EARTH: Isotopes Could Reveal Ancient American Turquoise Trade

EARTH: Isotopes Could Reveal Ancient American Turquoise Trade
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12/3/2015
 
Alexandria, VA - A new study from geoscience researchers has important implications for studies of Mesoamerica and North America prior to the arrival of European settlers. Using isotope geochemistry, scientists at Pennsylvania's Dickenson College and the University of Arizona are trying to identify if turquoise mineral specimens record the signature of their parent ore deposits.
 
Turquoise is a copper aluminum phosphate mineral that forms from water percolating through bedrock near copper ore deposits. Scientists thought that they should see signatures of the ore body where a specimen formed reflected in lead and strontium isotopes in the turquoise, and initial results suggest that they do. Learn what these chemical fingerprints say about where turquoise originates, and how this could improve our understanding of ancient trade routes in North America in EARTH Magazine: http://bit.ly/1N5Rohm.
 
EARTH continues bringing you the science behind the headlines in its December 2015 digital issue, and its November/December 2015 print issue available now. EARTH Magazine stories take you around the world - Nepal, Cyprus, Santorini, Morocco and more just in this issue. Explore active research giving us insight about the planet we live on. Consider a gift subscription to your local library or school as a way to share your wonder for the planet this holiday season. Visit www.earthmagazine.org for more stories, geo-gift guides, puzzles and photo contests to finish out 2015. 
 
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Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH Magazine online at: http://www.earthmagazine.org/. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.
 
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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.
 

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