Sharon Hull

Sharon HullDepartment & Program:
• Anthropology, Ph.D.

Funding and Awards:
• International Graduate Student Entrance Scholarship 2006-2007 (University of Manitoba)
• Graduate Fellowship 2003-2005 (University of Eastern New Mexico)

• Masters in Anthropology, 2006, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico, USA
• B.A. in Anthropology/Geography, 2003, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Research Interest:
• Development of sourcing techniques for archaeological materials
• Lithic dating methods
• Southwestern archaeology
• Central Churchill River drainage basin, northern Manitoba

The amount of turquoise recovered from southwestern United States and Mesoamerican archaeological sites suggests that the procurement and exchange of turquoise was an important part of these pre-Columbian cultures.  For decades, archaeologists have sought to chemically characterize turquoise deposits.  However these studies have met with limited success due to intrinsic limitations of trace element analyses of compositionally complex minerals such as turquoise.  For my master’s research I developed a technique to identify turquoise deposit using the isotopic ratios of hydrogen (2H/1H) and copper (65Cu/63Cu), measured by a Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer.   
I am currently working with Dr. Mostafa Fayek to expand the research that was completed for my master’s thesis.  This project, funded by an NSF grant, will include two significant stages.  The first stage includes refining the sourcing technique and characterizing each known turquoise deposit in the American Southwest and northern Mexico.  The second stage includes analyzing turquoise artifacts from different sites in the Anasazi culture area; including sites from Chaco Canyon, and the Salmon and Aztec sites located near the San Juan River.  The identification of the source areas of the turquoise artifacts can help in the reconstruction of turquoise exchange networks through time allowing new insight into population shifts during the “collapse” or reorganization of the Chacoan system around A.D. 1150.  Although, the main focus will be on Chaco Canyon, Aztec, and Salmon, artifacts from other parts of the American Southwest and Mexico will be analyzed to begin reconstruction of pre-Columbian turquoise exchange networks on a much larger scale.
The use of stable isotopes is a relatively new technique in archaeological research and is being applied to other materials provenance studies.  I was invited to participate in an important research study supported by an Aboriginal Research SSHRC grant through the Manitoba Museum that encompasses a large research team working with the Pickerel Narrows First Nation, Grandville Lake, Manitoba that combines interdisciplinary research that ranges from examining how Aboriginal people can play active roles in the management  and development of policies governing Aboriginal cultural heritage resources to understanding how traditional lands that have existed over thousands of years were utilized by the ancestors of the Cree communities situated in the central Churchill River Basin in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  My role is to help develop a technique to characterize quartz quarries in northern Manitoba.  We will also analyze quartz artifacts by SIMS using a quartz hydration dating technique developed by Ericson (University of California, Irvine) and colleagues.

Hull, Sharon, Mostafa Fayek, Francis J. Mathien, Phillip Shelley, and Kathy Durand
2006  Using H and cu stable isotopes to source prehistoric turquoise.  Paper presented at SAA 2006, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Hull, Sharon, Mostafa Fayek, Lawrence M. Anovitz, Joan Mathien and Phillip Shelley
2005  The effects of alteration on sourcing archaeological turquoise.  Paper presented at GSA 2005, Salt Lake City, 37-7.

Evans, Mark J., Mostafa Fayek, Lee R. Riciputi, Lawrence M. Anovitz, Sharon Hull, Frances Joan Mathien and Homer Milford
2004  LA-MC-ICPMA Determination of Copper Isotope Ratios in Turquoise from the southwestern United States.  Poster presented at Eos Trans. AGU, 85(47), Abstract V51A-0514.

In Press:

Hull, Sharon, Mostafa Fayek, Frances Joan Mathien, Phillip Shelley, and Kathy Roler Durand
2007  A New Approach to Determining the Geological Provenance of Turquoise Artifacts using Hydrogen and Copper Stable Isotopes.  In press: Journal of Archaeological Science. 

In preparation:

Hull, Sharon, Mostafa Fayek, Lawrence M. Anovitz, and Francis Joan Mathien
2007  The Effects of Alteration on Sourcing Archaeological Turquoise.  American Mineral.