Ancient Timbers Reveal Secrets of Anasazi Builders

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This suggests that the 12 communities were interconnected and may have collaborated in harvesting and stockpiling the wood as a community resource.

"We know that these people imported pottery, turquoise, and food so maybe they also had arrangements with other communities to deliver logs," Dean suggested.

English believes that the strontium tracer method could be applied to a wide range of botanical products, like corn for example. "Corn also takes up strontium so the method could be used to figure out whether the canyon residents grew their own corn or imported it," said English.

English believes the method ultimately could allow archaeologists to peer back in time over the last millennium into the lives of Chaco Anasazi and see what products were imported and which communities were their trading partners.

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