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/

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

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/

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

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

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

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/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr
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

image

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
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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;

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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

 

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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
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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
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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

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

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
http://mikeruggerisancientandeannews.tumblr.com
 
 
 
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
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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

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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
http://michaelruggeriancientamericas.tumblr.com

June 28, 2020

Earliest Use of Maize in Central America

An international team of researchers led by UNM and University of California, Santa Barbara is investigating the use of maize by the earliest humans in Central America.

Radiocarbon dating of the skeletal samples shows the transition from pre-maize hunter-gatherer diets, where people consumed wild plants and animals, to the introduction and increasing reliance on the corn. Maize made up less than 30 percent of people’s diets in the area by 4,700 years ago, rising to 70 percent 700 years later.

Maize was domesticated from teosinte, a wild grass growing in the lower reaches of the Balsas River Valley of Central Mexico, around 9,000 years ago. There is evidence maize was first cultivated in the Maya lowlands around 6,500 years ago, at about the same time that it appears along the Pacific coast of Mexico. But there is no evidence that maize was a staple grain at that time.

The first use of corn may have been for an early form of liquor.

“We hypothesize that maize stalk juice just may have been the original use of early domesticated maize plants, at a time when the cobs and seeds were essentially too small to be of much dietary significance. Humans are really good at fermenting sugary liquids into alcoholic drinks. This changed as human selection of corn plants with larger and larger seeds coincided with genetic changes in the plants themselves, leading eventually to larger cobs, with more and larger seeds in more seed rows,” Prufer explained.

To determine the presence of maize in the diet of the ancient individuals, Prufer and his colleagues measured the carbon isotopes in the bones and teeth of 52 skeletons. The study involved the remains of male and female adults and children providing a wholistic sample of the population. The oldest remains date from between 9,600 and 8,600 years ago and continues to about 1,000 years ago

The analysis shows the oldest remains were people who ate wild plants, palms, fruits and nuts found in tropical forests and savannahs, along with meat from hunting terrestrial animals.

By 4,700 years ago, diets had become more diverse, with some individuals showing the first consumption of maize. The isotopic signature of two young nursing infants shows that their mothers were consuming substantial amounts of maize. The results show an increasing consumption of maize over the next millennium as the population transitioned to sedentary farming.

Prufer noted, “We can directly observe in isotopes of bone how maize became a staple grain in the early populations we are studying. We know that people had been experimenting with the wild ancestor of maize, teosintle, and with the earliest early maize for thousands of years, but it does not appear to have been a staple grain until about 4000 BP. After that, people never stopped eating corn, leading it to become perhaps the most important food crop in the Americas, and then in the world.”

Maize from El Gigante Rock Shelter shows early transition to staple crop
More information: D.J. Kennett at University of California, Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA el al., “Early isotopic evidence for maize as a staple grain in the Americas,” Science Advances (2020). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba3245 , advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/23/eaba3245
Provided by University of New Mexico

Phys.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2020-06-document-maize-mesoamerica.html

Earliest Use of Maize in Central America

June 28, 2020

An international team of researchers led by UNM and University of California, Santa Barbara is investigating the use of maize by the earliest humans in Central America.
Radiocarbon dating of the skeletal samples shows the transition from pre-maize hunter-gatherer diets, where people consumed wild plants and animals, to the introduction and increasing reliance on the corn. Maize made up less than 30 percent of people’s diets in the area by 4,700 years ago, rising to 70 percent 700 years later.
Maize was domesticated from teosinte, a wild grass growing in the lower reaches of the Balsas River Valley of Central Mexico, around 9,000 years ago. There is evidence maize was first cultivated in the Maya lowlands around 6,500 years ago, at about the same time that it appears along the Pacific coast of Mexico. But there is no evidence that maize was a staple grain at that time.


The first use of corn may have been for an early form of liquor.


“We hypothesize that maize stalk juice just may have been the original use of early domesticated maize plants, at a time when the cobs and seeds were essentially too small to be of much dietary significance. Humans are really good at fermenting sugary liquids into alcoholic drinks. This changed as human selection of corn plants with larger and larger seeds coincided with genetic changes in the plants themselves, leading eventually to larger cobs, with more and larger seeds in more seed rows,” Prufer explained.


To determine the presence of maize in the diet of the ancient individuals, Prufer and his colleagues measured the carbon isotopes in the bones and teeth of 52 skeletons. The study involved the remains of male and female adults and children providing a wholistic sample of the population. The oldest remains date from between 9,600 and 8,600 years ago and continues to about 1,000 years ago


The analysis shows the oldest remains were people who ate wild plants, palms, fruits and nuts found in tropical forests and savannahs, along with meat from hunting terrestrial animals.


By 4,700 years ago, diets had become more diverse, with some individuals showing the first consumption of maize. The isotopic signature of two young nursing infants shows that their mothers were consuming substantial amounts of maize. The results show an increasing consumption of maize over the next millennium as the population transitioned to sedentary farming.


Prufer noted, “We can directly observe in isotopes of bone how maize became a staple grain in the early populations we are studying. We know that people had been experimenting with the wild ancestor of maize, teosintle, and with the earliest early maize for thousands of years, but it does not appear to have been a staple grain until about 4000 BP. After that, people never stopped eating corn, leading it to become perhaps the most important food crop in the Americas, and then in the world.”


Maize from El Gigante Rock Shelter shows early transition to staple crop

More information: D.J. Kennett at University of California, Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA el al., “Early isotopic evidence for maize as a staple grain in the Americas,” Science Advances (2020). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba3245 , advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/23/eaba3245 Provided by University of New Mexico

Phys.org has the report here; https://phys.org/news/2020-06-document-maize-mesoamerica.html

June 13, 2020

Large Scale Research on Food Remains over 2000 Years at the Maya Site of Ceibal, Guatemala.

35,000 tiny bone and shell fragments from the Maya site of Ceibal (1000 BCE-1200 CE), Guatemala reveal the ups and downs of the Maya during their 2000 years. Researchers from Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the University of Arizona, the University of Ibaraki, Japan and Guatemala’s Institute of Anthropology and History and Universidad de San Carlos took part in the study.

They found a dramatic shift in diet from apple snails and mollusks to vertebrate such as deer. Perhaps diverting water for irrigation dried up water sources There were many different dogs, and indications that some were eaten.

An adult male buried at 700-450 BCE was buried with hundreds of apple snails, maybe a burial feast. The shift to fish, turtle and deer happened 2000 years ago. There is evidence of deforestation and erosion around 200 CE which destroyed wetland habitats. The number of turtles found indicate the Maya at Ceibal may have imported turtles. The elite consumed deer and lower classes ate armadillo, rabbits, pacas, agoutis, possums, raccoons, weasels and armadillos, anteaters and even an occasional peccary or tapir.

A few entire dog skeletons were found intentionally buried under the floors, leading to the idea that some dogs may have been pets.

Turkeys were imported after the Pre-Classic, probably from Central Mexico.

Ceibal elites wore feline paws and skins on stelae. In a trash heap behind the royal palace, researchers discovered margay and kinkajou mandibles, the arm of an anteater, a bull shark tooth, and sea urchin spines, perhaps also the remains of costumes or other royal paraphernalia.

“Then suddenly everything stopped around 950 AD during the famous ’Maya Collapse’ when all the cities were abandoned,” Sharpe said “Only a few people occasionally returned to the edges of the site in the centuries after that.”

“The focus of Maya archaeology up until now has been large monumental sites, and especially the royal elites during the Classic period,” Sharpe said. “We hope to excavate residences and older sites to get a better idea of what society was like for the majority of the Maya people.”

The research is published in the journal PLOS One.

Smithsonian has the report here with lots of slides;
https://stri.si.edu/story/buried-snails

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

Large Scale Research on Food Remains over 2000 Years at the Maya Site of Ceibal, Guatemala.

June 13, 2020

 

35,000 tiny bone and shell fragments from the Maya site of Ceibal (1000 BCE-1200 CE), Guatemala reveal the ups and downs of the Maya during their 2000 years. Researchers from Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the University of Arizona, the University of Ibaraki, Japan and Guatemala’s Institute of Anthropology and History and Universidad de San Carlos took part in the study.

They found a dramatic shift in diet from apple snails and mollusks to vertebrate such as deer. Perhaps diverting water for irrigation dried up water sources There were many different dogs, and indications that some were eaten.

An adult male buried at 700-450 BCE was buried with hundreds of apple snails, maybe a burial feast. The shift to fish, turtle and deer happened 2000 years ago. There is evidence of deforestation and erosion around 200 CE which destroyed wetland habitats. The number of turtles found indicate the Maya at Ceibal may have imported turtles. The elite consumed deer and lower classes ate armadillo, rabbits, pacas, agoutis, possums, raccoons, weasels and armadillos, anteaters and even an occasional peccary or tapir.

A few entire dog skeletons were found intentionally buried under the floors, leading to the idea that some dogs may have been pets.

Turkeys were imported after the Pre-Classic, probably from Central Mexico.

Ceibal elites wore feline paws and skins on stelae. In a trash heap behind the royal palace, researchers discovered margay and kinkajou mandibles, the arm of an anteater, a bull shark tooth, and sea urchin spines, perhaps also the remains of costumes or other royal paraphernalia.

“Then suddenly everything stopped around 950 AD during the famous ’Maya Collapse’ when all the cities were abandoned,” Sharpe said “Only a few people occasionally returned to the edges of the site in the centuries after that.”
“The focus of Maya archaeology up until now has been large monumental sites, and especially the royal elites during the Classic period,” Sharpe said. “We hope to excavate residences and older sites to get a better idea of what society was like for the majority of the Maya people.”

The research is published in the journal PLOS One.

Smithsonian has the report here with lots of slides;
https://stri.si.edu/story/buried-snails

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

LARGEST AND OLDEST MAYA TEMPLE DISCOVERED

LIDAR has uncovered a site called Aguada Fenix in Tabasco, Mexico dated to 1000-800 BCE. It stand 8-10 meters high with nine causeways leading to it. It is larger then the pyramid of Giza. Jade axes and other artifacts have been found. There are no sculptures of elites at the site and the structures there may have been built largely by migratory peoples.

CNN has the report here with photos;
https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/03/world/biggest-oldest-mayan-temple-aguada-fnix-archeology-scn/index.html

Lead archaeologist Takeshi Inomata, an archaeologist at the University of Arizona uncovered the site using LIDAR after seeing a map published in 2011 covering a large area of Tabasco and Chiapas. Dr. Inomata could see sites below the jungle canopy, and using LIDAR from the information on this map has found 27 previously unknown sites. These sites had construction styles never seen before.

Dr. Inomata and his team began studying Ceibal to understand the relationship between the earlier Olmec culture and the Maya. Ceibal had many Olmec style artifacts. So the team spread out from Ceibal. And they found the 2011 map which made the job much easier.

And they are uncovering rectangular platforms that are low, and some two-thirds of a mile long. These newly discovered 27 sites are also contemporaneous with Ceibal at 1000-800 BCE. The amount of labor involved in building these structures is staggering. And they were built with mobile populations in massive communal enterprises.

A NY Times report in 2019 talks of the early work by Dr. Inomata in the area using the free map they used to locate the new sites.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/science/archaeology-lidar-maya.html

The new huge pyramid at Aguada Fenix was built of earth and clay. It is a quarter-mile wide and nine-tenths of a mile long. Besides the nine large causeways, there is a series of reservoirs linked to the structure.

The Guardian has that report here;
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jun/03/maya-structure-discovered-mexico-lidar-aguada-fenix

Phys.org has a video here;
https://phys.org/news/2020-06-largest-oldest-maya-monument-importance.html

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

LARGEST AND OLDEST MAYA TEMPLE DISCOVERED

June 3, 2020

LIDAR has uncovered a site called Aguada Fenix in Tabasco, Mexico dated to 1000-800 BCE. It stand 8-10 meters high with nine causeways leading to it. It is larger then the pyramid of Giza. Jade axes and other artifacts have been found. There are no sculptures of elites at the site and the structures there may have been built largely by migratory peoples.

CNN has the report here with photos;
https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/03/world/biggest-oldest-mayan-temple-aguada-fnix-archeology-scn/index.html

Lead archaeologist Takeshi Inomata, an archaeologist at the University of Arizona uncovered the site using LIDAR after seeing a map published in 2011 covering a large area of Tabasco and Chiapas. Dr. Inomata could see sites below the jungle canopy, and using LIDAR from the information on this map has found 27 previously unknown sites. These sites had construction styles never seen before.

Dr. Inomata and his team began studying Ceibal to understand the relationship between the earlier Olmec culture and the Maya. Ceibal had many Olmec style artifacts. So the team spread out from Ceibal. And they found the 2011 map which made the job much easier.

And they are uncovering rectangular platforms that are low, and some two-thirds of a mile long. These newly discovered 27 sites are also contemporaneous with Ceibal at 1000-800 BCE. The amount of labor involved in building these structures is staggering. And they were built with mobile populations in massive communal enterprises.

A NY Times report in 2019 talks of the early work by Dr. Inomata in the area using the free map they used to locate the new sites.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/science/archaeology-lidar-maya.html

The new huge pyramid at Aguada Fenix was built of earth and clay. It is a quarter-mile wide and nine-tenths of a mile long. Besides the nine large causeways, there is a series of reservoirs linked to the structure.

The Guardian has that report here;
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jun/03/maya-structure-discovered-mexico-lidar-aguada-fenix

Phys.org has a video here;
https://phys.org/news/2020-06-largest-oldest-maya-monument-importance.html

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

 

 

March 25, 2020

Huge Mammoth Burial Site Uncovered North of Mexico City

INAH has uncovered a huge burial of over 60 mammoths and 15 humans at the General Felipe Ángeles International Airport north of Mexico City. Three exploration areas are being studied. The mammoth burials date to 12,000 years ago. The mammoths were stuck in the mud of what was then Lake Xaltocan. Humans may or may not have been involved in getting them there.

The farmers were buried with pots, bowls and clay figurines in domestic style burials. The human burials nearby are from a much later time period, 750-950 CE.

INAH has the report here (In Spanish);
https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/9150-hallazgos-en-la-obra-del-nuevo-aeropuerto-felipe-angeles-reconstruyen-el-devenir-de-la-cuenca-de-mexico

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

Huge Mammoth Burial Site Uncovered North of Mexico City

May 25, 2020

INAH has uncovered a huge burial of over 60 mammoths and 15 humans at the General Felipe Ángeles International Airport north of Mexico City. Three exploration areas are being studied. The mammoth burials date to 12,000 years ago. The mammoths were stuck in the mud of what was then Lake Xaltocan. Humans may or may not have been involved in getting them there.

The farmers were buried with pots, bowls and clay figurines in domestic style burials. The human burials nearby are from a much later time period, 750-950 CE.

INAH has the report here (In Spanish);
https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/9150-hallazgos-en-la-obra-del-nuevo-aeropuerto-felipe-angeles-reconstruyen-el-devenir-de-la-cuenca-de-mexico

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

May 19, 2020

New Research on Maize Cultivation at Cahokia

The inhabitants of Cahokia began to cultivate corn between 900-1000 CE. Corn cultivation spread from Mesoamerica to the Ancient Southwest at 4000 BCE.

Researchers determined the age of charred corn kernels in homes and shrines at Cahokia and also studied the carbon isotopes in the teeth and bones of humans and dogs. They found that corn consumption began abruptly at 950-1000 CE at Cahokia. At the same time, mound construction began at Cahokia. The population exploded and fertility iconography appeared.

The reason why corn cultivation started so late in the Mid-West was that it had to adapt to survive in a northerly climate.

The new research is published in American Antiquity;
Thomas E. Emerson et al, Isotopic Confirmation of the Timing and Intensity of Maize Consumption in Greater Cahokia, American Antiquity (2020).  DOI: 10.1017/aaq.2020.7

PHYS.ORG has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-cahokia-parallels-onset-corn-agriculture.html

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

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

New Research on Maize Cultivation at Cahokia

MAY 19, 2020

The inhabitants of Cahokia began to cultivate corn between 900-1000 CE. Corn cultivation spread from Mesoamerica to the Ancient Southwest at 4000 BCE.

Researchers determined the age of charred corn kernels in homes and shrines at Cahokia and also studied the carbon isotopes in the teeth and bones of humans and dogs. They found that corn consumption began abruptly at 950-1000 CE at Cahokia. At the same time, mound construction began at Cahokia. The population exploded and fertility iconography appeared.

The reason why corn cultivation started so late in the Mid-West was that it had to adapt to survive in a northerly climate.

The new research is published in American Antiquity;
Thomas E. Emerson et al, Isotopic Confirmation of the Timing and Intensity of Maize Consumption in Greater Cahokia, American Antiquity (2020). DOI: 10.1017/aaq.2020.7

PHYS.ORG has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-cahokia-parallels-onset-corn-agriculture.html

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

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

May 15, 2020

Large Ancient Andean Genome Study

Harvard and U.of C, Santa Cruz researchers, and researchers from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Chile, Germany, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States, undertook a genome study of 89 Ancient Andeans who lived between 500-9000 years ago, including the Moche, Nasca, Wari, Tiwanaku and Inca. They found that groups in the Andean highlands became genetically distinct from those along the Pacific Coast. North and South groups differentiated from each other 5,800 years ago.

They found genetic mixing between the Andes, south Peru, Argentina, and the Amazon. This demonstrates large migrations. Now they need to find out more about those migrations. There was genetic continuity among large scale Andean populations like the Moche Wari, and Nasca, so invading military forces did not alter the genetics of the population.

The research is published in the Journal Cell

Harvard.edu has the report here;
https://hms.harvard.edu/news/ancient-andes-analyzed

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

Large Ancient Andean Genome Study

May 15, 2020

Harvard and U.of C, Santa Cruz researchers, and researchers from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Chile, Germany, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States, undertook a genome study of 89 Ancient Andeans who lived between 500-9000 years ago, including the Moche, Nasca, Wari, Tiwanaku and Inca. They found that groups in the Andean highlands became genetically distinct from those along the Pacific Coast. North and South groups differentiated from each other 5,800 years ago.

They found genetic mixing between the Andes, south Peru, Argentina, and the Amazon. This demonstrates large migrations. Now they need to find out more about those migrations. There was genetic continuity among large scale Andean populations like the Moche Wari, and Nasca, so invading military forces did not alter the genetics of the population.

The research is published in the Journal Cell

Harvard.edu has the report here;
https://hms.harvard.edu/news/ancient-andes-analyzed

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

May 10, 2020

Oldest Bonfires on the Yucatan Peninsula Discovered

UNAM/INAH researchers have discovered the oldest traces of bonfires in the Yucatan region in the cave of Aktun-Ha in Quintana Roo. The fires are 10,500 years old. The now underwater cave was dry at that time. 13,000 years ago, migrants from central Mexico arrived in Quintana Too. 8 skeletons have been found with skulls different than the native inhabitants, adapted to a colder climate and weighing less and smaller.
The caves were used by the inhabitants for funeral and ritual activities.

The entrance to the now flooded cave is through a cenote. The researchers had to ensure the coals they found were not transported by water to the site. Various scientific testing method proved that the age of the fires was determined to be 10,500 years old and were produced right there.

The research is published in the journal Geoarchaeology. The work was financed by UNAM, the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and the National Geographic Society.

The Yucatan Times has the story with photos here;
https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2020/05/tulum-cenote-reveals-10500-year-old-secrets/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya in Quintana Roo Magazine
http://bit.ly/1DY0uZR

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

Oldest Bonfires on the Yucatan Peninsula Discovered

May 10, 2020

UNAM/INAH researchers have discovered the oldest traces of bonfires in the Yucatan region in the cave of Aktun-Ha in Quintana Roo. The fires are 10,500 years old. The now underwater cave was dry at that time. 13,000 years ago, migrants from central Mexico arrived in Quintana Too. 8 skeletons have been found with skulls different than the native inhabitants, adapted to a colder climate and weighing less and smaller.
The caves were used by the inhabitants for funeral and ritual activities.

The entrance to the now flooded cave is through a cenote. The researchers had to ensure the coals they found were not transported by water to the site. Various scientific testing method proved that the age of the fires was determined to be 10,500 years old and were produced right there.

The research is published in the journal Geoarchaeology. The work was financed by UNAM, the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and the National Geographic Society.

The Yucatan Times has the story with photos here;
https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2020/05/tulum-cenote-reveals-10500-year-old-secrets/

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya in Quintana Roo Magazine
http://bit.ly/1DY0uZR

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

May 6, 2020

The Virtual Re-Construction of the Site of Tingambato in Michoacan.

Archaeologists in the 1970’s excavated the site of Tingambato in Michoacan. They uncovered monumental structures, a ball game and a massive burial of 150 people.

INAH archaeologists have announced that drones, LIDAR and high resolution cameras have enabled the virtual reconstruction of the site as it looked at 500 CE. These new discoveries have established a small connection to Teotihuacan at the site, given some architectural styles.

They have found that the site had 3 occupation horizons. 0-300 CE, 300-550 CE and 550-900 CE. Some of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan may have fled back to their home at Tingambato.

They are also virtually re-constructing the two large tombs at the site. 100 were found in Tomb 1. And in Tomb 2, only one individual was buried. A women between 15-29 years of age with cranial deformation with 19,428 lapidary and shell objects, many of them exotic and imported.

INAH has the report here with a really great slide show of the site and its artifacts here. (In Spanish), (Click on the little green camera icon to see the slideshow)
https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/9119-con-nuevas-tecnologias-reconstruyen-virtualmente-la-ciudad-prehispanica-de-tingambato-en-michoacan

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient West Mexico
http://mikeruggerisancientwestmexico.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient West Mexico World on WordPress
https://mikeruggerisancientwestmexicoworld.home.blog

The Virtual Re-Construction of the Site of Tingambato in Michoacan.

May 6, 2020

Archaeologists in the 1970’s excavated the site of Tingambato in Michoacan. They uncovered monumental structures, a ball game and a massive burial of 150 people. 
INAH archaeologists have announced that drones, LIDAR and high resolution cameras have enabled the virtual reconstruction of the site as it looked at 500 CE. These new discoveries have established a small connection to Teotihuacan at the site, given some architectural styles.


They have found that the site had 3 occupation horizons. 0-300 CE, 300-550 CE and 550-900 CE. Some of the inhabitants of Teotihuacan may have fled back to their home at Tingambato.
They are also virtually re-constructing the two large tombs at the site. 100 were found in Tomb 1. And in Tomb 2, only one individual was buried. A women between 15-29 years of age with cranial deformation with 19,428 lapidary and shell objects, many of them exotic and imported.


INAH has the report here with a really great slide show of the site and its artifacts here. (In Spanish), (Click on the little green camera icon to see the slideshow)

https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/9119-con-nuevas-tecnologias-reconstruyen-virtualmente-la-ciudad-prehispanica-de-tingambato-en-michoacan


Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient West Mexico
http://mikeruggerisancientwestmexico.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient West Mexico World on WordPress
https://mikeruggerisancientwestmexicoworld.home.blog

April 29, 2029

Mesoamerica Heart Extraction Research

Vera Tiesler and Guilhem Olivier have published the results of their Mesoamerica heart extraction in Current Anthropology; “Open Chests and Broken Hearts: Ritual Sequences and Meanings of Human Heart Sacrifice in Mesoamerica.”

They studied anatomical analysis of skeletal evidence and compared it with systematically checked historical sources and over 200 instances of ceremonial heart extraction in codices. They focused on the location of openings created in the chest to allow for the removal of a victim’s heart and blood. They examined the resulting fractures and marks in articulated skeletons to infer about the nature of the entry wound and the potential instrumentation used.

Three distinct heart extraction methods were used;  cutting directly under the ribs (subdiaphragmatic thoracotomy); making an incision between two ribs (intercostal thoracotomy); or by horizontally severing the sternum in order to access the heart (transverse bilateral thoracotomy).

The reason for this practice was as a source of “vitalizing matter,” or food for the gods. Hearts and blood were offered as sustenance to deities representing the sun and the earth in recognition of their sacrifices during the creation of the universe. Data–including linguistic analysis of ancient Mesoamerican terminology–reinforce suggestions that these rites served as acts of obligation, reciprocation, and re-enactment.

News360 has the report here;
https://news360.com/article/526610248

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

(Scroll down to Aztec Human Sacrifice)

Mesoamerica Heart Extraction Research

April 29, 2020

Vera Tiesler and Guilhem Olivier have published the results of their Mesoamerica heart extraction in Current Anthropology; “Open Chests and Broken Hearts: Ritual Sequences and Meanings of Human Heart Sacrifice in Mesoamerica.”

They studied anatomical analysis of skeletal evidence and compared it with systematically checked historical sources and over 200 instances of ceremonial heart extraction in codices. They focused on the location of openings created in the chest to allow for the removal of a victim’s heart and blood. They examined the resulting fractures and marks in articulated skeletons to infer about the nature of the entry wound and the potential instrumentation used.

Three distinct heart extraction methods were used; cutting directly under the ribs (subdiaphragmatic thoracotomy); making an incision between two ribs (intercostal thoracotomy); or by horizontally severing the sternum in order to access the heart (transverse bilateral thoracotomy).

The reason for this practice was as a source of “vitalizing matter,” or food for the gods. Hearts and blood were offered as sustenance to deities representing the sun and the earth in recognition of their sacrifices during the creation of the universe. Data–including linguistic analysis of ancient Mesoamerican terminology–reinforce suggestions that these rites served as acts of obligation, reciprocation, and re-enactment.

News360 has the report here;
https://news360.com/article/526610248

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

(Scroll down to Aztec Human Sacrifice)

April 23, 2020

The Rise and Fall of the Wari Complex of Cerro Baul in Peru

1,400 years ago, Wari colonists arrived in the Moquegua Valley in southern Peru. They occupied high dry land no one had used. They built a regional capital at the site of Cerro Baul, where they built large government structures and erected canals and aqueducts that carried water further than anyone had ever attempted. They carved mountain slopes into agricultural terraces, which captured rain and snowmelt to plots of maize, quinoa, berries to make beer. People moved there to create a large labor force.

Archaeologist Patrick Ryan Williams of the Field Museum calls the Wari strategy “conquest by hydraulic superiority.

Despite the Wari very violent aggression in other areas of Peru, they built a multi-ethnic society of relative peace in the Cerro Baul area for 400 years. Wari, Tiwanaku and local communities lived together from 600-1000 CE. Each culture maintained its own styles of pottery, architecture, temples and burials.

A huge earthquake destroyed the aqueduct system around 900 CE, and its appears the Wari had a hard time getting a work force to fix the damage completely.  And then an extreme drought took place at a time that the aqueduct system was weaker. At 1050, the Cerro Baul structures were abandoned, and in a huge end times feast, rooms were burned, a brewery was destroyed, and smashed drinking vessels were placed on top.

Science Magazine has the detailed report of an international team of archaeologists here;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/shrewd-water-use-helped-south-america-s-first-empire-thrive-so-why-did-drought-destroy

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

The Rise and Fall of the Wari Complex of Cerro Baul in Peru

April 23, 2020

1,400 years ago, Wari colonists arrived in the Moquegua Valley in southern Peru. They occupied high dry land no one had used. They built a regional capital at the site of Cerro Baul, where they built large government structures and erected canals and aqueducts that carried water further than anyone had ever attempted. They carved mountain slopes into agricultural terraces, which captured rain and snowmelt to plots of maize, quinoa, berries to make beer. People moved there to create a large labor force.

Archaeologist Patrick Ryan Williams of the Field Museum calls the Wari strategy “conquest by hydraulic superiority.

Despite the Wari very violent aggression in other areas of Peru, they built a multi-ethnic society of relative peace in the Cerro Baul area for 400 years. Wari, Tiwanaku and local communities lived together from 600-1000 CE. Each culture maintained its own styles of pottery, architecture, temples and burials.

A huge earthquake destroyed the aqueduct system around 900 CE, and its appears the Wari had a hard time getting a work force to fix the damage completely. And then an extreme drought took place at a time that the aqueduct system was weaker. At 1050, the Cerro Baul structures were abandoned, and in a huge end times feast, rooms were burned, a brewery was destroyed, and smashed drinking vessels were placed on top.

Science Magazine has the detailed report of an international team of archaeologists here;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/shrewd-water-use-helped-south-america-s-first-empire-thrive-so-why-did-drought-destroy

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

April 15, 2020

Mysterious Decorated Mud Balls Excavated at the Ancient Poverty Point site in Louisiana

Abstract highly decorated mud balls have been excavated at the ancient Poverty Point Site in Louisiana. They were baked to make them durable through the ages. The designs are abstract, and the patterns represent Spider webs, lotus pods, the sun, an owl. They are dated to 1700 BCE. Poverty Point inhabitants used cooking balls to prepare food, using them as hot rocks. These are different.

These decorated balls were made from soil as far away as the Tennessee River Valley and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of miles away. Were pilgrims bringing these balls to Poverty Point?

The Belleville News Democrat has the report here with a photo of the artifacts.
https://www.bnd.com/news/nation-world/national/article241821501.html

And the extensive research on this is at Researchgate;
Poverty Point Objects Re-Considered;
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304610019_Poverty_Point_Objects_Reconsidered

For more on the ancient Poverty Point site;
https://michaelruggeri.com/THE_MISSISSIPPIAN_WORLD_AND_THE_MOUND_BUILDERS/MIKE_RUGGERIS_MISSISSIPPIAN_WORLD.html

Mysterious Decorated Mud Balls Excavated at the Ancient Poverty Point site in Louisiana

April 15, 2020

Abstract highly decorated mud balls have been excavated at the ancient Poverty Point Site in Louisiana. They were baked to make them durable through the ages. The designs are abstract, and the patterns represent Spider webs, lotus pods, the sun, an owl. They are dated to 1700 BCE. Poverty Point inhabitants used cooking balls to prepare food, using them as hot rocks. These are different.

These decorated balls were made from soil as far away as the Tennessee River Valley and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of miles away. Were pilgrims bringing these balls to Poverty Point?

The Belleville News Democrat has the report here with a photo of the artifacts.
https://www.bnd.com/news/nation-world/national/article241821501.html

And the extensive research on this is at Researchgate;Poverty Point Objects Re-Considered;https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304610019_Poverty_Point_Objects_Reconsidered


For more on the ancient Poverty Point site;
https://michaelruggeri.com/THE_MISSISSIPPIAN_WORLD_AND_THE_MOUND_BUILDERS/MIKE_RUGGERIS_MISSISSIPPIAN_WORLD.html

April 6, 2020

Calusa People Stored Live Fish in Watercourts

The Calusa were a hunter/gatherer/fisher society in Florida and the island of Mound Key

New research indicates they captured and stored fish in walled structures called watercourses made of shell and sediments. They walled off parts of an estuary for short term holding before eating, smoking or drying the fish.

Remote sensing has revealed two large shell mounds, a grand canal, and two large watercourses. A marine highway of 2,000 feet long and 100 feet wide bisected the key. There was a yards long opening to drive fish into the enclosures which would be closed with a gate or net. These structures were built at 1300-1400 CE

The research was published in PNAS;
Victor D. Thompson et al. Ancient engineering of fish capture and storage in southwest Florida. PNAS, published online March 30, 2020; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1921708117

Sci-News has the report here.
http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/calusa-watercourts-08288.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerismoundbuildersancientsouthwest.news.blog

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Mississippian World Magazine
http://bit.ly/1EhnzvE

Calusa People Stored Live Fish in Watercourts

April 6, 2020

The Calusa were a hunter/gatherer/fisher society in Florida and the island of Mound Key

New research indicates they captured and stored fish in walled structures called watercourses made of shell and sediments. They walled off parts of an estuary for short term holding before eating, smoking or drying the fish.

Remote sensing has revealed two large shell mounds, a grand canal, and two large watercourses. A marine highway of 2,000 feet long and 100 feet wide bisected the key. There was a yards long opening to drive fish into the enclosures which would be closed with a gate or net. These structures were built at 1300-1400 CE

The research was published in PNAS;
Victor D. Thompson et al. Ancient engineering of fish capture and storage in southwest Florida. PNAS, published online March 30, 2020; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1921708117

Sci-News has the report here.
http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/calusa-watercourts-08288.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerismoundbuildersancientsouthwest.news.blog

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Mississippian World Magazine
http://bit.ly/1EhnzvE

March 31, 2020

Exciting New Research on Teotihuacan/Maya Events at Tikal

On January 16, 378 CE, Sihyaj K’ahk’ (SEE-yah Kak), or Fire is Born entered Tikal in Guatemala. He may have been from Teotihuacan and may have entered with an army. Maya monuments at the site record the event. Chak Tok Ich’aak, or Jaguar Paw, the long-reigning king of Tikal, died on the day he arrived. He may have been sent by Spearthrower Owl whose son became king of Tikal within 2 years. His name was Yax Nuun Ayiin, He has a Teotihuacan style atlatl and headdress, and the images of him and his father at Tikal are drawn in a Teo style. Tikal became very powerful thereafter.
There is controversy about these interpretations. The new rulers may have been Maya royalty who adopted Teo symbolism.

A team of archaeologists have uncovered the evidence of a giant feast dated at 300-350 CE, They have excavated so far 10,000 ceramic pieces and an additional 250 pieces are excavated each day. They believe Maya and Teotihuacano guests were at the feast together, The team has excavated a compound of buildings with vivid murals. Perhaps the Teotihuacano guests were diplomats and nobles sent to cement royal marriages and alliances. Decades after the feast, the murals were smashed and buried. Faces were obliterated. This destruction took place at 350-400 CE.

Nearby, a mass burial has been found, the bodies in pieces. Some skulls have flat backs and dental jewelry that are Maya in style. DNA and dietary isotopes will be taken to see if these are Maya people. The bones were dumped in the burial pit at the time of the feast.

There is evidence that the new ruler at Tikal expanded his influence over a wide area.  Teo style murals show up at Holmul 25 miles away. Friendly kings were established at many Maya cities. But there is little evidence of Teo people living at Tikal. Sihyaj K’ahk may have been a Maya usurper using the Teotihuacan attire and symbolism to enhance his power. Isotopic analysis shows he grew up near Tikal. Other archaeologists are looking for real evidence of a Teotihuacan conquest. LIDAR has found possible fortifications with watch towers nearby Tikal. Excavations of these sites will begin in May. They may find whether these places were built by the Teotihuacanos or the Maya.

The detailed report on this new and exciting research is published in Science magazine with photos;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/astounding-new-finds-suggest-ancient-empire-may-be-hiding-plain-sight

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Teotihuacan World on Word Press
https://mikeruggeristeotihuacanworld.home.blog

Exciting New Research on Teotihuacan/Maya Events at Tikal

March 31, 2020

On January 16, 378 CE, Sihyaj K’ahk’ (SEE-yah Kak), or Fire is Born entered Tikal in Guatemala. He may have been from Teotihuacan and may have entered with an army. Maya monuments at the site record the event. Chak Tok Ich’aak, or Jaguar Paw, the long-reigning king of Tikal, died on the day he arrived. He may have been sent by Spearthrower Owl whose son became king of Tikal within 2 years. His name was Yax Nuun Ayiin, He has a Teotihuacan style atlatl and headdress, and the images of him and his father at Tikal are drawn in a Teo style. Tikal became very powerful thereafter.
There is controversy about these interpretations. The new rulers may have been Maya royalty who adopted Teo symbolism.

A team of archaeologists have uncovered the evidence of a giant feast dated at 300-350 CE, They have excavated so far 10,000 ceramic pieces and an additional 250 pieces are excavated each day. They believe Maya and Teotihuacano guests were at the feast together, The team has excavated a compound of buildings with vivid murals. Perhaps the Teotihuacano guests were diplomats and nobles sent to cement royal marriages and alliances. Decades after the feast, the murals were smashed and buried. Faces were obliterated. This destruction took place at 350-400 CE.

Nearby, a mass burial has been found, the bodies in pieces. Some skulls have flat backs and dental jewelry that are Maya in style. DNA and dietary isotopes will be taken to see if these are Maya people. The bones were dumped in the burial pit at the time of the feast.

There is evidence that the new ruler at Tikal expanded his influence over a wide area. Teo style murals show up at Holmul 25 miles away. Friendly kings were established at many Maya cities. But there is little evidence of Teo people living at Tikal. Sihyaj K’ahk may have been a Maya usurper using the Teotihuacan attire and symbolism to enhance his power. Isotopic analysis shows he grew up near Tikal. Other archaeologists are looking for real evidence of a Teotihuacan conquest. LIDAR has found possible fortifications with watch towers nearby Tikal. Excavations of these sites will begin in May. They may find whether these places were built by the Teotihuacanos or the Maya.

The detailed report on this new and exciting research is published in Science magazine with photos;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/astounding-new-finds-suggest-ancient-empire-may-be-hiding-plain-sight

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

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March 23, 2020

The Ancient Chiapas Site of Sak Tz’i’ Research

A local farmer in Chiapas found a 2 by 4 feet ancient Maya tablet in the community of Lacanja Tzeltal. It turned out that this tablet is at the Maya site of Sak Tz’i’. This place is referenced in sculptors and inscriptions across the Maya world. The tablets tell a story about a water serpent, unnamed gods, a mythic flood and accounts of the births, deaths and battles of ancient rulers. The tablets meanings were announced at Brandeis University. The site was on the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

It was settled in 750 CE and was occupied for more than 1,000 years. It was protected by a stream with a steep ravine on one side and defensive walls on the other side. It probably made alliances for protection. There is a figure of a dancing figure on the excavated tablet, probably of the god Yoopat, associated with violent storms. He is holding a lightning bolt axe and a stone weapon. Another sculpture at the site tells of a fire at the site during a conflict.

Since summer of 2018, when the local farmer found the tablet,  archaeologists have excavated pyramids, a royal palace, a ball court and a ceremonial plaza. One pyramid has carved stelae around it. Lidar will be employed for further research.

The research is published in the December 2019 Journal of Field Archaeology.

Live Science has the report here with photos.
https://www.livescience.com/maya-kingdom-discovered-in-mexico.html

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Chiapas Magazine
http://bit.ly/1CetbSr

The Ancient Chiapas Site of Sak Tz’i’ Research

March 23, 2020

A local farmer in Chiapas found a 2 by 4 feet ancient Maya tablet in the community of Lacanja Tzeltal. It turned out that this tablet is at the Maya site of Sak Tz’i’. This place is referenced in sculptors and inscriptions across the Maya world. The tablets tell a story about a water serpent, unnamed gods, a mythic flood and accounts of the births, deaths and battles of ancient rulers. The tablets meanings were announced at Brandeis University. The site was on the border between Mexico and Guatemala.

It was settled in 750 CE and was occupied for more than 1,000 years. It was protected by a stream with a steep ravine on one side and defensive walls on the other side. It probably made alliances for protection. There is a figure of a dancing figure on the excavated tablet, probably of the god Yoopat, associated with violent storms. He is holding a lightning bolt axe and a stone weapon. Another sculpture at the site tells of a fire at the site during a conflict.

Since summer of 2018, when the local farmer found the tablet, archaeologists have excavated pyramids, a royal palace, a ball court and a ceremonial plaza. One pyramid has carved stelae around it. Lidar will be employed for further research.

The research is published in the December 2019 Journal of Field Archaeology.

Live Science has the report here with photos.
https://www.livescience.com/maya-kingdom-discovered-in-mexico.html

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Chiapas Magazine
http://bit.ly/1CetbSr

March 17, 2020

Oldest Mesoamerican Ball Court in the Mesoamerican Highlands Uncovered

An ancient Mesoamerica ball court has been discovered. It has been excavated at the 3,400 year old site of Etlatongo in Oaxaca. The archaeological team has been excavating at the site since 2015. The court was built at 1305-1443 BCE. The only older one is at the site of Paso de la Amada in Chiapas built at 1650 BCE. The case that this was a ball court was made stronger when they dug up ball play figurines wearing padded belts at the site.

The oldest Olmec city, San Lorenzo, is 25 miles away and Etlatongo is high in the mountains. Could this mean that the ball game was older than the ones in the Olmec heartland, and therefore goes farther back in time through Mesoamerica? (My note; Paso de la Amada in Chiapas, which is older, has Olmec type characteristics, so this new idea needs a lot more study.)

And Annick Daneels at UNAM points out that the the ball player figurines and pottery at Etlatongo have Olmec characteristics.

And San Lorenzo, the oldest Olmec city has only been partially excavated. There may be older ball courts there.

Science News has the report here;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/3400-year-old-ballgame-court-unearthed-mountains-mexico

Mike Ruggeri’s Mesoamerica News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerismesoamericanews.tumblr.com

Oldest Mesoamerican Ball Court in the Mesoamerican Highlands Uncovered

March 17, 2020

An ancient Mesoamerica ball court has been discovered. It has been excavated at the 3,400 year old site of Etlatongo in Oaxaca. The archaeological team has been excavating at the site since 2015. The court was built at 1305-1443 BCE. The only older one is at the site of Paso de la Amada in Chiapas built at 1650 BCE. The case that this was a ball court was made stronger when they dug up ball play figurines wearing padded belts at the site.
The oldest Olmec city, San Lorenzo, is 25 miles away and Etlatongo is high in the mountains. Could this mean that the ball game was older than the ones in the Olmec heartland, and therefore goes farther back in time through Mesoamerica? (My note; Paso de la Amada in Chiapas, which is older, has Olmec type characteristics, so this new idea needs a lot more study.)
And Annick Daneels at UNAM points out that the the ball player figurines and pottery at Etlatongo have Olmec characteristics.
And San Lorenzo, the oldest Olmec city has only been partially excavated. There may be older ball courts there.


Science News has the report here;

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/3400-year-old-ballgame-court-unearthed-mountains-mexico

Mike Ruggeri’s Mesoamerica News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerismesoamericanews.tumblr.com

March 7, 2020

Surprising Lidar Discoveries in the Yucatan

Archaeologists at Miami University and the Yucatan have carried out the first lidar study of the 80 mile stone highway (sacbe) that connected the Maya sites of Coba and Yaxuna in the Yucatan. The researchers believe that the road was commissioned by Lady K’awiil Ajaw, ruler of Coba, at the end of the 7th century. The lidar found 8,000 structures along the sacbe. They found that the earlier Carnegie Institute study theorizing the road was a straight one was wrong. The sacbe veered to connect other sites along the way.

So they have found many new towns and cities. It appears that Lady K’awiil Ajaw built the road to invade Yaxuna. She is depicted in stone carvings, beginning in 640 CE, trampling over bound captives. The large city of Chichen Itza was beginning to dominate the area, and Lady K’awiil Ajaw may have built the road to get a foothold in the area against Chichen Itza. She is documented as conducting wars of territorial expansion.

The team is excavating household clusters on the edge of Coba and Yaxuna along the Great White Road to find similarities in goods between the two sites.

The report is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Miami.edu has the report here with a few photos;
https://news.miami.edu/stories/2020/02/modern-technology-reveals-old-secrets-about-the-great-white-maya-road.html?fbclid=IwAR02J59r-k1O-qwTdeEyBO5KBKeNfbtL-JpkhwIJwRL3ERUUrVs6_xFjnbY

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Yucatan Magazine
http://bit.ly/1967BGj

Surprising Lidar Discoveries in the Yucatan

March 7, 2020

Archaeologists at Miami University and the Yucatan have carried out the first lidar study of the 80 mile stone highway (sacbe) that connected the Maya sites of Coba and Yaxuna in the Yucatan. The researchers believe that the road was commissioned by Lady K’awiil Ajaw, ruler of Coba, at the end of the 7th century. The lidar found 8,000 structures along the sacbe. They found that the earlier Carnegie Institute study theorizing the road was a straight one was wrong. The sacbe veered to connect other sites along the way.

So they have found many new towns and cities. It appears that Lady K’awiil Ajaw built the road to invade Yaxuna. She is depicted in stone carvings, beginning in 640 CE, trampling over bound captives. The large city of Chichen Itza was beginning to dominate the area, and Lady K’awiil Ajaw may have built the road to get a foothold in the area against Chichen Itza. She is documented as conducting wars of territorial expansion.

The team is excavating household clusters on the edge of Coba and Yaxuna along the Great White Road to find similarities in goods between the two sites.

The report is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Miami.edu has the report here with a few photos;
https://news.miami.edu/stories/2020/02/modern-technology-reveals-old-secrets-about-the-great-white-maya-road.html?fbclid=IwAR02J59r-k1O-qwTdeEyBO5KBKeNfbtL-JpkhwIJwRL3ERUUrVs6_xFjnbY

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Yucatan Magazine
http://bit.ly/1967BGj


February 22, 2020

Secret Passage Discovered In Maya City Of Uxmal

INAH has discovered a walled up passage in the Governor’s Palace at Uxmal dated at 570-770 CE. They found a Chaac mask and three staircases and two Maya arches that may correspond to the earliest architectural style at Uxmal. This passage shows us the Palace was divided into three segments linked by vaulted corridors. In the 10th century, conflict with Chichen Itza may have led to restricting access  to protect the Puuc dynasty by way of walking off this passage.

The report was printed in the Yucatan times and reprinted at archaeology news network with many photos;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/12/secret-passage-discovered-in-maya-city.html

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Yucatan Magazine
http://bit.ly/1967BGj

Secret Passage Discovered In Maya City Of Uxmal

February 22, 2020

INAH has discovered a walled up passage in the Governor’s Palace at Uxmal dated at 570-770 CE. They found a Chaac mask and three staircases and two Maya arches that may correspond to the earliest architectural style at Uxmal. This passage shows us the Palace was divided into three segments linked by vaulted corridors. In the 10th century, conflict with Chichen Itza may have led to restricting access  to protect the Puuc dynasty by way of walking off this passage.


The report was printed in the Yucatan times and reprinted at archaeology news network with many photos;

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/12/secret-passage-discovered-in-maya-city.html


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


Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Yucatan Magazine
http://bit.ly/1967BGj

February 17, 2020

New Research in the Post-Cahokia Era.

Archaeologists at Berkeley, Caliifornia State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Northeastern University have researched the idea that the ancient Mississippian center of Cahokia was depopulated by floods, droughts, and resource exhaustion by the 1400’s. They found that the Illinois Confederation of tribes continued to build communities around maize farming, bison hunting, controlled burning, living on small farms and gardens.

The research team studied fecal stanols of human waste in the sediment under Horseshoe Lake, Cahokia’s main catchment area. The levels of the stanols can gauge changes in population. The evidence points to migrations, warfare and ecological changes throughout the 1500s and 1600s in the area.

The research is published in the journal American Antiquity; Ancient poop helps show climate change contributed to fall of Cahokia the area

More information: A.J. White et al, After Cahokia: Indigenous Repopulation and Depopulation of the Horseshoe Lake Watershed AD 1400–1900, American Antiquity (2020).  DOI: 10.1017/aaq.2019.103

Phys Org. has the report here
https://phys.org/news/2020-01-debunks-myth-cahokia-native-american.html

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerismoundbuildersancientsouthwest.news.blog

New Research in the Post-Cahokia Era.

February 17, 2020

Archaeologists at Berkeley, Caliifornia State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Northeastern University have researched the idea that the ancient Mississippian center of Cahokia was depopulated by floods, droughts, and resource exhaustion by the 1400’s. They found that the Illinois Confederation of tribes continued to build communities around maize farming, bison hunting, controlled burning, living on small farms and gardens.

The research team studied fecal stanols of human waste in the sediment under Horseshoe Lake, Cahokia’s main catchment area. The levels of the stanols can gauge changes in population. The evidence points to migrations, warfare and ecological changes throughout the 1500s and 1600s in the area.

The research is published in the journal American Antiquity; Ancient poop helps show climate change contributed to fall of Cahokia the area

More information: A.J. White et al, After Cahokia: Indigenous Repopulation and Depopulation of the Horseshoe Lake Watershed AD 1400–1900, American Antiquity (2020). DOI: 10.1017/aaq.2019.103

Phys Org. has the report here
https://phys.org/news/2020-01-debunks-myth-cahokia-native-american.html

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News on WordPress
https://mikeruggerismoundbuildersancientsouthwest.news.blog

image

February 11, 2020

Aztec Sweat Bath Uncovered in Mexico City

INAH has uncovered an Aztec sweat bath (tamazcals) in the La Merced neighborhood of Mexico City. They were built for medicinal purposes, spiritual rituals and for women to giver birth. A  house for the Aztec elite and Spanish tannery were also uncovered at the site. Mexica. Aztec style red motifs are on the walls of the house.

The sweat bath is fairly intact with a bathtub and a bench build into the wall
INAH says “An Aztec record says that a Mexica noblewoman named Quetzalmoyahuatzin regularly bathed in a temazcal before giving birth. Now that a sweat lodge like the one described in this record has actually been discovered, that written document is largely verified as fact.”
Research will continue at the site.

BBC News and Archaeology-World have the reports here with many photos;

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-51205284

https://www.archaeology-world.com/native-american-14th-century-sweat-lodge-discovered-in-mexico-city/


Mike Ruggeri’s Mesoamerica News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerismesoamericanews.tumblr.com

Aztec Sweat Bath Uncovered in Mexico City

February 11, 2020

INAH has uncovered an Aztec sweat bath (tamazcals) in the La Merced neighborhood of Mexico City. They were built for medicinal purposes, spiritual rituals and for women to giver birth. A  house for the Aztec elite and Spanish tannery were also uncovered at the site. Mexica. Aztec style red motifs are on the walls of the house.

The sweat bath is fairly intact with a bathtub and a bench build into the wall
INAH says “An Aztec record says that a Mexica noblewoman named Quetzalmoyahuatzin regularly bathed in a temazcal before giving birth. Now that a sweat lodge like the one described in this record has actually been discovered, that written document is largely verified as fact.” Research will continue at the site.


BBC News and Archaeology-World have the reports here with many photos;

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-51205284


https://www.archaeology-world.com/native-american-14th-century-sweat-lodge-discovered-in-mexico-city/


Mike Ruggeri’s Mesoamerica News on Tumblr
http://mikeruggerismesoamericanews.tumblr.com

January 22, 2020

The Largest pre-Hispanic House Inside Present Day Mexico City Uncovered

INAH is uncovering the largest Pre-Hispanic house ever found inside present day Mexico City. It was discovered by maintenance workers. The 20ft by 26ft size of the foundation confirms it to be the largest pre-Hispanic house ever unearthed. The find is in the Azcatpotzalco neighborhood. This was the capital of the Tepanec dominion before the Aztecs took it over. INAH will be working in this area for some time. Stone walls have been found on the perimeter of the house.

The first phase of construction on the structure was between 1350-1519. There is a second phase whose dates are still undetermined. There are remains of residential structures also being uncovered nearby. The materials being used was of high quality, so elites lived here. There is some possibility that the residents built chinampas (floating gardens) in the space.

Express (UK) has the report here;
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1228507/aztec-history-archaeology-news-hispanic-mexico-city-south-america-latest

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

The Largest Pre-Hispanic House Inside Present Day Mexico City Uncovered

January 22, 2020

INAH is uncovering the largest Pre-Hispanic house ever found inside present day Mexico City. It was discovered by maintenance workers. The 20ft by 26ft size of the foundation confirms it to be the largest pre-Hispanic house ever unearthed. The find is in the Azcatpotzalco neighborhood. This was the capital of the Tepanec dominion before the Aztecs took it over. INAH will be working in this area for some time. Stone walls have been found on the perimeter of the house.

The first phase of construction on the structure was between 1350-1519. There is a second phase whose dates are still undetermined. There are remains of residential structures also being uncovered nearby. The materials being used was of high quality, so elites lived here. There is some possibility that the residents built chinampas (floating gardens) in the space.

Express (UK) has the report here;
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1228507/aztec-history-archaeology-news-hispanic-mexico-city-south-america-latest

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

(Scroll Down to The Aztec World)

December 30, 2019

A Vast Palace Structure Uncovered at the Maya site of Kaluba in the Yucatan

INAH has unearthed a vast Maya palace at the site of Kaluba, in the Yucatan. There are six rooms in the structure. It is part of a larger complex that also includes two residential rooms, an altar and a large round oven. Archaeologists have also uncovered remains from a burial site, and hope forensic analysis of the bones could provide more clues about Kulubá’s Mayan inhabitants.

The palace was in use from 600-900 CE, and then again from 850-1050 CE. The structures uncovered are just part of the vast complex yet to be uncovered.

INAH is considering bringing back some of the forest cover to protect the site from the elements.

The Guardian has the report here with photos and a video;
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/27/archaeologists-discover-remains-of-vast-mayan-palace

A Vast Palace Structure Uncovered at the Maya site of Kaluba in the Yucatan

December 30, 2019

INAH has unearthed a vast Maya palace at the site of Kaluba, in the Yucatan. There are six rooms in the structure. It is part of a larger complex that also includes two residential rooms, an altar and a large round oven. Archaeologists have also uncovered remains from a burial site, and hope forensic analysis of the bones could provide more clues about Kulubá’s Mayan inhabitants.

The palace was in use from 600-900 CE, and then again from 850-1050 CE. The structures uncovered are just part of the vast complex yet to be uncovered.

INAH is considering bringing back some of the forest cover to protect the site from the elements.

The Guardian has the report here with photos and a video;
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/27/archaeologists-discover-remains-of-vast-mayan-palace

December 24, 2019

A Massive Pyramidal Structure Uncovered in Peru

A massive pyramidal structure has been uncovered at the Sechin Archaeological Project dating back to 3000 BCE. The archaeologists dug deep and found a series of steps that may have served as the seat of government of the ancient Sechin culture. They also found two skulls of an adult and child and a dismembered skeleton. There is an adobe wall at the top of the steps with the ancient fingerprints of the builders made when they put their fingers into the wet clay of the bricks.

Ancient Origins has th3e story with photos here;
https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/peruvian-pyramid-0012915

Mike Ruggeri’s Oldest Andean Cultures
https://mikeruggerisoldestandeancultures.home.blog

A Massive Pyramidal Structure Uncovered in Peru

December 24, 2019

A massive pyramidal structure has been uncovered at the Sechin Archaeological Project dating back to 3000 BCE. The archaeologists dug deep and found a series of steps that may have served as the seat of government of the ancient Sechin culture. They also found two skulls of an adult and child and a dismembered skeleton. There is an adobe wall at the top of the steps with the ancient fingerprints of the builders made when they put their fingers into the wet clay of the bricks.

Ancient Origins has th3e story with photos here;
https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/peruvian-pyramid-0012915

Mike Ruggeri’s Oldest Andean Cultures
https://mikeruggerisoldestandeancultures.home.blog

December 15, 2019

Human Bones at the Maya Site of Uxul Researched

Maya archaeologists found human bones in a water reservoir in the Maya city of Uxul in 2013.  They were killed and dismembered at 600 CE. UNAM has carried out a strontium isotope analysis. Some of the dead came from 95 miles away in Guatemala. Some were locals of high status with jade and engravings on their teeth. Most of the bones had cuts and injuries done by stone blades. The victims were beheaded and dismembered before being thrown into the reservoir. The body parts were widely scattered to destroy the physical unity of the individuals.

This kind of ritual was carried out on prisoners of war to display the power of the victor.

Phys.org has the report here.
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-isotope-analysis-mayan-prisoners-war.html?fbclid=IwAR1dcJWx3C6-scDgTXBWKRGeK3kzLBajcB-EAGf4-3FrKji-GzNIYzxWuC0

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

Human Bones at the Maya Site of Uxul Researched

December 15, 2019

Maya archaeologists found human bones in a water reservoir in the Maya city of Uxul in 2013. They were killed and dismembered at 600 CE. UNAM has carried out a strontium isotope analysis. Some of the dead came from 95 miles away in Guatemala. Some were locals of high status with jade and engravings on their teeth. Most of the bones had cuts and injuries done by stone blades. The victims were beheaded and dismembered before being thrown into the reservoir. The body parts were widely scattered to destroy the physical unity of the individuals.

This kind of ritual was carried out on prisoners of war to display the power of the victor.

Phys.org has the report here.
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-isotope-analysis-mayan-prisoners-war.html?fbclid=IwAR1dcJWx3C6-scDgTXBWKRGeK3kzLBajcB-EAGf4-3FrKji-GzNIYzxWuC0

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


December 3, 2019

3000 Year Old Water Temple uncovered in Peru

A 3,000-year-old ‘water cult’ temple used for fertility rituals has been discovered in Peru in the Lambayeque region by a team of Peruvian archaeologists led by the famed Walter Alva. The tempo includes large blocks and a central staircase. It is located in the springs of the Zana valley and has holes similar to other water cult sites.

Huge walls surround the temple.

There are 21 tombs there dating to 1500 BCE-292 CE. Ceramics and metal object including knives. The tombs were re-used by the Inca in a later era.

The temple’s age is in the formative period predates major hydraulic works. It is located between rivers and there are small wells shows that this site is one where water is shown to be of great importance in the Formative period. The temple was abandoned by 250 BCE. After the Chimu culture used it as a burial place around 1300 CE.

20 of the burials were from the Chimu era. There was one Formative era burial buried east to west and with a ceramic bottle with two spouts and a bridge handle that was a Formative era style

It was built in three stages; 1500-800 BCE the foundations were built. 800 BCE-400 BCE the temple was built with Chavin influences. 400-100 BCE circular columns used to hold up the roof.

The reports are found in the Daily Mail and Live Science with lots of photos in each report;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7685227/Archaeologists-3-000-year-old-megalithic-temple-Peru.html

https://www.livescience.com/ancient-megalithic-temple-discovered-peru.html

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

3000 Year Old Water Temple Uncovered in Peru

December 3, 2019

A 3,000-year-old ‘water cult’ temple used for fertility rituals has been discovered in Peru in the Lambayeque region by a team of Peruvian archaeologists led by the famed Walter Alva. The tempo includes large blocks and a central staircase. It is located in the springs of the Zana valley and has holes similar to other water cult sites.

Huge walls surround the temple.

There are 21 tombs there dating to 1500 BCE-292 CE. Ceramics and metal object including knives. The tombs were re-used by the Inca in a later era.

The temple’s age is in the formative period predates major hydraulic works. It is located between rivers and there are small wells shows that this site is one where water is shown to be of great importance in the Formative period. The temple was abandoned by 250 BCE. After the Chimu culture used it as a burial place around 1300 CE.

20 of the burials were from the Chimu era. There was one Formative era burial buried east to west and with a ceramic bottle with two spouts and a bridge handle that was a Formative era style

It was built in three stages; 1500-800 BCE the foundations were built. 800 BCE-400 BCE the temple was built with Chavin influences. 400-100 BCE circular columns used to hold up the roof.

The reports are found in the Daily Mail and Live Science with lots of photos in each report;


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7685227/Archaeologists-3-000-year-old-megalithic-temple-Peru.html

https://www.livescience.com/ancient-megalithic-temple-discovered-peru.html

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

November 17, 2019

143 New Nazca Geoglyphs Found

Japanese archaeologists have found 143 new Nazca geoglyphs dated at 300-100 BCE, some so large, they can only be seen from the air. They have been working on this since 2004. The geoglyphs were created by removing the black stones of the top soil to expose the white sand below. The team used high resolution satellite images along with fieldwork. The oldest geoglyphs are from 16 feet to 165 feet. The newer ones are 300 feet on average.

The larger ones are often animals and are placed at ritual sites it is thought. Various pottery were destroyed in the ritual. The smaller ones are on paths that could have been way posts for travelers to got toward the larger geoglyphs, for ritual activity.

IBM developed an AI device running a  geospatial analytics system on the IBM Watson Machine Learning Accelerator (WMLA), which sifted through huge volumes of drone and satellite imagery, to see if it could spot any hidden markings bearing a relation to the Nazca lines. This machinery will be in use into the future.

The Yamagata University website has info here;
https://www.yamagata-u.ac.jp/en/information/info/20191115_01

And Science Alert has the report here, with photos and a video;
https://www.sciencealert.com/over-140-mysterious-geoglyphs-discovered-within-the-ancient-nazca-lines

And more photos at The Daily Mail;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7702279/Researchers-uncover-143-previously-hidden-unknown-figures-drawn-desert-soil-Peru.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Nazca Era Peru
http://mikeruggerisnazcaera.tumblr.com

143 New Nazca Geoglyphs Found

November 17, 2019

Japanese archaeologists have found 143 new Nazca geoglyphs dated at 300-100 BCE, some so large, they can only be seen from the air. They have been working on this since 2004. The geoglyphs were created by removing the black stones of the top soil to expose the white sand below. The team used high resolution satellite images along with fieldwork. The oldest geoglyphs are from 16 feet to 165 feet. The newer ones are 300 feet on average.

The larger ones are often animals and are placed at ritual sites it is thought. Various pottery were destroyed in the ritual. The smaller ones are on paths that could have been way posts for travelers to got toward the larger geoglyphs, for ritual activity.

IBM developed an AI device running a geospatial analytics system on the IBM Watson Machine Learning Accelerator (WMLA), which sifted through huge volumes of drone and satellite imagery, to see if it could spot any hidden markings bearing a relation to the Nazca lines. This machinery will be in use into the future.

The Yamagata University website has info here;
https://www.yamagata-u.ac.jp/en/information/info/20191115_01

And Science Alert has the report here, with photos and a video;
https://www.sciencealert.com/over-140-mysterious-geoglyphs-discovered-within-the-ancient-nazca-lines

And more photos at The Daily Mail;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7702279/Researchers-uncover-143-previously-hidden-unknown-figures-drawn-desert-soil-Peru.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Nazca Era Peru
http://mikeruggerisnazcaera.tumblr.com

November 17, 2019

Children Buried with Human Skull Helmets Uncovered in Ecuador

Archaeologists in Ecuador have found two babies buried with helmets made from the skulls of other children. They are dated to 100 BCE. They were part of the Guangala culture. The same grave complex uncovered 11 individuals buried with shells and stone ancestor figurines. This may have been an attempt to protect the unsocialized very young children’s souls, and the stoned ancestor figurines may also have been protective devices. Further analysis of the skulls are being carried out to find out more about these individuals. Anemia has been detected in all of the skulls.

Forbes has the report here;
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2019/11/13/babies-in-ancient-ecuador-were-buried-with-human-skull-helmets/

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

Children Buried with Human Skull Helmets Uncovered in Ecuador

November 17, 2019

Archaeologists in Ecuador have found two babies buried with helmets made from the skulls of other children. They are dated to 100 BCE. They were part of the Guangala culture. The same grave complex uncovered 11 individuals buried with shells and stone ancestor figurines. This may have been an attempt to protect the unsocialized very young children’s souls, and the stoned ancestor figurines may also have been protective devices. Further analysis of the skulls are being carried out to find out more about these individuals. Anemia has been detected in all of the skulls.

Forbes has the report here;
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2019/11/13/babies-in-ancient-ecuador-were-buried-with-human-skull-helmets/

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

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November 13, 2019

LIDAR Expands Our Understanding of an Ancient Peruvian Site near Machu Picchu that is Larger and Older than Machu Picchu

Archaeologists have expanded our knowledge of an Inca site in the area of Machu Picchu that is older than that site. They enhanced our view of the site using LIDAR. The site is at 13,000 feet, 5000 feet higher than Machu Picchu. The site was known to archaeologists investigating on the ground, but LIDAR allowed researchers to see never before known features. LIDAR allowed researchers to see Inca terracing and circular structures that began in the  pre-Inca era that the Inca expanded upon, and the site is larger than Machu Picchu.

Express UK has the story here with many photos and a video;
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1202716/ancient-history-archaeology-discovery-south-america-Inca-ancient-civilisation-Peru-machu-p

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

LIDAR Expands Our Understanding of an Ancient Peruvian Site near Machu Picchu that is Larger and Older than Machu Picchu

November 13, 2019

Archaeologists have expanded our knowledge of an Inca site in the area of Machu Picchu that is older than that site. They enhanced our view of the site using LIDAR. The site is at 13,000 feet, 5000 feet higher than Machu Picchu. The site was known to archaeologists investigating on the ground, but LIDAR allowed researchers to see never before known features. LIDAR allowed researchers to see Inca terracing and circular structures that began in the pre-Inca era that the Inca expanded upon, and the site is larger than Machu Picchu.

Express UK has the story here with many photos and a video;
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1202716/ancient-history-archaeology-discovery-south-america-Inca-ancient-civilisation-Peru-machu-p

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
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Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on WordPress
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November 11, 2019

Possbile 15,000 BCE Pre-Clovis Site Uncovered in Mexico

Workers at a location in Tultepec, north of Mexico City, found a cache of mammoth bones and notified INAH. INAH have worked for 10 months at the site and have found hundreds of mammoth bones, and realized this was a pre-historic hunting site. They found two man made traps where the mammoths were driven to their deaths by ancient hunters. The pit dates to 15,000 BCE, thus making this discovery the earliest close to proven Pre-Clovis site in the Americas.

(My note: There are sites claiming to be older in the Americas, but no human-animal interaction that could lend credence to the dates. And these sites rely on stone tools and stratigraphy analysis for their proposed dates. At this time, only Monte Verde, Chile and Paisley Cave, Oregon have proven Human DNA, and/or other human made materials along with tools at the sites, that are proven dated to 13,500 BCE. This site shows humans interacting with animals at the proposed date of 15,000 BCE).

INAH found 824 mammoth bones, eight skulls, five jaws, 179 ribs. These belonged to 14 mammoths. Camel and horse bones were found here as well. Groups of hunters numbering 20-30 steered one mammoth at a time into the pit, possible with torches and branches. The mammoths would be killed once in the traps. There are signs of butchering, and one bone looks to having been used as a polishing tool. The tongues of the mammoths were consumed as food.

Only right shoulder bones were found. Perhaps the left shoulder bones were used in ritual. One mammoth was laid out in a symbolic formation.

INAH will be looking for additional traps in the area.

The 15,000 BCE date has to be reviewed and published in a peer reviewed journal.

Smithsonian Magazine has the report here;

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/found-mexico-two-traps-where-woolly-mammoths-were-driven-their-deaths-180973522/

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis World
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