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Archaeomagnetic Dating of the Eruption of Xitle Volcano, Basin of Mexico: Implications for the Mesoamerican Centers of Cuicuilco and Teotihuacan

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Article of journalUrrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime; Goguitchaichvili, Avto; Pérez-Cruz, Ligia; Morales, Juan. (UNAM, Instituto de Geofísica, Departamento de Geomagnetismo y Exploración, México; UNAM, Instituto de Geofísica, Servicio Arqueomagnético Nacional, México). Archaeomagnetic Dating of the Eruption of Xitle Volcano, Basin of Mexico: Implications for the Mesoamerican Centers of Cuicuilco and Teotihuacan.  / Datación arqueomagnética de la erupción del volcán Xitle, cuenca de México: implicaciones para los centros mesoamericanos de Cuicuilco y Teotihuacan Arqueología Iberoamericana, 2016 no. 30 p. 23-29. Keywords:
Cuicuilco, Teotihuacan, volcán Xitle, arqueomagnetismo, Mesoamérica
Pre-hispanic period


The Cuicuilco archaeological site in southern Basin of Mexico is covered by lava flows from the Xitle volcano. Dating the Xitle eruption and Cuicuilco abandonment has long been attempted Contrasting results with radiocarbon dates around 2000 and 1670 yr BP have been reported, with implications for the development of the Mesoamerican centers of Cuicuilco and Teotihuacan. Here, we analyze radiocarbon dates and paleomagnetic data for the Xitle lava flows. New age estimates for the eruption are determined from correlating full vector data with the geomagnetic secular variation reference model. The revised archaeomagnetic data give ages correlating with the radiocarbon chronology, with a mean of 2086 cal yr BP and 95% confidence interval from 1995 to 2177 cal yr BP. Bootstrap analysis of the calibrated radiocarbon and archaeomagnetic dates gives mean dates and confidence intervals of 2041 and 1968–2041 cal yr BP and 2035 and 1968–2073 cal yr BP, respectively. The interval estimated of ~90 BC to ~AD 20 supports a possible link between the abandonment of Cuicuilco and the early development of Teotihuacan.

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