It seems that they saw these high and foreboding mountains as less of a barrier and more of a conduit.

Deciphering a potter’s recipe is like savoring a rich Bolognese sauce. First, we tried to identify individual recipe ingredients.

For example, near a high-altitude archaeological site in the Province of San Juan, we fired and tested locally available clays, none of which could produce vessels similar to the high-quality archaeological sherds.

He invited me down to check them out, and I readily accepted. As part of my work on the GEODE project, I’m always looking for good imagery to teach key concepts in geoscience.

One important concept that I’ve been thinking about lately is the principle of relative dating on the basis of inclusions.

Neither the temper nor the clay seemed to be local, and the geological map gave us an idea of where potters acquired (and probably made) this vessel.

Second, we experimented with methods that offer composite chemical signatures of the total recipe, AAS and XRF.Callan Bentley is an assistant professor of geology at Northern Virginia Community College.He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the President of the Geological Society of Washington.The basic idea is to identify materials used by potters and to see if they were made locally or not. Beginning around two-thousand years ago, hunter–gatherers (or pastoralists?) in the region started using ceramics and should have become sedentary… Continuing to hunt and now with llama herds, they stuck to their seasonal comings and goings through and over the Andes.Annotation color code: PINK = Granite contact BLUE = Sericite after staurolite pseudomorphs YELLOW = Outlines of stretched clasts within the metaconglomerate GREEN = …