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Among the many unusual objects from Pueblo Bonito are ceramic cylinder jars, vessels typically 2.4 times as tall as they are wide (Fig. Most are painted with black designs on a white background, but red jars and white jars occur as well.Fewer than 200 cylinder jars are known from the American Southwest and 166 of these come from Pueblo Bonito.These 3 samples were those characterized as probable cylinder jars.The sherds from the pitcher and indefinite cylinder jar/pitcher did not show the peaks characteristic of theobromine.With an estimated 800 rooms in the multistoried masonry pueblo, tree-ring dates reveal construction between about A. The Hyde Exploring Expedition (1896–1899) and the National Geographic Society Expedition (1920–1927) investigated most of the rooms in the site and portions of the two trash mounds just south of the pueblo (3, 4).Hundreds of thousands of artifacts from these excavations are housed primarily at the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution.The pitchers differ from the cylinder jars in having a large vertical handle and a bulbous base.
This is the first recovery of cacao in a Prehispanic context north of the Mexican border.Before analysis, we passed each sample through membrane filters to eliminate particulate matter.Cacao has a unique chemical composition of more than 500 different compounds, including members of the methylxanthine class (primarily theobromine, with a lower concentration of caffeine).Peaks from the extract of the residue from Sample 2001 were evident in the mass spectrum of the sample (Fig. There are 4 important implications of this research that we explore more fully below.First, it documents the presence of cacao north of the Mexican border, far outside the area of cultivation.
Second, it shows the likely function of the ceramic cylinder jars found at Pueblo Bonito.