December 10, 2022
In 2018, archaeologists found the remains of a spider monkey gifted by the Maya to Teotihuacan in Teotihuacan’s early history. Research into the remains of the monkey using DNA, radiocarbon dating, and chemical study of the diet of the monkey, researchers have reconstructed the life and death of the monkey. Spider monkeys are not native to the Mexican highlands where Teotihuacan is located. The money was found in a complex that contained obsidian projectile points, conch shells, and precious stone artifacts, 14,000 ceramic shards from a grand feast, as well as a Maya mural depicting the spider monkey.
The monkey was brought as a gift to the elite at Teotihuacan by a Maya emissaries and the monkey was given a brutal live burial sacrifice send off. The research was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Science Alert has the report here;