Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

UNM, Mexico Team Up To Unearth Past.

Byline: Morgan Lee Journal Staff Writer

* Governor's Gallery at Capitol features fruits of their labor from four excavation sites

Under a cooperative agreement with the Mexican government, archaeologists from New Mexico have helped uncover a network of prehistoric settlements south of the U.S. border that flourished before the Spanish conquest.

The international effort uncovered evidence of far-flung trade routes that may have brought turquoise from the Cerrillos Hills of New Mexico, pottery from South America, exotic birds from southern Mexico and ocean shells from both coasts to the town of Paquime, now a labyrinth of well-preserved ruins on the outskirts of modern Nuevas Casas Grandes, less than three hours by car from the U.S. border.

"We think that we are highly mobile (today) but these people living 600 years ago were, too," said Robert Leonard, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico. …

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