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Archaeology Cruciform Artifacts of the Sierra Occidental

Archaeology Cruciform Artifacts of the Sierra Occidental

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Published by: Alberto Duran Iniestra on Oct 14, 2011
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Society for American Archaeology
Cruciform Artifacts of the Sierra OccidentalAuthor(s): Agnes McClain HowardSource:
American Antiquity,
Vol. 20, No. 2 (Oct., 1954), pp. 174-175Published by:
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Accessed: 22/01/2011 22:42
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 American Antiquity.
174 AMERICANANTIQUITY[XX,2, 1954Spaniardsat the sametime astheiroccupationofSe-ville. It is,therefore,a possibilitythat theSpaniardsdugthe cisternbut never completedit, in thesameway thatthey commenceda stonechurchat Sevilleandleftitunfinished.Another possibilityis thatthe hole wasdugbyDonChristopherYsassi,the lastSpanishgovernorofJamaica,whowas frequentlyin this areafrom1657to 1660,wherehe received from timetotime suppliesfromCuba to supporthis warfarewith the Englishonthe southside ofthe island. Hementionshavingduga cellarinadryplaceto hide 34barrelsofgunpowder.Unfortunatelyfor himthepowderwas removedbyoneCaptainReyesto a less hidden placeand was capturedaftera skirmishbytheEnglishtroops.DeWolf'ssuggestionthattheexcavationmighthavebeen dugbyIndians under white (Spanish)supervisionisquite plausible,as weknow that the nativesworkedfortheSpaniardsatSeville,andshe is correct whenshestatesthat suchprojectsarenot encountered in Arawakculture.
1953ExcavationsinJamaica.AmericanAntiquity,Vol. lt5No. 3, pp. 230-38. SaltLake City.
1894 TheStory of the Life of Columbus and theDiscovery ofJamaica.Journalof the Institute ofJamaica,Vol. 1,No.4.Kingston.
GoldenSpringLime Hall P.O.Jamaica,B.W.I.March, 1954CRUCIFORMARTIFACTSOFTHESIERRAOCCIDENTALInvestigatorsinthe western and northwesternareasofMexico aswellas in southern Arizona have for alongtimebeenfamiliarwith a rather curious type ofartifact,thepossiblepurposeof which has thus far defiedevenlogicalspeculation.Moreover, in spite of the factthattheseartifactsare of relatively wide distribution andarenumerousenoughto escape the designation "rare,"
60,there is only the most meager reference to them in theliterature. This artifact is a cross, usually quitewellmade,ofobsidian, chalcedony, serpentine, or otherstone and there iseven one reported of moonstone(Kelly1945, Fig. 47 a). One of similar form but made of coarselava was found at Topolobampo, Sinaloa (Ekholm1942).The size of thecrosses varies from quitesmall onestolarger ones measuring as much as 5 inchesdiagonallytiptotip.The crosses pictured (Fig. 60) are fromDtLirangowhere perhaps the greatest concentration of the formhasoccurred. Cross a is of unpolished obsidian, 48 mm.diagonally tip to tip. This is from the Hacienda SantaBarbara onthe ranch of Fred Weicker, some 56km.west of Durango City and some 10 km. west oftheWeickerSite which has been under investigation byJ.Charles Kelley of Southern Illinois University. Thestonecross b, 38 mm. diagonally tip to extrapolatedtip,was a surface find at the Schroeder Site about 10 km.south ofDurango City, a site also investigated byKelley.Other crosses are reported to have come from this sitebut areunavailable. Some 60 km. north of DurangoCityon theHaciendaElOjo (Mac Howard II) asmallcross ofhighly polished obsidian was found inassoci-ation withrather unusualprojectile points.While thearchaeologyof the varioussitesis asyetnottoo well workedout, in general it appears thattheappearanceofthe crosses is notthus far related toanyspecific archaeological pattern. The HaciendaSantaBarbarasite(Weicker: Mac Howard I) yields potteryofaverycrudesort, coarse and undecorated. Boththe Schroeder site and the Hacienda ElOjo (MacHowardII)showdefinite Chalchihuites influence and yield well-madepainted pottery.Amostinteresting aspectof thedistribution of thisartifactformis the factthatfinds are reportedfrombothhighlandandcoastalregionsof Mexico as wellasfromsoutheasternArizona. Heretoforethe Sinaloaregionhas shownno affinities with the Highland cul-tures(Kellv 1938) except for the Guasave area (Ekholm1942), and thus the moonstone cross mentionedearlierforms atenuous butsuggestivelink.CharlesC. DiPesoof theAmerind Foundation incorrespondencewiththedirector ofthe InstitutoInteramericanomentionedarumorthattwoof thestoneshad been foundinaburialnear TiburonIsland, Sonora,andhealsomen-tionedseveralfinds inArizonaand one nearCananea,Sonora. Other findssuch as that atGuasave,Sinaloa(Ekholm 1942)tend tostrengthentheHighland-Coastalrelationship, especiallyif we consider theoccurrenceofthe form atCuicuilco in theValleyof Mexico(Haury1945).Sofaras can be determinedthere is nowayoffixingtheageofthecruciform artifacts sincetheyhavenotbeen foundinrelatable strata. One cross was foundattheWeicker Site whichalso yielded a fluted projectilepoint (Lorenzo 1953)foundby Charles Kelley'sgroup,andwhich fallswithin the Clovis fluted category.How-ever,thefindswerenot inrecognizable strata.The

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