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Strontium isotopes and the reconstruction of the Chaco regional system: evaluating uncertainty with Bayesian mixing models.
Strontium isotope sourcing has become a common and useful method for assigning sources to archaeological artifacts. In Chaco Canyon, an Ancestral Pueblo regional center in New Mexico, previous studies using these methods have suggested that significant portion of maize and wood originate in the Chuska Mountains region, 75 km to the East. In the present manuscript, these results were tested using both frequentist methods (to determine if geochemical sources can truly be differentiated) and Bayesian methods (to address uncertainty in geochemical source attribution). It was found that Chaco Canyon and the Chuska Mountain region are not easily distinguishable based on radiogenic strontium isotope values. The strontium...