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 AD  Vol.6 No.1 , January 2018
ICP Analyses from the Cinnabar-Mercury Occurrence at Azogues (Loma Guashon), Ecuador: Ancient Industrial Uses and Human Health Implications
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Abstract: ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma) analyses of the Cretaceous marine sandstones at the Azogues (Loma Guashon), Ecuador cinnabar-mercury occurrence gave 11 - 113 ppm Hg. However, the ancient Azogues mines have been well documented previously, for example: 1) a 1799 hand drawn map “Plan del Cerro Mineral de Azogue” shows numerous adits; 2) during Colonial time, Cuenca founder, Gil Ramirez Davalos was owner of the mercury mines; 3) in the late 1800s, Teodoro Wolf described well-worked adits at Guashon and samples with 0.5% Hg; and more recently, 4) the Metallogenic Map of Ecuador shows the mercury occurrence at Azogues. Mineral resource assessment of the Azogues occurrence is important to regional archaeological studies of resource availability and ancient use of cinnabar as a pigment and as a source of mercury for gold amalgamation before the arrival of the Europeans, and possibly later, for silver amalgamation, during Colonial time.
Cite this paper: Brooks, W. (2018) ICP Analyses from the Cinnabar-Mercury Occurrence at Azogues (Loma Guashon), Ecuador: Ancient Industrial Uses and Human Health Implications. Archaeological Discovery, 6, 38-51. doi: 10.4236/ad.2018.61003.
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