INAH Uncovers 2,500 Aztec Wooden Objects at the Templo Mayor in Mexico City

June 25, 2022

INAH has uncovered 2,500 wooden objects at the foot of the Templo Mayor in Mexico City. INAH says they have found masks, headdresses, sceptres, pectorals, darts, figurines, dart launchers, earrings, jars, and numerous wooden offerings that the priests deposited to consecrate the site to the Aztec gods. The finds were stabilised using synthetic sugars (lactitol and, later, trehalose) which prevents the breakdown of the wood by microorganisms and fluctuations in relative humidity.

The objects have survived due to the anaerobic conditions in the soil and the high level of humidity that has persevered them for more than 500 years. The researchers applied modern methods of conservation in which the finds were stabilised using synthetic sugars (lactitol and, later, trehalose) which prevents the breakdown of the wood by microorganisms and fluctuations in relative humidity.

The finds are then rinsed in water and placed inside a heat chamber with temperatures of 50°C. This slowly dries the wood and allows the controlled crystallisation of sugars that generates a thickening of the cell walls at a microscopic level.

Many of the objects have traces of colours such as blue, red, black, and white pigment on the surface.

Excavations of the ritual deposits have also uncovered botanical remains such as flowers, birds, mammals and marine animals, sea cucumbers, copper and gold objects, and flint and ceramic pieces.

Heritage Daily has the report here;
https://www.heritagedaily.com/2022/06/thousands-of-wooden-objects-and-offerings-recovered-from-the-aztec-templo-mayor/143896

INAH Archaeologists Discover a large sculpture of the Maya Maize God in Palenque, Chiapas

June 25, 2022

A 1,300 year old sculpture of the Maya Maize God has been uncovered at the Maya site of Palenque, in Chiapas. The discovery was made last July but just announced. The sculpture was placed over a pool a stuccoed floor and walls, honoring the entrance of the Maize God to the underworld. It was placed in an east-west position “which would symbolize the birth of the corn plant with the first rays of the sun,” INAH said. It is dated to 700-850 CE. 

INAH said that vegetable matter, bones of various animals including turtles, quail and domestic dogs, shells, crab claws, ceramic pieces, miniature anthropomorphic figurines and pieces of obsidian blades and seeds among other items were also deposited in a closed-off compartment where the sculpture – which lay hidden for about 1,300 years.

“Some animal bones had been cooked and others have … teeth marks,” he said, explaining that indicated that meat was eaten by the inhabitants of Palenque as part of a ritual.

The maize god head was exposed to humidity and is currently undergoing a process of gradual drying, INAH said, adding that it will subsequently be restored by specialists.

Mexico News Daily has the report here:
https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/maya-corn-god-statue-palenque-chiapas/

And here is a You Tube Video of there find;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GTb-x1dVEY

LIDAR at the Purepecha site of Tzintzuntzan in Michoacan Uncovers 1000 New Monuments

June 25, 2022

INAH used LIDAR technology at the Purepecha site of Tzintzuntzan in Mochoacan to find 1000 new monuments there. A few dozen monuments were known before. New pyramids, terraces, platforms and residential dwellings have been uncovered. More use of LIDAR will uncover even more. INAH said the new discoveries are just the tip of the iceberg.

Mexico News Daily has the report here.
https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/lidar-reveals-size-ancient-city-michoacan/

New Important Structures Uncovered at the Maya Site of Xiol in the Yucatan

June 25, 2022

INAH has uncovered places, workshops, dwellings and a large public square at the Maya sire of Xiol in the Yucatan built between 600-900 CE. The architecture is in the Puuc style which is rare in the northern area where this site is located. 4,000 people lived here. And it is 15 miles from Merida. More discoveries are expected at this site,

Mexico News Daily has the report here:
https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/ancient-mayan-city-yucatan-site-xiol/

3D Scans Reveal Largest Cave Art in North America

May 30, 2022

Researchers have found mud drawings in a limestone cave in Alabama mad by torchlight bearing artists 1000 years ago. This is not of the largest rock art creations in North America. 3D photogrammetry was used to reveal the art. 5,000 square feet of art has been revealed by researchers lying down inside the cave chamber to 3-D the art. The artists would have done the same. There are thousands of engravings. Now that this discovery has been made, there will probably be others found.

3D photogrammetry IS an emerging technology that creates three-dimensional models based on overlapping photographs. The researchers used a digital camera, LED lights, and a photo rig alternatively set up on the dry cave floor or in patches of knee-deep water. They found 16.000 images.
Then it required uploading and processing each 50-megapixel photo into a larger 3D model. (The sheer amount of data “melted our first computer,” Alvarez says.)

Many of the figures are life sized. A rattlesnake drawing was 11 feet long, the largest piece of cave art ever found.

The drawing naked to the human eye date to 100 CE-1100 CE. This find shows that rock art in the Southwest was as large as rock art in the Southwest.

Researchers will be racing to find more such cave art work using this new technique. Just touching the art work can erase it.

National Geographic has the story here with many breathtaking photos;

13,000-Year-Old Red Ocher Quarry Found in Wyoming

May 30, 2022

Researchers have found a red ochre (hematite) quarry in the Rocky Mountains, Wyoming. The mining is dated tt 12,480-12,505 years ago at the Powars II site. This mine is now the oldest hematite mine found in the Americas. Clovis points have been found there with other projects, tools and shell beads, animal bones and antlers. The site was mined for 1000 years. Some of the projected points came from as far away as Texas. The mined hematite found its way across North America. Further excavations are planned.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Spencer R. Pelton et al. 2022. In situ evidence for Paleoindian hematite quarrying at the Powars II site (48PL330), Wyoming. PNAS 119 (20): e2201005119; doi: 10.1073/pnas.2201005119

Sci-news has the report here:
http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/powars-ii-red-ocher-quarry-10825.html

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May 22, 2022

Research into Mesoamerican Dental Inlays

Mesoamericans inlaid teeth with jade, turquoise and pyrite by drilling holes in the teeth, and then applied a sealant to cement the stones in place. More than half of the stones found in these skulls are still intact. How the bond was formed was a mystery. Researchers in Mexico have studied eight teeth found in Maya burial sites. They have found 150 organic molecules that are in plant resins. There are pine tree resins found which can also prevent tooth decay. Salvia plant resins that have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties have also been found, and mint plants that have anti-inflammatory effect

Co-author of the study, Vera Tiesler, a bioarchaeologist at the Autonomous University of Yucatán, points to Janaab’ Pakal, the Maya king of Palenque, who died in 612 C.E. at the age of 80 with nearly all his teeth and no signs of decay in those that remained—a tribute to the remarkable dental skills of his people.

The research is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reportsnone

Science.org has the report here:
https://www.science.org/content/article/ancient-maya-tooth-sealant-glued-gemstones-place-and-may-have-prevented-tooth-decay

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May 21, 2022

Aztec Chinampas Dwelling Uncovered in Mexico City

An Aztec dwelling has been uncovered during construction in Mexico City. It dates to 1200-1520 CE. It spans 4,300 square feet. It was part of a residential and agricultural center with channels and a jetty used for chinampas farming in floating gardens. Funerary vessels were found containing the remains of infants, burials with an offering of censers, whorls and spinning tools. A stone statute of a man wearing a loincloth which is 23.5 inches tall. 

Live Science has the report here:
https://www.livescience.com/aztec-house-discovered-mexico

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May 21, 2022

The Oldest Evidence of the Maya Calendar found at the site of San Bartolo in Guatemala.


The oldest evidence of the Maya calendar has been uncovered in Guatemala dating to 300-200 BCE at the site of San Bartolo, in the jungles north of Tikal. Two mural fragments with the 7 Deer day sign were among the 249 fragments of painted plaster and masonry blocks excavated at the site. This shows the Maya calendar was in use for at least 2,300 years.

The fragments were radio carbon dated as the team found 7,000 mural fragments. The 7 Deer fragments were part of 11 wall fragments that were analyzed by the team. There may be older calendar artifacts but they are in stone carvings which cannot be dated.

Live Science has the report here:
https://www.livescience.com/earliest-evidence-maya-calendar

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May 22, 2022

INAH Uncovers the Remains of a Huge Number of Animals Consumed at a Feat at the Maya site of Palenque in Chiapas


INAH has uncovered hundreds of animal remains, seeds, over a kilo of coal, shell beads, and green stone at a palace at the site of Palenque in Chiapas. They used water floatation and a fine sieve. Most of the remains are of fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and a small amount of birds, reptiles, mammals. Land snail, apple snail, freshwater crab, mojarras, tenguayaca, white bass, quail, white turtle, nine-banded armadillo, domestic dog, cervid and white-tailed deer have been identified.

These remains are part of a banquet and the remains deposited in cavities that were burned and covered. This banquet would have taken place between 200-900 CE. The finds help us to understand the Maya diet at the time.

Infobae has the report here with photos:

https://www.infobae.com/en/2022/04/13/discovery-in-palenque-inah-found-remains-that-offer-details-of-mayan-rituals/?fbclid=IwAR2DimPwJd5w_aNLKT7X8uC1pJIcDKoNFFsfFrCIf5y0iHrTj-Ap8vXeZCA

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May 21, 2022

INAH Confirms 150 Human Skulls Found in a Chiapas Cave Was a Result of an Ancient Ritual

A pile of 150 human skulls found in a cave in Chiapas, Mexico 10 years ago. Police feared this was a cartel massacre of Guatemala migrants. INAH Archaeologists have now found that the skulls date to 900-1200 CE. The victims were beheaded and were most females, and all were missing teeth. The find was probably a tzompantli or trophy rack with skulls placed along wooden panels. The wooden sticks have also been found. This is not the first cave in Chiapas where similar skull finds have been made.

The New York Times has the report here with a photo:
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/05/world/americas/mexico-skulls-cave.html

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May 21, 2022

INAH Uncovers a Complete Maya Pottery Piece During Train Line Construction


INAH has uncovered a Maya a complete pottery piece while constructing a train line in the region dating to 600-800 CE. It has a glyph band identifying the Maya lord Cholom. It is related to the site of Oxkintok in the Yucatan. 80,000 fragments and 42 complete pieces have been recovered while the train line is being constructed.

The Yucatan Times has the report here with a photo:
https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2022/04/ancient-vessel-found-on-construction-site-of-the-maya-train-section-3-near-oxkintok/

New Child Sacrifice Research in Peru

April 13, 2022

Researchers in Peru conducted toxicology tests on a hair strand and fingernails of two children and found they had been drugged during sacrificial rites. The remains are 500 years old. They were given ayahuasca and cocaine. The children were sacrificed to the gods to avert natural disasters. In this study. The children were sacrificed in the Ampato volcano.

The research is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science

Natureworldnews has the report here;

https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/50311/20220407/ritual-drug-sacrificed-children-found-cocaine-ayahuasca-bodies-during-inca.htm

This practice was earlier reported with the discovery of three Inca mummies also found in a volcano in Argentina. Three girls aged 13 and younger were selected out for sacrifice a year before their deaths. Using biochemical analysis of the hair of the children showed consumption of coca and alcohol. The children were separated from their parents and put under the care of priestesses. They fed the children elite food like maize and llama meat. In the last 6-8 weeks of life, coca and alcohol use surged. Chewed coca leaves were found in the mouth of the 13 year old. The children were put into a stupor before their death. They were brought to a high altitude and buried with spondylus shells from the coast, feathered headdresses from the Amazon, figurines of gold and silver.

The study was published in the PNAS journal.

National Geographic published that report;

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/130729-inca-mummy-maiden-sacrifice-coca-alcohol-drug-mountain-andes-children

Ancient Sican culture surgeon’s tomb uncovered in Lambayeque

April 13, 2022

Archaeologists have uncovered the tomb of a Sican culture surgeon in the Lambayeque region of Peru. The surgeon was buried in a lotus flower position sitting cross legged. He was surrounded by knives, needles and tumis. The tomb is dated at 900-1,050 years old. The tomb was in a ceremonial temple. He wore a golden mask and he was a specialist in cranial trepanations. This procedure was done to remove hematomas and remove fractured skull pieces incurred in combat.

The tomb artifacts included a golden mask with feathered eyes, a bronze breastplate, and surgical instruments such as tumis or knives with a crescent-shaped edge (made of a mixture of gold and silver), dozens of knives with wooden handles, awls and needles. The bark of an unknown tree was found that would be one of the plant species used as an analgesic or infusion.

The tomb is in the Huaca Las Ventanas which began excavations in 2010-11. The Sican culture spanned 700-1375 CE. 

infobae.com has the report here;

https://www.infobae.com/en/2022/03/24/sican-tomb-of-a-1000-year-old-surgeon-found-in-lambayeque/

Trepanation in the Ancient Andes

April 13, 2022

Researchers in the Peruvian Andes have uncovered 1,000 year old skulls showing the practice of trepanation. 32 skulls were uncovered and gave evidence of 45 separate procedures, all the skulls of men. It was forbidden to do this on women or children. Trepanation began as a practice at 200-600 CE. The Peruvian surgeons evolved their practice with new drills, cutting and scraping tools. They studied on skulls of the dead. They can see that patients survived after this surgery since bone grew back after the procedure.

Research leader Danielle Kurin said, “We can see where the trepanations are. We can see that they’re shaving the hair. We see the black smudge of an herbal remedy they put over the wound.”  She used radiocarbon dating and insect casings to determine how long the bodies were left out before they were mummified, and multi-isotopic testing to reconstruct what they ate and where they were born.

The research is published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Smithsonian has there report here with a photo;
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/1000-years-ago-patients-survived-brain-surgery-but-they-had-live-with-huge-holes-in-their-heads-180948185/

Huge Starfish Offering Found at the Temple Mayor in Mexico City

April 11, 2022

INAH has found 164 sea stars placed in the Temple Mayor. Coral, seashells, pufferfish, animal bones and a female jaguar skeleton holding a spear in its claw. They were an offering to Huitzilopochtli, gods of war 700 years ago. Patterns on this species of starfish look like jaguar pelts. They came from 186 miles east, and the coral came from the same distance west. They were re-creating an aquatic environment in the Aztec capital city. Aztec leader Ahuizotl conquered those territories from 1486-1502. Ahizotl added a sixth layer to the Temple Mayor where the offering was found.

Smithsonian has the report here:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/trove-of-starfish-deposited-as-offering-to-aztec-war-god-found-in-mexico-city-180979830/

Major Research Find on South American Migrants Impact on the Early Maya

April 10, 2022

Jaime Awe has done a study on two rock shelters in the rainforest of Belize. 85 skeletons have been unearthed at those rock shelters, 50 of these individuals have been radio carbon dated to 1,000-9,600 years ago. Geneticists then studied these remains and obtained high quality DNA from the inner ear bones of 20 of these individuals. They found that the oldest individuals in this group lived 9,600 to 7.300 years ago. This is the oldest DNA from any rain forest rock shelter. These resemble hunter-gatherers coming in an ancient migration from the north. But at 5,600 years ago, the DNA shifted and showed these individuals came from individuals living from Columbia to Costa Rica who are Chibcha speakers. 

The Maya got half of their DNA from the southern immigrants, the remainder from the most ancient settlers who emigrated from the north and some from the Mexican highlands. Other researchers studied the teeth of the rock shelter people. The teeth showed a steady increase in maize consumption over time. Between 5,600 to 4,000 years ago, maize consumption soared to 50% of the diet. Maize was partially domesticated 9.000 years ago in southwest Mexico, but not fully domesticated till 6,500 years ago in Peru and Bolivia. These southern migrants brought their fully domesticated maize to Belize 5.600 years ago.  

Thus it was migrants from South America who were responsible for kicking off the Maya civilization.

Science.org has the report here.
https://www.science.org/content/article/maya-and-maize-sustained-them-had-surprising-southern-roots-ancient-dna-suggests

Archaeologists Excavate Giant Stone Spheres in Costa Rica

April 10, 2022

Archaeologists have excavated six stone spheres created by the Diquis culture at the Costa Rica site of Finca 6. The spheres were deteriorating due to humidity, floods from hurricanes and tropical storms. The team cleaned and stabilized the spheres with edging and patching with lime-sand mortar to increase hardness and to place protective layers of mortar on the spheres. The spheres were re-buried under gravel and sand to protect against temperature and humidity and to prevent vegetation carrying acid to the spheres below.

Heritage Daily has the report here;
https://www.heritagedaily.com/2022/04/archaeologists-excavate-giant-stone-spheres-in-costa-rica/143313?amp

Hopewell Influence Stretches to the Great Plains

April 10, 2022

The Hopewell Interaction Sphere was a social network that stretched across across eastern North America from CE 1-400. Seashells, copper, and mica and other raw materials were traded within this network. People within the network adopted copper ear ornaments and drilled bear teeth as cultural symbols. Drilled bear teeth were found in a field in eastern Kansas similar to teeth in Hopewell sites in Ohio and Illinois.

Recently, these teeth have been studied. There are 14 teeth in the collection from Kansas and they were made into a necklace. They will research whether these belonged to Ohio bears, and perhaps a pilgrim from Kansas obtained them from a Hopewell site. If they are Kansas bears, perhaps the necklace was made in imitation of bear necklaces seen by a Kansas pilgrim at a Hopewell site. But the fact that these were found in the Great Plains shows the extent of Hopewell influence.

The great Brad Lepper reported on this in the Columbus Dispatch;
https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/columns/2022/03/24/hopewell-influence-may-have-ranged-much-farther-west/7127569001/

24,000 Year Old Tools Found in Beringia Studied

March 13, 2022

Humans were hunting mammoths, bison, caribou in Beringia, a land mass that once connected Siberia to Alaska 24,000 years ago. Archaeologists at the Blue Fish Caves have found perhaps the oldest proofs of this ancient age. Archaeologist Lauriane Bourgeon is studying the collection gathered so far from the Bluefish Caves, tools and 36,000 animal bones. She has found cut marks made by humans on 15 of these bones dated at 23,500 years ago. 

Most of the bones were from Beringian horses that became extinct 14,000 years ago. These Beringian horse bones are found with few tools and no hearths. So the Bluefish Caves appear to be temporary camps.

Most of the Beringian human dwelling places are now underwater. The few places now posited as possible human dwelling places will have to be further tested for the age of the stone tools found there. 

(My note; It is important to remember that these finds are in what was once Beringia. The dates where Beringians may have actually entered into Alaska are still debated. So these are not the First Americans as much as they are the first Beringians. The oldest sites for the entry of the First Americans are much further south, and had to be reached by canoe voyagers long before the Clovis entry in Alaska.)

Hakai Magazine has the report here:
https://hakaimagazine.com/news/investigating-ice-age-americans-ancient-abattoir/

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INAH Uncovers Two Temples at the Tehuacán el Viejo Archaeological Zone in Puebla

March 12, 2022

INAH has uncovered two pre-Hispanic temples in the Tehuacán el Viejo archaeological zone. The site was part of a Populaca culture cult center from 1000-1456 CE when it was conquered by the Aztecs. The city was built on the slopes of a plateau with ceremonial squares, elite housing and pyramids.

INAH has found a pyramid and altar dedicated to Xipe Totec the god of spring, new vegetation, goldsmiths. They also found a temple dedicated to Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl, the creator god, and in this guise the wind god that brings the rain.

Only 12% of the site has been excavated so far.

Heritage Daily has the report here;

https://www.heritagedaily.com/2022/03/archaeologists-have-uncovered-two-pre-hispanic-temples-in-the-tehuacan-el-viejo-archaeological-zone/143038

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INAH deciphers Zapotec frieze at Atzompa site

March 13, 2022

INAH has deciphered an ancient frieze at the Zapotec site of Atzompa, near Monte Albán. It is a 50 foot limestone and stucco frieze dated at 650-850 CE. It depicts a quetzal bird, monkeys, jaguars and supernatural protective figures. INAH researchers discovered depictions of the Mixtec calendar’s year of the lizard, as well as the quincunx—a geometric design alluding to the four directions and the center of the universe.

INAH describes the motifs as “manifestations of the cosmic world to which the construction of [Casa del Sur] responded to.” Lead researcher Nelly Robles García says, “In general, the glyphs are allusions to power in the city, to supernatural protection, and to a time without time.”

Atzompa served as a final way station for quarried stone being transported for construction in Monte Albán. Its  hilltop position allowed it to serve as a defense against the nearby Mixtec.

The original frieze stretched 100 feet. When the Zapotecs abandoned the site at 850 CE, the frieze was partially destroyed. Funerary urns that may have been for sacrificial offerings to demystify the site.

Smithsonian has the report here with photos;

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-decipher-the-glyphs-on-a-1300-year-old-frieze-in-mexico-180979691/

INAH has a slide show of the frieze here; Click on the camera icon;

https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/10910-inah-da-a-conocer-interpretacion-iconografica-del-gran-friso-hallado-en-la-zona-arqueologica-de-atzompa

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Researchers Locate Central Cacao Groves in the Yucatan

March 12, 2022

Brigham Young University and Mexican archaeologists  have found evidence of Maya sites chosen for the best cacoa tree plantings. They conducted soil analyses of 11 sinkholes in the Yucatan and found theobromine and caffeine biomarkers for cocoa production, ceremonial rituals construction in staircase ramps, stone carvings, altars, offerings of jade and ceramics in several sinkholes.

The team worked on a soil extraction method drying soil samples, putting the dry soil through a sieve covered in hot water, centrifuged them through extraction discs and analyzing the samples with mass spectrometry, comparing the results to seven control samples with no cacao biomarkers.

A 70 mile Maya highway  was constructed for long distance cacao trade which impacted all of Mesoamerica. In one sinkhole near Coba, they found the arm and bracelet of a figurine attached to a incense jarred ceramics modeled as cocoa pods. This sinkhole find is dated at 1000-1400 CE. Elites controlled these sinkholes since cacao beans were used as currency across Mesoamerica.

Researchers for the project also came from University of California, Riverside, the University of Miami, State University of New York, Kent State University, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, and the Cultural Heritage and Archaeology in the Maya Area institution.

The research is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science Reports

Science Daily has the report here https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/01/220131095024.html

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Ancient Peruvian Wari Queen Face Re-constructed

March 3, 2022

The Wari timeline stretched from the 7th to 12th century. A National Geographic team explored site in 2012. A team led by the University of Poland along with a Peruvian team found a passage through buried walls, Four women, including a queen and possible princesses. 54 other elite were also found.The excavations included finding a copper ceremonial ax and a silver goblet.

A forensic expert from Sweden has re-created the face of the queen who lived at the site of  El Castillo de Huarmey. They used a computed tomography (CT) scanner to make a virtual, 3D image of the skull. The data sent the digital data to a 3D printer, which made a replica of the skull in vinyl plastic. 

It’s important to know the person’s sex, age, weight and ethnicity — factors that influence the thickness of facial tissue

The report in Live Science states that forensic expert Nilsson knew the Huarmey Queen was at least 60 years old. Armed with that knowledge, he put 30 plastic pegs all over the queen’s replica skull. After this, he sculpted the face. This was made from the ‘inside out,’ muscle by muscle.” He used plasticine clay to sculpt the muscles, relying on methods that help forensic artists reliably rebuild a person’s eyes, nose and mouth. “The ears are more speculative,” he said.

Next, he covered the muscles with a layer of skin. “Details, wrinkles and poresare sculpted to get it [to be] realistic,” he said. “When I’m finished sculpting the face, I make a mold, in which I then cast the face in silicone. In this way, I can get it very realistic.  Nilsson used prosthetic eyes in the reconstruction, as well as real human hair that he inserted, strand by strand, into the silicon scalp. “We actually used Peruvian human hair, bought in Peru by the Polish archeological team,” he noted. He even gave the royal woman metal earrings with a golden and worn patina. “They are an exact replica of her actual earrings, found in her tomb,” he said. Nilsson spent 220 hours on the queen’s reconstruction.  She looks wise [and] experienced, as well as a bit tired and maybe sad, or thoughtful,” The technique Nilsson used to re-create the ancient queen’s likeness is also used by law-enforcement agencies when a victim cannot be identified. About 70 percent of these cases are solved once a reconstruction is made, he said. “It is not a portrait of the deceased, but you get a good image of what the face looked like.” The Wari queen’s reconstruction is now on display in a new Peruvian exhibit at the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

Live Science has the report here;

https://www.livescience.com/61216-ancient-wari-queen-reconstructed.html

Sacrificed Children Uncoverered at the ancient Peru site of Cajamarquilla

March 3, 2022

Sacrificed Children Uncoverered at the ancient Peru site of Cajamarquilla


Archaeologists in Peru, at the site of Cajamarquilla have found six mummified children and 14 others sacrificed to accompany a dead nobleman to the afterlife in a tomb. The children were wrapped in a tight cloth. They were likely sacrificed for a nobleman. They were placed at the entrances to the tomb on top of each other. Cajamarquilla was built of mud beginning in 200 BCE and occupied till 1500 CE. The mummies were buried around 1,200 years ago. Buried llamas and earthenware has also been found in the tomb.


The nobleman was about 20 years old, buried with his hands covering his face and tied up with rope.


CBS News has the report here:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ancient-mummies-children-peru-sacrifice/

New Discovery of White Pigment in Ancient Peru Changes the History of Color

March 3, 2022

1908, a lab in Niagara Falls invented a white pigment that is found in everything from plastic to pills. It is made from the chemical titanium dioxide.

In 2018, researchers in the United States discovered titanium white in 400-plus-year-old ceremonial wooden drinking cups made by the Inca and residing today in various museums. Carved with elaborate geometrical designs, the cups, called qeros, traditionally were not colored. But around the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru in 1530, the Inca started mixing pigments, including titanium white, into resin and decorating qeros with the bright goo.

How did the Inca jump 400 years into the future? There is a deposit, the Giacomo Deposit, at the Chile/Peru border that contains titanium dioxide and silica. The qeros in the museums look like the deposits at Giacomo. This has re-written the history of color.

Smithsonian has the report here;

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/inca-discovered-prized-pigment-180977704/?fbclid=IwAR1bD8xuRTEIigydCGgVpDmmjKlh7GDCf-tvCbLkQtRXdj1ROWY1oRjZusc

Chincha of Ancient Peru Threaded the Spines of Their Dead

March 3, 2022

Spanish invaders in ancient Peru looted burials to take out gold and silver from the textiles that wrapped the bodies of the dead. Local Chincha people then tried to put the bodies of their dead back together.

The Chincha were a wealthy society of 30,000 people that included fishers and farmers, known as sea-faring merchants.

Researchers have found human vertebrae carefully threaded on to reed posts in the Chincha valley of Peru. 200 found so far. Radio carbon dates show the individuals died between 1520-1550.

It is plausible the action was a response to colonial looting, but many Andean societies revisited the remains of their dead which periodically brought out their mummies and gave them drinks before returning them to their tombs.

The research was published in the Journal Antiquity

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/feb/02/native-peruvians-threaded-corpses-spines-on-to-sticks-study-suggests

Ancient Andean Use of Hallucinogenics

January 27, 2022

Archaeologists are researching the site of  Quilcapampa built by the Wari culture in Peru (550-1000 CE), occupied between 800-850 CE. They found a pit with a million seeds of Schinus molle: Peruvian pepper used to make a beer like drink, chicha. In another post they found seeds from the Vilca tree which are hallucinogenic in nature. Drinking chicha with this substance would provide a controlled and mild hallucinogenic high. Taken without the chicha gives one the impression of flying. This hallucinogen was widely used in Andean cultures.

Wari leaders probably used this experience to guests to solidify bonds between groups in the area.

The research is published in Antiquity, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2021.177

newscientist has the report here;
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2304014-ancient-andean-leaders-may-have-mixed-hallucinogen-with-their-beer/

LIDAR uncovers new structures near Machu Picchu

January 27, 2022

Researchers using LIDAR at the site of Machu Picchu in Peru at the nearby site of Chachabamba, where elite groups had to stop to purify themselves in a sacred bath before entering Machu Picchu, have uncovered 12 structures, and stone channels, some underground, supplied water to people in the area. They are able to map how the water was channeled to the sacred baths.

The scientists used a type of remote-sensing technology known as light detection and ranging, or lidar, which bounces laser pulses off surfaces to detect features and map their contours. 

The team from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in Poland and Peru’s Ministry of Culture used drones with LIDAR to peer through the forest canopy. The researchers will return to the area after COVID subsides in the region.

The research is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. 

NBC News has the report here;
https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/ancient-hidden-machu-picchus-complexity-uncovered-archaeologists-rcna12900

Researchers studying ancient Peruvian skull with a metal implant

January 27, 2022

Archaeologists have found a 2,000 year old skull bound by metal in Peru. The skull was of an ancient Peruvian warrior. The skull is at the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma. Ancient Peruvian surgeons carried out this surgery on a badly wounded warrior. They used a metal alloy that is made of material that is unknown. 

The metal tightly bound the broken skull bones together. Often silver and gold was used for this kind of procedure.

Express.com has the report here;
https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1551531/archeology-news-2000-year-old-skull-peru-ancient-surgery-skeletons

Remains from Aztec New Fire Ceremony Discovered in Mexico City. 

January 15, 2022

The Aztecs had a 52 year cycle and a 260 day year. At the end of a 52 year cycle, the New Fire Ceremony took place.

Every 52 years, the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan threw away images of their gods and let the fires of their homes and temples go out. Priests would walk from the Templo Mayor (or Main Temple) to a mountain called Huixachtlan (also known as Cerro de la Estrella), on the eastern bank of what was then Lake Texcoco. There, they performed a ceremony to light the new fire. If the new fire did not alight, the belief was that the world would end – the stars would turn into monsters and devour humankind. Five days before the ceremony, the people destroyed all their household belongings, fasting and crying as they waited for the catastrophe.

The remains of one of the last New Fire ceremonies have been discovered by INAH. The investigators uncovered objects such as cajetas (a type of bowl), molcajetes (a stone tool similar to a mortar and pestle) and clay figurines.

“The pieces were found in San Fernando pantheon near San Hipólito church, in the old neighborhood of Cuepopan, which adjoins Tlatelolco, where Guerrero neighborhood is now located.

During the ceremony, the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan would throw away the figures representing deities from their home altars; and destroy all their belongings – clothes, dishes and even the tenamaztli (a sacred stone stove). Everything was burnt or thrown into ditches.

Pregnant women were locked up in farmhouses out of fear that they would turn into wild animals and children were made to walk and stay awake for fear that they would fall asleep on the fatal night and turn into rats. The house was also completely cleaned, with everything put in order, and the fires were put out, leaving complete darkness.

In the precise moment the stars passed the meridian, the priests took a wooden tool and lit a fire in the open chest of a victim who had been sacrificed for this purpose. Priests, caciques (a type of prince) and the common people became delirious with happiness. Special runners lit torches with the fire and relit the fires at the altars in the temples of all the local people.

If the world didn’t end and the stars did not turn into deadly monsters, the Mexica people would cheer up, clean up their homes, restore their temples and make new tools. As an extra sign of their appreciation, they would hold large feasts with special food and sacrifices – both of their own blood and that of their prisoners.


El Pais has the report here:
https://english.elpais.com/usa/2021-12-18/remains-from-aztec-new-fire-ceremony-discovered-in-mexico-city.html

AN UPDATE ON THE MASS GRAVE UNDER THE PYRAMID 0F THE SUN

January 15, 2022

Archaeologist Sergio Gomez uncovered the tunnel under the Pyramid of the Sun in 2017. Among other finds, he uncovered 20 human skeletons arranged in a symbolic pattern.
Another 260 bodies were found to be built unto the fabric and foundation of the building.

They may have been sacrificed to the gods, or simply died of natural causes. Gómez and his team had to remove 1,000 tonnes of soil in order to access the tunnels. They believe the Aztecs likely deposited the dirt as a way to seal off any access points.

This meant that most of the artifacts found were largely undamaged and untouched by robbers. His team found more than 100,000 objects along the tunnel, 
The artefacts included a greenstone crocodile teeth, crystals shaped into eyes, as well as sculptures of jaguars.

And, the tunnel itself was lined in iron pyrite, it reacted to any light by shimmering like the night sky, a reaction likely purposefully induced by the Aztecs in order to replicate the stars.


Express.com has the update here
https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1547202/aztec-breakthrough-dark-secret-mexico-central-america-teotihuacan-pyramid-spt

New DNA studies of 2,000 Year Old Mummies in South America

December 28, 2021

Scientists have recovered DNA from the skin cells on the scalp and clothes of 2,000 year old  mummies from Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. Female lice deposit eggs in the hair of the mummies and the mummy skin cells become incased in the cement produced by the female lice. The skin cells can also elicit information about how people lived and died 2,000 years ago run South America.

These nit samples are as concentrated as DNA samples from teeth, double that of human bones, and four times as much as blood.

Their health and even cause of death can be indicated by the interpretation of the biology of the nits.

The University of Reading did the initial research.

The story is reported in Heritage Daily;
https://www.heritagedaily.com/2021/12/nits-on-ancient-mummies-shed-light-on-south-american-ancestry/142375

Mass Grave of Textile Artists Uncovered at Chan Chan

December 28, 2021

Archaeologists at the ancient Chimu site of Chan Chan in Peru have uncovered a mass grave with mostly women, a few children and teens buried there. They were textile artists. They were surrounded by textile tools, needles, spindles and chalk. They were buried in a seated position with legs bent, and most aged under 30. But the average life expectancy was 40. These were elite people buried here.
They were wrapped in cotton and a fabric made from plant tissue.

It is not known yet how these people died. The burial place contained people who died at different times. Some of the remains were brought from a different burial group. 

The report is here at Live Science
https://www.livescience.com/peru-15th-century-mass-grave-chan-chan

Strange Ancient Burials at El Rayo in Nicaragua

December 28, 2021

Archaeologists at the site of El Rayo in Nicaragua uncovered a strange gravesite with two bodies and three heads that did not belong to either body. One body was laying on its belly and was only the bottom half of the body. One looks to be a teenager with one skill in a bowl at its feet, and another skull in another pot. The three skulls were lined up on top of the bodies. Nicaraguans may be from Mesoamerica or from further south in Columbia. Or distinct people. The pottery with the heads were vessels for cacao mixtures.

There are other burial sites in Nicaragua with heads in pots. Perhaps the younger one was faced down to enter the afterlife. Both were lying on a bed of pottery sherds. Nearby was a long red stone blade. Were the bodies and skulls relatives? Was headhunting involved. Or were these bodies and skulls buried at different times. Researchers will study the heads for ethnic differences or different tribes. Trophy heads have been found in other parts of Nicaragua.

Haaretz has the report here
https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/MAGAZINE-pre-columbian-burial-in-nicaragua-may-show-headhunting-culture-1.10363132

Complex Roped Mummy Found at the Cajamarquilla archaeological site near Lima 

December 28, 2021

Complex Roped Mummy Found at the Cajamarquilla archaeological site near Lima 

Archaeologists at the Cajamarquilla archaeological site near Lima have uncovered a mummy fully bound in ropes with its hands covering its face. It dates to 1,200 CE. The site is being threatened by urban sprawl. The mummified individual lived high in the Andes 600 years before the rise of the Incas. The tomb in which the mummy was buried has stone tools, ceramic pots with vegetable matter. The area was multi-ethnic.

The Daily Mail has the report with many photos and a video.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10253673/Archaeology-Weird-mummy-Peruvian-tomb-tied-ROPES-hands-covering-face.html

Salt Kitchens Researched in Belize Reveals New Evidence on Maya Trade

November 27, 2021

Heather McKillop, an anthropologist at Louisiana State University, and co-author Kazuo Aoyama, an anthropologist at Japan’s Ibaraki University, have used microscopic analysis  of 20 stone tools found in Belize at the site of Paynes Creek Salt Works and found the tools were used to chop up meat and fish. And the meat was prepared at ancient salt kitchens. It shows the Maya were producing salt in large quantities, and using salt to preserve food.The site is near a coastal lagoon with saline waters due to solar evaporation.

The team found 4,000 wooden posts that denote a series of salt kitchens. The wood is preserved in the peat soil at the site and dates to 300-900 CE. Pottery vessels at the site reveal that workers were boiling brine in pots, and collecting salt from the evaporated brine. Salt pots from three of the Paynes Creek salt kitchens seem to be standardized in dimension, suggesting that workers were packing the salt into cakes and shipping them off to be traded inland.

This new research dispels a misconception  that the Maya of Belize’s southern lowlands had to import salt from the Yucatan Peninsula because there were no salt resources nearby. On the contrary, McKillop tells Cohen, “the coastal Maya were an integral part of the Mayan economy because they produced and traded a basic commodity.

The research is published in PNAS,

Smithsonian has the report here;

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/maya-belize-bolstered-their-economy-salty-fish-180970499/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerismaya.news.blog

New Research on Maya Agriculture

November 27, 2021

Researchers using LIDAR and drones at the border and on site inspection between Mexico and Guatemala have shown the Maya built extensive irrigation and terracing between 350-900 CE, with sustainable agriculture and no food insecurity.

For years, experts in climate science and ecology have held up the agricultural practices of the ancient Maya as prime examples of what not to do.

“There’s a narrative that depicts the Maya as people who engaged in unchecked agricultural development,”The population grew too large, the agriculture scaled up, and then everything fell apart.”

The researchers studied a triangle of land connecting Piedras Negras, La Mar and Sak Tz’i’.

They were 15 miles away from one another and these three urban centers had very different population sizes and governing power,

They modified the land to increase the volume and predictability of crop yields. building terraces and creating water management systems with dams and channeled fields. These kingdoms were not only prepared for population growth but also likely saw food surpluses every year.

By the late Classic Period, around 600 to 800 A.D., the area’s farmers were producing more food than they were consuming,”“It’s likely that much of the surplus food was sold at urban marketplaces, both as produce and as part of prepared foods like tamales and gruel, and used to pay tribute, a tax of sorts, to local lords.”

The research is published in the journal Remote Sensing.

Brown University report here:
https://www.brown.edu/news/2021-11-16/lidar

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerismaya.news.blog

Salt Kitchens Researched in Belize Reveals New Evidence on Maya Trade

November 27, 2021

Heather McKillop, an anthropologist at Louisiana State University, and co-author Kazuo Aoyama, an anthropologist at Japan’s Ibaraki University, have used microscopic analysis  of 20 stone tools found in Belize at the site of Paynes Creek Salt Works and found the tools were used to chop up meat and fish. And the meat was prepared at ancient salt kitchens. It shows the Maya were producing salt in large quantities, and using salt to preserve food.The site is near a coastal lagoon with saline waters due to solar evaporation.

The team found 4,000 wooden posts that denote a series of salt kitchens. The wood is preserved in the peat soil at the site and dates to 300-900 CE. Pottery vessels at the site reveal that workers were boiling brine in pots, and collecting salt from the evaporated brine. Salt pots from three of the Paynes Creek salt kitchens seem to be standardized in dimension, suggesting that workers were packing the salt into cakes and shipping them off to be traded inland.

This new research dispels a misconception  that the Maya of Belize’s southern lowlands had to import salt from the Yucatan Peninsula because there were no salt resources nearby. On the contrary, McKillop tells Cohen, “the coastal Maya were an integral part of the Mayan economy because they produced and traded a basic commodity.

The research is published in PNAS,

Smithsonian has the report here;

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/maya-belize-bolstered-their-economy-salty-fish-180970499/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerismaya.news.blog

Archaeologist at Coral Find Proof of Major Structures at Caral Were Astronomically Oriented

November 27, 2021


Archaeologists in Peru have found that the Caral civilization of ancient Peru, from 5,000 years ago, used astronomical calculations to build its most important structures. They studied 55 structures at 10 sites and found three orientations. “One toward the so-called major lunar standstill (when the moon’s range of declination reaches a maximum) and another toward sunrise in the summer solstice, which in the Southern Hemisphere occurs in December.”

“A third, weaker orientation was toward the rising of Sirius, the brightest star at night in the Southern Hemisphere.”
“It is not by chance that during every summer solstice the first rays of the sun enter through the stairs of the Caral Archaeological Site’s central pyramid and traverse its main hall through its niches. It’s very likely that a person had been on top of the buildings as the main point of observation to monitor both sunrises and sunsets, in the case of the solstices,”
The summer solstice is the start of the harvest period. The lunar standoff though only occurs every 18.6 years. 
The Caral inhabitants built an underground observatory for the person to work at night under a covered area.
The research is in Latin American Antiquity Journal
La Prensa has the report here;

https://www.laprensalatina.com/study-oldest-civilization-in-americas-used-astronomy-to-orient-buildings/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerisancientandean.news.blog

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Peru (5000 BC-600 BC)
http://mikeruggerisancientperu.tumblr.com

The Oldest Adobe Structures in Peru Uncovered

November 27, 2021

Archaeologists in Peru have uncovered monumental adobe structures At the Los Moteros site in the desert region of the northern coast or Peru. The structures are dated to 5,100-5,500 years ago. Carol-Supe culture structures. This was the starting point for the evolution of complex adobe construction in Peru stretching over thousands of years. The Los Moteros structures were found by radar. And only adobe was used with no additions for stability. The clay deposits were in a place probably created by El Niño flooding.

Radar was used to detect an underground structure at the Los Morteros archaeological site measuring 10 meters (33 feet) long, seven meters wide and two meters tall. After it was unearthed, Mauricio and her colleagues were astounded to see that the walls were made of adobe, which was unprecedented for that era.

The archaeologists observed that the adobe bricks were made exclusively of clay and that no other material had been mixed in to provide greater stability, a clear indication that the architectural technique was in its very early stages.

An analysis of the bricks’ composition also showed that the adobes were cut from natural clay deposits located near the mouth of the Chao River and likely created by El Niño flooding.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
La Prensa has the report here

https://www.laprensalatina.com/discovery-in-peru-shows-andes-adobe-architecture-dates-back-over-5000-years/

472 New Sites Uncovered by LIDAR on the Mexican Gulf Coast.

November 1, 2021

LIDAR has uncovered information about the Olmec site of Buenavista dated at 3,000 years ago. It shows that sunrise aligns with the entrance to the site. This new research has revealed 478 ceremonial centers across Mexico’s Gulf Coast in the OImec heartland stretching 400 miles to the Maya lowlands. The finding shows that there was a 2,000 year old blueprint for ceremonial construction in all of these sites. Most of these new LIDAR discoveries stretch from 1050 BCE-400 BCE.

The LIDAR found an unknown area of the Olmec site of San Lorenzo dating to 1050 BCE to 400 BCE. This consisted of 20 rectangular earthen mounds around a central plaza. This blueprint was adopted at the site of Aguada Fénix 400 kilometers away dated at 1,000 BCE. Later sites followed this 20 mound layout surrounding a central plaza.

The research is published in the journal Nature Human Behavior.

Science News has the report here:
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/lidar-blueprint-olmec-maya-ceremonial-archaeology

Phys.org adds that the entrance ways and layouts seem to be geared to the Sun’s zenith. This occurs on May 10 in the region where the sites were found. This day marks the beginning of the rainy season and the planting of maize.

https://phys.org/news/2021-10-ancient-ceremonial-sites-southern-mexico.html

A lot more research will now begin based on these findings.

Mike Ruggeri’s Olmecs
http://mikeruggerisolmecs.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Olmecs
http://mikeruggerisolmecs.tumblr.com

Combined Wari/Moche Mass Tomb found in Peru

October 29, 2021

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of 29 people, including three children, in northern Peru.The skeletons date to 1,000 CE in the site Huaca Santa Rosa de Pucala. Three children and a teen were buried in front of the temple, indicating they were human sacrifices from the War culture. This discovery is far from the Wari sphere of influence. The Wari culture dates are 600-1200 CE in the Peruvian Andes. The tomb was constructed between 800-900 CE.

25 of the dead are from the Moche culture and four from the Wari culture. The Moche era was 100-700 CE on the northern Peruvian coast. The Moche burials were in clay tombs. Pottery and llamas, alpacas, guinea pigs were also in the tombs

Archaeology News Network has the report here:
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2021/10/discovery-of-ancient-peruvian-burials.html?fbclid=IwAR1m7f-vcEMyZgDe3-eigERUGqs8MsAjY89fsiMQhVLK_PcORdg6djH-9ac#.YXMNOUWD3n0

Mike Ruggeri’s Moche/Wari Era Cultures
https://michaelruggerismochewarieracultures.home.blog

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com

New Research on a Sican Gold Mask with Red Paint

October 30, 2021

In the early 1990’s, the Sican Archaeological project unearthed a tomb containing a 1,000 year old gold mask covered in red paint. It was affixed to a severed head. And the skeletal remains of this man was also sprinkled with the same red paint. Four skeletons and more gold artifacts were also in the tomb. The man in question was a bent at the waist and placed upside down. Two of the other four skeletons were women arranged in birthing and mid-wife positions. Tow others were children in a crouching position. Researchers said the red paint on the male was cinnabar.

Oxford researchers recently performed a chemical analysis of the red paint using mass spectrometry. The paint had jot degraded after 1,000 years. The scientific analysis found organic material was mixed in to the red paint. The proteins unveiled found that it came from human blood and the egg whites of a Muscovy duck common to the region. The skulls face was pointing upward possibly in expecting re-birth while the two women were waiting for a re-birth. The red blood was added to the cinnabar implying an animating feature. The Sican practiced human sacrifice in very grisly ways. So finding blood in the paint would not be surprising. It is possible the women and children in the tomb were sacrificed to act as companions in the next world.

The research is published in the ACS Journal of Proteome Research
Izumi Shimada, the head of the Sicán Archaeological Project, was instrumental in this project.

LiveScience has the report here;
https://www.livescience.com/red-paint-blood-gold-mask

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerisancientandean.news.blog

Mike Ruggeri’s Sican/Chimu Era Peru
http://mikeruggerissicanchimu.tumblr.com

Ancient Southwest Turkey Research

October 12, 2021

Researchers studying the raising of turkeys in the Ancient Southwest found that turkeys were often penned in rooms like the room near Room 28 at Pueblo Bonito. Turkeys were also allowed free range tied to tethers for over 1,600 years in the Southwest and northwest Mexico. Turkeys were used for the creation of blankets, paints, tools, musical instruments, food, and art. They were fed maize and ate fresh range diets.

“The DNA of the Ancestral Pueblo domesticated turkey survives in some wild Merriam’s turkey populations within the Southwest. So, when you are hunting for turkeys in New Mexico, or simply experience them in the environment, there is likely an aspect of that turkey that is related to the birds, peoples, and experiences described in this research,” he noted, adding, “There is a direct connection between what we perceive as ‘wild’ turkeys within the environment today and their ancestors of the past who interacted with and were managed by Pueblo peoples. It makes this research important because it was the specific conditions in which Ancestral Pueblo peoples managed these birds that allowed for this current relationship.

Turkey Conrad, management of the ancient Pueblo Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo spp.), Journal of archaeological methods and theories (2021). DOI: 10.1007 / s10816-021-09531-9

Phys.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2021-09-delves-role-turkeys-ancestral-pueblo.html

Very Sophisticated Engineering 3.400 Years Ago At Poverty Point, Louisiana

October 12, 2021

Researchers at Washington University, St. Louis have found that the inhabitants of Poverty Point in Louisiana 3,400 years ago were highly skilled engineers who could build massive earthen structures in months that lasted far into the future. Their earthworks have have held together for 3,000 years with no failure or erosion. They built 72 foot tall earthen mounds without modern tools, horses or wheels.

Using modern research methods: radiocarbon dating, microscopic analysis of soils and magnetic measurements of soils, the research provides conclusive evidence that the earthworks were built rapidly. Essentially, there is no evidence of boundaries or signs of weathering between the various levels, which would have occurred if there was even a brief pause in construction. This required a large labor force, organized and good leadership. These were hunter-gatherers coming together on a huge common goal. They mixed clay, silt and sand to avoid erosion due to being in a flood plain.

Phys.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2021-09-evidence-idea-america-civilization-sophisticated.html?fbclid=IwAR3EyIfBTDkjqNhq7_EMhAQ59cQyqPTiHKsxwvUDhq4Pt8qXUGRBho2zvC8

New Research on Ancient Southeast US Cave Art

October 12, 2021

In 1980, ancient cave art in the Southeast was found for the first time. The initial discovery was made in a cave near Knoxville, Tennessee. Since then, 92 dark-zone cave art sites have been discovered across the Mid-West and Eastern USA. The first cave art was named Mud Glyph Cave, and the art stretches back to 10,000-1000 BCE. The earliest are simple mostly abstract motifs, although some representational pictures have also been found there.

During the Woodland Period (1000 BCE-1000 CE) mythical creatures like bird-humans appear.

During the Mississippian Period (1000 CE-1500 CE) was the most prolific period with religious symbolism including spirits and mythical animals, and stories were being told.

Archaeologists are working with the present day Native Americans to discern the meanings of the art.

Archaeologists have divided south-eastern dark-zone cave art into three categories: mud glyphs, which are drawings traced into pliable mud surfaces preserved in caves; petroglyphs, which are drawings carved into the limestone of the cave walls; and pictographs, which are paintings on the cave walls, usually made with charcoal-based pigments. In some caves one can find two or even three of these categories.

Cherokee archaeologists, historians, and language experts have joined forces with archaeologists to translate these cave writings.

The dark-zone cave art is associated with death, transformation and renewal. They feature otherworldly characters, supernatural serpents and dogs that accompanied dead humans on the path of souls. The images are largely painted in black, a color associated with death.

The 2 sources below cover this research:

https://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/20/us/tennessee-cave-art/index.html

https://theconversation.com/ancient-americans-made-art-deep-within-the-dark-zones-of-caves-throughout-the-southeast-158497

Tobacco Use in Ancient Utah at 12,300 Years Ago

October 12, 2021

Researchers have found the oldest human use of tobacco at a US Air Force base in Utah. Four charred tobacco seeds show that inhabitants of this site were chewing tobacco 12,300 years ago, 9.000 years earlier than previously thought. The seeds were found in an open air camp with a hearth, animal bones and stone tools. The camp is called Wishbone site because hundreds of bones of water fowl were found there, the main food source for these inhabitants.

The previous believed oldest tobacco find was in Alabama, where tobacco residue was found in a 3,300 year old smoking pipe. Tobacco would not have grown in the humid area where the seeds were found, so the seeds had to have been transported from elsewhere.

The seeds found at Wishbone belong to Nicotiana attenuata, the species of wild tobacco with the highest content of nicotine, thus the tobacco was selected out.

The people of Wishbone site belonged to the so-called Haskett culture. This was a stone tool complex that developed around 13,000 years ago
The tobacco at Wishbone may have had ceremonial value, or enjoyed for the energy and focus that a stimulant such as nicotine could provide to exhausted hunter-gatherers.
It’s also addictive, so in the end it would probably become part of your everyday life.

The research is published in the journal Nature Human Behavior,

Haaretz has the report here:
https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium-a-12-000-year-old-addiction-archaeologists-identify-earliest-tobacco-use-by-humans-1.10284266?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=content&utm_campaign=haaretz-news&utm_content=7aae743808&fbclid=IwAR0SYczduPc7_jMfLouYt9JLe_dE_iuZQwucqNwkT3anoKEG9QXpvzYjqw8

23,000 YEARS OLD HUMAN FOOTPRINTS FOUND IN NEW MEXICO

October 9, 2021

Ancient human footprints at the White Sands site in New Mexico have been uncovered. They were pressed into a local plant, spiral ditch grass. The seeds of the plant were radio carbon dated at 21,000-23,000 years ago. Seven footprint sites have been found at the site. They may represent children and adolescents because their feet were smaller. Since these foot prints were made by people who lived during the last glacial maximum, they had to have arrived by sea by some route around the glaciers.

Scientific American has the report here;
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/footprint-discovery-hints-at-humans-in-the-americas-more-than-20-000-years-ago/

The footprints were found in the dry land bed of Lake Otero. The footprints were found by the team of archaeologists studying the site on a day when wind exposed the prints;

Sci-news has that report here:
http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/americas-oldest-known-human-footprints-10100.html

The team found six layers and 11 seedbeds that stretched for 2000 years. The oldest footprint being 22,800 years ago and the youngest at 21,139 years ago.

The erosion that has revealed the footprints will disappear in a matter of months or years. Countless footprints are disappearing before the scientists even lay eyes on them.

But there is one strong doubt that remains; The seeds could have absorbed older carbon from the lake water, making them seem older than they really are. That particular problem will have to be settled before this find can be labeled as genuine Pre-Clovis.

(My note; That problem and further testing often takes years to prove by other teams investigating the evidence. It took over 20 years for the Monte Verde site in Chile to be proven Pre-Clovis and many years before the Paisley Cave, Oregon find to be certified Pre-Clovis).

The NY Times has that report here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/23/science/ancient-footprints-ice-age.html?partner=IFTTT

Fascinating Gold and Emerald Find in Columbia

September 29, 2021

Archaeologists in Colombia have found eight ceramic jars, with metallic figurines and emeralds inside a temple and its adjacent graves.

The Muisca (also called the Chibcha) crafted the jars called “ofrendatarios” 600 years ago. Their work may have inspired the legend of El Dorado — a legendary city made of gold.

Archaeologists uncovered the temple and graves in the remains of an ancient Muisca town located near Bogotá, A team led by archaeologist Francisco Correa, an archaeologist who conducts excavations prior to construction work, found the ofrendatarios prior to road construction in the area.

Some of the figurines look like snakes and other animals, while others look more like people with headdresses, staffs and weapons. The temple where the ofrendatarios were found may be related to ancestor worship.

Ofrendatarios like these have been found at other ancient Muisca sites.

They also be related to deities worshipped by the Muisca.

The Muisca were experts in metal crafting. There were no gold mines nearby, so the ancient Muisca traded for the metal with other groups.

Live Science has the report here with fascinating photos:
https://www.livescience.com/ceramic-jars-emeralds-found-temple-el-dorado

New Discoveries at the Xochitecatl site in Tlaxcala

September 29, 2021

INAH has discovered ceremonial offerings, and a staircase to the spiral pyramidal monument at the site of Xochitécatl, in Tlaxcala, dated at 800 BCE built on the summit of an extinct volcano. In 150 CE, the Popocatepetl Volcano erupted and the site was abandoned, then re-settled in 650 CE inside the Cacaxtla site area.

The new discovery was made at the site of a new museum being built at the site. Researchers discovered the original staircase, and several figurines carrying a maxtlatl (loincloth) painted in red, with elaborate headdresses, batons and a clay scroll in hand.

The team also unearthed two vessels for which micro-excavations are being conducted on the vessels to determine the contents and whether they could belong to the individuals represented in the figurines.

The entire offering is Late-Classic, except for a figurine from the Pre-Classic Period (2,500 BC-200 AD), and it may be talking about the reiteration of a lineage, possibly of priests or some type of hierarch of the settlement.”

The researchers intend to continue excavations of the steps at the spiral pyramidal monument, in the hope that the results will enable them to reintegrate the original elements into the monument.

Heritage Daily has the report here:
https://www.heritagedaily.com/2021/09/archaeologists-discover-ceremonial-offerings-and-a-staircase-to-the-spiral-pyramidal-monument-at-xochitecatl/141388?fbclid=IwAR3vTv5O9Xr7W-u_8E4yCSfkLqq6_ADkSyH1vN5YkiiRJqFOD-bCouz7E9s

New LIDAR Discoveries at Teotihuacan

September 29, 2021

New LIDAR Discoveries at Teotihuacan

Nawa Sugiyama, from the University of California, Riverside, has found hidden traces of the early phases of Teotihuacan going back to its earliest phases of construction at 1,500 years ago. LIDAR has revealed rerouted rivers and built canals to align with astronomical points. 65% of urban areas in the region here aligned at 15 degrees east of astronomical north. Teotihuacan was constructed in this alignment.

298 features and 5,795 human-made terraces were unearthed By LIDAR and more than 200 features that once existed have since been destroyed by mining activities. But LIDAR has uncovered these features.

The research has been published in PLOS One.

Express.UK has the report here:
https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1495009/archaeology-breakthrough-mexico-city-teotihuacan-university-california-riverside-pyramids

An Update on the Tunnel Underneath the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent at Teotihuacan

September 29, 2021

An Update on the Tunnel Underneath the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent at Teotihuacan

100,000 artifacts have been uncovered from a tunnel beneath the Temple of the Plumed Serpent at Teotihuacan. Archaeologist Sergio Gomez has found statues, jewelry, shells, ceramics, wooden and metallic objects

Over 100,000 artifacts from the tunnel have been cataloged so far, ranging from finely-carved statues, jewelry, shells, and ceramics as well as thousands of wooden and metallic objects that mostly survived the passage of time intact. Gomez and his large team continues to work in the 330 feet tunnel, which ends in three chambers which end at the mid-point of the pyramid above.

Recently, they found a tennis ball sized amber sphere with a residue that may be tobacco. It could have been a necklace for a priest. Priests took hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms before they entered the tunnel. The walls and floors were coated with iron pyrite. The tunnel could have been built to re-create the underworld to initiate new rulers. The tunnel was used from 50 CE-250 CE.

Gomez found 17 layers of shells laid down by priests. Bits of human hair and skin have been uncovered. The tunnel is filled with gifts to the lords of the underworld and to the Storm God. Several dozen black jars sculpted to resemble the Storm God have recently been found. Thousands of pieces of iron pyrite imported from as far away as Honduras, imperial jade

Among the offerings are hundreds of objects made of so-called imperial jade, one of the world’s most expensive gems, including ear spools, necklaces and pendants – one in the form of a crocodile 8,000 wooden objects – plates, bowls and more – were unearthed, as well as the skulls and claws of some three dozen animal species, especially predators like jaguars and pumas.

Gomez’s team is developing three-dimensional digital recreations of the artifacts as they originally would have appeared, so they can eventually be accessed online.

In late July, they found a circular pit, where priests had tossed four bunches of flowers. On top, they placed a heap of wood, handfuls of corn, chile, and nopal seeds, plus a miniature stone carved pyramid.

Finally, they set it all on fire.

Thanks to the charred wood, Gomez will soon be able to pinpoint the year the smoky ritual took place.

The flowers were unprecedented, the first time intact plant remains have been found at Teotihuacan.

Reuters has the story here:
https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/below-pyramid-treasure-trove-sheds-new-light-ancient-mexican-rites-2021-09-01/

Maya Site Building After Volcanic Eruptions

September 29, 2021

Archaeologist Akira Ichikawa, at the University of Colorado Boulder, has found that the Maya returned to sites that were destroyed after a catastrophic volcanic eruption much sooner than thought. He studied the site of San Andrés in El Salvador.

In AD 539, the Ilopango volcano erupted, the largest in Central America over the past 10,000 years, and the largest on Earth over the past 7,000 years. it covered the area around the volcano in waist-high ash for 35 kilometers. It also blew itself apart, leaving behind a deep gash that is now a crater lake.

It greatly impacted the Maya civilization, sending it into a period of decline due to the loss of nearby settlements and cooler temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere. Historians have debated how soon the Maya returned to the area, most suggesting it took hundreds of years. Ichikawa has shown evidence of the Maya returning to a site 40 miles west of the volcano between 30 and 80 years after the eruption. They built a large pyramid using ash and dirt.

Ichikawa analyzed samples from the ground and from the Campana structure, a pyramid resting atop a large platform. He found that work on the structure appears to have begun approximately 30 years after the eruption, though it could have been as long as 80 years.

The data suggests that the Maya returned to the area quickly. They built the pyramid as a way to appease the gods who had shown their anger by setting off the eruption.

The research is published in Cambridge Core

Phys.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2021-09-ancient-mayans-built-pyramid-partly.html

The Evolution of Maya Rulership

September 29, 2021

Dartmouth researchers studied the Maya site of Yaxunam and E groups in the Maya lowlands that are astronomically aligned with equinoxes and solstices.

Maya rulers worried the past world would interfere with their authority so they tried to erase the past. The rulers saw themselves as the embodiment of the Sun God and needed to put their persona over their cities. E group sites were built on an east-west axis with a pyramid at the west and a long raised platform at the east. At 400 BCE, E group complexes were built on existing temples, or on top of them. Sometimes, there were 5 or 6 pyramids built over the top of preceding ones. At Yaxunam, precious items like polished magnetite or a ceramic vessel with greenware beads were placed in some of the levels to emphasize continuity.

Other E group structures were ritually destroyed and burned to destroy the energy or soul of a building, and the ashes spread over an area for new uses. Rulers introduced new architecture or massive civic architecture like massive roadways to new districts, creating a more hierarchical politics

The research is published in the Journal Ancient Mesoamerica

Heritage Daily has the report here:
https://www.heritagedaily.com/2021/09/maya-rulers-left-their-mark-on-monumental-complexes/141461

August 27, 2021

Atacama Desert in Chile Growing Violence at 1000 BCE

At 1000 BCE, ancient Andeans tried farming in the driest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. At this point, violence exploded with folks using maces, knives, hunting weapons. They were fighting over water and fertile land.

Graves excavated between 3,000-1,400 years old show snapped ribs, broken collarbones, facial mutilation and puncture wounds in the lungs, groin and spine. At least half of the injuries look like they were fatal blows.

There are skinny patches of fertile land in the Atacama Desert where inhabitants irrigated, planted corn, chiles and other crops.

Researchers studied the remains of the dead and found half of the injuries in the dead were fatal. This level of violence is much higher then found in other nearby regions. Males and females were battered, but child abuse is rare. Mace injuries, stabbings were common. The lab at the University of North Carolina studied dental remains from 31 individuals with injuries and 38 individuals with no injuries. They found no foreigners. Some ate a largely seafood diet, others ate food from the valley. So there was conflict between fisherman and farmers.

They found spear throwers, knives and other weapons in the graves. Rock art depicts warriors with headdresses and bows and darts. In one village, massive walls were built with stocked sling stones. El Nino cycles around 1000 BCE caused less reliable seafood catch, and drought in the valleys. So wars began over land, water, and food.

The research will be published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

Smithsonian has the report here:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/human-remains-chilean-desert-reveal-its-first-farmers-fought-death-180978460/

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August 27, 2021

Oldest Archaeological Site in Michigan Uncovered

Researchers in Michigan have found a 13,000 year old Clovis site, which is the oldest archaeological site in Michigan. The site was occupied by 6-7 people. They were hunter-scavengers living on the edge of the retreating mile high glacier at the end of the last Ice Age. Thomas Talbot found the first Clovis point there in 2008, in a field now known as the Belsen Site. The point was of Attica Chert that came from 120 miles away. Talbot found more pieces as the years went by, until he found 20 Clovis tools and a lot of debitage at the site.

A more extensive search of the site was carried out by University of Michigan archaeologists and found an undisturbed layer, and the camp. Protein residue analysis will now take place at a lab in Colorado to identify the plants and animals the points were used on.

The research has been published in the journal PaleoAmerican: • Study: The Belson Site: A Paleoindian Campsite on the Outwash Plains of the Central Great Lakes

The report is here from the University of Michigan;
https://news.umich.edu/farm-field-find-rewrites-archaeological-history-in-michigan/

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August 19, 2021

Groundbreaking DNA Research Finds Australasian/Melanesian Ancestry in South America.

DNA studies in 2015 revealed Australasian/Melanesian ancestry in two Indigenous Amazonian groups, the Karitiana and Suruí, Researchers found Australasian ancestry in Indigenous groups living across South America, including those descended from Peru’s Mochica civilization.

They left Siberia 20,000 years ago to Beringia, and left Beringia 15,000 years ago. They are found at the Pre-Clovis site of Monte Verde in Southern Chile 14,800 years ago.

The key to this discovery was locating the genetic Y signal among the groups in the Amazon, on the Brazilian plateau, and in the Peruvian Chotuna people who descended from the Mochica (100-800 CE).

The migrants took a coastal route and split off in the central plateau and the Amazon 15,000-8,000 years ago.

The researchers need to find the Y signal in coastal areas to solidify their claims. And they have to find out why the Y signal has not been found in North or Central America. They may have died out by way of larger groups taking over from the north or the genocide of the Spanish conquest.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

(My note: There have been many other earlier studies that pointed in this direction. This study brings us closer to the story)

Sciencemag has the report here:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/03/earliest-south-american-migrants-had-australian-melanesian-ancestry

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August 18, 2021

9,000 Year Old Obsidian Artifacts Found Under Lake Huron

An underwater archaeological team from the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center, the Northwest Research Obsidian Studies Laboratory and the University of Georgia have found 9,000 year old obsidian tools under Lake Huron that originated 2,500 miles away from the well-known Wagontire site in Central Oregon. These are the farthest east these western obsidian artifacts has ever been found.

This research was part of a study on caribou hunters at the end of the last Ice Age.

More information: John M. O’Shea et al, Central Oregon obsidian from a submerged early Holocene archaeological site beneath Lake Huron, PLOS ONE(2021).  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250840

Phys.org has the report here:
https://phys.org/news/2021-06-underwater-site-team-year-old-stone.html

August 14, 2021

Important Discovery at Teotihuacan

Four bouquets of ancient flowers have been found 59 feet below the Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotihucan. These are the first ancient botanical artifacts found at Teotihuacan. They are amazingly preserved and still tied together by cotton strings.

Sergio Gomez and his team have also found ceramics in the tunnel below the Temple from various phases of Teotihuacan history during this excavation. They have not removed the bouquets to preserve the humidity and conditions in the tunnel that preserved these flowers. They also found many kilos of charcoal that were the remains of ritual ceremonies which involved the burning of seeds and fruits.

They have found a censor with a slope and board, but have not provided a photo.

Gomez and his team have found 100,000 objects including ceramics, obsidian, shells, snails, rubber, hair, big cats and birds remains. They have also found a half a kilo of cocoa beans in good condition at the end of the tunnel, imported from Maya realms.

La Jornada has the report here (in Spanish) with a video.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9891095/Bouquets-flowers-left-offerings-gods-1800-years-ago-Teotihuacan-pyramid.html

Daily Mail has some photos here:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9891095/Bouqu
ets-flowers-left-offerings-gods-1800-years-ago-Teotihuacan-pyramid.html

August 12, 2021

Maya Built Very Modern Water Filtration Systems at Tikal in Guatemala


The Maya built reservoir 2,185 years ago at the site of Tikal, early in its history. It relied on crystalline quartz and zeolite, a compound of silicon and aluminum to create a molecular sieve which removed harmful microbes, heavy metals and other pollutants, and these remained in use until Tikal was abandoned around 1100. Today, the same minerals are used in modern water filtration systems, and not discovered for use in modern times till the 20th century.

Other reservoirs in the area were polluted with mercury from pigments the Maya used on walls and burials. The quartz and zeolite came from 18 miles away. Teams will now look for similar techniques at other sites.

Smithsonian has the report here with photos:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-uncover-2000-year-old-mayan-water-filtration-system-180976186/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&fbclid=IwAR2Mt0HJYd1g2vFxVY-eT7k0x88ZbEhrDnktifJ9GSEoRf7ks6bvCtpHrOM


August 12, 2021

Extensive Ruins Found in the Northern Yucatan With LIDAR

Archaeologists using billions of LIDAR shots at the ground in the Puuc region of the Yucatan have found extensive Maya structures including artificial reservoirs, 1,200 ovens, farming terraces, 8,000 housing platforms, each house having 2-3 rooms. Four large acropolises dating from 700 BCE-450 BCE, civic centers built from 600-750 CE in very distinct city layouts not seen elsewhere. Elite housing was dispersed throughout, and not concentrated. No defensive structures exist. This looks like a very large peaceful community.

They built cisterns to collect rainwater in their limestone terrain, and aqueducts with long channels. They had a widespread stone working industry with quarries and 1,232 circular ovens to heat sandstone to produce lime for mortar and to soften maize for help with nutrients.

The study was published online Wednesday (April 28) in the journal PLOS One.

Live Science has the report here with photos:
https://www.livescience.com/lidar-maya-yucatan.html?fbclid=IwAR0qHtd6UyROLqZm0WpDvLuG59VgGdsW9j0HWFKa1x_E0pf84t8hBls4bSc


August 12, 2021

The Rise and Fall of a Maya “Bannerman”

June 24, 726 CE, Ajpach ‘Waal met with the great 18 Rabbit at Copan in Honduras. Ajpach ‘Wall was from El Palmar 200 miles away over rugged terrain, a month on foot away. The meeting was memorialized on a monument at Copan and on a monument at El Palmar. Ajpach ‘Waal’s title was “Bannerman.” He may be buried near the monument. The monument was constructed on September 14 CE. There is a staircase with 164 limestone block glyphs, unusual for a site so small. The ruler of Calakmul is depicted, belonging to the Snake dynasty. Ajpak ‘Waal went to Copan on behalf of the king of Calakmul, perhaps to broker an alliance against Tikal.

Ajpjk ‘Waal was a royal diplomat or Lakam. The possible burial site of Ajpach was very modest. The bones found indicate the life of a man who had malnutrition and possibly scurvy. He had shin injuries possibly related to playing the ball game, and ballplayers are depicted in the glyphs. He had severe arthritis like a Lakam you have hiking long distances over rugged terrain. He had jade and pyrite teeth inlays.

On May 3, A.D. 738, 18 Rabbit was captured and beheaded by rebels from Quiriguá, supported by Ajpach’ Waal’s patron, the king of Calakmul. Calakmul itself then fell to Tikal.
After that Ajpach’s standing fell, and he could not pay for a missing tooth with an inlay. His burial place was celebrated with a fire ceremony and maintained by his family.

Archaeology.org has the story with photos:
https://www.archaeology.org/issues/430-2107/features/9751

July 20, 2021.


Ancient Parrot and Macaw Remains Found in the Atacama Desert of Chile


In the driest desert in the world, the Atacama desert of Chile, archaeologists have found that parrots and macaws were imported there from 1100-1450 CE.. Feathers were found in burials, leather boxes and other material. They also found mummified birds. The birds had to be transported across steppes, cold weather, difficult terrain.
The team found 27 remains of Scarlet Macaws and Amazon parrots

Using zooarchaeological analysis, isotopic dietary reconstruction, radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA testing, the research cataloged scarlet macaws and at least five other parrot species that were transported from over 300 miles away in the eastern Amazon. Their feathers were plucked as they grew them. The mummified birds had their mouths open and tongues out or had their wings spread.

The birds ate the same food as humans enriched with the nitrogen from maize fertilized with marine bird manure. They were brought by llama caravans across the Andes and the desert. Difficult for the llamas to traverse.
Reference: “Pre-Columbian transregional captive rearing of Amazonian parrots in the Atacama Desert” by José M. Capriles, Calogero M. Santoro, Richard J. George, Eliana Flores Bedregal, Douglas J. Kennett, Logan Kistler and Francisco Rothhammer, 29 March 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2020020118

scitechdaily has the report here;
https://scitechdaily.com/mummified-parrots-found-by-archaeologists-point-to-trade-in-the-ancient-atacama-desert/

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http://michaelruggeriancientamericas.tumblr.com

Radical New Research Challenges Long Held Beliefs on the Cahokia Collapse

June 19, 2021

New research shows that Cahokia was not abandoned because they cut down too many trees. Archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis looked at the common narrative that the Cahokians deforested the area leading to erosion and flooding. The new team of researchers do not see evidence of flooding at the mound site they re-exacavated. In the journal Geoarchaeology, the researchers described their excavations at an earthen mound in the Cahokia Creek floodplain. The excavations showed that the ground surface of the mound remained stable until modern times. This directly challenges the wood overuse hypothesis.


Tens of thousands of trees were cut down to make palisades, but this did not cause local flooding says the team. Now new research is needed to explain the Cahokia collapse.

Washington University published their report here:
https://source.wustl.edu/2021/04/study-scant-evidence-that-wood-overuse-at-cahokia-caused-local-flooding-subsequent-collapse/?fbclid=IwAR2ILQgWSYTRkIo80nSjJPUvWx7iCM2QUnQcWknzn5TyI62wyAd_A2K9X5c

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Cahokia
https://mikeruggerisancientcahokla.tumblr.com

Timothy Pauketat on River Basin Weather Shaping Cahokia

June 19, 2021

Cahokians saw weather extremes and strong storms as spiritual transfers of power from the atmosphere to humanity. Pauketat linked this to the practice of Steam Bath Ceremonialism. Liquid water was converted into steam, and those in the steam bath absorbed the steam and its healing energy. Medicine bundles carried this idea to rural areas.

Pauketat sees the giant urban area of Cahokia, starting with the Big Bang of 1050 CE consisting of new architectural styles and lunar cycles. Shrines were expanded and causeways were constructed to make pathways to mounds with steam baths.

Throughout the 12th century, there was less rainfall precipitating dramatic changes. The migration of farmers began, defensive barriers were built, food supplies were concealed, and Steam Bath Ceremonialism declined.

More information: Timothy R. Pauketat, When the Rains Stopped: Evapotranspiration and Ontology at Ancient Cahokia, Journal of Anthropological Research (2020). DOI: 10.1086/711102

PhysOrg has the report here:
https://phys.org/news/2020-12-climate-catalyst-greater-cahokia.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Cahokia
https://mikeruggerisancientcahokla.tumblr.com

New Research on the Mississippian Civilization

June 19, 2021

Recent archaeological research on the emergence of the Mississippian civilization posits that it was a combination of local styles and ideas mixed with the enormous influence of the capital of the Mississippian world, Cahokia. The diaspora of Cahokian people over time brought with it ceramics of their region, and their religious ideology based on the ordering of the cosmos.

Early on, around 1050 CE, they traveled north to present day Wisconsin spurring the creation of Cahokia style platform mounds at the sites of Trempeleau and Aztalan, as well as site layout and pottery

At the Carson site, downriver from Cahokia, Cahokian migrants built long, rectangular and semi-subterrenean houses that looked like home.

Cahokian emissaries carried distinctive tools, like the Burlington chert drill, far to the south, for making their tri-lobed projectile points.

Long-nosed god maskettes made of copper are found at 20 or so sites across the Southeast and Midwest, all of which have a Cahokian presence. These masks may have been part of a hero narrative that was also depicted in rock art and narrated by Siouxan speaking groups whose traditional lands encompassed much of the Upper Midwest.

Farther north, Cahokians created other new, hybridized styles with local populations.

At the Halliday site, in southern Illinois, 30 kilometers southeast of Cahokia; excavations have found nonlocal pottery types from Indiana and northern Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, alongside pottery typical of Cahokia. People at Halliday were also eating slightly different foods than at other nearby sites, suggesting they maintained culinary traditions of their remote homelands.

Upland villages adopted a Cahokian building method that placed a prefabricated wall directly into a trench, but maintained their own building styles as well.

Cahokian and Mississippian culture are not one monolithic entity with just one perspective, but instead, a multitude of voices that together signified something greater.

The Conversation has the report here:
https://theconversation.com/cahokian-culture-spread-across-eastern-north-america-1-000-years-ago-in-an-early-example-of-diaspora-130106

June 19, 2021

Radical New Research Challenges Long Held Beliefs on the Cahokia Collapse

New research shows that Cahokia was not abandoned because they cut down too many trees. Archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis looked at the common narrative that the Cahokians deforested the area leading to erosion and flooding. 

The new team of researchers do not see evidence of flooding at the mound site they re-exacavated. In the journal Geoarchaeology, the researchers described their excavations at an earthen mound in the Cahokia Creek floodplain. The excavations showed that the ground surface of the mound remained stable until modern times. This directly challenges the wood overuse hypothesis.


Tens of thousands of trees were cut down to make palisades, but this did not cause local flooding says the team. Now new research is needed to explain the Cahokia collapse.

Washington University published their report here:
https://source.wustl.edu/2021/04/study-scant-evidence-that-wood-overuse-at-cahokia-caused-local-flooding-subsequent-collapse/?fbclid=IwAR2ILQgWSYTRkIo80nSjJPUvWx7iCM2QUnQcWknzn5TyI62wyAd_A2K9X5c

June 19, 2021

Timothy Pauketat on River Basin Weather Shaping Cahokia

Cahokians saw weather extremes and strong storms as spiritual transfers of power from the atmosphere to humanity. Pauketat linked this to the practice of Steam Bath Ceremonialism. Liquid water was converted into steam, and those in the steam bath absorbed the steam and its healing energy. Medicine bundles carried this idea to rural areas.

Pauketat sees the giant urban area of Cahokia, starting with the Big Bang of 1050 CE consisting of new architectural styles and lunar cycles. Shrines were expanded and causeways were constructed to make pathways to mounds with steam baths.

Throughout the 12th century, there was less rainfall precipitating dramatic changes. The migration of farmers began, defensive barriers were built, food supplies were concealed, and Steam Bath Ceremonialism declined.

More information: Timothy R. Pauketat, When the Rains Stopped: Evapotranspiration and Ontology at Ancient Cahokia, Journal of Anthropological Research (2020).  DOI: 10.1086/711102

PhysOrg has the report here:
https://phys.org/news/2020-12-climate-catalyst-greater-cahokia.html

June 19, 2021

New Research on the Mississippian Civilization

Recent archaeological research on the emergence of the Mississippian civilization posits that it was a combination of local styles and ideas mixed with the enormous influence of the capital of the Mississippian world, Cahokia. The diaspora of Cahokian people over time brought with it ceramics of their region, and their religious ideology based on the ordering of the cosmos.

Early on, around 1050 CE, they traveled north to present day Wisconsin spurring the creation of Cahokia style platform mounds at the sites of Trempeleau and Aztalan, as well as site layout and pottery

At the Carson site, downriver from Cahokia, Cahokian migrants built long, rectangular and semi-subterrenean houses that looked like home.

Cahokian emissaries carried distinctive tools, like the Burlington chert drill, far to the south, for making their tri-lobed projectile points.

Long-nosed god maskettes made of copper are found at 20 or so sites across the Southeast and Midwest, all of which have a Cahokian presence. These masks may have been part of a hero narrative that was also depicted in rock art and narrated by Siouxan speaking groups whose traditional lands encompassed much of the Upper Midwest.

Farther north, Cahokians created other new, hybridized styles with local populations.

At the Halliday site, in southern Illinois, 30 kilometers southeast of Cahokia; excavations have found nonlocal pottery types from Indiana and northern Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, alongside pottery typical of Cahokia. People at Halliday were also eating slightly different foods than at other nearby sites, suggesting they maintained culinary traditions of their remote homelands.

Upland villages adopted a Cahokian building method that placed a prefabricated wall directly into a trench, but maintained their own building styles as well.

Cahokian and Mississippian culture are not one monolithic entity with just one perspective, but instead, a multitude of voices that together signified something greater.

The Conversation has the report here:
https://theconversation.com/cahokian-culture-spread-across-eastern-north-america-1-000-years-ago-in-an-early-example-of-diaspora-130106

June 6, 2021

New Research on the Great Hopewell Road

Between about AD 1 and 400 the Hopewell culture built a series of monumental earthen enclosures across southern Ohio. The largest concentration of these earthworks was along the Scioto River Valley and its tributaries near modern Chillicothe.

The vast Newark Earthworks is located 60 miles to the north from the Chillicothe Hopewell heartland. There is compelling evidence it was linked directly to that heart of the Hopewell world by a major transportation artery.

The Great Hopewell Road is a set of low, earthen walls framing a 200-foot-wide avenue that extended from the southernmost gateway of Newark’s Octagon earthwork an undetermined distance to the southwest. The road may have gone directly to Chillicothe, and research on that is ongoing.

If we eventually find that the Great Hopewell Road actually did go all the way to Chillicothe, it won’t be all that surprising. We’ve known for a long time that there was a special relationship between these special places.

Why would the Hopewell have needed an avenue, equivalent in size to a modern 16-lane freeway, connect them? (The busiest freeway in Los Angeles is only 14 lanes.) Why did it need to be so straight?

Archaeologist Brad Lepper thinks that the Great Hopewell Road was a sacred processional path used by pilgrims to travel to Newark’s gigantic earthen cathedral. The Maya civilization had similar long, straight roads which were pilgrimage routes to various sites

Pilgrims may have come to Newark bearing offerings of thanksgiving or supplication from their homelands. This may explain the artifacts found in Hopewell mounds made of copper from the Great Lakes, shells from the Gulf of Mexico and mica from the southern Appalachian Mountains. Archaeologists have found small blades made from our local Flint Ridge Flint at Hopewell-era sites across eastern North America.

Brad Lepper is a curator of archaeology for the Ohio History Connection. Lepper coined the term “Great Hopewell Road.”

https://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/news/local/2021/03/14/lepper-great-hopewell-road-connected-newark-earthworks-chillicothe/4639774001/?fbclid=IwAR2hHQI_CDfYCCY9M8NBKoULrC2hyThkHec7WQolH_68rjyjHnc4vvTzt_0

June 6, 2021,

New Research on the Hopewell Diet

The Hopewell culture spanned 1CE-400 CE. It has been believed that the culture was fueled by maize, the staple food of the Mississippian civilization. New chemical analysis of human remains at Hopewell sites found that maize was not a staple part of their diet. The chemical components of the food we eat are present in our bones. Maize did not become important in the region the Hopewell inhabited until 900 CE.

The new research found that the Hopewell diet included locally domesticated plants such as goosefoot, sumpweed and erect knotweed. Since the Hopewell population was not concentrated in cities but we’re dispersed across a vast landscape, they did not need a large scale maize production economy.

The research is published in American Antiquity.

The great Brad Lepper published this report in the Columbus Dispatch  
https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/columns/2021/05/16/no-corn-menu-ancient-ohioans/5066655001/

June 6, 2021

Hopewell Iron Beads Traced to a Specific Meteorite in Minnesota

Researchers have traced a set of iron Hopewell beads to a meteorite fragment. In 1945, two dozen tube shaped metal beads were found in a Havana, Illinois Hopewell burial mound. In 1970, they fond the beads were similar to beads at the Smithsonian because that had a Widmanstatten pattern that is found when a meteorite is cut open and polished.

An Anoka, Minn. meteorite fragment with virtually identical ratios of iron, nickel and phosphorous, and very close matches in other trace elements, and fine-grained structural similarities turned out to be the best match for the Havana beads. The Anoka fragment was found in 1961, part of a larger meteorite that fragmented.

At Hopewell sites, they have found  fossilized sharks teeth from the Gulf Coast, mica from the Appalachians, obsidian and grizzly bear teeth from Yellowstone. So the Hopewell constructed a vast trade network. Of the 100 Illinois area Hopewell sites, only 5 ounces of iron artifacts have been found. The Hopewell used a lot of copper but used very little iron, found only in three burials

The research was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science

https://insider.si.edu/2017/05/ancient-native-american-beads-traced-otherworldy-source-meteorite/?fbclid=IwAR02xu8OKrzBlRKHHxhIB5NilbS7RpjBz4wGoNvOnmU33XtwZfgaePxZZII

June 5, 2021

New Research on Hopewell Copper

Hopewell culture traders from Ohio obtained copper from as far away as Ontario, 750 miles away 2000 years ago. It was seen as a powerful substance, associated with the Underwater Panther, the protector of copper. The Hopewell spanned 2000-1600 years ago. They made awls, flakers and chisels to make other skillful, artful things like breastplates and animal designs and spiritual symbols.

Copper is malleable but also heavy and durable, three times heavier than granite. Copper coming from so far away gave it tradition. And the specialized craftsmanship needed to hammer it into tools and designs. The Lake Superior region was where most of the copper came from, and directed quests were used to locate it and trade for it.
Copper was used for 4000 years by inhabitants of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.

Some was so-called “float copper” found in glacial deposits in southern Michigan, eastern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois, as well as in the southern Appalachians.

The research was published in the “Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports”

The Spartan Newsroom has the report here;
https://news.jrn.msu.edu/2019/04/copper-culture-shapes-ancient-history/

Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell World
http://adenaandopewell.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell Art
http://adenaandhopewellart.tumblr.com

June 5, 2021

New Research on the Old Copper Culture

Native Americans were among the first in the world to mine metal to make tools. The largest and purest copper in the world are around the Great Lakes of North America. Native Americans in the region began mining and producing tools 9,500 years ago, and 3000 years ago, they abruptly stopped making copper tools and only made smaller adornment items such as beads and bracelets.

The new research brings copper mining back to 9,500 years ago, which is 3,500 years earlier than thought. The researchers radio-carbon dated 53 ancient items,
from wood or cordage attached to spearpoints; others came from charcoal, wood, or bone found at mines and human burials. The oldest artifact was an 8500-year-old projectile point found in Wisconsin.

The new dates for the Old Copper Culture show that it emerged 9,500 years ago and peaked at 7000-5000 years ago. The oldest Middle East artifact found so far is a copper pendant dated to 8,700 years ago. The researchers found that stone and bone implements for arrowheads we’re just as efficient as copper, due to the fact that the pure copper of the Great Lakes is softer than copper elsewhere in the world.

Sediment cores, tree ring data, and other evidence suggest a sustained dry period struck the region around that time. That could have fueled social and ecological disruptions that made it hard to devote time and resources to making copper tools. Over time, copper may have become something of a luxury item, used to signal social status say the researchers.

The research was published in the journal Radiocarbon.

Science Magazine has the report.
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/03/ancient-native-americans-were-among-world-s-first-coppersmiths

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr
http://michaelruggeriancientamericas.tumblr.com

New Research on the Old Copper Culture

June 5, 2021

Native Americans were among the first in the world to mine metal to make tools. The largest and purest copper in the world are around the Great Lakes of North America. Native Americans in the region began mining and producing tools 9,500 years ago, and 3000 years ago, they abruptly stopped making copper tools and only made smaller adornment items such as beads and bracelets.


The new research brings copper mining back to 9,500 years ago, which is 3,500 years earlier than thought. The researchers radio-carbon dated 53 ancient items, from wood or cordage attached to spearpoints; others came from charcoal, wood, or bone found at mines and human burials. The oldest artifact was an 8500-year-old projectile point found in Wisconsin.


The new dates for the Old Copper Culture show that it emerged 9,500 years ago and peaked at 7000-5000 years ago. The oldest Middle East artifact found so far is a copper pendant dated to 8,700 years ago. The researchers found that stone and bone implements for arrowheads we’re just as efficient as copper, due to the fact that the pure copper of the Great Lakes is softer than copper elsewhere in the world.


Sediment cores, tree ring data, and other evidence suggest a sustained dry period struck the region around that time. That could have fueled social and ecological disruptions that made it hard to devote time and resources to making copper tools. Over time, copper may have become something of a luxury item, used to signal social status say the researchers.


The research was published in the journal Radiocarbon.
Science Magazine has the report. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/03/ancient-native-americans-were-among-world-s-first-coppersmiths


Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr

http://michaelruggeriancientamericas.tumblr.com

New Research on Hopewell Copper

June 5, 2021

Hopewell culture traders from Ohio obtained copper from as far away as Ontario, 750 miles away 2000 years ago. It was seen as a powerful substance, associated with the Underwater Panther, the protector of copper. The Hopewell spanned 2000-1600 years ago. They made awls, flakers and chisels to make other skillful, artful things like breastplates and animal designs and spiritual symbols.


Copper is malleable but also heavy and durable, three times heavier than granite. Copper coming from so far away gave it tradition. And the specialized craftsmanship needed to hammer it into tools and designs. The Lake Superior region was where most of the copper came from, and directed quests were used to locate it and trade for it. Copper was used for 4000 years by inhabitants of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.


Some was so-called “float copper” found in glacial deposits in southern Michigan, eastern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois, as well as in the southern Appalachians.


The research was published in the “Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports”
The Spartan Newsroom has the report here; https://news.jrn.msu.edu/2019/04/copper-culture-shapes-ancient-history/


Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell World

http://adenaandopewell.tumblr.com


Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell Art

http://adenaandhopewellart.tumblr.com

Hopewell Iron Beads Traced to a Specific Meteorite in Minnesota

June 5, 2021

Researchers have traced a set of iron Hopewell beads to a meteorite fragment. In 1945, two dozen tube shaped metal beads were found in a Havana, Illinois Hopewell burial mound. In 1970, they fond the beads were similar to beads at the Smithsonian because that had a Widmanstatten pattern that is found when a meteorite is cut open and polished.


An Anoka, Minn. meteorite fragment with virtually identical ratios of iron, nickel and phosphorous, and very close matches in other trace elements, and fine-grained structural similarities turned out to be the best match for the Havana beads. The Anoka fragment was found in 1961, part of a larger meteorite that fragmented.


At Hopewell sites, they have found fossilized sharks teeth from the Gulf Coast, mica from the Appalachians, obsidian and grizzly bear teeth from Yellowstone. So the Hopewell constructed a vast trade network. Of the 100 Illinois area Hopewell sites, only 5 ounces of iron artifacts have been found. The Hopewell used a lot of copper but used very little iron, found only in three burials


The research was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science
https://insider.si.edu/2017/05/ancient-native-american-beads-traced-otherworldy-source-meteorite/?fbclid=IwAR02xu8OKrzBlRKHHxhIB5NilbS7RpjBz4wGoNvOnmU33XtwZfgaePxZZII

New Research on the Hopewell Diet

June 6, 2021


The Hopewell culture spanned 1CE-400 CE. It has been believed that the culture was fueled by maize, the staple food of the Mississippian civilization. New chemical analysis of human remains at Hopewell sites found that maize was not a staple part of their diet. The chemical components of the food we eat are present in our bones. Maize did not become important in the region the Hopewell inhabited until 900 CE.


The new research found that the Hopewell diet included locally domesticated plants such as goosefoot, sumpweed and erect knotweed. Since the Hopewell population was not concentrated in cities but we’re dispersed across a vast landscape, they did not need a large scale maize production economy.
The research is published in American Antiquity.


The great Brad Lepper published this report in the Columbus Dispatch https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/columns/2021/05/16/no-corn-menu-ancient-ohioans/5066655001/

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientnorthamerica.tumblr.com

New Research on the Great Hopewell Road

June 6, 2021


Between about AD 1 and 400 the Hopewell culture built a series of monumental earthen enclosures across southern Ohio. The largest concentration of these earthworks was along the Scioto River Valley and its tributaries near modern Chillicothe.
The vast Newark Earthworks is located 60 miles to the north from the Chillicothe Hopewell heartland. There is compelling evidence it was linked directly to that heart of the Hopewell world by a major transportation artery.
The Great Hopewell Road is a set of low, earthen walls framing a 200-foot-wide avenue that extended from the southernmost gateway of Newark’s Octagon earthwork an undetermined distance to the southwest. The road may have gone directly to Chillicothe, and research on that is ongoing.
If we eventually find that the Great Hopewell Road actually did go all the way to Chillicothe, it won’t be all that surprising. We’ve known for a long time that there was a special relationship between these special places.
Why would the Hopewell have needed an avenue, equivalent in size to a modern 16-lane freeway, connect them? (The busiest freeway in Los Angeles is only 14 lanes.) Why did it need to be so straight?
Archaeologist Brad Lepper thinks that the Great Hopewell Road was a sacred processional path used by pilgrims to travel to Newark’s gigantic earthen cathedral. The Maya civilization had similar long, straight roads which were pilgrimage routes to various sites
Pilgrims may have come to Newark bearing offerings of thanksgiving or supplication from their homelands. This may explain the artifacts found in Hopewell mounds made of copper from the Great Lakes, shells from the Gulf of Mexico and mica from the southern Appalachian Mountains. Archaeologists have found small blades made from our local Flint Ridge Flint at Hopewell-era sites across eastern North America.


Brad Lepper is a curator of archaeology for the Ohio History Connection. Lepper coined the term “Great Hopewell Road.”


https://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/news/local/2021/03/14/lepper-great-hopewell-road-connected-newark-earthworks-chillicothe/4639774001/?fbclid=IwAR2hHQI_CDfYCCY9M8NBKoULrC2hyThkHec7WQolH_68rjyjHnc4vvTzt_0

image

April 1, 2021

Archaeologists Unearth Long-Lost Capital of Ancient Maya Kingdom

Archaeologists excavating the site of Lacanja Tzeltal in Chiapas have discovered the ruins of the capital of a kingdom known from Classic period Maya inscriptions as Sak Tz’i’ (White Dog). They found a trove of Maya monuments, one of which has an important inscription describing rituals, battles, a mythical water serpent and the dance of a rain god. The site was settled at 750 CE and occupied for 1000 years.

The archaeologists found the city’s marketplace and the ball court, a high pyramid and surrounding structures for the elite and priests, and a large ceremonial plaza wit a high platform for dignitaries. They built walls on a stream on one side and masonry walls on another side because they were surrounded by enemies.

They found a tablet telling of a mythical water serpent, a mythic flood, gods who are not named, and the lives of rulers. One ruler is dressed as Yoppat, the god of tropical storms.

He carries an axe in his right hand that is the lightning bolt of the storm.  In his left hand, he carries a ‘manopla,’ a stone gauntlet or bludgeon used in ritual combat.

The team’s paper was published in the Journal of Field Archaeology.

Charles Golden et al. 2020. Centering the Classic Maya Kingdom of Sak Tz’i’. Journal of Field Archaeology 45 (2): 67-85; doi: 10.1080/00934690.2019.1684748

Sci-News has the report here;
http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/capital-sak-tzi-kingdom-08223.html?fbclid=IwAR2fYYB8mMQwt7WEjwvftvjwXh3gyr1eFTAODcdhDwELUSQgQbbwlIyvB6M

image

April 1, 2021

Over-the-Top Mayan Tomb Reveals Man Who Lived a Bit Too Large

Archaeologists at the Maya site to El Palmar excavated the tomb of  Apoch’Waal underneath a temple dedicated to his life. But in the tomb were only two decorated pots. The glyphs in the tomb show that he was a mayan standard bearer, an important diplomatic figure. His remains show malnutrition in his bones when he was young. His skull was cranially deformed to show his noble status. Pyrite and jade were drilled into hi teeth to further show his elite status, as he inherited the position of his father as a diplomatic emissary.

In 726 CE, he traveled to Copan for the king of Calakmul, his ruler, to seal an alliance. Returning, he built his temple. A war between Copan and Calakmul 10 years later led to a sudden economic downturn at El Palmar. In his later years, he developed severe arthritis, gum disease, and lost a jewel in his teeth, not replaced due to poverty. He died between 35 and 50, and still had enough prestige to be buried under his temple. He lived his last years in pain. 

The glyphs give us insight into shifts of fortune among the Maya elite in their time.

Yahoo News has the report here:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/over-top-mayan-tomb-reveals-090150619.html

April 30, 2021

Teotihuacan Diplomatic Compound Discovered at the Maya Site of Tikal

Archaeologists at the Maya site of Tikal have found buildings and artifacts that appear to be an outpost of Teotihuacan, 600 miles away. The structures were made of earth and stucco that the Maya did not use. Weapons of green obsidian from the area of Teotihuacan, carvings of the Teotihuacan rain god and a Teotihuacan type burial were found. Teotihuacan dignitaries may have lived there during a time of peace before warfare between them began. The area looks too have been built at 300 CE. Teotihuacan conquered Tikal at 378 CE.

On January 15378 CE, a man by the name of Sihyaj K’ahk’, or Fire is Born, into the city on January 16, 378, and on that same day, the Tikal leader Jaguar Paw died. The Teotihuacan army was sent by the Two leader Spearthrower Owl. His son became king of Tikal. He wears a Too headdress and a Two spear in portraits. Maya murals at Teotihuacan were destroyed and buried at 350-450 CE, perhaps from a Tikal diplomatic compound there.

The compound at Tikal were located by LIDAR, and excavations in this area will continue.

Smithsonian has the report here:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/were-these-ancient-mesoamerican-cities-friends-they-became-foes-180977509/

April 1, 2021

Archaeologists Unearth Long-Lost Capital of Ancient Maya Kingdom

Archaeologists excavating the site of Lacanja Tzeltal in Chiapas have discovered the ruins of the capital of a kingdom known from Classic period Maya inscriptions as Sak Tz’i’ (White Dog). They found a trove of Maya monuments, one of which has an important inscription describing rituals, battles, a mythical water serpent and the dance of a rain god. The site was settled at 750 CE and occupied for 1000 years.

The archaeologists found the city’s marketplace and the ball court, a high pyramid and surrounding structures for the elite and priests, and a large ceremonial plaza wit a high platform for dignitaries. They built walls on a stream on one side and masonry walls on another side because they were surrounded by enemies.

They found a tablet telling of a mythical water serpent, a mythic flood, gods who are not named, and the lives of rulers. One ruler is dressed as Yoppat, the god of tropical storms.

He carries an axe in his right hand that is the lightning bolt of the storm.  In his left hand, he carries a ‘manopla,’ a stone gauntlet or bludgeon used in ritual combat.

The team’s paper was published in the Journal of Field Archaeology.

Charles Golden et al. 2020. Centering the Classic Maya Kingdom of Sak Tz’i’. Journal of Field Archaeology 45 (2): 67-85; doi: 10.1080/00934690.2019.1684748

Sci-News has the report here;
http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/capital-sak-tzi-kingdom-08223.html?fbclid=IwAR2fYYB8mMQwt7WEjwvftvjwXh3gyr1eFTAODcdhDwELUSQgQbbwlIyvB6M

April 1, 2021

Over-the-Top Mayan Tomb Reveals Man Who Lived a Bit Too Large

Archaeologists at the Maya site to El Palmar excavated the tomb of  Apoch’Waal underneath a temple dedicated to his life. But in the tomb were only two decorated pots. The glyphs in the tomb show that he was a mayan standard bearer, an important diplomatic figure. His remains show malnutrition in his bones when he was young. His skull was cranially deformed to show his noble status. Pyrite and jade were drilled into hi teeth to further show his elite status, as he inherited the position of his father as a diplomatic emissary.

In 726 CE, he traveled to Copan for the king of Calakmul, his ruler, to seal an alliance. Returning, he built his temple. A war between Copan and Calakmul 10 years later led to a sudden economic downturn at El Palmar. In his later years, he developed severe arthritis, gum disease, and lost a jewel in his teeth, not replaced due to poverty. He died between 35 and 50, and still had enough prestige to be buried under his temple. He lived his last years in pain.

The glyphs give us insight into shifts of fortune among the Maya elite in their time.

Yahoo News has the report here:
https://www.yahoo.com/news/over-top-mayan-tomb-reveals-090150619.html

April 30, 2021

Teotihuacan Diplomatic Compound Discovered at the Maya Site of Tikal

Archaeologists at the Maya site of Tikal have found buildings and artifacts that appear to be an outpost of Teotihuacan, 600 miles away. The structures were made of earth and stucco that the Maya did not use. Weapons of green obsidian from the area of Teotihuacan, carvings of the Teotihuacan rain god and a Teotihuacan type burial were found. Teotihuacan dignitaries may have lived there during a time of peace before warfare between them began. The area looks too have been built at 300 CE. Teotihuacan conquered Tikal at 378 CE.

On January 15378 CE, a man by the name of Sihyaj K’ahk’, or Fire is Born, into the city on January 16, 378, and on that same day, the Tikal leader Jaguar Paw died. The Teotihuacan army was sent by the Two leader Spearthrower Owl. His son became king of Tikal. He wears a Too headdress and a Two spear in portraits.
Maya murals at Teotihuacan were destroyed and buried at 350-450 CE, perhaps from a Tikal diplomatic compound there.

The compound at Tikal were located by LIDAR, and excavations in this area will continue.

Smithsonian has the report here:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/were-these-ancient-mesoamerican-cities-friends-they-became-foes-180977509/

Grad Student Uncovers Colossal Ancient Maya Mask in Yucatán

March 29, 2021

The giant mask found at the sit of Ucanha has been dated to the 4th century CE. INAH said the mask was found in 2017 and protected from looters then by not announcing the discovery.

Jacob Welch, a graduate student at Yale University found the mask along with a team made up of Mexican and American researchers, laborers and other students.

Excavation of the mask began in 2019.

Inah has reared the mask which portrays a ruler or deity with a large, protruding nose and an elongated head. Intricately carved symbols flank the face on both sides.

Yucatan Magazine

https://yucatanmagazine.com/grad-student-uncovers-colossal-ancient-maya-mask-in-yucatan/

And

Smithsonian Magazine have the reports here with photos:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/giant-maya-mask-restored-180976835/

Maya Ruins in Belize Show Maya Wealth Inequality

March 29, 2021

Archaeologists have studied remains of 180 homes in the Maya site of Uxbenká and 93 homes in the smaller nearby city of Ix Kuku’il, both dated from roughly 250 to 900 AD.

The researchers gauged wealth inequality based on the mix of large and smaller homes, along with the size and nature of the structures.

Wealth inequality begins with food production. The surplus is commanded by a few individuals. They coerce others to provide labor and goods.

The researchers compared their findings to other studies of homes in  ancient cities in Mesoamerica, In Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, where more collective forms of governance existed, there was less disparity in homes.

Teotihuacan in central Mexico, had lesser degrees of inequality as measured by domestic space than did the Classic Maya sites despite the fact Teotihuacan had a population of 200,00.

Uxbenká and Ix Kuku’il, about 25 miles (40 km) from the Caribbean coast, boasted monumental architecture including temples about 30 feet (10 meters) tall. The foundations of the small houses often measured roughly 13 by 20 feet (4 by 6 meters) and the large ones reached approximately 40 by 66 feet (12 by 20 meters).

The larger ones had more elaborate architecture and imported and luxury goods including jade, marine shell, personal adornments and the volcanic glass called obsidian, used for blades and other purposes.

Classic Maya society featured social groups including royal leadership, nobles, merchants, artisans and crafts people, and a larger number of farmers and laborers. But the Maya had a more despotic system than those in the same time period in the rest of Mesoamerica.

WSAU.com has the report here:

https://wsau.com/2021/03/24/maya-ruins-in-belize-offer-peek-at-ancient-wealth-inequality/

WSU Scientists Identify Contents of Ancient Maya Drug Containers

March 28, 2021

Washington State University researchers have detected marigold in residues from 14 miniature Maya ceramic vessels buried 1,000 years ago in the Yucatan. These vessels also contain types of dried and cured tobacco. The marigold would have made the tobacco taste better.

The analysis methods were developed in collaboration between the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Biological Chemistry to give researchers the ability to investigate drug use in the ancient world like never before.

Mark Zimmermann and colleagues’ work was funded by the NSF, which led to a new metabolomics-based analysis method that can detect thousands of plant compounds or metabolites in residue collected from containers, pipes, bowls and other archaeological artifacts. The compounds can then be used to identify which plants were consumed.

Zimmermann helped unearth two of the ceremonial vessels that were used for the analysis in the spring of 2012. Zimmerman’s team now want to study other ancient containers and the dental plaque of ancient humans in Mexico using the same new methods. This will revolutionize the study of psycho-active drugs in the ancient world.

WSU.edu has the report here with photos:

https://news.wsu.edu/2021/01/15/wsu-scientists-identify-contents-ancient-maya-drug-containers/?utm_source=WSUNews-enewsletter&utm_campaign=wsunewsenewsletter&utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR3XFq4a69ZJI1iMnQvEe1Tq6UQaDTLiAy24S1P3QB7x9HX_F9LYXN8e508

Ancient Maya Used Salt Cakes as Money, New Research Suggests

March 28, 2021


Researcher Heather McKillop has found proof in an ancient 2,500 year old mural at the Maya site of Calakmul, in the Yucatan, that the Maya used salt cakes wrapped in leaves being sold at a marketplace by a salt vendor. Mckillop and her team discovered the first ancient Maya salt kitchens of pole and thatch submerged in a saltwater lagoon in Belize in 2004.


They have mapped 70 sites in the Paynes Creek Salt Works in a mangrove forest in Belize. They found 4,042 submerged architectural wooden posts, a canoe, an oar, a high-quality jadeite tool, stone tools used to salt fish and meat and hundreds of pieces of pottery. They were making a surplus of these salt cakes for trade by canoes up rivers. They were making these in pots in standardized units.


Her paper was published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. Heather McKillop. 2021. Salt as a commodity or money in the Classic Maya economy. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 62: 101277; doi: 10.1016/j.jaa.2021.101277


Sci-News has the story here with the mural:

http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/maya-salt-money-09479.html

March 29, 2021

Grad Student Uncovers Colossal Ancient Maya Mask in Yucatán

The giant mask found at the sit of Ucanha has been dated to the 4th century CE. INAH said the mask was found in 2017 and protected from looters then by not announcing the discovery.

Jacob Welch, a graduate student at Yale University found the mask along with a team made up of Mexican and American researchers, laborers and other students.

Excavation of the mask began in 2019.

Inah has reared the mask which portrays a ruler or deity with a large, protruding nose and an elongated head. Intricately carved symbols flank the face on both sides.

Yucatan Magazine and
https://yucatanmagazine.com/grad-student-uncovers-colossal-ancient-maya-mask-in-yucatan/

And

Smithsonian Magazine have the reports here with photos:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/giant-maya-mask-restored-180976835/

March 29, 2021

Maya Ruins in Belize Show Maya Wealth Inequality

Archaeologists have studied remains of 180 homes in the Maya site of Uxbenká and 93 homes in the smaller nearby city of Ix Kuku’il, both dated from roughly 250 to 900 AD.

The researchers gauged wealth inequality based on the mix of large and smaller homes, along with the size and nature of the structures.

Wealth inequality begins with food production. The surplus is commanded by a few individuals. They coerce others to provide labor and goods.

The researchers compared their findings to other studies of homes in  ancient cities in Mesoamerica, In Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, where more collective forms of governance existed, there was less disparity in homes.

Teotihuacan in central Mexico, had lesser degrees of inequality as measured by domestic space than did the Classic Maya sites despite the fact Teotihuacan had a population of 200,00.

Uxbenká and Ix Kuku’il, about 25 miles (40 km) from the Caribbean coast, boasted monumental architecture including temples about 30 feet (10 meters) tall.
The foundations of the small houses often measured roughly 13 by 20 feet (4 by 6 meters) and the large ones reached approximately 40 by 66 feet (12 by 20 meters).

The larger ones had more elaborate architecture and imported and luxury goods including jade, marine shell, personal adornments and the volcanic glass called obsidian, used for blades and other purposes.

Classic Maya society featured social groups including royal leadership, nobles, merchants, artisans and crafts people, and a larger number of farmers and laborers. But the Maya had a more despotic system than those in the same time period in the rest of Mesoamerica.

WSAU.com has the report here:
https://wsau.com/2021/03/24/maya-ruins-in-belize-offer-peek-at-ancient-wealth-inequality/

March 28, 2021

WSU Scientists Identify Contents of Ancient Maya Drug Containers

Washington State University researchers have detected marigold in residues from 14 miniature Maya ceramic vessels buried 1,000 years ago in the Yucatan. These vessels also contain types of dried and cured tobacco. The marigold would have made the tobacco taste better.

The analysis methods were developed in collaboration between the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Biological Chemistry to give researchers the ability to investigate drug use in the ancient world like never before.

Mark Zimmermann and colleagues’ work was funded by the NSF, which led to a new metabolomics-based analysis method that can detect thousands of plant compounds or metabolites in residue collected from containers, pipes, bowls and other archaeological artifacts. The compounds can then be used to identify which plants were consumed.

Zimmermann helped unearth two of the ceremonial vessels that were used for the analysis in the spring of 2012. Zimmerman’s team now want to study other ancient containers and the dental plaque of ancient humans in Mexico using the same new methods. This will revolutionize the study of psycho-active drugs in the ancient world.

WSU.edu has the report here with photos:
https://news.wsu.edu/2021/01/15/wsu-scientists-identify-contents-ancient-maya-drug-containers/?utm_source=WSUNews-enewsletter&utm_campaign=wsunewsenewsletter&utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR3XFq4a69ZJI1iMnQvEe1Tq6UQaDTLiAy24S1P3QB7x9HX_F9LYXN8e508

March 28, 2021

Ancient Maya Used Salt Cakes as Money, New Research Suggests

Researcher Heather McKillop has found proof in an ancient 2,500 year old mural at the Maya site of Calakmul, in the Yucatan, that the Maya used salt cakes wrapped in leaves being sold at a marketplace by a salt vendor. Mckillop and her team discovered the first ancient Maya salt kitchens of pole and thatch submerged in a saltwater lagoon in Belize in 2004..

They have mapped 70 sites in the Paynes Creek Salt Works in a mangrove forest in Belize. They found 4,042 submerged architectural wooden posts, a canoe, an oar, a high-quality jadeite tool, stone tools used to salt fish and meat and hundreds of pieces of pottery. They were making a surplus of these salt cakes for trade by canoes up rivers. They were making these in pots in standardized units.

Her paper was published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.
Heather McKillop. 2021. Salt as a commodity or money in the Classic Maya economy. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 62: 101277; doi: 10.1016/j.jaa.2021.101277

Sci-News has the story here with the mural:
http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/maya-salt-money-09479.html

March 11, 2021

Research in Alaska Points to a Human Presence There 32,000 Years Ago

Researchers at Brown University, funded by the Shared Beringian Heritage Program believe they have found traces of human fecal matter and fire activity in Northern Alaska that date to 30,000 years ago. Their research has not been published yet. Human findings in Siberia date to 45,000 years ago. The genetic data on modern Native Americans show that they descended from a long isolated Berigian population. The Beringian Standstill Hypothesis postulates that humans populated Beringia from Siberia to Canada at 25,000 years ago before moving south as ice receded.

The researchers retrieved samples lakes on the Seward Peninsula. They found samples of human fecal matter and the use of fire were dated to 30,000 years ago. The fire presence was found on a cold, dry climate area, not in warmer areas. So they began to suspect a human presence was responsible. They then looked for human fecal matter and found it at 32,000 years ago in their core samples. They then look at another lake, Burial Lake, and found the same biomarkers of fecal matter and fire, and found them at the same date.

Their research will be published in a few months. Their proofs in the area of genetics and biochemistry will not show proof of archaeological evidence.

(My note) This is the beginning of a new branch of research as to who the First Americas were. Once the research is published, debate will begin on this new branch of study. Archaeologists may begin to look deeper in the Seward Peninsula for a definite human presence. Finds like this take decades to prove or disprove. If archaeological evidence is found in the end at 32,000 years ago, this would be a substantial discovery. And remember, the genes of modern Native Americans which match those in Beringia, groups traveling south into the Americas by canoe may originate from different genetic groups. That research is also ongoing.

National Parks Traveler has the report here;
https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2021/02/research-could-reset-accepted-timeline-humans-reaching-north-america

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis World
http://preclovisworld.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerispreclovisnews.tumblr.com

Research in Alaska Points to a Human Presence There 32,000 Years Ago

March 11, 2021

Researchers at Brown University, funded by the Shared Beringian Heritage Program believe they have found traces of human fecal matter and fire activity in Northern Alaska that date to 30,000 years ago. Their research has not been published yet. Human findings in Siberia date to 45,000 years ago. The genetic data on modern Native Americans show that they descended from a long isolated Berigian population. The Beringian Standstill Hypothesis postulates that humans populated Beringia from Siberia to Canada at 25,000 years ago before moving south as ice receded.

The researchers retrieved samples lakes on the Seward Peninsula. They found samples of human fecal matter and the use of fire were dated to 30,000 years ago. The fire presence was found on a cold, dry climate area, not in warmer areas. So they began to suspect a human presence was responsible. They then looked for human fecal matter and found it at 32,000 years ago in their core samples. They then look at another lake, Burial Lake, and found the same biomarkers of fecal matter and fire, and found them at the same date.

Their research will be published in a few months. Their proofs in the area of genetics and biochemistry will not show proof of archaeological evidence.

(My note) This is the beginning of a new branch of research as to who the First Americas were. Once the research is published, debate will begin on this new branch of study. Archaeologists may begin to look deeper in the Seward Peninsula for a definite human presence. Finds like this take decades to prove or disprove. If archaeological evidence is found in the end at 32,000 years ago, this would be a substantial discovery. And remember, the genes of modern Native Americans which match those in Beringia, groups traveling south into the Americas by canoe may originate from different genetic groups. That research is also ongoing.

National Parks Traveler has the report here;
https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2021/02/research-could-reset-accepted-timeline-humans-reaching-north-america

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis World
http://preclovisworld.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerispreclovisnews.tumblr.com

February 24, 2021

The Use of Money Pushed Back 1000 years on the California Coast

Hunter-gatherers on the California coast were using highly worked shell beads as currency 2000 years ago according to Lynn Gamble of the USC Santa Barbara. This changes our view of the political and economic complexity of hunter-gatherers.

Lynn’s research is published in  “The origin and use of shell bead money in California” in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. She found that beads 1000 years before the beads accepted as money by archaeologists were found to be just as standardized as the newer beads, even more so. This is the kind used as money.

As Gamble notes, shell beads have been used for over 10,000 years in California, and there is extensive evidence for the production of some of these beads, especially those common in the last 3,000 to 4,000 years, on the northern Channel Islands. The evidence includes shell bead-making tools, such as drills, and massive amounts of shell bits — detritus — that littered the surface of archaeological sites on the islands.

Spanish colonizers were impressed by the Chumash trading networks and commerce facilitated by these beads.

This research pushes the use of money on the Pacific coast back 1000 years.

Ucsb.com has the report here;
https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2021/020161/ancient-economy

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient North America News
https://mikeruggerisancientnorthamerica.tumblr.com

The Use of Money Pushed Back 1000 years on the California Coast

Hunter-gatherers on the California coast were using highly worked shell beads as currency 2000 years ago according to Lynn Gamble of the USC Santa Barbara. This changes our view of the political and economic complexity of hunter-gatherers.

Lynn’s research is published in “The origin and use of shell bead money in California” in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. She found that beads 1000 years before the beads accepted as money by archaeologists were found to be just as standardized as the newer beads, even more so. This is the kind used as money.

As Gamble notes, shell beads have been used for over 10,000 years in California, and there is extensive evidence for the production of some of these beads, especially those common in the last 3,000 to 4,000 years, on the northern Channel Islands. The evidence includes shell bead-making tools, such as drills, and massive amounts of shell bits — detritus — that littered the surface of archaeological sites on the islands.

Spanish colonizers were impressed by the Chumash trading networks and commerce facilitated by these beads.

This research pushes the use of money on the Pacific coast back 1000 years.

Ucsb.com has the report here;
https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2021/020161/ancient-economy

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient North America News
https://mikeruggerisancientnorthamerica.tumblr.com

February 21, 2021

Giant Aztec Eagle Bas Relief Uncovered in Mexico City

INAH has uncovered a giant bas relief of the Aztec Golden Eagle in downtown Mexico City. The carved slab was part of a floor built during Motecuhzoma Ilhuicamina’s reign 1440 and 1469 CE. The art is part of the Templo Mayor complex, which includes the image of a raptor associated with Huitzilopochtli”s mythical life cycle and Tlaloc representing the water cycle and the regeneration of maize. The floor was progressively created between 1486-1502.
Researchers are correlating the floor with Aztec codices. In Codex Borgia, a golden eagle stands on a mesquite, that was believed to grow from a flayed skin deity with knife-like feline feathers that look like human sacrifice knives. The bird of prey is related to war and sacrifice and is the sun’s shapeshifting spirit-related to Huitzilopochtli.

At the site of the Templo Mayor is the legendary place where the Aztecs saw the eagle sitting on a cactus and where they moved to own man island which became their capital, Tenochtitlan. And this Eagle represents that founding story.

INAH will lift the eagle to explore below and then replace it.

INAH has the report here;
https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/9673-inah-examines-a-golden-eagle-bas-relief-recently-uncovered-by-templo-mayor-project-ptm

Giant Aztec Eagle Bas Relief Uncovered in Mexico City

February 21, 2021

INAH has uncovered a giant bas relief of the Aztec Golden Eagle in downtown Mexico City. The carved slab was part of a floor built during Motecuhzoma Ilhuicamina’s reign 1440 and 1469 CE. The art is part of the Templo Mayor complex, which includes the image of a raptor associated with Huitzilopochtli”s mythical life cycle and Tlaloc representing the water cycle and the regeneration of maize. The floor was progressively created between 1486-1502.

Researchers are correlating the floor with Aztec codices. In Codex Borgia, a golden eagle stands on a mesquite, that was believed to grow from a flayed skin deity with knife-like feline feathers that look like human sacrifice knives. The bird of prey is related to war and sacrifice and is the sun’s shapeshifting spirit-related to Huitzilopochtli.

At the site of the Templo Mayor is the legendary place where the Aztecs saw the eagle sitting on a cactus and where they moved to own man island which became their capital, Tenochtitlan. And this Eagle represents that founding story.

INAH will lift the eagle to explore below and then replace it.

INAH has the report here;

https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/9673-inah-examines-a-golden-eagle-bas-relief-recently-uncovered-by-templo-mayor-project-ptm

February 16, 2021

New Research Finds in the Ancient Amazon

Excavations in the Bolivian Amazon site of Versalles has provided archaeologists with the first evidence that ancient Amazonian people built wooden palisades and earthworks to protect homes and the enriched soil they created called Terra Preta. The Amazonians had a long term soil management strategy to maintain the soil while growing maize and manioc, and fruit trees. They created Terra Preta by burning and mulching, and depositing organic waste.

The inhabitants of Versalles began their Terra Preta work at 500 BCE. They built embankments and ditches around their site at 1300 CE. And built palisades at 1628 CE.

The ancient Amazonian populations engaged In large scale village and farming communities in the jungles starting at a very early time and re-shaped the rainforest in a large way.

The research is published in Geoarcheaology.
More information: Mark Robinson et al, Anthropogenic soil and settlement organization in the Bolivian Amazon, Geoarchaeology (2020).  DOI: 10.1002/gea.21839
Provided by University of Exeter

Phys.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-ancient-amazonian-farmers-fortified-valuable.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr
http://michaelruggeriancientamericas.tumblr.com

New Research Finds in the Ancient Amazon

February 16, 2021

New Research Finds in the Ancient Amazon

Excavations in the Bolivian Amazon site of Versalles has provided archaeologists with the first evidence that ancient Amazonian people built wooden palisades and earthworks to protect homes and the enriched soil they created called Terra Preta. The Amazonians had a long term soil management strategy to maintain the soil while growing maize and manioc, and fruit trees. They created Terra Preta by burning and mulching, and depositing organic waste.

The inhabitants of Versalles began their Terra Preta work at 500 BCE. They built embankments and ditches around their site at 1300 CE. And built palisades at 1628 CE.

The ancient Amazonian populations engaged In large scale village and farming communities in the jungles starting at a very early time and re-shaped the rainforest in a large way.

The research is published in Geoarcheaology.
More information: Mark Robinson et al, Anthropogenic soil and settlement organization in the Bolivian Amazon, Geoarchaeology (2020). DOI: 10.1002/gea.21839
Provided by University of Exeter

Phys.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-ancient-amazonian-farmers-fortified-valuable.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr
http://michaelruggeriancientamericas.tumblr.com


January 15, 2021

Mexican Farmers Find Large Female Statue in Citrus Grove

Farmers digging in a citrus grove on New Year’s Day found the six-foot tall statue of a female figure who may represent an elite woman rather than a goddess, or some mixture of the two, INAH said.

It is the first such statue found in a region known as the Huasteca.

The carved woman has an elaborate hairpiece and marks of status, and is dated to 1450-1521. The site is near El Tajin but the statue shows Aztec influence.

Just who the open-mouthed, wide-eyed statue depicts remains something of a mystery.

Institute archaeologist María Eugenia Maldonado Vite wrote that “this could be a ruler, based on her posture and attire, more than a goddess.”

Maldonado added it could be “a late fusion between the Teem goddesses and women of high political or social status in the Huasteca.” Those goddesses were part of a fertility cult.

“Colonial era Aztec documents mentioned women ‘rulers’ so that is not a surprise,” Gillespie added. “Women were highly valued in the pre-Hispanic era, drastically losing their status only after the conquest.”

Phys.org has the report here with photos;
https://phys.org/news/2021-01-mexican-farmers-rare-female-statue.html

Science Daily adds this;

A young woman dressed in elaborate clothes and jewelry, including a circular pendant, known as an "oyohualli,” on a thick necklace; tassel-like earrings; and a headdress

eyes “must have been filled with inlays of obsidian or another stone,”

Maldonado Vite noticed small structures nearby that might be pre-Columbian residential buildings, she said.

https://www.livescience.com/statue-woman-headdress-mexico.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Mesoamerica After Teotihuacan
http://mikeruggerispostteotihuacan.tumblr.com

Mexican Farmers Find Large Female Statue in Citrus Grove

January 15, 2021

Farmers digging in a citrus grove on New Year’s Day found the six-foot tall statue of a female figure who may represent an elite woman rather than a goddess, or some mixture of the two, INAH said.

It is the first such statue found in a region known as the Huasteca.

The carved woman has an elaborate hairpiece and marks of status, and is dated to 1450-1521. The site is near El Tajin but the statue shows Aztec influence.

Just who the open-mouthed, wide-eyed statue depicts remains something of a mystery.

Institute archaeologist María Eugenia Maldonado Vite wrote that “this could be a ruler, based on her posture and attire, more than a goddess.”

Maldonado added it could be “a late fusion between the Teem goddesses and women of high political or social status in the Huasteca.” Those goddesses were part of a fertility cult.

ove

Phys.org has the report here with photos;
https://phys.org/news/2021-01-mexican-farmers-rare-female-statue.html

Science Daily adds this;

A young woman dressed in elaborate clothes and jewelry, including a circular pendant, known as an “oyohualli,” on a thick necklace; tassel-like earrings; and a headdress

Eyes “must have been filled with inlays of obsidian or another stone,”

Maldonado Vite noticed small structures nearby that might be pre-Columbian residential buildings, she said.

https://www.livescience.com/statue-woman-headdress-mexico.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Mesoamerica After Teotihuacan
http://mikeruggerispostteotihuacan.tumblr.com

December 21, 2020

119 New Human Skulls Uncovered at the Aztec Giant Skull Rack in Mexico City

Archaeologists excavating at the Aztec skull rack in Mexico City have uncovered 119 new human skulls in the structure discovered five years ago. This brings the total of skulls to 600. Three children’s craniums were uncovered in this excavation. The tower of skulls also contains women’s skulls. Skulls were found in smaller racks around the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in a succession of rings.

The larger skull racks was built in three stages between 1486-1502.

Smithsonian Has the report here;
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-find-brings-skulls-discovered-aztec-tower-over-600-180976543/

Mike Ruggeri’s Toltecs and Aztecs
http://mikeruggeristoltecsandaztecs.tumblr.com

119 New Human Skulls Uncovered at the Aztec Giant Skull Rack in Mexico City

December 21, 2020

119 New Human Skulls Uncovered at the Aztec Giant Skull Rack in Mexico City

Archaeologists excavating at the Aztec skull rack in Mexico City have uncovered 119 new human skulls in the structure discovered five years ago. This brings the total of skulls to 600. Three children’s craniums were uncovered in this excavation. The tower of skulls also contains women’s skulls. Skulls were found in smaller racks around the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in a succession of rings.

The larger skull racks was built in three stages between 1486-1502.

Smithsonian Has the report here;
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-find-brings-skulls-discovered-aztec-tower-over-600-180976543/

Mike Ruggeri’s Toltecs and Aztecs
http://mikeruggeristoltecsandaztecs.tumblr.com

December 12, 2020

Giant Building Discovered Under the Monte Alban Main Plaza

Researchers at Monte Alban, Oaxaca have discovered an ancient building under the main plaza there. The team that made the discovery was led by Dr. Marc Levine, assistant curator of archaeology at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences.

The team used drones to digitally map the main plaza,  three geophysical prospection techniques — ground-penetrating radar, electrical resistance and gradiometry and high resolution 3-D images to uncover the large building for buildings. The team will spend the next two years analyzing the data.

The buried structure is 18 meters on a side and 30 meters below the surface, with stone walls a meter thick. The style resembles stone temples excavated in the 1930’s

The project was supported by the National Geographic Society, OU and the Sam Noble Museum. Others involved in the research include Scott Hammerstedt, research faculty at the Oklahoma Archeological Survey; Amanda Regnier, director of the Oklahoma Archeological Survey; Marcus Winter from the Oaxaca center of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia; and Alex Elvis Badillo from Indiana State University. Detailed results of this project are published in the journal Latin American Antiquity.

Dr. Levine sent me a .pdf of his research report but our server cannot process these kinds of attachments for virus protection and band width reasons. I will ask him if he can send his research as a URL. It is in Latin American Antiquity,

Sam Noble Museum has the report here;
https://samnoblemuseum.ou.edu/buried-building-discovered-in-oaxaca-mexico/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Zapotecs
http://mikeruggeriszapotecs.tumblr.com

Giant Building Discovered Under the Monte Alban Main Plaza


December 12, 2020

Researchers at Monte Alban, Oaxaca have discovered an ancient building under the main plaza there. The team that made the discovery was led by Dr. Marc Levine, assistant curator of archaeology at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences.

The team used drones to digitally map the main plaza,  three geophysical prospection techniques — ground-penetrating radar, electrical resistance and gradiometry and high resolution 3-D images to uncover the large building for buildings. The team will spend the next two years analyzing the data.

The buried structure is 18 meters on a side and 30 meters below the surface, with stone walls a meter thick. The style resembles stone temples excavated in the 1930’s

The project was supported by the National Geographic Society, OU and the Sam Noble Museum. Others involved in the research include Scott Hammerstedt, research faculty at the Oklahoma Archeological Survey; Amanda Regnier, director of the Oklahoma Archeological Survey; Marcus Winter from the Oaxaca center of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia; and Alex Elvis Badillo from Indiana State University. Detailed results of this project are published in the journal Latin American Antiquity.

Dr. Levine sent me a .pdf of his research report but our server cannot process these kinds of attachments for virus protection and band width reasons. I will ask him if he can send his research as a URL. It is in Latin American Antiquity,

Sam Noble Museum has the report here;
https://samnoblemuseum.ou.edu/buried-building-discovered-in-oaxaca-mexico/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Zapotecs
http://mikeruggeriszapotecs.tumblr.com


December 5th, 2020

Great Rock Art Discovery made in the Columbian Amazon

A groundbreaking discovery of ancient rock art in the Amazon rain forest of Columbia has led to observers calling this the Sistine Chapel of the Ancients.

Tens of thousands of paintings of animals and humans created at 10,500 BCE stretch eight miles on cliff faces. Depictions of now extinct animals like the mastodon, camelids, giant sloths, ice age horses tell us the date of these paintings. This discovery will take generations to study.

The discovery was made by a British-Colombian team, funded by the European Research Council. Its leader is José Iriarte, professor of archaeology at Exeter University and a leading expert on the Amazon and pre-Columbian history.

The images include fish, turtles, lizards and birds, as well as people dancing and holding hands, among other scenes. One figure wears a mask resembling a bird with a beak.

Many of the images are high up, some so high they could only be reached by drones. There are depictions of wooden towers among the paintings.

Many of these large animals appear surrounded by small men with their arms raised, almost worshipping these animals. Hallucinogenic plants are also portrayed.

Remains of the Ice Age meals of the inhabitants were also found at the site.

Some of the animals depicted could not have lived in the jungle, so the area must have been savanna like at that date.

There are many more paintings to be discovered there and will be explored when Covid is gone.

You can see this discovery on the Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon series. It is covered in episode 2 on Amazon on December 12.

The Guardian has the story here with many photos;

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/nov/29/sistine-chapel-of-the-ancients-rock-art-discovered-in-remote-amazon-forest

And here is a short You Tube video of the discovery.
https://youtu.be/Aaezu7rQwfk

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr
http://michaelruggeriancientamericas.tumblr.com

Great Rock Art Discovery made in the Columbian Amazon

December 5th, 2020

Great Rock Art Discovery made in the Columbian Amazon

A groundbreaking discovery of ancient rock art in the Amazon rain forest of Columbia has led to observers calling this the Sistine Chapel of the Ancients.

Tens of thousands of paintings of animals and humans created at 10,500 BCE stretch eight miles on cliff faces. Depictions of now extinct animals like the mastodon, camelids, giant sloths, ice age horses tell us the date of these paintings. This discovery will take generations to study.

The discovery was made by a British-Colombian team, funded by the European Research Council. Its leader is José Iriarte, professor of archaeology at Exeter University and a leading expert on the Amazon and pre-Columbian history.

The images include fish, turtles, lizards and birds, as well as people dancing and holding hands, among other scenes. One figure wears a mask resembling a bird with a beak.

Many of the images are high up, some so high they could only be reached by drones. There are depictions of wooden towers among the paintings.

Many of these large animals appear surrounded by small men with their arms raised, almost worshipping these animals. Hallucinogenic plants are also portrayed.

Remains of the Ice Age meals of the inhabitants were also found at the site.

Some of the animals depicted could not have lived in the jungle, so the area must have been savanna like at that date.

There are many more paintings to be discovered there and will be explored when Covid is gone.

You can see this discovery on the Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon series. It is covered in episode 2 on Amazon on December 12.

The Guardian has the story here with many photos;

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/nov/29/sistine-chapel-of-the-ancients-rock-art-discovered-in-remote-amazon-forest

And here is a short You Tube video of the discovery.
https://youtu.be/Aaezu7rQwfk

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr
http://michaelruggeriancientamericas.tumblr.com

November 27, 2020

Ancient Pacific Coast Rock Art Paintings and Hallucinogens

Researchers have deduced that rock paintings done by ancient Chumash people in Pinwheel Cave, California were setting the scene for tribal members going into a trance after taking the hallucinogenic plant datura, also known as jimson weed and angel trumpet. The paintings reference the shared tradition of taking that hallucinogen in that cave. The paintings look like an opening datura flower

Researchers knew the Chumash used datura for healing, to counter supernatural forces, for divination, to find lost objects, for medicine, and for coming of age ceremonies.

The researchers found quids stuffed into ceiling crevices. Quids are chewed all over the Ancient Southwest for nutrients or stimulants, including yucca, agave, tobacco. The quids at Pinwheel Cave were also chewed.

A chemical analysis revealed the presence of the Datura’s hallucinogenic compounds atropine and scopolamine, and a scanning electron microscope analysis further identified the quids as Datura, although one quid was made of yucca. The tribal members stuck chewed quids on to the ceiling. This cave was in use from 1600-1800 CE.. Projectile points and an arrow shaft straightener were found in the cave as well. There were ground seeds and animal remains indicating the cave was used for food preparation, storage and communal meals.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Live Science has the report here with photos:
https://www.livescience.com/rock-art-hallucinogen-california.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientnorthamerica.tumblr.com

Ancient Pacific Coast Rock Art Paintings and Hallucinogens

November 27, 2020

Researchers have deduced that rock paintings done by ancient Chumash people in Pinwheel Cave, California were setting the scene for tribal members going into a trance after taking the hallucinogenic plant datura, also known as jimson weed and angel trumpet. The paintings reference the shared tradition of taking that hallucinogen in that cave. The paintings look like an opening datura flower

Researchers knew the Chumash used datura for healing, to counter supernatural forces, for divination, to find lost objects, for medicine, and for coming of age ceremonies.

The researchers found quids stuffed into ceiling crevices. Quids are chewed all over the Ancient Southwest for nutrients or stimulants, including yucca, agave, tobacco. The quids at Pinwheel Cave were also chewed.

A chemical analysis revealed the presence of the Datura’s hallucinogenic compounds atropine and scopolamine, and a scanning electron microscope analysis further identified the quids as Datura, although one quid was made of yucca. The tribal members stuck chewed quids on to the ceiling. This cave was in use from 1600-1800 CE.. Projectile points and an arrow shaft straightener were found in the cave as well. There were ground seeds and animal remains indicating the cave was used for food preparation, storage and communal meals.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Live Science has the report here with photos:
https://www.livescience.com/rock-art-hallucinogen-california.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientnorthamerica.tumblr.com

image

November 23, 2020

Geoscientists Discover Ancestral Puebloans Survived Droughts From New Mexico Lava Tubes

A team of researchers at El Pais National Monument used radio carbon dating on charcoal found in an ice deposit in a lava tube. They found that Ancestral Puebloans survived drought by traveling into the caves to melt ancient ice.

This was done between 150-950 CE.  They started small fires to melt the ice. The researchers  found clear evidence of five drought events.

The researchers focused on one lava tube, and this site is the earliest found so far for water harvesting in the Southwest. The tube is 171 meters long and 14 meters in depth. The fires they started left behind charcoal and ash deposits that is good for dating.

Researchers are soon going to lose data due to global warming melting the ice in the caves.

Below are the individuals and organizations who took part in the study, showing how international modern archaeology has become on these kinds of projects.

Joining in the exploration and research were Dylan S. Parmenter, whose master’s degree at USF was on the topic and is now a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, Steven M. Baumann and Eric Weaver of the National Park Service, and Tiberiu B. Sava of the Horia Hulubei National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering in Romania. The research was funded by the National Park Service and the National Science Foundation.

The research was published in Scientific Reports;

Science Daily has the report here;
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201118080741.htm

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientnorthamerica.tumblr.com

Geoscientists Discover Ancestral Puebloans Survived Droughts From New Mexico Lava Tubes

November 23, 2020

A team of researchers at El Pais National Monument used radio carbon dating on charcoal found in an ice deposit in a lava tube. They found that Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) survived drought by traveling into the caves to melt ancient ice.

This was done between 150-950 CE. They started small fires to melt the ice. The researchers found clear evidence of five drought events.

The researchers focused on one lava tube, and this site is the earliest found so far for water harvesting in the Southwest. The tube is 171 meters long and 14 meters in depth. The fires they started left behind charcoal and ash deposits that is good for dating.

Researchers are soon going to lose data due to global warming melting the ice in the caves.

Below are the individuals and organizations who took part in the study, showing how international modern archaeology has become on these kinds of projects.

Joining in the exploration and research were Dylan S. Parmenter, whose master’s degree at USF was on the topic and is now a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, Steven M. Baumann and Eric Weaver of the National Park Service, and Tiberiu B. Sava of the Horia Hulubei National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering in Romania. The research was funded by the National Park Service and the National Science Foundation.

The research was published in Scientific Reports;

Science Daily has the report here;
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201118080741.htm

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientnorthamerica.tumblr.com

November 20, 2020

Mummified Llamas Uncovered at Tambo Viejo, Peru

University of Calgary and University of Huamanga researchers have uncovered the first known ‘naturally mummified’ remains of llamas. They were sacrificed at 1500 CE and had sacrificial markings.

They appear to have been buried alive. The Incas saw this kind of sacrifice as special offerings to the gods. Decorated guinea pigs were also found at the site as well as large ovens and tracings of feasts and celebrations. The animal sacrifice may have been an Inca ceremony to placate an annexed group. The graves were marked with tropical bird feathers.

Tambo Viejo was an Inca provincial center.

Archaeology News Network has the report here with many photos;
https://news360.com/article/541068499

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com

Mummified Llamas Uncovered at Tambo Viejo, Peru

November 20, 2020

University of Calgary and University of Huamanga researchers have uncovered the first known ‘naturally mummified’ remains of llamas. They were sacrificed at 1500 CE and had sacrificial markings.

They appear to have been buried alive. The Incas saw this kind of sacrifice as special offerings to the gods. Decorated guinea pigs were also found at the site as well as large ovens and tracings of feasts and celebrations. The animal sacrifice may have been an Inca ceremony to placate an annexed group. The graves were marked with tropical bird feathers.

Tambo Viejo was an Inca provincial center.

Archaeology News Network has the report here with many photos;
https://news360.com/article/541068499

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com


November 14, 2020

The Maya at Tikal in Guatemala Built Sophisticated Water Filters

A team of UC anthropologists, geographers and biologists identified crystalline quartz and zeolite imported miles from the city. The quartz found in the coarse sand along with zeolite, a crystalline compound consisting of silicon and aluminum, create a natural molecular sieve. Both minerals are used in modern water filtration.

The filters would have removed harmful microbes, nitrogen-rich compounds, heavy metals such as mercury and other toxins from the water, said Kenneth Barnett Tankersley, associate professor of anthropology and lead author of the study.

“What’s interesting is this system would still be effective today and the Maya discovered it more than 2,000 years ago,” Tankersley said.

UC’s discovery was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Researchers traced the zeolite and quartz to steep ridges around the Bajo de Azúcar about 18 miles northeast of Tikal. They used X-ray diffraction analysis to identify zeolite and crystalline quartz in the reservoir sediments.

Maya cities were built atop porous limestone that made ready access to drinking water difficult to obtain for much of the year during seasonal droughts.

“They had settling tanks where the water would be flowing toward the reservoir before entering the reservoir. The water probably looked cleaner and probably tasted better, too,” he said.

In a related paper published earlier this year in Scientific Reports, UC’s research team found that some reservoirs in Tikal eventually became polluted with toxic levels of mercury, possibly from a pigment called cinnabar the Maya used on plaster walls and in ceremonial burials. Corriental remained free of these contaminants.

Complex water filtration systems have been observed in other ancient civilizations from Greece to Egypt to South Asia, but this is the first observed in the ancient New World,

Ancient Maya reservoirs contained toxic pollution: study
More information: Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al, Zeolite water purification at Tikal, an ancient Maya city in Guatemala, Scientific Reports (2020).  DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-75023-7

Phys.org had the report here:
https://phys.org/news/2020-10-ancient-maya-built-sophisticated-filters.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisacientmayanew.tumblr.com

The Maya at Tikal in Guatemala Built Sophisticated Water Filters

November 14, 2020

A team of UC anthropologists, geographers and biologists identified crystalline quartz and zeolite imported miles from the city. The quartz found in the coarse sand along with zeolite, a crystalline compound consisting of silicon and aluminum, create a natural molecular sieve. Both minerals are used in modern water filtration.

The filters would have removed harmful microbes, nitrogen-rich compounds, heavy metals such as mercury and other toxins from the water, said Kenneth Barnett Tankersley, associate professor of anthropology and lead author of the study.

“What’s interesting is this system would still be effective today and the Maya discovered it more than 2,000 years ago,” Tankersley said.

UC’s discovery was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Researchers traced the zeolite and quartz to steep ridges around the Bajo de Azúcar about 18 miles northeast of Tikal. They used X-ray diffraction analysis to identify zeolite and crystalline quartz in the reservoir sediments.

Maya cities were built atop porous limestone that made ready access to drinking water difficult to obtain for much of the year during seasonal droughts.

“They had settling tanks where the water would be flowing toward the reservoir before entering the reservoir. The water probably looked cleaner and probably tasted better, too,” he said.

In a related paper published earlier this year in Scientific Reports, UC’s research team found that some reservoirs in Tikal eventually became polluted with toxic levels of mercury, possibly from a pigment called cinnabar the Maya used on plaster walls and in ceremonial burials. Corriental remained free of these contaminants.

Complex water filtration systems have been observed in other ancient civilizations from Greece to Egypt to South Asia, but this is the first observed in the ancient New World,

Ancient Maya reservoirs contained toxic pollution: study
More information: Kenneth Barnett Tankersley et al, Zeolite water purification at Tikal, an ancient Maya city in Guatemala, Scientific Reports (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-75023-
7

Phys.org had the report here:
https://phys.org/news/2020-10-ancient-maya-built-sophisticated-filters.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisacientmayanew.tumblr.com

October 24, 2020

Maya Sweatbath in Guatemala Contains Child Remains

Archaeologists working at the Maya Site of Xultun in Guatemala working at the site of a sweat bath there uncovered a trove of bones and tools. The sweat bath is called Los Sapos, the embodiment of a toad-like Maya Goddess linked to the cycle of birth and creation. The archaeologists working there are from the Smithsonian Tropical Institute (STRI) and the Archaeology Program at Boston University.

The sweat bath dates to 250-550 CE. A detailed representation of “ix.tzuz.sak,” the Maya Goddess, is shown in squatting position with legs decorated like iguanas and cane toads. The reptilian goddess is here expressed as a physical space.

Uncovered at the new excavation are the remains of child, puppy, birds, toads, iguanas and other young animals. The goddess was seen as one who could take revenge if displeased. The offerings were an attempt to appease her for their survival.

Express.com has the story here with photos:
https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1350491/archaeology-news-maya-sweat-bath-ritual-toad-goddess-guatemala-evg

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisacientmayanew.tumblr.com

Maya Sweatbath in Guatemala Contains Child Remains

October 24, 2020

Archaeologists working at the Maya Site of Xultun in Guatemala working at the site of a sweat bath there uncovered a trove of bones and tools. The sweat bath is called Los Sapos, the embodiment of a toad-like Maya Goddess linked to the cycle of birth and creation. The archaeologists working there are from the Smithsonian Tropical Institute (STRI) and the Archaeology Program at Boston University.


The sweat bath dates to 250-550 CE. A detailed representation of “ix.tzuz.sak,” the Maya Goddess, is shown in squatting position with legs decorated like iguanas and cane toads. The reptilian goddess is here expressed as a physical space.
Uncovered at the new excavation are the remains of child, puppy, birds, toads, iguanas and other young animals. The goddess was seen as one who could take revenge if displeased. The offerings were an attempt to appease her for their survival.


Express.com has the story here with photos:
https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1350491/archaeology-news-maya-sweat-bath-ritual-toad-goddess-guatemala-evg

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr

http://mikeruggerisacientmayanew.tumblr.com

October 18, 2020

Huge Cat Geoglyph Uncovered at Nazca

The geoglyph was about to disappear due to its placement on a steep slope. Between 80-100 new glyphs have been found  in recent years, all pre-dating the Nazca culture. The cat geoglyph was created by the Paracas culture (500 BCE-200 CE). Paracas textiles show birds, cats and people that look like the new geoglyph.

BBC News has the short report here;
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-54593295

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com

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NEW ADENA/HOPEWELL RESEARCH

The Builders of Serpent Mound

There is still controversy about who built the iconic Serpent Mound in Ohio. The site was occupied three times in antiquity.

There is still controversy about who built the iconic Serpent Mound in Ohio. The site was occupied three times in antiquity.
At 450 BCE, the Adena culture built two burial mounds and a habitation area near by.

At 1100 CE, the Fort Ancient culture had a village there with a palisade and a burial mound.

Construction work at the site yielded charcoal remains dated to 1000-1200 CE connected to the Fort Ancient Culture. This matched charcoal dated remains at Serpent Mound.This is an indication that Serpent Mound may have been built by the Fort Ancient people.


The great Brad Lepper submitted his report here;

https://www.cantonrep.com/news/20200913/archaeology-why-canrsquot-we-decide-who-built-serpent-mound-3-cultures-frequented-landmark

The Adena/Hopewell Transition

The Adena people built Ohio’s first mounds, including Shrum Mound in Columbus.

The Hopewell Culture succeeded the Adena at 1 CE. They built gigantic earth enclosures at places like Newark and Chillicothe, showing Hopewell understanding of geometry and astronomy.

The Hopewell sphere of influence stretched from Florida to Wyoming. Caldwell Mound was built when the Hopewell were branching off from the Adena. It had four burials, two in a central log tomb at the base of the mound, one in the center of the mound, and another place in the side of the mound centuries later. The two buried together were a ceremonial leader and a clan leader. The one buried in the center was a ceremonial leader. In the mound were spear points and pottery that was Adena in design. And a spear point and copper head plate that was Hopewell in design.

This could have been Hopewell using heirloom Adena objects or Adena beginning to adopt the new Hopewell identity.

Brad Lepper has the report here;
https://news360.com/article/534985551

Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell World
http://adenaandopewell.tumblr.com

NEW ADENA/HOPEWELL RESEARCH

October 25, 2020

The Builders of Serpent Mound


There is still controversy about who built the iconic Serpent Mound in Ohio. The site was occupied three times in antiquity. There is still controversy about who built the iconic Serpent Mound in Ohio. The site was occupied three times in antiquity. At 450 BCE, the Adena culture built two burial mounds and a habitation area near by.


At 1100 CE, the Fort Ancient culture had a village there with a palisade and a burial mound.


Construction work at the site yielded charcoal remains dated to 1000-1200 CE connected to the Fort Ancient Culture. This matched charcoal dated remains at Serpent Mound.This is an indication that Serpent Mound may have been built by the Fort Ancient people.


The great Brad Lepper submitted his report here;
https://www.cantonrep.com/news/20200913/archaeology-why-canrsquot-we-decide-who-built-serpent-mound-3-cultures-frequented-landmark


The Adena/Hopewell Transition


The Adena people built Ohio’s first mounds, including Shrum Mound in Columbus.


The Hopewell Culture succeeded the Adena at 1 CE. They built gigantic earth enclosures at places like Newark and Chillicothe, showing Hopewell understanding of geometry and astronomy.


The Hopewell sphere of influence stretched from Florida to Wyoming. Caldwell Mound was built when the Hopewell were branching off from the Adena.

It had four burials, two in a central log tomb at the base of the mound, one in the center of the mound, and another place in the side of the mound centuries later. The two buried together were a ceremonial leader and a clan leader. The one buried in the center was a ceremonial leader. In the mound were spear points and pottery that was Adena in design. And a spear point and copper head plate that was Hopewell in design.


This could have been Hopewell using heirloom Adena objects or Adena beginning to adopt the new Hopewell identity.


Brad Lepper has the report here;

https://news360.com/article/534985551


Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell World

http://adenaandopewell.tumblr.com

August 27, 2020

New Research on the Maya Use of Sting Ray Spines

The Maya practiced auto sacrifice of blood by their rulers to connect to the supernatural. Blood sustained the gods. Bloodletting opened a path to the supernatural world bringing trances and visions. Stingray spines connected the sea with the waters of the underworld.

Foreign material on the spine can cause necrosis. But the ruler risking his life
Was a way of attaining privilege. This kind of bloodletting probably only took place to try and achieve divine favor. The ruler was on the line between life and death. And the ruler became a mediator with the gods/

Jester has the report here;
https://daily.jstor.org/stingray-spines-and-the-maya/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisacientmayanew.tumblr.com

New Research on the Maya Use of Sting Ray Spines

August 27, 2020

The Maya practiced auto sacrifice of blood by their rulers to connect to the supernatural. Blood sustained the gods. Bloodletting opened a path to the supernatural world bringing trances and visions. Stingray spines connected the sea with the waters of the underworld.
Foreign material on the spine can cause necrosis. But the ruler risking his life Was a way of attaining privilege. This kind of bloodletting probably only took place to try and achieve divine favor. The ruler was on the line between life and death. And the ruler became a mediator with the gods.


Jstor has the report here;

https://daily.jstor.org/stingray-spines-and-the-maya/


Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisacientmayanew.tumblr.com

August 6, 2020

An Important Inca Offering Found on a Reef Under Lake Titicaca

A llama carved from a spondylus shell and a cylindrical laminated gold foil object, dated at 1500 CE, were the contents of a Inca carved stone box found at the bottom of Lake Titicaca.

Divers found Inca offerings in earlier explorations in 1977 , and from 1988-1992 at the Koa reef. These new offerings were found at the K’akaya reef.

Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles have been investigating the reefs on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca was a focal point for the Inca; a pilgrimage site, a place for alliances.

The lake is largely unexplored and there will be many more discoveries.

The research is published in Antiquity.

Penn State News has the report here with photos;
https://news.psu.edu/story/626838/2020/08/03/research/ancient-shell-llama-offering-found-lake-titicaca

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com

An Important Inca Offering Found on a Reef Under Lake Titicaca

August 6, 2020

A llama carved from a spondylus shell and a cylindrical laminated gold foil object, dated at 1500 CE, were the contents of a Inca carved stone box found at the bottom of Lake Titicaca.

Divers found Inca offerings in earlier explorations in 1977 , and from 1988-1992 at the Koa reef. These new offerings were found at the K’akaya reef.

Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles have been investigating the reefs on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca was a focal point for the Inca; a pilgrimage site, a place for alliances.

The lake is largely unexplored and there will be many more discoveries.

The research is published in Antiquity.

Penn State News has the report here with photos;
https://news.psu.edu/story/626838/2020/08/03/research/ancient-shell-llama-offering-found-lake-titicaca

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com

August 4, 2020

Ancient Zapotec Monuments and Glyphs Discovered on Puebla Mountain Top

Two ancient carved stone monuments dated at 500 CE  have been discovered on a 6000 feet mountain top in the Mexican state of Puebla. IHAH says the site once had seven pyramids, a ceremonial area, and a ballcourt. It was probably built by the Zapotecs, and dedicated to the god of the underworld.

So far, 2 stone panels, as well as smaller carved stones, have been found. Carvings of animals and figures have been found on stones around the site. One of the carvings is of a figure with horns and claws wearing a loincloth. Others are believed to represent an iguana, an eagle and female figure thought to be a deity resembling a bat. 87 glyphs have been uncovered so far.

BBC news has the report here with photos;
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-53498110

Mike Ruggeri’s Zapotecs
http://mikeruggeriszapotecs.tumblr.com

Ancient Zapotec Monuments and Glyphs Discovered on Puebla Mountain Top

August 4, 2020

Two ancient carved stone monuments dated at 500 CE have been discovered on a 6000 feet mountain top in the Mexican state of Puebla. IHAH says the site once had seven pyramids, a ceremonial area, and a ballcourt. It was probably built by the Zapotecs, and dedicated to the god of the underworld.

So far, 2 stone panels, as well as smaller carved stones, have been found. Carvings of animals and figures have been found on stones around the site. One of the carvings is of a figure with horns and claws wearing a loincloth. Others are believed to represent an iguana, an eagle and female figure thought to be a deity resembling a bat. 87 glyphs have been uncovered so far.

BBC news has the report here with photos;
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-53498110

 
Mike Ruggeri’s Zapotecs
http://mikeruggeriszapotecs.tumblr.com

July 27, 2020

Possible Pre-Clovis at Chiquihuite Cave in Mexico

DNA scientist Professor Eske Willerslev, of St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and director of The Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre, University of Copenhagen, led the study with archaeologist Dr Ciprian Ardelean, of the University of Zacatecas in Mexico, working at the cave site in northern Mexico have uncovered 2000 stone tools which they claim date back to 25,000-30,000 years ago.

The cave is at 2,750 metres above sea level. DNA analysis of the plant and animal remains around the stone tools are dated to that very early date. There has been no human DNA found there. The animal remains found in the cave include black bears, rodents, bats, voles and even kangaroo rats.

The team believes this was a seasonal outpost for hunters and gatherers to come and exploit natural resources from time to time. It was a good defensive perch for these folks. The researchers have spent 10 years studying the cave and sometimes living in it.

(My note; This story has been widely reported, and it is important to note that human tools with these kinds of ancient dates have been claimed in many places in the Americas. The most important element of Human DNA, and any human artifacts other than stone tools like housing posts, fabrics that can be dated, etc. are missing in all of these places but for two, Paisley Cave in Oregon and Monte Verde in Chile, which date back to 14,500 years ago. I am sure more will be found in time.
Archaeologists at the Topper Site in South Carolina, for instance, are claiming stone tools dated to 50,000 years ago. Again, no human DNA or human artifacts other than stone tools have been found.)

Go here and scroll down to Topper Site to read these claims;

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis World
http://preclovisworld.tumblr.com

Story Source:
Materials provided by St John’s College, University of Cambridge. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Ardelean, C.F., Becerra-Valdivia, L., Pedersen, M.W. et al. Evidence of human occupation in Mexico around the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature, 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2509-0

Science Daily has the report here;
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200722112726.htm

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerispreclovisnews.tumblr.com

Possible Pre-Clovis at Chiquihuite Cave in Mexico

July 27, 2020

DNA scientist Professor Eske Willerslev, of St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and director of The Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre, University of Copenhagen, led the study with archaeologist Dr Ciprian Ardelean, of the University of Zacatecas in Mexico, working at the cave site in northern Mexico have uncovered 2000 stone tools which they claim date back to 25,000-30,000 years ago.

 

The cave is at 2,750 metres above sea level. DNA analysis of the plant and animal remains around the stone tools are dated to that very early date. There has been no human DNA found there. The animal remains found in the cave include black bears, rodents, bats, voles and even kangaroo rats.

The team believes this was a seasonal outpost for hunters and gatherers to come and exploit natural resources from time to time. It was a good defensive perch for these folks. The researchers have spent 10 years studying the cave and sometimes living in it.

 

(My note; This story has been widely reported, and it is important to note that human tools with these kinds of ancient dates have been claimed in many places in the Americas. The most important element of Human DNA, and any human artifacts other than stone tools like housing posts, fabrics that can be dated, etc. are missing in all of these places but for two, Paisley Cave in Oregon and Monte Verde in Chile, which date back to 14,500 years ago. I am sure more will be found in time. Archaeologists at the Topper Site in South Carolina, for instance, are claiming stone tools dated to 50,000 years ago. Again, no human DNA or human artifacts other than stone tools have been found.)

 

Go here and scroll down to Topper Site to read these claims;

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis World http://preclovisworld.tumblr.com

 

Journal Reference:

Ardelean, C.F., Becerra-Valdivia, L., Pedersen, M.W. et al. Evidence of human occupation in Mexico around the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature, 2020 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2509-0

 

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr http://mikeruggerispreclovisnews.tumblr.com

July 17, 2020

New Findings on Paisley Cave Pre-Clovis

In 2007, Archaeologist Dennis Jenkins found ancient human coprolites at Paisley Cave in Oregon. They were radio carbon dated at 14,000 years old, making them only the 2nd site in the Americas with human DNA that are dated as Pre-Clovis. The other site in the Americas with Pre-Clovis human DNA is at Monte Verde in Chile.

There was controversy over this claim, with some claiming these were animal coprolites later contaminated by humans.

A new study in the UK has found that the coprolites are indeed human. They found this by identifying lipids that are human. The combination of the human DNA with the lipid analysis makes it solid proof these are human coprolites. From the coprolites, we can see the Pre-Clovis inhabitants of the cave ate mammoths, seeds, rodents and plants.

(My note; This is very big Pre-Clovis news. And I hope coprolite studies at other sites will take place)

The NY Times has the report here;
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/17/science/cave-poop-americas.html

The research is here at Science Advances;
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/29/eaba6404

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis World
http://preclovisworld.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerispreclovisnews.tumblr.com

New Findings on Paisley Cave Pre-Clovis

July 17, 2020

In 2007, Archaeologist Dennis Jenkins found ancient human coprolites at Paisley Cave in Oregon. They were radio carbon dated at 14,000 years old, making them only the 2nd site in the Americas with human DNA that are dated as Pre-Clovis. The other site in the Americas with Pre-Clovis human DNA is at Monte Verde in Chile.

There was controversy over this claim, with some claiming these were animal coprolites later contaminated by humans.

A new study in the UK has found that the coprolites are indeed human. They found this by identifying lipids that are human. The combination of the human DNA with the lipid analysis makes it solid proof these are human coprolites. From the coprolites, we can see the Pre-Clovis inhabitants of the cave ate mammoths, seeds, rodents and plants.

(My note; This is very big Pre-Clovis news. And I hope coprolite studies at other sites will take place)

The NY Times has the report here;
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/17/science/cave-poop-americas.html

The research is here at Science Advances;
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/29/eaba6404

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis World
http://preclovisworld.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerispreclovisnews.tumblr.com


July 8, 2020

Native Americans Mixed with Polynesians 1150-1230 CE

We have been looking for proof for a long time. Finally DNA evidence is found.

In the past, suspicions of this admixture were fueled by Polynesians cultivating a South American plant, the sweet potato. Long ago, Rapa Nui (Easter island) has evidence of ancient sweet potato fields, old stonework, and a Birdman cult that could be related to South America. Researchers studied DNA from 17 Pacific Island populations and 15 Native American populations from the Pacific coast of South America. A genome wide analysis of 807 people .was undertaken Several Polynesian populations have evidence of a background signature originating from South America. The Rapa Nui population has admixture from northern coastal people of South America. The same signatures were found in the Marquesas and Tuamotu Islands. The earliest signatures are dated to 1150 in the Marquesas and to Rapa Nui by 1380. The evidence points to Columbia as the place in South America where contact was made to Polynesians. This also suggests South Americans may have made it to some Polynesian islands before the Polynesians arrived.

It is possible Polynesian populations sailed to South America and returned to Polynesia with South Americans aboard or had mixed with South Americans before returning. More genetic studies will be made.

The early sweet potato plants have South American variations. And there may have been many contacts over this early phase.

DNA studies will be necessary to answer some of the remaining questions, and they should analyze living populations not included in the authors’ study, as well as DNA extracted from ancient bones. Nevertheless, Ioannidis and colleagues’ core findings have finally solved the mystery about a possible early Native South American physical presence in eastern Polynesia, and that is a great contribution.

Nature.com has the report here;
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01983-5

ScienceMag adds that the Native American signatures in the Eastern Islands have an identical short period, thus perhaps indicating a one time meeting rather than sustained contact. But Polynesians had the experience of long ocean voyages and could have visited many times to South America,
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/polynesians-steering-stars-met-native-americans-long-europeans-arrived

The NY Times adds that the evidence points to the Zenu people of Columbia was the possible group that made contact in Polynesia. Also Polynesians could have spent more time in coastal islands off of the South American coast. Mocha Island, off of the coast of Chile, has skulls that have been studied that look very Polynesian in shape.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/science/polynesian-ancestry.html

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Native Americans Mixed with Polynesians 1150-1230 CE

July 8, 2020

We have been looking for proof for a long time. Finally DNA evidence is found.

In the past, suspicions of this admixture were fueled by Polynesians cultivating a South American plant, the sweet potato. Long ago, Rapa Nui (Easter island) has evidence of ancient sweet potato fields, old stonework, and a Birdman cult that could be related to South America. Researchers studied DNA from 17 Pacific Island populations and 15 Native American populations from the Pacific coast of South America. A genome wide analysis of 807 people .was undertaken Several Polynesian populations have evidence of a background signature originating from South America. The Rapa Nui population has admixture from northern coastal people of South America. The same signatures were found in the Marquesas and Tuamotu Islands. The earliest signatures are dated to 1150 in the Marquesas and to Rapa Nui by 1380. The evidence points to Columbia as the place in South America where contact was made to Polynesians. This also suggests South Americans may have made it to some Polynesian islands before the Polynesians arrived.

It is possible Polynesian populations sailed to South America and returned to Polynesia with South Americans aboard or had mixed with South Americans before returning. More genetic studies will be made.

The early sweet potato plants have South American variations. And there may have been many contacts over this early phase.

DNA studies will be necessary to answer some of the remaining questions, and they should analyze living populations not included in the authors’ study, as well as DNA extracted from ancient bones. Nevertheless, Ioannidis and colleagues’ core findings have finally solved the mystery about a possible early Native South American physical presence in eastern Polynesia, and that is a great contribution.

Nature.com has the report here;
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01983-5

ScienceMag adds that the Native American signatures in the Eastern Islands have an identical short period, thus perhaps indicating a one time meeting rather than sustained contact. But Polynesians had the experience of long ocean voyages and could have visited many times to South America,
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/polynesians-steering-stars-met-native-americans-long-europeans-arrived

The NY Times adds that the evidence points to the Zenu people of Columbia was the possible group that made contact in Polynesia. Also Polynesians could have spent more time in coastal islands off of the South American coast. Mocha Island, off of the coast of Chile, has skulls that have been studied that look very Polynesian in shape.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/science/polynesian-ancestry.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Word Press
https://mikeruggerisancientamericasnews.wordpress.com

July 8, 2020

Hundreds of Newly Discovered Geoglyphs Older Than Nazca Being Discovered

Johny Isla, chief archaeologist for the Nazca and Palpa Lines for Peru’s ministry of culture, saw an image of a Nazca geoglyph in a German exhibit in 2014. He had never seen this glyph. It was of a killer whale deity, Using drones, he found the image 30 miles from Nazca. It depicts a mythological beast, part orca but with a human arm holding a trophy head and several more heads inside its body.

New drone research has now uncovered hundreds of such figures near Nazca which pre-date the Nazca lines by 1,500 years. They were created by the Paracas and Topará cultures between 500BC and AD200.

On one hillside, a warrior wearing a headdress and carrying a staff or spear stands close to a female figure. Between them is a mythological creature with a mass of tentacles or snakes. The figures are believed to symbolise fertility.

From the ground, the designs are now hard to see. But the drone’s eagle-eye reveals the full design on a monitor viewed by Castillo.

Photogrammetry is being utilized in the search. This is a highly detailed three-dimensional mapping of large areas. While the team have discovered hundreds of geoglyphs in Palpa, Castillo expects to find many more. “We’ve registered maybe just 5% of what there is,” he says.

The Guardian has the story here, with photos;
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/may/24/nazca-lines-drones-new-discoveries-peru

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An Update on Hundreds of Newly Discovered Geoglyphs Older Than Nazca Being Discovered


July 8, 2020

 

 

Johny Isla, chief archaeologist for the Nazca and Palpa Lines for Peru’s ministry of culture, saw an image of a Nazca geoglyph in a German exhibit in 2014. He had never seen this glyph. It was of a killer whale deity, Using drones, he found the image 30 miles from Nazca. It depicts a mythological beast, part orca but with a human arm holding a trophy head and several more heads inside its body.
 

New drone research has now uncovered hundreds of such figures near Nazca which pre-date the Nazca lines by 1,500 years. They were created by the Paracas and Topará cultures between 500BC and AD200.

On one hillside, a warrior wearing a headdress and carrying a staff or spear stands close to a female figure. Between them is a mythological creature with a mass of tentacles or snakes. The figures are believed to symbolise fertility.

From the ground, the designs are now hard to see. But the drone’s eagle-eye reveals the full design on a monitor viewed by Castillo.

Photogrammetry is being utilized in the search. This is a highly detailed three-dimensional mapping of large areas. While the team have discovered hundreds of geoglyphs in Palpa, Castillo expects to find many more. “We’ve registered maybe just 5% of what there is,” he says.

 
The Guardian has the story here, with photos;
 
 
 
Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
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Mike Ruggeri’s Nazca Era Peru
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July 6, 2020

10,000-12,000 Years Old Red Ochre Mining Found in Quintana Roo Underwater Caves

Underwater archaeologists have found ancient ochre mining sites in Quintana Roo in a coastal cave system. The 3 cave system was drowned by rising seas 7,000 years ago. Mining activity was taking place there from 12,000-10,000 years ago. The miners used digging material tools from cave materials, using stalactites as hammer stones and pile drivers.

In 2007, they found the remains of a 12,500 year old teenager they named Naia in one of these caves.

The caves were abandoned before the flooding came.

ScienceMag has the report here;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/underwater-caves-mexico-preserve-one-world-s-oldest-ochre-mines

CBC News adds that the ochre could have been used as insect repellant since it contains arsenic, and red ochre has been used in mortuary rituals and cave painting in Mesoamerica and across the world,

CBC News has the report here with many photos and a video;
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ochre-cave-yucatan-1.5635521

Phys.org adds that nine sets of skeletal remains have been found in these caves. The new investigation found evidence of human set fires, stacked mining debris, stone tools and digging sites mining the red ochre. The researchers have finally found the reason why these ancient people risked the dangerous cave system, to find and mine red ochre-to ground the ochre to a paste to color hair, skin, rocks or hides in varying shades of red.

https://phys.org/news/2020-07-experts-early-ocher-mexican-underwater.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Word Press
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10,000-12,000 Years Old Red Ochre Mining Found in Quintana Roo Underwater Caves

July 6, 2020

Underwater archaeologists have found ancient ochre mining sites in Quintana Roo in a coastal cave system. The 3 cave system was drowned by rising seas 7,000 years ago. Mining activity was taking place there from 12,000-10,000 years ago. The miners used digging material tools from cave materials, using stalactites as hammer stones and pile drivers.

In 2007, they found the remains of a 12,500 year old teenager they named Naia in one of these caves.

The caves were abandoned before the flooding came.

ScienceMag has the report here;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/underwater-caves-mexico-preserve-one-world-s-oldest-ochre-mines

CBC News adds that the ochre could have been used as insect repellant since it contains arsenic, and red ochre has been used in mortuary rituals and cave painting in Mesoamerica and across the world,

CBC News has the report here with many photos and a video;
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ochre-cave-yucatan-1.5635521

Phys.org adds that nine sets of skeletal remains have been found in these caves. The new investigation found evidence of human set fires, stacked mining debris, stone tools and digging sites mining the red ochre. The researchers have finally found the reason why these ancient people risked the dangerous cave system, to find and mine red ochre-to ground the ochre to a paste to color hair, skin, rocks or hides in varying shades of red.

https://phys.org/news/2020-07-experts-early-ocher-mexican-underwater.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Word Press
https://wordpress.com/home/mikeruggerisancientamericasnews.wordpress.com

July 2, 2020

High Altitude Archaeology in the American West

Colorado State archaeologists are continuing to study a site called High Rise village occupied 4000 years ago by the nomadic Shoshone people. This is one of the two dozen high elevation sites in the Wind River Mountains.

Alpine archaeology is a new field that was made possible by new and lighter equipment, In the 1960’s, miles of stone walls were found constructed to corral bighorn sheep. In the 1980’s, alpine villages at 12,000 feet were found in California, Nevada, and Colorado. It was long thought that these high altitude places were too hostile for sustained human occupation. Archaeologists are now trying to determine if people were driven there by population pressure or climate change.

Archaeology.org has the report here;
https://www.archaeology.org/issues/378-2005/features/8594

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr
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High Altitude Archaeology in the American West

July 2, 2020

Colorado State archaeologists are continuing to study a site called High Rise village occupied 4000 years ago by the nomadic Shoshone people. This is one of the two dozen high elevation sites in the Wind River Mountains.

Alpine archaeology is a new field that was made possible by new and lighter equipment, In the 1960’s, miles of stone walls were found constructed to corral bighorn sheep. In the 1980’s, alpine villages at 12,000 feet were found in California, Nevada, and Colorado. It was long thought that these high altitude places were too hostile for sustained human occupation. Archaeologists are now trying to determine if people were driven there by population pressure or climate change.

Archaeology.org has the report here;
https://www.archaeology.org/issues/378-2005/features/8594

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr