provided two dates and from the second study (Torreblanca et al. 2020) 4 more were obtained. From the above, a database containing 66 absolute dates was constructed, observing that more than half of them fall within the interval from 600 to 800 AD, which corresponds to the La Quemada occupational phase. In addition, according to the dating method, the age intervals available for each structure were grouped, and it was found that a hearth from the Ballgame Court has a more recent age (around 1623 AD), which indicates its use during the colonial period in Mexico, and that the structures Terrace 18 and Midden 11 are the oldest, presenting dates between 130 and 170 AD. Finally, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a multi-range and Kruskal-Wallis test were performed. The analysis of variance and the multi-range test allowed to classify 3 homogeneous groups (I, II, III) and it was observed that some structures showed an overlap with respect to the groups. The classification and statistical analysis carried out for the existing absolute dates allowed to identify the number of structures dated by absolute methods, the youngest and oldest structures, as well as the periods of use of each one of them; the most important aspect of this analysis is that it made it possible to observe in chronological order the constructive development of La Quemada, Zacatecas.

Mesoamerica; La Quemada; radiometric dates; dendrochronology; archaeomagnetism.

Cite as
García Pimentel, A.; C. Torreblanca; M. Cervantes Solano; R. Cejudo; R. García;
A. Goguitchaichvili; J. G. Rivera Belmontes; J. Morales.
Catálogo de dataciones absolutas disponibles para la zona arqueológica de La Quemada, Zacatecas, norte de Mesoamérica. Arqueología Iberoamericana 48: 8–29.

Other Persistent Identifiers

Publication date: August 23, 2021.

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