EPMArch - Paquime - La Perla del Norte Redux

Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 2:00 PM
El Paso Museum of Archaeology
4301 Transmountain
El Paso, Texas 79924

Paquimé: La Perla del Norte, Redux

Dr. Ben Brown on the topic Paquimé: La Perla del Norte, Redux The presentation is free, open to the public.

Upon arriving in Casas Grandes, México in 1988 to head the archaeological conservation project at Paquimé, Dr. Brown spent five years learning all he could about Paquimé, in the process becoming an internationally recognized expert on the conservation of earthen architecture.

In attempting to preserve ancient buildings, like the ones at Paquimé (dating to approximately AD 1200 to 1450), preservationists recognize that every action and intervention is destructive. They cannot always predict the immediate and long term impact of what they do. A second major concern is the sometimes delicate balance between pursuing the scientific search for knowledge and the opportunity to enhance public understanding of the people and technologies of the ancient past.

Paquimé is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site because it was a major trading center, if not the major trading center, in northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Paquimé was linked to Sinaloa by the presence of sea shells from the coast, to tropical Mexico and the Southwest by the presence of certain birds, and to central Mesoamerica by the presence of I-shaped ball courts. The trade list goes on to include copper, astronomy, and more. 

The conservation of earthen architecture includes the search for the best techniques as well as the application of soil science, geomorphology, forestry, climatology, and many other natural sciences. The goal is to provide continual evaluation and reevaluation over time so that the archaeological ruins may be preserved for future generations.