Well-made turquoise beads are rare in North American archaeological sites, and the prehistoric sources of turquoise are limited. Mining the turquoise, manufacturing the bead, and using it as part of a bracelet or necklace involve numerous human interactions to transport the raw material from its source to the place where it is finally found in an archaeological context. Accurate identification of turquoise sources affects our interpretation of prehistoric behavior and is the focus of this paper.
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Mathien, Frances Joan
"Identifying Sources of Prehistoric Turquoise in North America: Problems and Implications for Interpreting Social Organization."
BEADS: Journal of the Society of Bead Researchers
12: 17-37. Available at: