Thousand year old bracelet from Ceremonial Cave
For at least a thousand years, people came to a cave in the Hueco Mountains near present day El Paso, now called "Ceremonial Cave." This thousand-year-old finely crafted turquoise armband was likely placed there as a gift by people who believed the cave was a doorway to a watery underworld where all life began.
The ancestors of today's Puebloan tribes used caves as sacred spaces for ceremonies. While some of the artifacts found in Ceremonial Cave were associated with non-ceremonial use of the space, many of the objects were likely left behind as offerings. Some of the objects are made from stones and shells only found hundreds of miles away, suggesting the importance of these rare objects as well as an extensive North American trade network.
Courtesy Texas Archeological Research Lab, The University of Texas at Austin
Time Period: BCE - 1518
Exhibit: Becoming Texas
This artifact is not on view.