Traditionally, the wide distribution of distinctive Chihuahuan polychrome ceramics has been interpreted as evidence for the extensive interaction sphere of Casas Grandes, or Paquime. The role of the major center of Paquime in the political and economic system is a crucial question in defining the nature and intensity of interactions in the Casas Grandes region and the extent of intraregional social and political integration. A large-scale, regional sourcing project using Chihuahuan polychrome ceramics provides new information on their production and distribution. It also demonstrates the limitations of ceramic sourcing analyses and presents a strong case for the fact that the underlying geology of a region determines the resolution at which ceramics can be attributed to production loci or resource procurement zones.
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