Here’s an interesting news tidbit, from a recent Times article on new chemical evidence of cacao usage in the American Southwest, at the famous site of Chaco Canyon. The tall cylinder vessels found there bear a striking resemblance to the common form of Late Classic Maya cacao pots, and in fact I’ve long wondered if they could indicate a connection to Mesoamerica. Seems they do.
Mystery of Ancient Pueblo Jars is Solved, New York Times, February 3, 2009
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Another jar from Chaco Canyon turned up in the San Diego Museum of Man storage when Registrar Linda Fisk and I looked for one such vessel after reading the Times article. The step-fret design is quite clear as well as two lugs and an unusual grooved lip (for a lid?). It can be viewed in my note to Pottery Southwest Vol. 28, no. 3 December 2009 issue on-line.
Dr. Patricia Crown visited subsequently at our request and she and curator Grace Johnson located another vessel to be included in Patty’s study of these great cylinder vessels which show by chemical analysis the furthest northern usage of cacao in pre-Columbian America.
I just discovered this very interesting blog, thus my late comment on this article by one of my favorite experts, David Stuart. I’m going through one by one and they are all interesting. One other I found particularly interesting is that by another favorite Stephen Houston on first bloodletting by Maya princes as it ties to a recent project on types of ceramics and their inscriptions.