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

November 11, 2019

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
http://preclovisworld.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr
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November 6, 2019

Large Mississippian Era Settlements off of the Florida Coast found by LIDAR.

Archaeologists, using LIDAR technology, have uncovered a settlement dating to 900-1200 CE on Raleigh Island off the coast of northern Florida. They found 35 residential areas enclosed by edges of oyster shells. They found the inhabitants were making beads from mollusk shells as an important trade item. Past investigations of this area had been stymied by the dense foliage in the area. The shell borders are up to 12 feet high. Archaeologists have now embarked on 10 test digs at the sites. They have uncovered the tools that were used on the bead production.

The tribe that constructed these settlements were probably from the Tocobaga tribe who lived on the west coast of Florida from 900-1500 CE.

The settlement found on Raleigh Island is ‘unprecedented in its architecture, its scale of bead production, and its place in regional geopolitics,’

The beads produced on the island would have been exported to chiefdoms across much of the east and mid-west during the Mississippian era. They were worn as prestige items among the Mississippian elite.

Reports of this find are at Ancient Origins, Ars Technica and the Smithsonian;

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/settlement-florida-0012819

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/11/a-drone-helped-archaeologists-discover-a-lost-florida-island-settlement/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/ancient-bead-making-community-emerges-coast-florida-180973488/

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

Large Mississippian Era Settlements off of the Florida Coast found by LIDAR.

November 6, 2019

Archaeologists, using LIDAR technology, have uncovered a settlement dating to 900-1200 CE on Raleigh Island off the coast of northern Florida. They found 35 residential areas enclosed by edges of oyster shells. They found the inhabitants were making beads from mollusk shells as an important trade item. Past investigations of this area had been stymied by the dense foliage in the area. The shell borders are up to 12 feet high. Archaeologists have now embarked on 10 test digs at the sites. They have uncovered the tools that were used on the bead production.

The tribe that constructed these settlements were probably from the Tocobaga tribe who lived on the west coast of Florida from 900-1500 CE.

The settlement found on Raleigh Island is ‘unprecedented in its architecture, its scale of bead production, and its place in regional geopolitics,’

The beads produced on the island would have been exported to chiefdoms across much of the east and mid-west during the Mississippian era. They were worn as prestige items among the Mississippian elite.

Reports of this find are at Ancient Origins, Ars Technical’s and the Smithsonian;

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/settlement-florida-0012819

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/11/a-drone-helped-archaeologists-discover-a-lost-florida-island-settlement/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/ancient-bead-making-community-emerges-coast-florida-180973488/

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

INAH Finds Mexica Symbols on an Ancient Dike in Ecatepec, Mexico

October 27, 2019

INAH has found 11 Mexica symbols in a tunnel in Ecatepec, North of Mexico City. Petroglyphs, stucco reliefs, a war shield, a bird of prey were among the symbols found. A Teocalli symbol dedicated to Tlaloc the rain god was on a central stone.

Moctezuma I built the dikes in the 15th century to control the flow of water into Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital.

Indigenous folks from Ecatepec and Chiconautla worked on these dikes. Hernan Cortez destroyed the dikes and re-built them. The symbols have been removed for protection from further environmental damage and put in the Ecatepec community center. Replicas will be placed back on the walls of the tunnel.

Ancient Origins has the report here;
https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/pre-hispanic-symbols-0012776

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztec and Toltec World Magazine
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October 27, 2019

INAH Finds Mexica Symbols on an Ancient Dike in Ecatepec, Mexico

INAH has found 11 Mexica symbols in a tunnel in Ecatepec, North of Mexico City.  Petroglyphs, stucco reliefs, a war shield, a bird of prey were among the symbols found.  A Teocalli symbol dedicated to Tlaloc the rain god was on a central stone.

Moctezuma I built the dikes in the 15th century to control the flow of water into Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital.

Indigenous folks from Ecatepec and Chiconautla worked on these dikes. Hernan Cortez destroyed the dikes and re-built them. The symbols have been removed for protection from further environmental damage and put in the Ecatepec community center. Replicas will be placed back on the walls of the tunnel.

Ancient Origins has the report here;
https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/pre-hispanic-symbols-0012776

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztec and Toltec World Magazine
http://bit.ly/1ygAdbd

October 22, 2019

Pre-Columbian Lead Pollution at Kincaid Mounds

Researchers at the site of Kincaid Mounds and at the Avery Lake site (1150-1450 CE) found that the inhabitants of those site are responsible for 1.5 metric tons of lead pollution deposited in Avery Lake near the Ohio River. The lead came from galena deposits in southeastern and central Missouri and the upper Mississippi Valley. Galena is a lead sulfite mineral that is silvery and sparkly. It was ground and used to paint objects, buildings and personal adornments. Galena powder was blown into the lake or washed into the lake. The research shows that the galena trade was very large and that most of the pollution came from galena traded from other regions

Physical.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-pollution-native-americans-attributed-galena.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

Pre-Columbian Lead Pollution at Kincaid Mounds

October 22, 2019

Researchers at the site of Kincaid Mounds and at the Avery Lake site (1150-1450 CE) found that the inhabitants of those site are responsible for 1.5 metric tons of lead pollution deposited in Avery Lake near the Ohio River. The lead came from galena deposits in southeastern and central Missouri and the upper Mississippi Valley. Galena is a lead sulfite mineral that is silvery and sparkly. It was ground and used to paint objects, buildings and personal adornments. Galena powder was blown into the lake or washed into the lake. The research shows that the galena trade was very large and that most of the pollution came from galena traded from other regions

Physical.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-pollution-native-americans-attributed-galena.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

October 11, 2019

Massive Maya Field Projects to Survive Floods and Droughts Discovered

The Maya of Belize acted to limit population and environmental pressures by creating massive agricultural features, burn events and farming to increase atmospheric CO2 and methane. Researchers found that the Bird of Paradise wet fieled complex was five times larger than thought. Using Lidar to map the ground, the researchers saw the huge fields and canals that the Maya built to ward off the effects of rising sea levels and drought.

The Maya converted forests to wetland field complexes and canals to manage water quality and quantity.

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

Archaeology News Network has the report here;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/10/ancient-maya-canals-and-fields-show.html#3xJZDf58t4JEsf1R.97

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

Massive Maya Field Projects to Survive Floods and Droughts Discovered

October 11, 2019

The Maya of Belize acted to limit population and environmental pressures by creating massive agricultural features, burn events and farming to increase atmospheric CO2 and methane. Researchers found that the Bird of Paradise wet fieled complex was five times larger than thought. Using Lidar to map the ground, the researchers saw the huge fields and canals that the Maya built to ward off the effects of rising sea levels and drought.

The Maya converted forests to wetland field complexes and canals to manage water quality and quantity.

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

Archaeology News Network has the report here;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/10/ancient-maya-canals-and-fields-show.html#3xJZDf58t4JEsf1R.97

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

September 15, 2019

Oldest Trade between the Great Lakes and the Ancient Georgia Coast Uncovered

Archaeologists digging at St. Catherine’s Island off of the coast of Georgia have uncovered a copper object, and a 4000 year old grave site encircled by a massive ring of seashells. The burial practices and the copper object prove long distance trade more than 2000 years ago between the Great Lakes and the ancient Georgia coast. The authors claim this is the first clear evidence of this kind of trade and and exchange of religious ideas in eastern North America dating back to 2000 BCE.

Copper objects and other artifacts have been found at Poverty point in Louisiana dated to 1700 BCE. But those copper objects were obtained from only several hundred miles away.

The McQueen shell ring of Georgia is 70 meters across surrounding an earthen plaza. The earliest shell rings along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast date back to 3,800 BCE.

The new information pushes the known trade contacts between the upper Great Lakes and the Southeast coast back 2000 years in time.

Excavations in the center of the shell ring uncovered a burial pit filled with more than 80,000 ash-encrusted bone and tooth fragments, a copper band and remnants of stone tools. The copper tools have been analyzed and they are from Lake Superior. The copper band is dated at 3800-4300 years ago. The burial accompanied by copper bands and cremated individuals within resemble burials from the Great Lakes.

The Georgia site was probably a place for hosting hunter-gatherers on a seasonal basis. Fish, clams, oysters hickory and acorn nuts were founding the enclosure.

American Antiquity published the research.

Science News has the report
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/island-grave-site-hints-far-flung-ties-among-ancient-americans

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

Oldest Trade between the Great Lakes and the Ancient Georgia Coast Uncovered

September 15, 2019

Archaeologists digging at St. Catherine’s Island off of the coast of Georgia have uncovered a copper object, and a 4000 year old grave site encircled by a massive ring of seashells. The burial practices and the copper object prove long distance trade more than 2000 years ago between the Great Lakes and the ancient Georgia coast. The authors claim this is the first clear evidence of this kind of trade and and exchange of religious ideas in eastern North America dating back to 2000 BCE.

Copper objects and other artifacts have been found at Poverty point in Louisiana dated to 1700 BCE. But those copper objects were obtained from only several hundred miles away.

The McQueen shell ring of Georgia is 70 meters across surrounding an earthen plaza. The earliest shell rings along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast date back to 3,800 BCE.

The new information pushes the known trade contacts between the upper Great Lakes and the Southeast coast back 2000 years in time.

Excavations in the center of the shell ring uncovered a burial pit filled with more than 80,000 ash-encrusted bone and tooth fragments, a copper band and remnants of stone tools. The copper tools have been analyzed and they are from Lake Superior. The copper band is dated at 3800-4300 years ago. The burial accompanied by copper bands and cremated individuals within resemble burials from the Great Lakes.

The Georgia site was probably a place for hosting hunter-gatherers on a seasonal basis. Fish, clams, oysters hickory and acorn nuts were founding the enclosure.

American Antiquity published the research.

Science News has the report
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/island-grave-site-hints-far-flung-ties-among-ancient-americans

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

September 14, 2019

Ancient Chimu Striking Elite Burial

Archaeologists at the site of Pampa la Cruz in Peru have uncovered an elite Chimu individual buried with clothes made of exotic bird feathers over his head and body. A poncho like tabard was made of red and yellow feathers, and a headdress made of blue, white, green, black, and yellow feathers. The individual was buried in a squatting position similar to one found earlier with the same exotic feathers.

Andina has the report here with many photos;
https://andina.pe/ingles/noticia-peru-archaeologists-find-exotic-feather-headdress-and-tabard-in-pampa-cruz-765073.aspx

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Sican/Chimu Era Cultures
https://mikeruggerissicanchimueracultures.home.blog

Ancient Chimu Striking Elite Burial

September 14, 2019

Archaeologists at the site of Pampa la Cruz in Peru have uncovered an elite Chimu individual buried with clothes made of exotic bird feathers over his head and body. A poncho like tabard was made of red and yellow feathers, and a headdress made of blue, white, green, black, and yellow feathers. The individual was buried in a squatting position similar to one found earlier with the same exotic feathers.

Andina has the report here with many photos;
https://andina.pe/ingles/noticia-peru-archaeologists-find-exotic-feather-headdress-and-tabard-in-pampa-cruz-765073.aspx

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Sican/Chimu Era Cultures
https://mikeruggerissicanchimueracultures.home.blog

image

September 6, 2019

Pre-Clovis, Idaho

Evidence of a Pre-Clovis site at Cooper’s Ferry Idaho has been uncovered. The dates for the evidence so far point to a 16,000 years ago settlement, Charcoal unearthed there point to a settlement date of 15,945-15,335 hearts ago. Some other bone and charcoal are dated at 14,075 and 15,195 years ago. Artifacts at the site still show up at 8000 years ago. So this site had a very long occupation. The site was probably occupied seasonally for hunting, gathering, fishing. The local Nez Perce tribe members know the site as Nipéhe.

The only way these settlers could have arrived is by foot or boat along the Pacific Coast at these dates and not across the Bering strait, which was ice covered at that time.

Animal bones and discarded stone tools, including bifaces (two-sided handaxes blades) sharp stone flakes, and fragments of two projectile points that are earlier in style than Clovis tools have been uncovered. The stemmed points are very similar to stemmed points on Hokkaido in Japan that date to 16,000-13,000 years ago. Other stone artifacts found also resemble the Hokkaido tradition.

The research is published in Science, 2019. DOI: 10.1126/science.aax9830 (About DOIs).

And Ars Technica has the synopsis here.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/16000-year-old-site-in-idaho-indicates-people-sailed-around-the-ice-sheet/

Although there has been no human DNA found yet, nor any evidence of more concrete human occupation like post holes, fabrics etc. The stone tools are at the same dated level as the animal bones found. And there is proof that the settlers dug hearths and pits in which the Pre-Clovis animal bones were found.

There will be debate about the stemmed points age in terms of development. Clovis points and stemmed points were in use simultaneously.

These additional facts are at Science magazine;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/08/first-people-americas-came-sea-ancient-tools-unearthed-idaho-river-suggest

(My addition; without human DNA proof and human artifacts found that are not just stone tools, the proof here is not as strong as Pre-Clovis proof at Monte Verde, Chile and Paisley Cave in Oregon, but the evidence is very close to absolute proof.)

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis Sites in the Americas
https://michaelruggerispreclovissites.home.blog

September 5, 2019

Update on Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Andean Massive Child Sacrifice

140 children and 200 Llamas were ritually sacrificed by the Chimu culture of the Ancient Andes, at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas Site, dated to 1400 CE. Most of the children were between 5-14 years of age, and of both sexes. The site is a half mile from the huge Chimu site of Chan Chan. An earlier dig in 2011 uncovered an earlier mass child sacrifice of 42 children and 76 llamas. The dig continued at this site, and by 2016, the 140 child sacrifices were uncovered.

The children had red cinnabar on their faces, their chests were cut open to remove their hearts. A man and two women were sacrificed close by, by means of blunt force trauma. All were killed at a single event. The sacrificed were brought to the site from all over the Chimu empire. The cuts to the bodies indicate they were all killed by trained hands.

The sacrifice may have been an attempt to ward off the effects of El Nino.

Research on the victims will be ongoing at the site. There are other sacrifices of children and llamas in other areas. And this find may be just the tip of the iceberg according to the researchers.

National Geographic has the follow up report here;
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2018/04/mass-child-human-animal-sacrifice-peru-chimu-science/

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Sican/Chimu Era Cultures
https://mikeruggerissicanchimueracultures.home.blog

Update on Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Andean Massive Child Sacrifice

September 5, 2019

140 children and 200 Llamas were ritually sacrificed by the Chimu culture of the Ancient Andes, at the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas Site, dated to 1400 CE. Most of the children were between 5-14 years of age, and of both sexes. The site is a half mile from the huge Chimu site of Chan Chan. An earlier dig in 2011 uncovered an earlier mass child sacrifice of 42 children and 76 llamas. The dig continued at this site, and by 2016, the 140 child sacrifices were uncovered.

The children had red cinnabar on their faces, their chests were cut open to remove their hearts. A man and two women were sacrificed close by, by means of blunt force trauma. All were killed at a single event. The sacrificed were brought to the site from all over the Chimu empire. The cuts to the bodies indicate they were all killed by trained hands.

The sacrifice may have been an attempt to ward off the effects of El Nino.

Research on the victims will be ongoing at the site. There are other sacrifices of children and llamas in other areas. And this find may be just the tip of the iceberg according to the researchers.

National Geographic has the follow up report here;
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2018/04/mass-child-human-animal-sacrifice-peru-chimu-science/

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Sican/Chimu Era Cultures
https://mikeruggerissicanchimueracultures.home.blog

September 2, 2019

New Research on Inca Trophy Heads

Chilean archaeologists have researched four severed skulls from the late Inca era (1476-1534) which were buried in isolation with trash and without their bodies, at the site of Iglesia Colorada, in northern Chile.  The skulls were modified with orifices in the cranium vault and defleshed mandibles. They look to have been mounted as trophy skulls as a ritualistic display of power over local subjects in their empire. The Inca mined copper in the area.

The skulls were found in 2003. Three of the skulls were females and one child. Five other skulls were found at the site. These may represent new ideological tools of control. The site was on the periphery of the Inca empire. Perhaps there was a rebellion there. The Inca may have been targeting weaker members, women and children, to preserve their male labor pool.

The findings are reported in Latin American Antiquity.

Science Alert has the report here;
https://www.sciencealert.com/the-inca-mounted-trophy-heads-in-gruesome-display-of-power-skull-discovery-reveals

The Daily Mail has good photos and illustrations of the research;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7398767/Inca-society-mounted-trophy-heads-enemies-displays-power.html

New Research on Inca Trophy Heads

September 2, 2019

Chilean archaeologists have researched four severed skulls from the late Inca era (1476-1534) which were buried in isolation with trash and without their bodies, at the site of Iglesia Colorada, in northern Chile. The skulls were modified with orifices in the cranium vault and defleshed mandibles. They look to have been mounted as trophy skulls as a ritualistic display of power over local subjects in their empire. The Inca mined copper in the area.

The skulls were found in 2003. Three of the skulls were females and one child. Five other skulls were found at the site. These may represent new ideological tools of control. The site was on the periphery of the Inca empire. Perhaps there was a rebellion there. The Inca may have been targeting weaker members, women and children, to preserve their male labor pool.

The findings are reported in Latin American Antiquity.

Science Alert has the report here;
https://www.sciencealert.com/the-inca-mounted-trophy-heads-in-gruesome-display-of-power-skull-discovery-reveals

The Daily Mail has good photos and illustrations of the research;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7398767/Inca-society-mounted-trophy-heads-enemies-displays-power.html

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

 

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August 25, 2019

1,800 BCE Mural Uncovered at the Site of Vichama in Peru (Caral Civilization Site)

Archaeologists have uncovered a mural depicting a toad wrapping its hands around a human face at the site of Vichama in Peru. Archaeologist Ruth Shady explains the toad is a symbol for rain, and the aura,l suggests it is a prayer for rain. The mural may announce the coming of rain. The mural dates to 1,800 BCE.

Last year, in the same structure, other wall carvings were found at the entry to a ceremonial hall. The bas relief mural depicts four human heads with their eyes-closed and two snakes passing between and around them. These two snakes have their heads pointing at the image of what DW describes as “a humanoid seed symbol that is digging into the soil. These also depict the asking for the coming of rain, since the snake carvings may representations of a rain bearing water deity.

Vichama is 68 miles from Lima. The site existed at 3000-1800 BCE. Excavations started there in 2007. Murals representing the high status of women at the siren have also been uncovered.

Vichama is a site connected to the Caral/Norte Chico civilization. The site of Caral dates back to 3,000 BCE

Ancient Origins has the richly detailed report here with photos;
https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/wall-carvings-0010573

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

1,800 BCE Mural Uncovered at the Site of Vichama in Peru (Caral Civilization Site)

August 25, 2019

1,800 BCE Mural Uncovered at the Site of Vichama in Peru (Caral Civilization Site)

Archaeologists have uncovered a mural depicting a toad wrapping its hands around a human face at the site of Vichama in Peru. Archaeologist Ruth Shady explains the toad is a symbol for rain, and the aura,l suggests it is a prayer for rain. The mural may announce the coming of rain. The mural dates to 1,800 BCE.

Last year, in the same structure, other wall carvings were found at the entry to a ceremonial hall. The bas relief mural depicts four human heads with their eyes-closed and two snakes passing between and around them. These two snakes have their heads pointing at the image of what DW describes as “a humanoid seed symbol that is digging into the soil. These also depict the asking for the coming of rain, since the snake carvings may representations of a rain bearing water deity.

Vichama is 68 miles from Lima. The site existed at 3000-1800 BCE. Excavations started there in 2007. Murals representing the high status of women at the siren have also been uncovered.

Vichama is a site connected to the Caral/Norte Chico civilization. The site of Caral dates back to 3,000 BCE

Ancient Origins has the richly detailed report here with photos;
https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/wall-carvings-0010573

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

August 21, 2019

INAH Uncovers Fortress Wall Built Around Uxmal

INAH has found a two mile long fortress wall surrounding the site of Uxmal in the Yucatan. It is now covered by thick jungle, but INAH is talking of restoration. More than half of Uxmal is still uncovered.

A drawing of the wall was printed in John Stephens’ “Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan”  in 1841. The wall was not searched for again till recently.

The wall was for defense and marked off the elite population from the rest. The elite lived inside the walls. The wall had 20 entry points and rainwater tanks. Some of it was built hastily as if to protect against imminent danger.

Maya settlements in Mayapán, Chichen Itza and Tulum were also walled in,

The Yucatan Expat Life has the report here;
https://yucatanexpatlife.com/fortress-wall-surrounding-ancient-mayan-city-of-uxmal-is-uncovered/

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

August 21, 2019

INAH Uncovers a Fortress Wall Around Uxmal

INAH has found a two mile long fortress wall surrounding the site of Uxmal in the Yucatan. It is now covered by thick jungle, but INAH is talking of restoration. More than half of Uxmal is still uncovered.

A drawing of the wall was printed in John Stephens’ “Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan” in 1841. The wall was not searched for again till recently.

The wall was for defense and marked off the elite population from the rest. The elite lived inside the walls. The wall had 20 entry points and rainwater tanks. Some of it was built hastily as if to protect against imminent danger.

Maya settlements in Mayapán, Chichen Itza and Tulum were also walled in,

The Yucatan Expat Life has the report here;
https://yucatanexpatlife.com/fortress-wall-surrounding-ancient-mayan-city-of-uxmal-is-uncovered/

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

August 13, 2019

New Research on the Dead Found in the Great Cenote at Chichen Itza

Tooth enamel from the over 200 sacrificial victims found in the great cenote at Chichen Itza show that they came from the area and all across Mexico. Immigrants were coming to the area from all across Mexico during Chichen Itza’s heyday. The city hosted a population of 50,000 in the Mesoamerican post-classic, after 900 CE. Half of the victims found in the cenote were children between 4-6 years of age.

The victims show evidence of flaying, impalement, skinning. Their bodies look to have been displayed before being thrown into the denote. Some were also displayed on skull racks.

Scientific methods on the tooth enamel of 40 of the victims was carried out. These show that some of the victims came from as far away as Honduras, Cholula and Tula in central Mexico, Veracruz, and from local areas. This proves that Chichen’s influence spread across all of Mesoamerica.

The American Journal of Physical Anthropology Magazine published the research.

Forbes.com has the news of the report, with the scientific analysis used by the researchers.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlymiller/2019/08/09/skulls-analyzed-from-the-mayan-sacred-cenote-show-that-human-sacrifices-were-sourced-from-far-and-wide-across-mexico-in-1000-ad/#30cea3f4e8b7

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News Magazine
http://bit.ly/1CeeXyu

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

August 6, 2019

New Research on Maya Total Warfare

New research on the Maya carried out by the University of California, Berkeley, and the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that the Maya used scorched earth military campaigns, destroying everything in their path, including cropland, at the height of their Classic age. This goes against the idea that this was only a response by the Maya during their decline.

Researchers found an inch-thick layer of charcoal at the bottom of lake Laguna Ek’Naab in Guatemala, and the burning of the city Witzna. This took place at 690-700 CE. The event is recorded with the date May 21, 697 CE of a burning campaign recorded on a stone stela at the rival city of Naranjo. The proof of the fire by the new research coinciding with the written record is an amazing proof in the ancient Maya world. Seven meters of sediment cores under the lake matches the burning of Witzna’s monuments. Human activity at Witzna decreased dramatically after the event. The event coincides with more evidence of mass burials, fortified cities and large standing armies throughout the Maya world at the same time.

It appears that total warfare was not the cause of the Maya collapse, since total warfare was a constant across the Maya era.

Three other references to “burning” are mentioned in the same war statement, referencing the cities of Komkom, K’an Witznal, and K’inchil, location unknown. These cities may also have been decimated,

The researchers note that it is known that the conquest of Bahlam Jol/Witzna was set in motion by a queen of Naranjo, Lady 6 Sky, who was trying to reestablish her dynasty after the city-state had declined and lost all its possessions. She set her seven-year-old son, Kahk Tilew, on the throne and then began military campaigns to wipe out all the rival cities that had rebelled, Estrada-Belli said.

The research is published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour

The report is at EurekAlert;
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-08/uoc–mmw080519.php

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

July 28, 2017


Unknown 5000 BCE South American Culture May Have Been Unearthed


Archaeologists at the Real Alto site in Ecuador found ceramic vessel shards dating to 4640-4460 BCE. This corresponds with the Valdivia period. The vessels are from the San Pedro complex, which differ in decoration and the application of the decorations. This may be from an unknown culture contemporaneous with Valdivia, which is on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Further excavations will take place,

The research was published in the journal Antiquity.

Eurkalert has the report here with a photo;

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-07/fefu-prt072419.php

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Norte Chico (Peru) World Magazine
http://flip.it/YEMZZ

July 17, 2019

New Research on Ancient Chaco Canyon Population Viability

Researchers at Chaco Canyon have carried out a detailed analysis of the climate and hydrology of the Chaco area and have found that its soil could not support the farming necessary to feed large populations. Dryland farming is impossible there due to lack of rainfall. Flash floods were also a constant source of destruction. Chacoans could only have farmed 100 acres, and could not have grown enough corn for over 1000 people. Deer and rabbits and small game would have been cleared out completely with 2,300 people to feed.

Importing food to feed 2,300 people from outside of the canyon would have required porters to make 18,000 trips by foot annually. So either Chacoans would have had to do this, or perhaps the structures in Chaco were only inhabited at times of pilgrimages from outside the canyon.

There research is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

And Colorado.edu has a report here
https://www.colorado.edu/today/2019/07/10/food-may-have-been-scarce-chaco-canyon

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Southwest/Mound Builders News Magazine
http://bit.ly/16PP9jH

July 14, 2019

New Research on Maize and the Maya Collapse

Researchers studied the remains of 50 human burials at Cahal Pech, Belize. The burials ranged from 735 BCE-850 CE. In the earliest periods, elites and commoners had a diverse diet that included maize, wild plants, and animals. This food diversity helped insulate the population in a 300-100 BCE drought. Then at 750-900 CE, the need for intensive agriculture due to population expansion led to increasing reliance on maize.

The elites demanded increased maize production on the local population. Then another severe drought came from 750-900, and the over-reliance on maize gave the population less food flexibility, and the collapse happened.

The research is reported in Current Anthropology;
“The Role of Diet in Resilience and Vulnerability to Climate Change among Early Agricultural Communities in the Maya Lowlands”

Archaeology News Network has the report here;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/07/maize-centric-diet-may-have-contributed.html#PbKcEfQ8aysgE8Dp.97

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

July 7, 2019

Mochica Elite Female Unearthed at Lambayeque, Peru

The body was found at the site of Huaca Santa Rosa de Pucala in Lambayeque. The body dates to 900-1000 CE. The body was in an adobe walled chamber with a roof held up by carob beams, and it contained 204 pots, metal objects, decorated face neck jars, and a male companion. It is in the Mochica style despite being past the time of the Moche. This is a surprising feature.

Archaeology News network has the short report here with good photos;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/06/mochica-elites-last-woman-unearthed-in.html#szuqk7B05vvydrES.97

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News Magazine
http://bit.ly/1KJvVt1

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

June 25, 2019

INAH Continues to Study Aztec Skull Rack Skulls

INAH Is continuing to study the skulls uncovered from the Templo Mayor Aztec skull racks (tzompantli) in downtown Mexico City. They have found 180 complete skulls. Thee victims were defleshed after death and the decapitation technique was clean. They have found that 75% were men, mostly of warrior age, 20% women and 5% children. Often the skulls were decorated and looked like eerie masks. Isotopic analysis of the skulls shows they were born all over Mesoamerica, but spent lots of time in Tenochtitlan before their death. So they were not foreigners. They often spent time with the families of their captors before they were sacrificed. They do display differing dental and cranial modifications. So this will lead researchers to more precise studies of the backgrounds of the sacrificed. New DNA studies will tell us about the genetic diversity of the Mesoamerica population at the time.

Science Magazine has the copiously illustrated report here;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/feeding-gods-hundreds-skulls-reveal-massive-scale-human-sacrifice-aztec-capital

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztlan World
http://mikeruggerisaztlanworld.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztec and Toltec World Magazine
http://bit.ly/1ygAdbd

June 17, 2019

Earliest Maya Entry into Teotihuacan Uncovered

INAH has revealed new research concerning the entry of the Maya into Teotihuacan, at a conference in Mexico City, headed by renowned University of Arizona Teotihuacan archaeologist Saburo Sugiyama. 2,400 remains of human skeletons, disjointed, and dismembered, were found at one end of Plaza 50 in the Plaza of the Columns at Teotihuacan. Most were adults, most had cuts and some had their bones carved as tools. Sharpened teeth with dental implants were found.Three skulls were cranially deformed. The dental and skull mutilations are in the Maya style.

A second offering may be the remains of a great celebration. 3,500 bones have been found there, mostly animal bones, and 10,000 ceramic sherds, probably smashed as part of a ritual. 68% were Teotihuacan bowls but many are of Maya design. The banquet was mainly rabbit and quail. Cassava and tobacco are present coming from distant lands.

Wall fragments with Maya style murals have also been found at Plaza 50. They were also ritually destroyed. 1000 of these fragments are being restored and scanned.

Artifacts in the northern mound recovered last summer contained marine elements and sacrificed animals.

95 obsidian objects including projectile points and prismatic blades made at Teotihuacan, and 50 greenstones and 50 marine objects included snails.

A golden eagle that had eaten a rabbit, a puma skull, rattlesnakes and the spider monkey not native to the central highlands were among the sacrificed animals.

Radicarbon dating have been divided into two periods. The first period was between 300-350 CE and a later period, when the Maya murals appear dated at 350-450 CE.

Sugiyama pointed out that 350 CE was the date that three Maya elite individuals were sacrificed at the Pyramid of the Moon. And the Maya murals are in line with the Teotihuacan entry into Tikal at 378 CE.

INAH has the report here (in Spanish) (click on the tiny camera icon for a slide show)

https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/8195-nuevos-hallazgos-en-teotihuacan-revelan-relacion-con-mayas-entre-350-y-450-d-c

Mike Ruggeri’s Teotihuacan
http://mikeruggeristeotihuacan.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Teotihuacan; City of the Gods Magazine
http://bit.ly/1z57bpL

May 31, 2019

Three Ancient Andean Short Reports

Restored Ceramics Shed Light on the Wari Civilization of Peru

45 restored ceramics found at the Wari site of Ayachcho in Peru reveal the Wari civilization is linked to the Nazca and Huarpa cultures. The ceramics show coastal animals and marine products similar to the designs on Nazca ceramics. The Wari often destroyed their ceramics as part of Wari rituals. The ceramics also show influence from the little known culture of the Huarpa

Archaeology News Network has the report here;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/05/recently-discovered-wari-ceramics.html#d6jxeSmXQBF5LQoC.97

Ancient Pachacamac Cemetery Uncovered in Peru

An ancient cemetery has been discovered at the site of Pachacamac in Peru. A cluster of burials in foetal positions mummified in plant materials, nets and textiles were uncovered in deep pits sunk  into the sand, with ceramics and other offerings, then covered in wood and rushwork roofs. The interred had fractures, bad backs and hips, TB, syphilis, serious bone breaks. The injuries had healed, so they were being cared for.

The later invading Incas carried out targeted attacks on the dead, removing their heads as an example of grave defilement.

Archaeology News Network has the report here.
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/04/1000-year-old-cemetery-unearthed-at.html#eJpjmgXFcFiCGOAw.97

Ancient Wari Beer Breweries Uncovered in Peru

Field Museum of Chicago archaeologists working at the Wari culture (350-1000 CE) site of Cerro Baul found a brewery and drinking vessels for the production and consumption of Chicha, a beer fermented from corn and pepper berries, that had to be drank swiftly before it went bad. Chicha was used at rituals to diplomatically unite communities in the Wari realm, and helped keep the peace.

They analyzed pieces of ceramic beer vessels, heated them to study the molecules, shooting a laser at a shard of a beer vessel to remove a tiny bit of material, and then heating that dust to the temperature of the surface of the sun to break down the molecules that make it up. This told them where there the clay came from and what the beer was made from. Pepper berries could survive droughts. The drinking vessels were tall and decorated to look like Wari gods and leaders.

When the Wari empire began to come apart, they set fire to their breweries and covered them with sand.

The Daily Mail has the report here with photos;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6936897/Archaeologists-earn-steady-supply-beer-kept-Wari-empires-society-afloat.html

May 25, 2019

Cooking Pot with Llamas Head and Many Ingredients Uncovered at a Moche Site in Peru

Archaeologists working at the Moche site of Wasi Huachuma, dating to 600-850 CE, found a cooking pot under a house floor which contained portions of llamas face, guinea pig, maize, common beans, squash, potato, and chili pepper were found, along with crabs, flathead mullet, and the plant coca. The pot looks like a dedicatory offering which tie together all of the geographic and environmental regions accessed by the Moche. The entirety of Moche culinary knowledge is found in the pot.

The research is published in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal

Forbes has the report here;
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2019/05/24/archaeologist-finds-pot-full-of-llama-face-stew-under-a-house-in-ancient-peru/#16f43bfbdff1

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Moche/Wari Era Peru
http://mikeruggerismoche.tumblr.com

May 24, 2019

Beautiful Jadeite Tool Uncovered at Ancient Maya Salt Works in Belize

LSU’s Heather McKillop has found a tool made of high quality translucent jadeite with a Honduras rosewood handle at the Maya salt processing site of Ek Way Nal in Belize, where there is a network of 110 ancient salt working sites. Sea level rise has buried artifacts from the salt works.The soggy mangrove soil preserved the artifact. The tool was used for scraping salt, cutting, scraping fish and meat.

Archaeology News Network has the report here, with a great photo of the beautiful tool;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/05/high-quality-jadeite-tool-discovered-in.html#UiuPjYemCujZj5aW.97

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News Magazine
http://bit.ly/1CeeXyu

image

May 21, 2019

The Oldest Human Footprint in the Americas Discovered

The oldest human footprint in the Americas has been discovered in Chile, dating to 15,600 years ago. It was discovered in 2010 at the Pilauco excavation site in Chile where scientists have been digging since 2007. It is in the region of Patagonia. Fossil bones and tools were alongside of it. Radiocarbon dates on organic plant life that was present at the footprint determined the age of the footprint. Based on features such as foot arch, the size of the print, and the width-ratio between the ball of the foot and the lack third segment, scientists were able to conclude the print came from a human male around 22 pounds (10kg) lighter than one of their print makers. Researchers had also found bones of animals near the site, including those of primitive elephants.

The print was  also likely buried fast by layers of soil after it was made, which allowed it to be preserved it to this day.

The print is only 60 miles away from the oldest site in the Americas, Monte Verde, which dates back to 14,600 years ago.

The footprint is now preserved in a glass box and is housed at the recently established Pleistocene Museum in the city of Osorno, Chile. The study was published online April 24 in the journal PLOS One.

LiveScience has the report here with photos;
https://www.livescience.com/65368-oldest-human-footprint-americas.html

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis World Magazine
http://bit.ly/1uAWdvk

image

May 18, 2019

New DNA Test of a Blackfeet Clan Member Breaks New Ground.

Darrell “Dusty” Crawford, a member of the Blackfeet tribe, wanted to have his DNA tested, and it has been tested after his recent death. His ancestry shows DNA from the Pacific, and ancestors traveling to South America, then north. His DNA is in haplogroup B, which is of low frequency in Alaska and Canada, and originated in Arizona 17,000 years ago. His closest relatives are in Southeast Asia. The Blackfeet clans trace their clanship back to four females, one whose name was Ina. That name comes from a Polynesian mythical figure who rides a shark. His DNA was 83% Native American, 9.8% European, 5.3% East Asian (mostly Japanese and Southern Han Chinese), 2% South Asian (Sri Lankan Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati Indian and Bengali) and .2% African (Mende in Sierra Leone and African Caribbean).

(My note; The story that the First Americans came across after the Beringia opening has been touted as the only route the First Americans could have taken to arrive here. In all of the research I have compiled, I believe there is a Pacific crossing as well. See my Pre-Clovis news page below. This DNA study also points in that direction).

The report is in USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/06/blackfeet-man-dna-deemed-oldest-americas-cri-genetics/1121352001/

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis World Magazine
http://bit.ly/1uAWdvk

May 12, 2019

Ancient Metallurgist Buried with Bronze Tools Uncovered in Peru

An Archaeologist at a Wari site at Huarmey, Peru was examining a ceremonial square and fell into a hole which contained the tomb of a 1,200-year-old metallurgist wrapped in a textile covering. Further excavations found that the tomb also contained a dozen tools, most of them bronze; a saw, axe, knives, chisel. The bronze was a copper alloy with arsenic. That made the tools harder. They also uncovered an obsidian knife, rare in Wari culture, imported from afar.

The tools show a lot of wear indicating that the deceased man was a professional metallurgist. Slag found in the tomb was probably placed there to indicate his trade. The tomb was located at the bottom of a mountain, the top of which was a tomb excavated by the same team from Poland in 2012 that contained 64 individuals and 1200 rich artifacts dating to the 8th century.

The History Blog has the story here with photos;
http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/54996

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Moche/Wari Era Peru
http://mikeruggerismoche.tumblr.com

May 11, 2019

New Conquest Research in Mexico

The Aztecs ceremonially disfigured captive Spaniards at the Zultepec-Tecoaque site. The defenders there, in 1520, captured 15 Spanish males, 45 Cuban soldiers, 50 women, and 10 children. The women we’re strung up on skull racks. They were pregnant. They cut another woman in half near a dismembered child. The killings we’re re-enactments of creation myths. Cortes had to leave that group behind to put down an uprising in the Aztec capital. The horses, men and women were eaten, but the pigs the Spaniards brought were not eaten. The Aztecs were suspicious of them.

The town then took on the name Tecoaque, which means “the place where they ate them” in Nahuatl. The inhabitants abandoned the town when Cortes sent a punitive expedition. This research is part of Mexico’s new research and scholarship for the 500th anniversary of the conquest.

AP News has the report here;
https://apnews.com/3148029abd1445b68fa7a3c40c4677b1

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztec and Toltec World Magazine
http://bit.ly/1ygAdbd

May 11, 2019

Archaeologists Find Oldest Proof of Ayahuasca use in Bolivia

Archaeologists have found traces of the powerful hallucinogen ayahuasca in a pouch of three fox snouts sewn together dated at 1000 CE in a cave, at the Cuevo del Chileno project, in the Bolivian Andes.  The traces of the drug were made up of different medicinal plants mixed together to create ayahuasca. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry — turned up trace amounts of bufotenine, DMT, harmine, cocaine and benzoylecgonine. Various combinations of these substances produce powerful, mind-altering hallucinations.

The pouch was found at 13,000 feet elevation and was an artifact of the Tiwanaku civilization (550-950 CE). The drug kit included a snuffing tube made from human hair braids, llama bone spatulas, a textile strip, and dried plant material. The plants in the bundle do not come from that region, so perhaps a traveling shaman or an expert trader  in these substances brought them to the region.

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

Berkeley.edu has the report here with photos;
https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/05/06/ayahuasca-sacred-bundle/

Mike Ruggeri’s Moche/Wari Era Peru
http://mikeruggerismoche.tumblr.com

May 2, 2019

Update on the Oldest Mummies in the World in Peru

CNN has a report on the oldest mummies in the world, the Chinchorro mummies of Peru, which date back to 5000 BCE, 2000 years older than the Egyptian mummies. They hope for UNESCO status, and the building of a new wing of an area museum to display the mummies.

CNN has the report here;
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/worlds-oldest-mummies-chile/index.html

And Wikipedia has a very detailed article on these mummies;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinchorro_mummies

Mike Ruggeri’s Norte Chico (Peru) World Magazine
http://flip.it/YEMZZ

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

April 27, 2019

Largest Maya Figurine Workshop Uncovered in Guatemala

Archaeologists at the SAA conference this year have announced the discovery of the largest Maya figurine workshop ever uncovered. It dates to 750-900 CE. The workshop was found at the site of Aragon in Guatemala. The workshop itself was destroyed by construction work,  but 400 figurine fragments and molds, and thousands of ceramic pieces have been recovered. The site lasted past the general Maya collapse in the region.

Science News has the report here;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/archaeologists-unearth-largest-mayan-figurine-factory-date

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News Magazine
http://bit.ly/1CeeXyu

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

April 26, 2019

2000 Year Old Magnetized Giant Sculptures on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala Studied

Artisans on the Pacific Coast of what is now Guatemala, at the site of Monte Alto,  2000 years ago, crafted huge human sculptures, many with potbellies, with magnetized foreheads, cheeks and navels. Lightning strikes magnetized sections of boulders that were crafted into the sculptures. The magnetized rocks were seen as the presence of ancestors.

The research will be published in the June Journal of Archaeological Science;

Science News has the report here with photos;
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ancient-sculptures-guatemala-magnetic-rocks-struck-lightning

Doing a little research on this, I found that this phenomena was already known by earlier researchers.

Here is a report from 2018 in misfitsandheroes with more photos;
https://misfitsandheroes.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/fat-boys-magnetism-and-magic/

The researchers in this report believe the potbellies to be those of pregnant women representing fertility.

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

April 25, 2019

Maya Vase Uncovered in Belize with Very Long Hieroglyphic Text

A Maya vase with one of the longest hieroglyphic texts ever found on as vase has been uncovered at the site of Baking Pot in Belize. The emblem glyph for the Maya site of Yaxha in Guatemala appears on the vase. The dedication date on the vase is 812 CE.  The archaeologists found the pot with blades, pendants, ink pots, flutes, and human bones. The vase itself would have been a royal drinking vessel. The glyphs reference the end of Baking Pot, a well as the torching of the Maya site of Yaxha and the flight of the ruler to a place of many mosquitos and flies.

More study of the restored hieroglyphics on the vase will yield more information about the collapse of the Maya.

Archaeology News Network has the report here with photos;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/04/discovery-of-painted-hieroglyphic-vase.html

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

April 16, 2019

Ritually Sacrificed and Adorned Guinea Pigs Uncovered at an Inca Site in Peru

100 ritually sacrificed guinea pigs dressed in jewelry and wrapped in tiny rugs have been found at the Inca site of Tambo Viejor in southern Peru. They are dated at 1600 CE. The remains were found next to a plaza and buried under buildings. This is the first find of adorned guinea pigs. They appear to have been killed by asphyxiation, probably buried alive.

Archaeology News Network has the report with photos here;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/04/ritually-sacrificed-guinea-pigs-adorned.html#fCliP18D3Qzg3xfk.97

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

April 11, 2019

Extensive Ancient Maya Crop Cultivation Uncovered in the Yucatan

Archaeologists at the University of Cincinnati have found evidence of Maya surplus crop cultivation up and down the Yucatan Peninsula. The cultivation followed paths of canals and water channels. At Laguna de Terminos on the Gulf of Mexico, they expect to find sites as they begin excavations. Satellite images revealed blocks along drainage ditches and then LIDAR was used. The area was covered in ancient farm fields. They Maya straightened the channels and connected them, and expanded the fields with hydro-engineering. The LIDAR images showed an ancient Maya road not traveled in 1000 years.

Nicolas Dunning of the U. Of C. Is working with Kathryn Reese-Taylor from the University of Calgary and Armando Anaya Hernandez from Universidad Autónoma de Campeche looking for ancient Maya marketplaces using LIDAR. Large squares revealed on LIDAR may be the marketplaces they are looking for. UC botanists are analyzing the soil for proof of marketplaces.

The Maya probably sold maize and manioc and bolts of patterned cotton textiles in their trade network. The farmers there today are farming low yield pastures that produce far less than the Maya produced 1000 years ago because the wetlands are being drained for pasture land.

Eurekalert has the report here;
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-03/uoc-urf032919.php

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

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

April 11, 2019

Rich Trove of Tiwanaku Artifacts Uncovered in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Archaeologists in Bolivia have unearthed Tiwanaku culture artifacts from Lake Titicaca dating to the 8th-10th centuries.  Puma-shaped incense burners, gold, shell, and stone ornaments, and sacrificed juvenile llamas, stone miniatures, a ray-faced deity, pottery puma incense burners, a lapis lazuli puma figurine and other miniature stone animals, engraved sheets, a medallion, and an L-shaped piece marked with puma and condor silhouettes. Perforated gold leaves still attached to fragments of leather may have been used to make ear tassels and other regalia to dress young llamas killed in the ancient ceremonies.

Tiwanaku elites boated out to a reef and sacrificed the young llamas decorated for death, and made these offerings Tiwanaku culture spanned the 5th-12th centuries CE. The artifacts are of exceptional quality because of the way the underwater ecology preserved the artifacts.

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

The Guardian has the report here with photos;
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/01/archaeologists-discover-exceptional-site-at-lake-titicaca

More photos in the Daily Mail here;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6874655/Archaeologists-discover-ancient-religious-offerings-Lake-Titicaca.html

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

March 25, 2019

INAH May Have Found the First Aztec Royal Burial.

Archaeologists in Mexico have been looking for an Aztec royal burial for decades. New sacrificial offerings have been uncovered at the Temple Mayor site. They have uncovered the remains of a young boy dressed as a warrior and the Aztec war god and solar diety, and a set of flint knives with mother of pearl and precious stone inlays, a spear thrower and a carved wooden disk placed on the feline’s back that was the emblem of the Aztec patron deity Huitzilopochtli, the war and sun god, and bars of copal.  The remains date to 1500 CE. The offerings were found in a stone box in the center of a circular platform. Only one tenth of the artifacts have been uncovered so far. Aquatic offerings include shells, bright red starfish and coral. A roseate spoonbill that is associated with warriors and rulers, which represent the spirits of warriors as they descend into the underworld. There is a starfish from the Pacific and jade from Central America.
This could be the royal grave of the Aztec emperor Ahuitzotl.

Mexico has cut the budget for the project by 20%. Workers on the find have not been paid since December. So work on this discovery is proceeding very slowly.

Reuters has the report here.
https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN1R60FT

The Daily Mail has excellent photos of some of the finds;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6846405/Aztec-war-sacrifices-Mexico-point-elusive-royal-tomb.html

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

March 22, 2019

Groundbreaking Study of Women and Agriculture at Cahokia

In a new book on Cahokia agriculture, Gayle Fritz, professor emerita of anthropology in Arts & Sciences and author of “Feeding Cahokia: Early Agriculture in the North American Homeland” (2019 University of Alabama Press), has made it clear that the vast majority of Cahokia’s farmers were women. Their knowledge of agriculture gave them respect and power. Gayle Fritz is doubtful floods, drought or earthquakes brought down Cahokia. Food production at Cahokia was diversified, stable, and the land was in the Mississippi bottomland, the most fertile in America.

The female farmers of Cahokia grew bottle gourds, squash, sunflower, edible weeds like knotweed, maygrass, and chenopods. The genetics of these plants changed as the plants were domesticated. They also harvested hickory and acorns by introducing early crop protection methods, creating nut orchards. Modern flotation techniques have found that the over-reliance on maize story was not a true picture of Cahokia agriculture. When corn became a major crop at 900 CE, all of the other crops increased in abundance, and did not shrink.

Gayle Fritz also questions the ceramic figurines depicting women at Cahokia are not really “corn goddesses.” She points out that the plants on the figurines more accurately represent sunflower seed heads and squashes. And she questions the idea of a male dominated priesthood as the basis of Cahokia religion, given the importance of women.

Phys.org has the story here;
https://phys.org/news/2019-03-women-cuisine-culture-ancient-cahokia.html

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March 17, 2019

Three Rich Moche Tombs Uncovered in Peru

Archaeologists have uncovered three elite Moche tombs at the Huaca of El Pueblo de Ucupe in Peru. They date to 600 CE. In the first grave, there is one adult, probably female, and one child. Their burial bundles were covered with cinnabar which had ritual significance for the Moche. Grave goods include copper crowns, head/hairbands and breastplates and several ceramic objects. One of them depicts a snail, another a man sitting on a throne, the third an explicit erotic scene.

In the 2nd tomb, an adult male, garbed in copper plate with copper crowns and headbands and more than 50 pottery vessels  was buried next to a llama

In the 3rd tomb there is an adult male with a crown, two headbands, a plate dress, two earplugs, a nosepiece, two clubs, two banners and a funerary mask similar to the one found in the Lord of Ucupe’s tomb, and 150 pottery vessels.

The report is at the History Blog with photos of the find;
http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/54183

Mike Ruggeri’s Moche/Wari Era Peru
http://mikeruggerismoche.tumblr.com

March 11, 2019

Oldest Tattoo Kit in North America Uncovered

A Ph.D candidate at Washington State University found the oldest tattoo tool in North America when taking inventory of archaeological materials stored for more than 40 years. It is dated at 2000 years old. This pushes back the earliest evidence of tattoo tools in North America back 1000 years. The tool was from the Basketmaker II  culture in the Southwest. No tattoos have been found on human remains in the Southwest and no accounts of its use have been recorded there. Earlier cactus tattoo tools have been found at 1100-1280 CE. There are depictions of tattooing in ancient artwork. The cactus tool that the student found was at a Utah site that is 1000 years older than the known cactus tools.
The tool consists of a 3 ½ inch wooden skunkbush sumac handle bound at the end with split yucca leaves and holding two parallel cactus spines, stained black at their tips.
The tool was put under an electron microscope, X-ray florescence and energy dispersive ray spectroscopy.

A research report has been published at; Andrew Gillreath-Brown et al, Redefining the age of tattooing in western North America: A 2000-year-old artifact from Utah, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (2019).  DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.02.015

Phys.org has the story here;
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-oldest-tattoo-tool-western-north.html#jCp

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March 10, 2019

INAH Finds Treasure Trove of Maya artifacts in Yucatan Caves.

INAH has found a treasure trove of 155 Maya artifacts in cave chambers in the cave system of Balamku, near Chichen Itza, in the Yucatan. The discovery will help researchers with finding out about the extent of trade in Mesoamerica at the time of Chichen Itza. New methods of cave archaeology will be used in this discovery. Archaeologists will learn a lot about the history of Chichen Itza by way of this find, and it will shed light on the catastrophic droughts that led to the Maya collapse.

National Geographic has the report here with photos and a video;
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/03/maya-ritual-balamku-cave-stuns-archaeologists/

And the Daily Mail has its usual photo and video collection here;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5077989/Secret-passageway-1-000-year-old-Mayan-temple.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr
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February 20, 2019

Very Large Inca Tomb Uncovered North of Lima.

Peruvian archaeologists have uncovered the tomb of an Inca noble at the Mata Indio site north of Lima dated to 1500 CE.

Five adults and four children look to have been sacrificed to accompany the noble. The children were placed beneath the stone floor on an axis. Spondylus shells were also used as burial offerings. Despite the fact that the tomb has been looted several times, the looters left behind a number of vases. The tomb is very large, 645 squre feet, the biggest uncovered in Lambayeque so far.

Ifiscience has the report here with photos.
https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/noble-inca-tomb-containing-the-bodies-of-sacrificed-children-uncovered-in-peru/

And here is a YouTube video of the find;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y-9zIpo-EQ

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
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February 19, 2019

Ancient 1,400 Year Old Canal Uncovered in Alabama

Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient canal in south Alabama dating to 600 CE. It facilitated canoe travel from Mobile Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Similar canals have been found in the Everglades and south Florida. The newly uncovered canal connected two bodies of water rich in oysters, crabs, shrimp and fish. The canal was built during the Middle Woodland period, when there was a lot of earthwork and mound construction. A massive trade network spread across the North America, trading copper and silver from the Mid-West, Obsidian from Oregon, shells and teeth from the Gulf Coast. The canal saved travelers from walking through tangling vines and thorny shrubs in the area.

LIDAR and other scientific methods will now be used to find other parts of the canal.

al.com has the report here;
https://www.al.com/news/2019/02/ancient-native-american-canal-discovered-in-gulf-shores.html

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

February 9, 2019

A Perfectly Perfectly Maya Steam Bath Uncovered at the Site of Nakum in Guatemala

Polish archaeologists have uncovered an ancient steam bath at the Maya site of Nakum in Guatemala dated at 700-300 BCE. The Maya associated baths and caves with the emergence of gods and humans, as entrances to the underworld, and with water and fertility.

The sweat bath had a tunnel to drain away excess water and had stone seating around the bath. Large stones were heated near a fireplace so that water could be poured over the stones for steam. A roof of wood, stones and mortar was built over the bath. The bath was filled over with lime and rubble at the end, perhaps due to dynastic changes at the site. This steam bath is the most perfectly preserved Maya steam bath ever found.

The Polish team at the site have been excavating at Nakum for more than 12 years, and have uncovered graves, temples, palaces, residential buildings, a polychrome frieze and an untouched royal tomb.

Archaeology News Network has the report here with good photos;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/01/unique-rock-carved-steam-bath.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr
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February 7, 2019

Moche Triple Chambered Burial Site Uncovered at the Ucupe Site in Peru

Peruvian archaeologists have uncovered the remains of four Moche elite at the site of Ucupe. The remains are dated to 600 CE. They were found in three ceremonial chambers. One burial was of a possible military leader buried with weapons and a crown. A second chamber contained a woman and child buried with copper ornaments and three ceramic urns. The third chamber burial was of an elderly man.

The Mirror has the report here with great photos;
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/graves-elite-moche-people-dating-13957051

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February 5, 2019

An Important Moche Ceremonial Site Uncovered in Peru

Peruvian archaeologists have unearthed a Moche ceremonial banquet hall at the Huaca Limón de Ucupe site in the Lambayeque region. They also found artifacts and human remains at the site. The structure is dated to the 4th century, and then it was suddenly abandoned in the same century

The banquet hall was used by the Moche for banquets held by the rulers. There are two rooms at the complex; the banquet room and a meeting room. The banquet room has two thrones, a large and smaller one. A staircase leads up to the banquet hall, which is on a platform. There are 100 nooks for plates and dishes. Murals of painted sea lions and fish decorate the room. There is a mural of fishermen on a painted boat catching fish. We have murals of these feasts, but this is the first time a feasting area like this has been uncovered.

The site sits upon the banks of the Zana River. Perhaps El Nino flooding ended its history.

National Geographic has the report with photos and a video;
https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/history/ancient-throne-and-ceremonial-hall-unearthed-in-peru.aspx

Mike Ruggeri’s Moche/Wari Era Peru
http://mikeruggerismoche.tumblr.com

January 3, 2018

The First Temple to the Mesoamerican Deity Xipe Totec Uncovered

For the first time, INAH has found a temple dedicated to the Mesoamerica deity Xipe Totec in Puebla. There are two sacrificial altars, three stone sculptures and a stone torso covered in sacrificial skin which all personify Xipe Totec at the site. The temple building dates to 1000-1260 CE, and was in use till 1456 CE. The sculptures are made of volcanic rock imported into the region, The sacrificial skinning ceremony was carried out on two circular altars. The captives were killed on the first altar by staged fights or arrows. They were then skinned on the second altar, by priests wearing the skins of flayed individuals. The skins were deposited in a hole in front of the altars.
INAH found that the skulls were used to close the holes in front of the altar

INAH has the report here (in Spanish) with a slide show (click on the little camera icon near the top of the report);
https://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/7883-descubren-el-primer-templo-dedicado-a-xipe-totec-en-la-zona-arqueologica-de-ndachjian-tehuacan

The Daily Mail has the report translated into English with more photos here;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6549625/Mexico-finds-Flayed-god-temple-priests-wore-skins-dead.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Toltecs and Aztecs
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January 1, 2019

Archaeologists have uncovered the oldest human remains ever found in Ecuador. 

Three burials at the site of Loma Atahualpa, on the Pacific Ocean, are dated at 6-10 thousand years old. The burials were part of the Las Vegas culture. The materials at the site are transitional from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic. The stone tools in the burials are becoming studied by specialists in Japan. Russian researchers in St. Petersburg and Siberia are studying the morphological features of the human remains.

Phys.org has the report here;
https://phys.org/news/2018-11-archaeologists-oldest-burials-ecuador.html

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

December 13, 2018

Ancient Peruvian Culture Used Chameleon Urine as a Paint Binder

Researchers studying ancient Peruvian Paracas culture (600-100 BCE) pottery made at the site of Cahuachi have found that one of the binders used to hold the paint together contained urine from chameleons. And the chameleon urine was used over time. The urine was used as a binder on white and blue pottery. Some reptiles urine is semi solid. There are snake and salamander motifs on Paracas pottery.

There is a correlation between the older Chavin culture (900-200 BCE) and the later Paracas culture in terms of pigment use such as cinnabar being replaced by red ocher over time.
The 15 different colors used in Paracas ceramics show a shift in pigment use that can show trade and interaction in the area.

The researchers are still trying to figure out what the plant binder is made of. If they can pinpoint that, this will tell them more about trade and cultural connections. The Paracas were a desert dwelling people but still figured out to produce multi-covered designs on vessels and clothing.

National Geographic has the report here with many photos;
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2018/12/ancient-paracas-pots-reptile-urine-chavin-connections/

More photos here;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6487473/Painting-urine-Ancient-Peruvian-culture-used-chameleon-waste-create-white-paint.html

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Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Peru (5000 BC-600 BC)
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(Scroll down to the Paracas)

December 10, 2018

Ancient Moche and Lambayeque Skeletons with Feet Missing Uncovered in Peru

32 skeletons dated at 300 AD from the Moche and Lambayeque Cultures in Peru have been uncovered, at the site of El Churro. Half of the skeletons were missing their feet. The feet were re-made into decorative lockets for the surviving family members. Many of the dead were children. They also uncovered 60 large urns, looms and instruments made from bones for making textiles, blankets containing alpacas, llamas, and guinea pigs, metal objects, and wooden spoons for feasting. 23 of the bones were from the Moche era and the rest from the Lambayeque culture. The practice of using human bones for jewelry was a regular practice in Ancient Peru.

The Daily Mail has the report here with good photos and a video;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6483025/Sixteen-1-700-year-old-skeletons-discovered-Peru-feet-MISSING.html

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November 25, 2018

First Human Remains Uncovered at the Maya Site of Joya De Ceren in El Salvador

The first human remains have been found at the volcanic ash covered Maya site of Joya De Ceren in El Salvador.. The burial is from the Late Classic era (600-900 CE). These are the first human remains found at the site after 40 years of excavations. An obsidian knife was also found with the remains. The site was buried by a volcanic eruption in 650 CE.
Archaeologists will now extend excavations in the same area the human remains were found.

Archaeology News Network has the report here with many good photos;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/11/first-human-remains-found-in-el.html#EdY8oO73dgaODXBR.97

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News on Tumblr
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November 21, 2018

A New View of the Coastal Maya

Archaeologists working at the Maya site of Vista Alegre on the Yucatan coast are developing a new perspective on the Maya market system. Vista Alegre is about 100 miles from Chichen Itza, and hundreds of years older. The site was part of a complex network that is revealing a robust system of sea traders, dotting the coastline at 30 mile intervals. Study of the bones of these coastal Maya show that they were healthier than the inland Maya due to their diet of protein rich seafood. Their funeral remains also show their society was more egalatarian, with less elongated head shaping and dental modifications free of jade and obsidian.

The coastal Maya were more of a melting pot of people traveling up and down the coast. Ancient war wounds on the bones of the coastal people show more women killed in violent acts, and many survived battle. The probable explanation for this is that the conflicts on the coast were from pirate raids. And the layout of the sites on the coast points to defenses against marauders.

Recently, researchers uncovered salt works along the Belize coast, and the artifacts uncovered there point to a salt making industry all along the Maya coast. And trading canoes would be laden with salt all along the coastal area. These canoes would also carry Quetzal feathers, jade, shells, and obsidian to transport across Mesoamerica.

Hakai Magazine has the long report here with photos;
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/hidden-coastal-culture-of-the-ancient-maya/

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

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

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November 11, 2018

3000 BCE Elaborate Structures Uncovered in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Archaeologists have uncovered 3000 BCE stone complexes in the Atacama Desert, in Chile, the driest place on earth. They are named Tulan-52 and Tulan-54. These sites show that hunter-gatherers in the region developed complex ceremonial traditions at that very early time period. Tulan-54 is dated to 3000 BCE. Tulan-52 was from 1100 BCE-360 BCE.

Each had a stone complex with several rooms, fire hearths, and grinding instruments for preparing pigments, food and beverages, and for hallucinogens made from cebil and maize.
Nearby, they had a cemetery.

In two of the burials, they also found large gold artifacts: a gold-plated wooden vulture head with green malachite eyes and crest, and an elaborate golden plaque.

The stone complex housed several rooms, in which they found 10 hearths with pits, and 28 richly endowed infant pit-burials.

Just 50 meters away, a cemetery was built.

By 1100 BCE, they domesticated camelids for long distance transport, cultivated plants, used hallucinogens, created pottery, and gold metallurgy.

The Daily Mail has the story here with photos;
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6369315/Massive-stone-structures-middle-Atacama-Desert-Chile-used-ceremonial-purposes.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News on Tumblr
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November 8, 2018

Mysterious Wooden Idols Uncovered at the Chimu Site of Chan Chan in Peru

Peruvian archaeologists have uncovered 19 hand carved wooden idols with clay masks in wall recesses in an adobe corridor at the Chimu site of Chan Chan in Peru, They are dated at 1250 CE. Murals of waves and landscapes, and animal images are painted above them, including a cat or lunar animal. It probably served as an entryway into a plaza.

Each idol is unique. Some carry a scepter

Live Science has the report here;

https://www.livescience.com/63940-wooden-idols-peru-archaeology.html

And Ancient Origins has more photos here;
https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/chan-chan-statues-0010889

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

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November 1, 2018

40 New Sites Found Near the capital of the Izapa Kingdom in Chiapas

Archaeologists have found that the ancient Izapa kingdom capital in Chiapas (700 BCE-100 BCE) is surrounded by 40 smaller towns, all laid out in the Izapa style. The newly discovered towns were found using LIDAR, and are laid out in an area encompassing 225 square miles. The design of the towns were laid out in an east-west axis aligned with the sunrise during winter solstice. The north-south axis was pointed just east of north, toward the Tacanávolcano (which eventually erupted and led to the downfall of the Izapa kingdom. Most have a pyramid on tops of platforms looking out on plazas and mounds. Ball courts have been revealed at many of the sites. Magnetometer and LIDAR research will continue. It appears there are large monumental sculptures yet to be excavated.

Live Science has the report here;
https://www.livescience.com/63935-ancient-izapa-towns-discovered.html?fbclid=IwAR2soDvG7O743DbSPM_Qy4eJ8l99uZ0l0aTsyfYvH2o8QS97Buj8v4tL0aM

And a slide show here;
https://www.livescience.com/63930-photos-izapa-kingdom.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Americas News on Tumblr
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image


October 26, 2018

Compelling Evidence for Pre-Clovis at the Debra Friedkin Site in Texas

Archaeologists have uncovered 11 spear points at the Debra Friedkin site near Austin. They date to 13,500-15.500 years ago. They were found buried beneath Clovis tools dating to 11,500 years ago. People lived at this fresh water site for 10,000 years. The points are in the style of “western stemmed points.” Researchers used a scientific technique called optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) to determine the dates. This technique is not as accurate as radio carbon dating, but these tools were in water and could not be dated that way. But the very precise vertical placement of the older tools lying below the Clovis tools gives these dates credence. Western stemmed points have been found along the Pacific Coast, thus furthering the thesis that the First Americans arrived by way of canoes along the coast.

(My note; This is the most compelling evidence for Pre-Clovis from either the Texas Gault site or the Debra Friedkin site so far.)

Science Magazine has the report here;
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/stone-spear-tip-may-have-belonged-first-americans?utm_source=newsfromscience%3Dflipboard%3Dflipboard2408205

The full research article is here in Silence Advances;
http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/10/eaat4505?utm_campaign=Science-Advances-%28%40ScienceAdvances%29&utm_content=AAAS&utm_medium=social&utm_source=64&utm_term=SciAdv

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr
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October 24, 2018

New Research on Ancient Cacao Domestication

A large team of researchers from 11 institutions studied the process of cacao domestication in the Americas. The ancient cacao domesticators selected for flavor, disease resistance and for theobromine. Criollo was the first variety domesticated. The date for first domestication was at 3,600 years ago in the Amazon Basin, and cacao was brought to Central America by traders. Theobromine was found in Olmec pottery during this time period. The gene sequencing was done at the Center for Institutional Research Computing for the analyses, and Stanford University. The research is published in • Population genomic analyses of the chocolate tree, Theobroma cacao L., provide insights into its domestication process. Communications Biology, 2018; 1 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s42003-018-0168-6

Science Daily has the report here.;
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181024122416.htm

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

September 27, 2018

Researchers Find Proof Maya Elite Groups Lived at Teotihuacan

Researchers from INAH and a group of researchers from US universities and from Japan have made new discoveries proving the long term Maya presence at Teotihuacan. They looked at the Plaza of the Columns at Teotihuacan.
The Plaza was used for ceremonial and administrative activities, and as the residence of elites from Teotihuacan and the Maya realm around 350 CE. In 2016, 500 mural fragments were uncovered in this sector, and many are in the Maya style. Years ago, a discovery at the Pyramid of the Moon found Maya style green stone earrings at the site. This new mural discovery affirms the presence of the Maya elite at Teotihuacan as a permanent settlement. 

The Maya glyphs, fluid style, the naturalism of the renderings show a familiarity with the lowlands of the Maya south.. Nearby, there is a cache of animal bones (rabbit, quail, deer) and food seeds (cassava, tobacco, chili, tomato), and pottery. A lid of a glass was found with Maya characters wearing wolf tail headdresses from Teotihuacan. Two thousand pieces of green stone, beads, human figurines, earmuffs and earrings of obsidian and pyrite, large snails and almost complete skeletons of an eagle and a monkey (of a species from the southeast), the skull of a puma and the remains of small snakes were uncovered. They have also found 2,600 human bone fragments that appear to be of dismembered humans who were part of a ritual sacrifice around 400 CE.

Studies of the human bones can now be carried out.

INAH has the report here (in Spanish) http://www.inah.gob.mx/boletines/7579-elite-maya-residio-en-teotihuacan-revelan-hallazgos-en-la-plaza-de-las-columnas

And in English at the Mexico Daily News;https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/evidence-reveals-mayan-elites-lived-in-teotihuacan/

Mike Ruggeri’s Teotihuacan
http://mikeruggeristeotihuacan.tumblr.com

image

September 20, 2018

Elaborate Altar Uncovered at the Maya site of La Corona

Archaeologists, excavating at the Maya site of La Corona in Guatemala have uncovered an elaborate one ton altar in a temple at the site. It depicts a Maya king, Chak Took Ich’aak, holding a scepter which has two patron gods of the city emerging from it. 

It proves that that the Kaanul dynasty or the Serpent Kingdom developed a political movement that allowed them to defeat Tikal in 562 CE, and rule the Maya lowlands for two centuries. The altar also shows a wedding between a princess from the Serpent Kingdom and a king of La Corona. The Serpent Kingdom stretched through Guatemala, Belize, and Campeche, and was defeated in the end by Tikal.

PhysOrg has the story here With photos;

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-ancient-altar-reveals-mayan-game.html

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


September 17, 2018

New Captive Game Research at the Maya site of Copan

Mesoamericans used big game animals like puma and jaguars to show status and power, to make references to ritual sacrifice, and for processing into trade products. Researchers are studying five ritual sites at the Maya site of Copan. Isotope analysis  was performed on the bones and teeth of puma, jaguar, deer, owl, spoonbill, and crocodile to determine the diet and geographical origin of the animals. 

They were able to show that wild animals were kept in captivity for rituals, and for trade purposes, and they showed the extent of that trade was larger than thought before.

The Research is published in the professional Journal PLOS.

Science Daily has the report here;

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180912144430.htm

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

August 27, 2018

New Olmec Monuments Found in Guatemala

Two large Olmec carved monuments have been found at the Tak’Alik Ab’aj site in Guatemala. The exact location of the find is being kept under wraps to discourage looters. They are dated at 850-300 BCE. The first has a carved head and ruler symbols, and are related to “Grandfather,” an important ancestor who descended from heaven. The second monument weighs five tons and has many ritualistic symbols, including the Kan Cross.

Archaeology News Network and Ancient Origins have the report here with many photos;

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/07/2500-year-old-olmec-monuments.html#l5PkMJCjmVBPedO8.97

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/olmec-monument-guatemala-0010425

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

August 22, 2018

Robots at Chavin de Huantar in Peru; New Discoveries

All terrain robots called the Chavin Rovers have been sent into narrow channels at the site of Chavin de Huantar in Peru. The robots have revealed burials of people who built the temple at the site. The dead are not of high standing and were probably sacrificed. They were buried face down under rocks. They will probably find more burials using the robots. 36 tunnels and passageways at the site connect with one another, but the labyrinth is not completely mapped yet.

Archaeology News Network has the report with photos and videos here;https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/08/robots-help-find-new-underground.html#S1MRBRGsrKJO3XKU.97


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

(Scroll down to Chavin de Huantar)

August 22, 2018

Excavations at a Ramada site in Peru 

1,500 year old remains of 60 people and six trophy heads in 27 funerary pits dating to 550 CE have been uncovered in southern Peru, naturally mummified by the dry climate. They were part of the Ramada culture. Archaeologists have found beautiful and feathered textiles in their burials. At the new site, babies were were buried next to their mothers, perhaps buried at the same time.
The team believes that the trophy heads buried here are from the same community, and are the heads of warriors from the community who were killed in battle. This interpretation is still in dispute. The team that excavated this site will carry out DNA and isotope research on the remains to try and prove their assertions

The findings were presented at the SAA meeting in Washington DC in April and will be published.

Live Science has the report here with photos;

https://www.livescience.com/63295-trophy-heads-mummies-ancient-peru-pits.html

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August 20, 2018

3,800 Year Old Wall Reliefs Discovered in Peru

Peruvian archaeologists have discovered a 3,800 year old wall reliefs at the site of Vichama, which was part of the Norte Chico or Caral culture, which stretches back 5,000 years. The reliefs portray snakes and human heads.  A few years ago, archaeologists uncovered 3,800 year old figurines at the same site;

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/04/explore-ancient-worlds-vichama-peru-figurines/

The figurines and the wall reliefs are probably an offshoot of the Caral culture, and they probably portray ancient Caral leaders, including a priestess. The walls are made of adobe. The reliefs show four human heads with their eyes closed, and two snakes wrapped around them. They appear to be humanoid seed symbols digging into the ground and they face  agricultural fields. The reliefs portray soil fertilization and the deity of water.

International Business Times has the story with photos here;http://www.ibtimes.sg/archaeology-3800-year-old-wall-relief-mysterious-structures-discovered-peru-27076

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August 15, 2018

1,500 BCE Vast Trade Network Uncovered Between the Southeast and Great Lakes Region

Researchers excavating at a Late Archaic shell ring on the coast of Georgia found a copper band alongside the cremated remains of seven individuals. The remains and copper band are dated at more than 3,500 years ago. Copper and cremated remains from the Late Archaic (3000-8000 years ago) have been rarely, if ever found in the Southeast. The discovery pushes the practice of cremation and the use of copper in the region back to 1000 years earlier.

The copper came from the Great Lakes region. This also pushes the trade of copper in the region much further geographically at this early time. Cremation has been absent as a burial practice in the Southeast during this time period, but is more common in the Great Lakes region. This indicates that the two regions were connected cosmologically and artistically in a much earlier time period. So there was a vast trade network that covered half the continent 3000 years ago.


The National Science Foundation has given a large grant to the research team to continue to investigate this early vast trade network.The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Archaeology News Network has the report here;https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/08/discovery-of-copper-band-shows-native.html#bPwY6CeFmLKlp5aT.97

August 14, 2018

New Ancient Scarlet Macaw Trade from Mexico to the Ancient Southwest Research

Scarlet Macaws were traded from Mesoamerica to the Ancient Southwest for 2000 years. People at Chaco were importing macaws at 900 CE. A team of researchers at Penn State University has sequenced mitochondrial DNA from 14 ancient Scarlet Macaw remains from Mimbres and Chaco. Scarlet Macaws were bred at Paquime in Chihuahua for trade, but that was at 1250 CE.  The team found that the Macaws from 900 CE we’re locally bred. So the Scarlet Macaw trade has to be a lot older than 900 CE.

So somewhere in Mesoamerica, there has to be a much older Scarlet Macaw breeding center that was trading with Chaco before 900 CE. The team found that scarlet macaws fall into seven genetic populations across the Americas. All 14 of the ancient macaws the team researched came form Haplogroup 6, so they were bred from the same stock. In an earlier article, Patricia Crown published in KIVA that traders walking from Mexico to Mimbres would be 11 to 12 weeks old. Paintings on Mimbres pottery show birds that are 8-10 weeks old. So it is very possible that that the birds arrived from an unknown site closer to Mimbres.

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

National Geographic has the report here;
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/08/news-ancient-dna-chaco-canyon-pueblo-macaws-archaeology/

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July 8, 2018

New Research on Two Ancient Chilean Female Remains Yields Surprising Results

Mummies of two girls, aged 9 and 18 were discovered in Chile in 1976. They are dated to 1399-1475 CE. They were buried with rich grave goods. Their burial clothes were a deep red color. They were ritually sacrificed. The girls were transported all the way from Cusco, 745 miles away, with their goods. The trip would have taken several months. New research on the girls clothes, using chemical and microscopic testing, found that the red color was from cinnabar. Cinnabar is a toxic substance. Those who buried the girls could have sprinkled the cinnabar powder to deter looters. Inhaling the powder can cause mercury poison.The ritual sacrifice ceremony may have been performed to celebrate the area coming under Inca rule.

The research has been published in the journal Archaeometry.

Science Alert has the report here with photos;

https://www.sciencealert.com/cerro-esmeralda-chile-inca-mummies-toxic-cinnabar-in-clothing-ritual-sacrifice

July 28, 2018

INAH Uncovers Unique Child Sacrifice Remains at the Temple Mayor

INAH has uncovered the remains of a 8 to 10 year old boy at the Temple Mayor. He was sacrificed to the Aztec god of war, Huitzilopochtli, in the late 15th century. He was found with body adornments and Huitzilopochtli symbols. The site is called Offering 176, and it was found under stone slabs near the Temple Mayor. The child was placed in a cylindrical box with volcanic rocks pasted with stucco. Of the 204 tombs found at the site so far, the configuration of the grave is unique. He was wearing jadeite jewelry from Guatemala, rectangular wooden earrings and a wooden breastplate called an anahuatl, bearing insignias of the gods Huitzilopochtli, Tezcatlipoca, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli and Mixcóatl. The connection to Huitzilopochtli was further enhanced by the presence of the wings of a forest hawk, with their ocher and blue coloring, and the obvious location of the burial – in the west side of a Huitzilopochtli temple.
Archaeological News Network has the story here with good photos;

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/07/remains-of-sacrificed-child-discovered.html#R3h2qVzxRYxlS7PV.97

And further details are here in Ancient Origins;https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/aztec-child-sacrifice-021990

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July 22, 2018

Ancient Inca Cairns Mystery Solved

There are rows of cairn-like pillars close to an Inca road network that stretched from Columbia to Chile. The mystery was their function. Archaeologists researched 16th century Quechua sources which pointed to calendrical, astronomical and religious purposes. Astronomers at the Atacama Array and the European Southern Observatory ran simulations of sunrises on different dates. And they found the Sun perfectly aligned with the markers. The Incas, then, broadcast their sacred power over large distances. They observed the autumn equinox at several cairn sites and found the sun rose exactly above them.

The Guardian has the report here;https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/16/chile-atacama-desert-saywas-inca-solar-discovery

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July 14, 2018

3000 Year Old Tobacco Smoking Pipe in Alabama

Archaeologists found an ancient engraved smoking pipe in 1930 in Alabama. Researchers have now subjected the pipe to new scientific analysis using mass spectrometry. Clear traces of nicotine have been found inside the pipe. The pipe is dated to 1685-1530 BCE. This pushes back the earliest known use of tobacco for smoking by 1000 years. The research is posted in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Science Magazine has the report here:
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/americans-have-been-lighting-more-3000-years-ancient-pipe-reveals

(My note; This is not the first time tobacco has been found in the BCE era. In Utah, a site was uncovered that contained artifacts, including tobacco seeds, that dated to 10,000 years ago. No smoking pipes were found, but the presence of tobacco in that cache obviously raises the question, what were these folks doing with gathered tobacco seeds 10,000 years ago.)

Western Digs has that report here;
http://westerndigs.org/ice-age-hunting-camp-replete-with-bird-bones-and-tobacco-found-in-utah-desert/

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July 13, 2018

Preserved 700 BCE Graves Uncovered Near Mexico City

INAH has uncovered 26 graves at a site near Copilco, south of Mexico City.  11 of them are in the form of a truncated cone. The site was also used for storage of grains and artifacts. 130 figurines have been uncovered. Most depict pregnant women and also children painted in red, yellow and black. The site was protected from the huge volcanic Xictle explosion circa 245-315 CE. The site may have been a specialized site for infant care by the women at Copilco. INAH is undertaking chemical and pollen analysis to confirm the pre-natal care idea.

Archaeology News Network has the report here with great photos;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/06/2700-years-old-graves-discovered-in.html

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July 13, 2018

Mexico Earthquake Reveals New Temple Underneath the Teopanzolco Pyramid

The latest Mexico 7.1 earthquake has unveiled an ancient shrine underneath the pyramid at Teopanzolco. The twin towered pyramid dedicated to Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli has incurred structural damage to the floor of the top of the temple, leaving the floor sunken and bent. Recovery efforts are underway. And while working on the structure, INAH found a new sunken temple probably dedicated to Tlaloc. There may be a matching one to Huitzilipochtli next to it. They have found that the floor of the newly discovered temple was constructed using reddish volcanic rock and charcoal. They have found ceramic shards and an incense burner.

The new temple dates to 1150-12000 CE. The Teopanzolco pyramid was constructed by the Tlahuica culture, who were later conquered by the Aztecs, who continued work on the pyramid. The site was re-discovered by Zapata’s revolutionary forces in 1910, since it is near Zapata’s home base in Cuernavaca.

Smithsonian has the report here;
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/earthquake-reveals-12th-century-temple-hidden-within-aztec-pyramid-180969619/

The Daily Mail has its usual excellent photographs and a video of the discovery;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5948063/Damage-Mexicos-killer-quake-reveals-unknown-temple-built-INSIDE-pyramid.html

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July 9, 2018

Ornate Totonac Yoke Uncovered in Veracruz

INAH has uncovered a large grey stone yoke near Tamiahua, in Veracruz. It has carvings representing a serpent head and rattle, and human heads, and a feline face. The style is Totonac, and is dated between 350 BCE-650 CE. The aesthetics on the stone are remarkable and well preserved. INAH has posted a great photo of the Yoke,  and a great video of its discovery is in the INAH report here;
http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/boletines/7341-hallan-yugo-totonaco-durante-salvamento-arqueologico-realizado-en-tamaulipas-y-veracruz

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July 9, 2018

New Structures Found In El Salvador’s San Andrés Archaeological Complex

Japanese and Salvadorean archaeologists have uncovered a staircase in a pyramidal structure called La Campana. They also uncovered a glass and bowl with animal drawings inside  seven pieces of smooth slate placed vertically and in a circle. The structure is darted to 535 CE. Two pieces of jade decorated with two snake heads with their jaws open and tongues forked were also found.

The San Andres Complex is a large site with a monumental area dating to 600-900 CE, with an acropolis, several pyramids and other structures.

Archaeology News Network has the story here with many photos;

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/06/new-structures-found-in-el-salvadors.html#2lUdbFh74WbReYm9.97

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July 8, 2018

Inca Nobility Burial Site Found at the Site of Tucume

Archaeologists have uncovered a burial site at the Peruvian site of Tucume, which contains 26 pyramids. 24 mummies have been found clothed in finely woven robes. The burial is dated at 1500 CE, within the Ince time period. Ceramics, grains and fabrics were buried with them. 89 archaeologists are working on the find. It now appears the Inca arrived in the Tucume area in 1470 CE. The archaeologists expect to find ten more mummies at this burial site. The tomb appears to contain both men and women. The women are probably buried next to weaving remains and the men are buried next to oars, wooden paddles and shells. Some of the buried are holding spiked spondylus shells. Three or four of the mummies wrapped in fine clothing are probably Inca nobility.

There are intact ceramics that will tell us more about Inca pottery at the time.

The Daily Mail has the report here with their usual fine photos and a video;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5920861/Mummified-Inca-corpses-clothed-finely-woven-royal-robes-unearthed.html

Archaeology News Network also has a report here with more photos.

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/07/archaeologists-find-tombs-of-24-inca.html

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July 4, 2018

Page-Ladson Site Pre-Clovis

The Page-Ladson site is the first Pre-Clovis site to be documented in the US southeast. Artifacts dating to 14,500 BCE were found in a well dated stratigraphic context. The site is near the Gulf of Mexico.  71 wood samples were carbon dated at Pre-Clovis time periods in conjunction with stone artifacts of coastal plain chert, a knife fragment and a flake. The artifacts are in deposits that contain extinct mammal remains (mastodon, camelid, and bison). A mastodon tusk has marks made by humans to remove the tusk, dated at 14,550 BCE. The Pre-Clovis inhabitants knew where to find freshwater, game, plants, raw materials for making tools, and other critical resources for survival. Further Pre-Clovis investigation in the area is hampered by the fact that most of the area is now underwater. The Page-Ladson site itself is underwater.

The full scientific report is at;

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/5/e1600375.full

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July 3, 2018

New Research on Ancient Louisiana Mounds

Archaeological researchers in Louisiana, using sediment coring, radiocarbon dating, carbon-isotope analysis, optically stimulated luminescence at the Grand Caillou mound are trying to find how ancient peoples in the area chose their village sites. The Grand Caillou Mound was built in stages over several hundred years, ending in 800 CE. The village construction began in 1200 CE. They confirmed that building the mound in layers with clay at the bottom, loose sediments in the middle and clay on top was a way that mound builders built mounds to withstand the elements.

Mound building in America began at 4,500 BCE near resource rich waterways. The Grand Caillou Mound village had a population of 500 people at a time. Ceramics there have been dated to 1000-1400 CE when the site was abandoned, due to saltwater incursion at the site over time.

The research appears in the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology

Science Daily has the report here;
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180522114822.htm

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June 28, 2018

Scientific Analysis of 2,000 Year Old Paracas Mummies in Southern Peru

Archaeologists uncovered 2,000 year old mummies at the site of Wari Kayan in southern Peru in 1925. Researchers are now studying the hair of 14 of the mummies with advanced technology to determine their diet. Using isotope analysis. They found that these coastal dwelling people ate a lot of seafood, corn, and drank corn beer. Their food consumption varied little in the months before their deaths.

The findings were published in the March issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The report is at Live Science;
https://www.livescience.com/49892-peru-mummy-hair-diet.html

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June 24, 2018

New Discoveries of Sacrificed Victims at the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan

INAH archaeologists found an Aztec human skull rack or tzompantli under a colonial period house behind the National Cathedral. The scale of it suggested it once held thousands of skulls. The racks were the size of a basketball court. They were likely built between 1486-1502.  They also found skulls that had been stuck together with mortar on towers.
Several thousand skulls had to have been displayed on these structures. INAH has so far collected 180 almost complete skulls and thousands of skull fragments, which are now being meticulously studied. They show that the skulls were defleshed after death, and the decapitations were clean and precise.

75% of the skulls are males between 20-35 years of age. 20% were women and 5% were children. They were in good health. Some may have been slaves sold in markets for sacrifice. This is the same ration as the skulls found at the nearby Templo Mayor. Strontium and oxygen isotopes in their teeth show they are from all parts of Mesoamerica, and lived in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan for some time. Historical accounts show some captives lived with the families of the captors for some time.

The skulls also show intentional dental and cranial modifications that were varied according to the culture they lived in, before being transported to Tenochtitlan. Further scientific studies of the skulls can narrow down the specifics of this whole story by individuals, telling us a lot about the rituals all over Mesoamerica and their genetic diversity.

Science Magazine has the report here with many photos and a video;
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/feeding-gods-hundreds-skulls-reveal-massive-scale-human-sacrifice-aztec-capital

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June 15, 2018

Ancient Native American King’s House Rediscovered in Florida

Spanish troops met a great Calusa leader at Mound Key, Florida in 1566. The king lived in a structure that could host 2000 individuals. The Calusa created a non-agricultural complex society based on fishing, hunting, and gathering. They ate sharks, turtles, shellfish, mullet, deer, birds, wild produce, and animals from the coasts, estuaries and mangrove forests. They grew chili peppers, papaya, and gourds in home gardens.

They developed a priesthood, military, canals, extensive trade routes, and tribute gathered from 20,000 people. Mound Key was an artificial island made from oysters and clam shells, topped with the huge royal house. The Spanish were forced to withdraw from the area after three years due to unending hostility. The Calusa burned down Mound Key. The Spanish did not return for another century. But Spanish diseases decimated their population. The remaining Calusa fled into the Florida Keys and Cuba by the end of the 18th century.

An archaeological team has reconstructed the outlines of the Calusa great house. It was oval shaped, 80 feet long and 65 feet wide, held up by 150 wooden posts. It was built in three stages starting in 1000 CE.

The research is published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

The report is in National Geographic;
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/06/ancient-native-american-kings-house-found-florida-archaeology-science/

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June 12, 2018

The Success of Skull Surgery in Ancient Peru

Researchers have studied ancient Peruvian skulls of individuals who had undergone trepanation; drilling, cutting or scraping a hole in the skull for medical reasons;  59 skulls from 400 BCE to 200 BCE, 421 skulls from 1000 CE to 1400 CE and 160 from the Inca period, 1400 CE to 1500 CE were studied. Ancient Peruvian surgeons treated individuals for traumatic injuries to clean up skull fractures and fluid accumulation that causes pressure on the brain. Some skulls had no evidence of traumatic blows, so they may have been trying to relieve headaches and mental illness. If the bones around the hole showed no signs of healing, the patient died. Smooth bone shows the patient survived. The ancient Peruvian success rate for this procedure was 80% in time. In the American civil War, the success rate was at 50%. The ancient Peruvian success rate climbed from 40% in the earliest era to 80% in the Inca period. Many of the Inca period skulls showed multiple trepanations over time due to successive head blows.

Science News has the report here;
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/06/south-america-s-inca-civilization-was-better-skull-surgery-civil-war-doctors

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June 3, 2018

New Research on the First Americans Coastal Route Idea

Researchers analyzing boulders and bedrocks on Alaskan islands found that a coastal migration route was accessible to humans from Asia entering the New World 17,000 years ago. Ancient seal bones in the area of research have been dated to 17,000 years ago. This shows food was available in the area of glacier retreat 17,000 years ago. Four islands were studied 200 miles south of Juneau. Researchers took rocks from that area to determine how long the islands studied had been free of ice. They used a technique called surface exposure dating, which shows the time when the rocks began accumulating chemicals that appear as the ice melts. The date for this chemical change on the rocks was at 17,000 years ago.

The evidence at Monte Verde in Chile has proven humans were living there 15,000 years ago. The same is proven for the Paisley Cave site in Oregon. The coastal route for the First Americans would have been a far easier route to enter areas south of Canada than the treacherous route humans would have to take overland. And that area lacked the resources for human survival long after 15,000 years ago.

The research is published in. The May 30 journal Science Advances.

Science Daily has the report here;

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180530144144.htm

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March 27, 2018

Intact 1,000 Year Old Mummy Uncovered at Pachacamac, Peru

A team from Brussels have found a 1000 year old intact mummy at Pachacamac in Peru. The site itself has three monumental structures, including a sanctuary to local ancestors. The Incas transformed it into a water and healing temple. Since it is so well preserved, they can study the mummy using advanced medical imaging without unwrapping the body.

Eurekalert has the report here;
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/uldb-uad052418.php

Scroll down on this page to see multiple articles on Pachacamac and photos;
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May 22, 2018

Unusual Viru Culture Burials Uncovered in Northern Peru

Archaeologists working on the northern Peruvian coast have uncovered 50 burials from the Viru Culture (100-750 CE) in the town of Huanchaco. 30 of the 50 burials have additional body parts added to the remains. Additional arms and legs were added to the burials. Many of the burials show cut marks and blunt force trauma. Those with trauma are the ones to be buried with extra limbs. Perhaps the extra limbs were a sacrificial offering. The graves also contain ceramic vessels with human faces, whimsical animal details, jewelry, folded copper sheets inserted into the mouths of the deceased. A copper fishhook wrapped in gold foil was also uncovered.

National Geographic has the report here with photos;https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/04/peru-viru-ancient-shark-fishermen-archaeology/

May 18, 2018

Unique Funerary Site Discovered in Peru

Archaeologists working at the Peruvian Sechura Desert site of Huaca Amarilla for the past three years have uncovered 40 graves and the remains of 74 individuals, 72 of them were children, and 41 fetuses, dated at between 900-1400 CE.
Included in the finds, they found a still working toy whistle next to the body of a child, and a three year old child buried near a camelid. The bodies were buried with llamas, alpacas, dogs, doves, and  by small vases and other ceramic or wooden artifacts, sometimes adorned with shell or stone jewels. The site was occupied by the Lambayeque and Chimú cultures.

The 2017 El Nino was intense, and washed out roads to the site. The archaeologists had to reach the site by boat, since the harsh desert area is below sea level filled with salt flats, dune fields and washes. There are two stone structures dating to the Lambayeque period (800-1350 CE). The elite lived on one side, the other side was for production and storage,

DNA testing has begun and the team now has archaeobotanists, archaeozoologists, funerary anthropologists, ceramologists, geomorphologists and others working there. They will learn how life progressed in this harsh desert terrain for 1000 years.

CNRS France News has the report here with a lot of excellent photos;
https://news.cnrs.fr/articles/unique-funerary-site-discovered-in-peru

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May 14, 2018

An Update on the Massive Child Sacrifice at the Chimu Site of Huanchaquito-Las Llamas in Peru

140 children and 200 llamas were ritually sacrificed in the Chimu empire of the Ancient Andes. The majority were between 8 to 12 years old and were buried facing west. The sacrifice took place at the site of Huanchaquito-Las Llamas, near the Chimu capital of Chan Chan, dated at 1400-1450. Red cinnabar was smeared on the faces of the children, and their chests were cut open to probably remove their hearts. Remains of two men and one woman were also found nearby, killed by blows to the head. They may have been dispatched right after the sacrifice. Evidence that this was a single event was found in the soil, including footprints. Previous to this, the largest known child sacrifice was at the Temple Mayor at Tenochtitlan where 42 children were sacrificed. Cut marks show the victims were dispatched by trained individuals.

This may have been an attempt to appease the gods to stop an El Nino catastrophic event that occurred at this historical time. There is evidence of severe flooding near the site. Preliminary DNA evidence shows the victims were brought from far flung places in the Chimu Empire.

National Geographic has the report with many photos;
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/04/mass-child-human-animal-sacrifice-peru-chimu-science/#close

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May 13, 2018

Oldest Tattoo Kit in the World From a Tennessee Site

A tool kit dated at 1,600 BCE or older containing sharpened turkey bones and mussel shells were unearthed in 1985 in a Native American Cemetery in Tennessee. A pair of researchers took a look at the find beginning in 2013 to study it as an example of a possible medicine bundle. They saw the turkey bones as possible needles and the mussel shells as possible ink pots, when they saw red and black pigments on the shells. They referenced the work of a researcher in Montreal who tattooed pig skin with pre-historic tools to see the markings it left on the tools.  They looked at the artifacts under microscopes and found a bright polish at the tip and saw the same wear patterns as the pigskin tattoo.

The evidence that this is a tattoo kit is now clear. And this would make the Tennessee find the oldest tattoo kit ever found in the world. The previous oldest kit was found at a Lapita site in the Solomon Islands using obsidian pieces dated at 1000 BCE,

Hyperallergenic.com has the story here;
https://hyperallergic.com/438579/worlds-oldest-tattoo-kit-fernvale-native-american/

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April 24, 2018

New Research on Ancient Arkansas Caddo Village Burial Site With 114 Human Skulls and 238 Jawbones

The prehistoric Caddo village of Crenshaw in southwest Arkansas has a burial ground that contains at least 114 human skulls and 238 additional jawbones, but no bodies. A new theory about the remains is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. The burial contains the remains of those who lived in the village or farming areas nearby. The jaws and skulls were possibly returned to the village for ceremonial burials. This would have been easier than transporting full bodies. Crenshaw was inhabited from 700-1400 CE. The remains are dated to 1253-1399 CE. The data was drawn from a study of lead isotopes in the dental remains of the buried.

ArkansasOnline has the report here;
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/apr/22/researcher-digs-into-ancient-caddo-myst-1/?f=news-arkansas

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April 15, 2018

New Nazca and Paracas Geoglyphs Discovered Using New Technology

Peruvian researchers have found 50 undiscovered geoglyphs in the Nazca area, and in Palpa province, using drone and satellite technology. Many known geoglyphs have also been mapped with the new technology in much greater detail. Some of the newly discovered geoglyphs were drawn by the Nazca culture between 200-700 CE. Others were carved by the earlier Paracas and Topara cultures at 500 BCE-200 CE. The Paracas glyphs are drawn on hillsides and often depict humans, most are warriors. So there is a geoglyph tradition preceding the Nazca by 1000 years in Peru.

Satellites can capture a foot wide object from 383 miles above the earth, equivalent to seeing a single human hair from 650 feet away. Low flying drones flying at 200 feet can see objects a half inch wide in great detail. The new research will continue into the future.

National Geographic has the news here with photos and a video;
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/04/new-nasca-nazca-lines-discovery-peru-archaeology/

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March 29, 2018

New Research; Ancient Amazon Population in the Millions

New research into the ancient Amazon has discovered 81 sites in the upper Amazon, which was thought to be very sparsely inhabited in ancient times. As it turns out, millions of people lived there. The 81 sites were discovered by satellite imagery, and the effects of deforestation. The archaeological team investigating the satellite imagery then searched the area on foot at 24 of the locations so far, and found they were all inhabited sites. The peak of the activity has been dated to 1250-1500 CE. They have found ceramics, polished stones, and soil engineered by the inhabitants for abundant crops. Some of the sites are not near major rivers, but close to smaller streams, creeks and springs. The southern rim of the Amazon alone could have been home to 500,000-1 million people. What were thought to be isolated villages were actually connected by a stretch of human settlements 1,100 miles long, east to west. Ceramic styles differ along this stretch, thus showing that peoples along this stretch had differing cultures. 60% of this stretch has yet to be researched.
European arrival killed off the majority of these people with devastating diseases.

The Guardian has the report here;
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/27/lost-amazon-villages-uncovered-by-archaeologists

April 27, 2018

Archaeologists Find Possible Child Sacrifices at a Chimu Site in Peru

Archaeologists working at the Sican and Chimu site of Chotuna-Chornancap in Peru have found a dozen tombs suggesting human sacrifice in 17 graves dating back 600-700 years. There was one high status burial found, and it is not unusual to find individuals sacrificed to the noble at the time of the funeral or thereafter. Many of the buried are children. Six children were found in paired graves to the north, east, and west of the temple at the site, two were footless. They may have been sacrificed as guardians to the main tomb.. Other graves had adult men and women with bone damage that was like other sacrificed victims of the era. Fifty individuals were buried in the graves. Some of the children had their rib cages opened to possibly tear out the hearts of the victims.

Clay pottery a smiling man sculpture, and a vessel depicting a person chewing coca leaves, ceramics with maritime themes, coastal animals, and geometric shapes, reflecting the connection to the sea felt by the ancient culture, and fishing tools such as weights, hooks and needles have also been found have been found as grave offerings.

Live Science has the report here;
https://www.livescience.com/62108-ancient-child-sacrifices-found.html

And the Daily Mail has its usual good photos and a video;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5535565/Ancient-Peruvian-child-sacrifices-treasures-uncovered-tombs.html

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March 22, 2018

1,300-Year-Old Cemetery Found In Lima

The cemetery is near Lima’s main zoo. Four human burials have been found so far. The remains date to 100-650 CE, and belong to the Lima Culture.
A ceramics oven, earthenware, and two spindle whorls were buried with them. The cemetery has artifacts from three civilizations.
The Lima culture people built their first structures in Huaca El Rosal. In 2016, adobe walls and mud floors were discovered in the lower part of the huaca, and the walls of an oven between 400 and 500 AD. The new finds are contemporary with burials found in 2016-17.

Archaeology News Network has the story here with great photos and a video;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2018/03/1300-year-old-cemetery-found-in-lima.html

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March 4, 2017

INAH Finds Petroglyphs Spanning 3000 years in Colima, Mexico

INAH has found 100 petroglyphs, with assorted iconographies and cultural affiliations, covering a period of over 3000 years (1700 BCE-1520 CE) at the site of La Campana in Colima. This is one of the few sites in Mesoamerica that has evidence of all the stages of Mesoamerican history. These petroglyphs are within the new La Campana archaeological park. This will protect the entire pre-Hispanic city for future research. The glyphs represent zoomorphs, stripes, numerals flowers, hearts, faces.
There is a stone with faces from 400 BCE, a Teotihuacan style glyph from 400-600 CE for example. INAH also excavated a retaining wall with steps next to the Colima River. The area is served by two rivers and was a good space for cultivation and trade.

INAH has the report (in Spanish) here with a good slide show (click on the small green camera icon);
http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/boletines/6957-localizan-108-petroglifos-en-la-zona-arqueologica-de-la-campana-en-colima <http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/boletines/6957-localizan-108-petroglifos-en-la-zona-arqueologica-de-la-campana-en-colima

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February 22, 2018

Newly Discovered Ancient Rock Art in Chile Depicts Whale Hunting

Ancient Rock Art depicting whale hunting has been found in the Atacama Desert of Chile at the site of Izcuna. The art shows how hunters used multiple harpoon lines. The rock art also shows hunting strategies, numbers of sailors involved, hunting devices and prey selected. The new discovery is of 328 paintings on 24 slabs of rock. The artists depicted the prey as the antagonist. The art is dated to 500 CE.

The people who lived here specialized in marine hunting.  They used fish-hooks made from shell, bone, cactus spines and copper, and rafts made of sea lion skin. The paint is iron-oxide red. And they depict whales, swordfish, marlin, squid, sea lion, turtles and sharks.

Yahoo UK has this report with photos:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/ancient-rock-art-depicting-marine-130002696.html

And the Daily Mail adds more info to the report, with their always good collection of photos. The research was published in American Antiguity.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5408369/Ancient-Chilean-rock-art-suggests-hunters-killed-whales.html

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FEBRUARY 17, 2018

LIDAR Finds Huge Tarascan (Purepechan) City Near Morelia, Mexico

LIDAR technology has revealed a giant ancient Tarascan (Purepechan) city near Morelia, Mexico. It was double the size of the Tarascan capital, Tzintzuntzan. The city is known as Angamuco. 40,000 structures have been found within the newly discovered city. This would make the city the size of Manhattan. Pyramids and open plazas are concentrated in eight zones around the city’s edges. 100,000 people lived in the city from 900-1350 CE. The city was first excavated in 2007, and 1,500 structures had been located. On the ground mapping would take a decade. LIDAR will be finding even more about the city.

The Guardian has the story here;
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/feb/15/laser-scanning-reveals-lost-ancient-mexican-city-had-as-many-buildings-as-manhattan

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February 13, 2018

A 2000 Year Old Mummified Macaw Uncovered in Northern Mexico

INAH has uncovered a 2000 year old mummified macaw at a cave at Avendaños ejido in San Francisco de Borja, in Chihuahua. This is the oldest example of this type of macaw ever found in Northern Mexico or the Southwest. INAH is joined in ancient macaw research by Penn State University and the University of Oklahoma. Strontium and DNA research is being done on all the ancient macaws in the Southwest, and now the Avendanos Cave, to determine how many of the macaws came from Paquime and how many from the rest of Mesoamerica.

So far, 670 skeletal remains of macaws have been found along with feathers of macaws. 504 came from Paquime as trade items. The rest were from the ancient Southwest sites of Chaco, Grasshopper, Turkey Creek, Salado, Gila Cliff, Kiet Siel, Sinagua-Wupatki, Pueblo Grande and Snaketown, among others. 90% are red macaws and 10% are military macaws. The newly discovered macaw is the first to be found in Mexico outside of Paquime. The macaw trade spanned 800 CE-1400 CE. The newly discovered macaw may be 800 years earlier than any ancient trade macaws that have been found in the Southwest or Mexico, if confirmed by carbon-14 dating.

INAH has the report here (in Spanish) with a great slide show of the cave, and the artifacts in the cave (click on the small green camera icon to see the slides).
http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/boletines/6856-datan-en-2000-anos-de-antigueedad-cabeza-momificada-de-guacamaya-hallada-en-cueva-avendanos-chihuahua

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February 2, 2018

Astounding Discovery of Vast Maya Sites and Structures In Guatemala

Archaeologists using lidar technology have found houses, palaces, elevated highways, and defensive fortifications under the Guatemalan jungle. Millions more lived in this area than previously believed.
Speaking to the BBC, top archaeologists had this to say about the discovery;
“I think this is one of the greatest advances in over 150 years of Maya archaeology,” said Stephen Houston, Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology at Brown University.
“Everything is turned on its head,” Ithaca College archaeologist Thomas Garrison told the BBC.
“He believes the scale and population density has been "grossly underestimated and could in fact be three or four times greater than previously thought”.
"The archaeologists were struck by the "incredible defensive features”, which included walls, fortresses and moats.“
"They showed that the Maya invested more resources into defending themselves than previously thought, Mr Garrison said.”
60,000 new structures have been identified.
Th lidar survey also showed longer and more numerous raised highways than archaeologists knew about, connecting many more sites, showing a heavy trade pattern.
And a previously unknown seven story pyramid was uncovered by the survey.
The site of Tikal was found to be three to four times larger than previously thought.
Archaeologists are not finished with their lidar survey. The new discoveries will take many decades to research.

The BBC gives this report on the discoveries; with photos;
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-42916261

The Daily Mail has its usual great collection of photos and a video here;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5343567/Thousands-Mayan-pyramids-palaces-Guatemala.html

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February 1, 2018

INAH Uncovers a  400 BCE Spiral Pattern Mass Burial South of Mexico City.

INAH has found the remains of nine young adults, a child and a month old baby at the site of Tlalpan. The remains date to 400 BCE. They have been found intertwined in death, laid out in a spiral pattern, their sides and arm bones interlocked. Their heads were damaged and their teeth mutilated. Bowls, pots, ceramics were placed as grave goods. Tlalpan lasted for 500 years. The site was first excavated in 2006. The area excavated is under a metropolis, which will make it difficult to explore this area in more detail.

National Geographic has a short report here;
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/burial-pit-found-mexico-city-archaeology-pre-aztec-spd/

And INAH has a much more detailed report here (in Spanish) with a video and an extensive slide show. (Click on the small green camera icon).
http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/boletines/6865-descubren-en-tlalpan-un-entierro-multiple-de-los-primeros-aldeanos-de-la-cuenca-de-mexico

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January 25, 2018

New Research into Mesoamerican Turkeys

A group of international researchers have studied the remains of 55 turkeys dated at 300 BCE-1500 CE in Mesoamerica. The DNA showed European turkeys are descended from Mexico. The researchers found that the Mesoamerican turkeys were consuming increasing amounts of corn which shows more intensive farming of turkeys. Turkey bones are rarely found in domestic refuse, and none of the 55 turkeys studied had been eaten. Some were buried in temples and human graves, perhaps as companions in the afterlife. Turkeys have been depicted in Mesoamerica as gods and calendric symbols. The turkey was the first animal to be domesticated in Mesoamerica after the dog.

Some of the 55 turkeys analyzed were Ocellated turkeys, but they were left to roam free and never domesticated. The reason for this is a mystery.

The new research is published in the Royal Society Open Science

Archaeological excavation unearths evidence of turkey domestication 1,500 years ago

More information: Aurelie Manin et al. Diversity of management strategies in Mesoamerican turkeys: archaeological, isotopic and genetic evidence, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171613

Physorg has the report here;

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-ancient-human-turkey-relationship.html

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January 18, 2018

Yucatan Researchers Have Found the Largest Underwater Cave System in the World

The Underwater Exploration Group of the Great Maya Aquifer Project (GAM) has discovered a connection between two large flooded cave systems, Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, in the Yucatan. This joined cave system is the largest flooded cave system in the world, stretching 215 miles. There are more than a hundred archaeological contexts contained within the cave, from the remains of some of the First Americans to the Maya culture. The director of the project has been looking for this connection for 14 years. Project researchers are looking for more connections to three more underwater systems. They will study the water quality of the system and continue mapping the cave system.

National Geographic has the report here with a video;

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/largest-underwater-cave-system-in-the-world-discovered-in-mexico-spd/

Daily Mail has its usual great photos of the site here;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-5278335/Worlds-longest-underwater-cave-discovered-Mexico.html

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January 11, 2018

Moche Desert Meeting Place Uncovered in Peru

Peruvian archaeologists have uncovered a Moche site dated at 500 CE that may have been a meeting site for ancient desert leaders. The site was found at the Limon archaeological complex in Lambayeque.  Two rooms may have been used for political purposes. One appears to be a banquet hall with two thrones, which could have been for hosting feasts. The other room has a circular podium where announcements may have been made. There are murals of fish and sea lions. The site itself is depicted on Moche ceramics, and now the place depicted on the ceramics is found.
Construction appears to have halted abruptly in the sixth century. There was a super El Nino sometime between 536-594 with flooding, followed by extreme drought.

International Business Times has the report here with photos;
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/1500-year-old-painted-banquet-hall-offers-rare-insight-into-perus-ancient-moche-culture-1654375

The Daily Mail has its usual great photos and a video of the site;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5249119/Ancient-finding-Peru-sheds-light-desert-society-archaeologist.html

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January 7, 2018

Pre-Clovis Ancient Beringian Population Discovery

Researchers have studied the the remains of an infant girl called Xach’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay, by the indigenous people at the Upward Sun River site in Alaska. Her remains are dated to 11,500 years ago. But her genomes show a previously unknown population, and is the earliest known population of Native Americans. She was buried next to another infant in a ceremonial grave, and they were covered in red ochre. They are members of a group now known as the Ancient Beringians. Their population split from East Asians 36,000 years ago.

They were genetically changed from their ancestor group 25,000 years ago, probably due to population isolation due to brutal climate conditions,  They entered Alaska first by way of Beringia, and their northern and southern offshoots descended from them later.They were trapped in Beringia until around 20,000 years ago. They were either genetically distinct from the rest of the Native Americans before they left Beringia or both groups traveled across, and then split genetically after they arrived in Alaska. This study relies on a single sample. So the real diversity in the gene pool will await more samples. The research is published in Nature;

J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar et al, Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals first founding population of Native Americans, Nature (2018).  DOI: 10.1038/nature25173

Smithsonian and

Phys.org

have the reports here

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/genetics-rewrites-history-early-america-and-maybe-field-archaeology-180967745/

And

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-reveals-evidence-population-ancient-native.html

(My note; Since this is a single sample, a lot more needs to be learned about these populations, and this needs more samples. And while the “Ancient Beringian” population is now definitely the oldest group to have entered the Americas so far, by way of proven genetic research, we still may find even older groups later in time. And there is still the question of whether even earlier groups made their way into the Americas, and traveled all the way down to Monte Verde in Chile, by way of canoe coastal travel, starting at even earlier dates on their journey south.)

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image

January 4, 2018

INAH Finds an Aztec Water Structure Depicting the Beginning of Time

INAH has found a stone shrine in a pond that depicts the Aztec idea of the design of the universe. The shrine was found at Nahualac, near the Iztaccihuatl volcano. Ceramics, lithic, lapidaries were also found. The stones portray a miniature universe. The stones are placed so that they look like they are floating on the water. The Mexica creation myth saw a world of water. The earth monster, Cipactli, floated on the water, and from his body, the earth was created. INAH believes that there was a ritual control of water from nearby springs to irrigate the pond which made it appear that the structure was floating on the water. The structure evokes the primitive waters and the beginning of time.
The Nahualac site has two parts, the pond shrine and nearby areas with ceramics dedicated to the storm god Tlaloc.

International Business Times has the report here with photos;
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/depiction-mythical-aztec-universe-discovered-natural-pond-near-mexicos-iztaccihuatl-volcano-1653737

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December 18, 2017

New Research into Female Figurines in Ancient Tabasco

Archaeologists at the site of Jonuta in Tabasco which dates to 600-1000 CE have studied over 200 ceramic pieces representing females at the site. Females are shown taking care of children, doing domestic chores, cooking and raising animals. Both elite and ordinary women are shown. A figurine named “The Lady of Jonuta” has a long headdress, and other elite markings. Other pieces are being called “oradoras.” They have raised arms, long skirts, earpieces and bracelets, and loose hair linked to fertility. This representation can be found in ceramics along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Female figurines are also shown as musical instruments such as whistles. The site was probably linked to Palenque for trade. And its goods were also traded to Comalcalco and Jaina.

INAH has the report here (in Spanish) with a good slide show of the ceramics. Scroll down to the little camera icon and click on that to see the slides).
http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/boletines/6784-figurillas-revelan-papel-de-la-mujer-en-la-urbe-prehispanica-de-jonuta-en-tabasco

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December 21, 2017

Major Wari-Inca Temple Find in Peru

Archaeologists in Peru, working at the Espiritu Pampa site in the Cusco region, have uncovered an astronomical observatory, massive stone walls, ceramics and other Wari and Inca artifacts at the site. The D-shaped temple found at the site looks Wari in design. A smaller structure inside the temple appears to be an observatory. Two spaces within contained animal teeth, Wari style ceramic bottles, a silver chest piece and a silver crown. Inca architecture lies next to the temple, housing Inca pins, needles and pottery. The pieces will be studied further.

Andina has the report here with many good photos of the finds;
http://www.andina.com.pe/Ingles/noticia-peru-ancient-astronomical-observatory-found-in-cusco-692974.aspx

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December 13, 2017

Giant Petroglyphs in Venezuela Researched

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is mapping some of the largest petroglyphs in the world in Amazonas, Venezuela. Some of the panels are 2,000 years old. They depict animals, humans, rituals, and mythical creatures like horned serpents. They are similar to rock art in Brazil, Columbia and further out. In one panel, there is a flautist surrounded by human figures, probably a renewal motif. They show the influence of traders from diverse and distant regions. The study forwards research on the Orinoco River, and its influence on the formation of ancient social networks. Some of the formats can be seen mirrored all the way to the Ancient Southwest much later in time, like the flautist and the horned serpent.

Eurekalert has the report here;https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/ucl-vra120517.php

The Daily Mail had its usual collection of great photos in its report;http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5152777/Aerial-images-reveal-2-000-year-old-Venezuelan-art.html

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December 7, 2017

New Research into the Fort Ancient Culture

The Fort Ancient culture lived in southern Ohio and parts of Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia between A.D. 1000 and 1650. They lived in large villages, grew maize in their gardens, and made distinctive pottery and arrowheads.

Robert Cook, an archaeologist at Ohio State University, in his new book “Continuity and Change in the Native American Village: Multicultural Origins and Descendants of the Fort Ancient Culture,” presents a new interpretation of the Fort Ancient Culture.

He posits that the Fort Ancient Culture developed rapidly as a result of the “Big Bang” that took place in Mississippian cultures that were centered at Cahokia in 1050 CE.
Analysis of human remains at Fort Ancient sites show that some of the people there came from the vicinity of Cahokia, bringing new religious ideas and design ideas with them. Fort Ancient sites at 1050 CE were the largest of the culture with the highest maize consumption, Mississippian artifacts and migrants. Climate change and pressure from the Iroquois led them to abandon their sites  at the end of their culture.

The great Brad Lepper reports on this in the Columbus Dispatch;
http://www.dispatch.com/news/20171203/archaeology-cultural-big-bang-helped-form-fort-ancient-society

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December 3, 2017


New Research on Corn Dependency in the Ancient Southwest


A University of Cincinnati archaeologist has taken a look at the supposition that people in the Ancient Southwest between 900-1200 CE were dependent on corn and is taking issue with it. He has taken a look at 2000 sites where pottery and other artifacts have been found and sees very little evidence of any dependence on corn.

He has spent two decades leading field research in the Grand Canyon National Park and the upper basin in the region. His evidence shows the ancient people of the area used fire to promote the growth of edible leaves, seeds, and nuts like amaranth, goosefoot, and chenopodium, wild relatives of quinoa, and calorie rich nuts and berries. Researching thousands of clay pots, he and his students have found 6000-7000 pollen grains and only six were corn. He also found that there was more evidence of wild edible plants then when people left these sites. He also looked at the area after a massive wild fire in 2016, and edible plants were growing there a month later in abundance.

This is not to say that other people in the Ancient Southwest were not more dependent on corn. There is more evidence for it outside of the area in question.

(My note: It seems to me that the same techniques used in this study should be applied elsewhere in the Southwest to test whether corn dependency is as prevalent as we have thought).

Eurekalert has the report here:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uoc-asf112717.php

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December 1, 2017

Possible 6000 Year Old Pottery Found in Ecuador

Russian and Ecuadorian archaeologists have found pottery in Ecuador that is provisionally dated to be 6000 years old at the site of Real Alto. They also found human remains there. They belong to the San Pedro culture. Japanese researchers are now testing the dating hypothesis. More work will be done at the site to see how long this dating horizon existed. The Russian group is studying human adaptation on the Pacific rim from East Asia to South America. If the dates hold up, this is probably the oldest pottery in the Americas.

(My note; I include the Wikipedia page on the Valdivia Culture that has mention of the San Pedro site and the fact that this culture pre-dated the Valdivia culture.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdivia_culture)

Archaeology News Network has the report here with photos.
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2017/11/6000-year-old-pottery-found-in-ecuador.html

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November 17, 2017

Large Orca Geoglyph Re-Discovered in the Nazca/Palpa Region of Peru

A huge Orca geoglyph has been re-discovered in the Palpa area of Peru, related to the Nazca culture. It was first found in the 1960’s by German archaeologists, but during restoration and research, the records were inaccurate as to the location and dimensions of the geoglyph. It has been found again and re-mapped. The size of the geoglyph is 60 metres long and 25 metres wide. The whole area is now endangered by land traffickers. The Orca is a marine deity that shows up on ancient pottery and ceramics in Peru.

The Bradshaw Foundation has the report here with photos;

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/news/index.php?id=Orca-geoglyph-rediscovered-in-Peru

Newsweek adds more to the story adding that the Orca geoglyph was first located in 2013, not the 1960’s. The geoglyph is 200 feet long. There are 1,500 geoglyphs in the region dating from 200 BCE-600 CE. The glyph is dated to 200 BCE and may be related to earlier Paracas culture styles (800 BCE-200 BCE).

Newsweek report here:

http://www.newsweek.com/nazca-lines-peru-orca-geoglyph-desert-monuments-712544

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November 12, 2017

Ancient Peru Shellfish Diplomacy

Archaeologist Kasia Szremski has excavated at the Salitre and Campo Libre sites in Peru. She found extravagant artifacts at the Salitre site: decorated pottery, a spondylus shell, ornamented silver. They held huge feasts of mollusks, pumpkins, beans and other items. She believes that the Salitre people, an outpost of the Chancay culture, traded shellfish for access to the Huanangue River. The Chaupiyunginos lived upstream, and could have cut off the water to Salitre and other Chancay villages that needed the water for crops. The feasting at Salitre took place at a time of widespread warfare, in the 15th century, as the area became balkanized after the collapse of the Wari empire. So the Salitre and Chaupiyunginos feasted and traded together to prevent conflict.

The great Tom Dillehay says the two cultures were “highly entangled”—they had a variety of economic, political, and social interactions with each interaction affecting the others. And shellfish for water diplomacy led to peace between them.

The report is here in Haika magazine;
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-short/shellfish-diplomacy

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October 26, 2017

New Research in Ancient Southwest Turquoise Mining and Trade

Researchers in Arizona have found that Pre-Columbian turquoise mining at the Canyon Creek mine, on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation, was larger than thought in intensity. They found through isotopic analysis of the Canyon Creek turquoise that it has ratios of lead and strontium isotopes unique from other Southwest turquoise. Scientists can now determine where turquoise was mined using these new techniques. They also found that the site was mined between 1250-1400 CE. This new science will help in studying ancient turquoise trading routes. Researchers are now using the same techniques to study the turquoise found at Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital in Mexico. They may be able to determine the exact location of the mine the turquoise came from in the Southwest, and advance the study of Southwest/Mesomerica trading networks.

The research is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science,

Eurekalert has the story here:
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uoa-rsn101817.php

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztlan World

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Mike Ruggeri’s Casas Grandes World Magazine

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October 20, 2017


Skeletal Remains at the Site of Pacopampa in Peru Exhibit Signs of Ritual Violence


Skeletal remains from a ritual platform at the site of Pacopampa in Peru, show the individuals in the grave died of blows to the head that appear to be from ritualized violence, and that the blows probably did not kill them. The studies at this platform began in 2005. To date, they have found 104 people, 66 adults, 38 children whose remains date from 1200 BCE-500 BCE. Many had injuries to the head, limbs, and elbows. There were repeated blows to the heads of many, but signs of healing as well, showing they did not all die from the head blows. They were found on a ceremonial platform and do not exhibit defensive wounds. These may have been controlled acts of violence for elites to show dominance. The site is related to the early Chavin culture.

The research is published in the peer reviewed journal;
Nagaoka et al, PLoS One, 2017

And the report is in Business Insider, with photos;
http://www.businessinsider.com/andean-civilizations-pacopampa-ritual-violence-study-2017-10

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October 12, 2017

Ancient Amazonians Domesticated Rice 4,000 Years Ago


Researchers from the UK and Brazil the UK have discovered that Amazonian people were domesticating rice 4,000 years ago. They analyzed 16 samples of plant remains from 10 different time periods and found the ancient Amazonians grew bigger rice over time. This helped with their diet during flooding seasons. The research was published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Archaeology News Network has the report here;
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2017/10/amazon-farmers-discovered-secret-of.html

Mike Ruggeri’s The Ancient America’s Breaking News
http://bit.ly/UbLO7x

October 10, 2017

Ancient Sican (Lambayeque) Human Sacrifice Uncovered in Peru


Nine sacrificed men, between the ages of 25 and 30, have been found in a tomb alongside an ancient metallurgy workshop at the Huaca de la Cruz site in Lambayeque. They also uncovered an elite grave of a Sican leader. The burial would be circa 1200 CE. Ceramic vessels and ceremonial knives were also found at the site.

International Business Times has the short report with a huge photo display here;
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/pre-incan-grave-skeletons-1000-year-old-human-sacrifices-found-peru-1640974

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean World

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October 10, 2017

Ancient Wooden Carvings Excavated at Chan Chan in Peru.

Four wooden carvings were found at the Chan Chan site, three of them are carvings of women. The male carving had its face covered in white clay as a mask. A scepter, metal vessels, textiles and shells were also found in the tomb like area. There was a body next to the carvings they have not yet studied. The carvings would have been placed there circa 1400 CE.

Peru Reports has the story with one photo here;

https://perureports.com/2017/10/03/archaeologists-peru-women/

Andina has the report here with more photos;

http://www.andina.com.pe/Ingles/noticia-peru-wood-sculptures-and-other-relics-found-at-ancient-chan-chan-684510.aspx

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean World

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September 26, 2017

2,500 Year Old Burials Unearthed In Quelepa, El Salvador

Archaeologists in El Salvador unearthed the remains of skeletons dating back to 500 BCE at the site of Quelepa in El Salvador. Four pottery pieces and a metate were buried in the tomb. The site is in eastern El Salvador, the region of the ancient Lenca people who lived in the region from 1,200-400 BCE. They had their own language and pottery styles distinct from the Maya in west El Salvador.

Archaeology News Network has the short report here with remarkable photos of the excavation.
https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2017/09/2500-year-old-burials-unearthed-in.html#LOGZZmFVaUplxZRr.97

Mike Ruggeri’s The Ancient America’s Breaking News
http://bit.ly/UbLO7x

September 22, 2017

Was Cacao Cultivated by Amazonian People 1,500 years before the Maya?

In 2014, archaeologists uncovered a stone structure built in a spiral in Ecuador. The structure contains a tomb dated at 3500 BCE. Ceremonial vessels in the tomb were found to contain cacao starch. There is a second temple similar to the one found in 2014 in the Amazon region found in 2016. It also contains a similar tomb, excavated twice by archaeologists across the river in Peru. So far, no funds have been raised to undergo further excavations at this twin site. If Cacao is found there as well, it will upset the timelines for the cultivation of cacao, and may prove that the people of the Amazon cultivated cacao 1,500 years before the Maya of Mesoamerica.

El Pais has the report here (in Spanish) with a good photo of the spiral tomb.https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/09/22/estilo/1506043289_701424.html

Mike Ruggeri’s The Ancient America’s Breaking News
http://bit.ly/UbLO7x

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September 15, 2017

Maya Ruler’s Tomb Uncovered at the Site of Waka in Guatemala

A Maya ruler’s tomb has been uncovered at the site of Waka in Guatemala. It is dated to 300-350 CE. This is the 7th tomb found at the site, and the oldest. A remarkable jade mask was found in the tomb representing the Maize God. There were also ceramics, jade ornaments, and a shell carved as a crocodile. Most are painted red. The tomb was re-entered after 600 CE, when the objects were probably painted. 

PhysOrg has the story here with good photos:https://www.google.com/amp/s/phys.org/news/2017-09-tomb-early-classic-maya-ruler.amp


Mike Ruggeri’s Maya World

http://michaelruggeri.com/Mike_Ruggeris_Maya_World/MIKE_RUGGERIS_MAYA_WORLD/MIKE_RUGGERIS_MAYA_WORLD.html


September 10, 2017

Child Sacrifice and Obsidian Blades at Maya Site of Ceibal

Researchers have found 42 obsidian blades alongside the graves of possibly sacrificed children. In one grave the children found were from 2-4 years of age and buried face to face.
In another grave, obsidian blades were placed at the points of the compass with five children aged one to four. More obsidian blades were found on the east-west axis of Ceibal’s main plaza. In May, researchers found the biggest trove of jade artifacts ever uncovered in the Maya world.

The new research is published in the Journal of Field Archaeology,

The Daily Mail has the report here with many photographs;
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4857802/Mayan-child-sacrifices-buried-supernatural-obsidian.html

August 30, 2017


Elaborate Shell Jewelry Found in Ancient Sonora Sites Traded to the Hohokam in Arizona


Hundreds of shell ornaments have been found in the La Playa and Cerro de Trincheras areas of Sonora, Mexico. And they are similar to those found in Hohokam communities in Arizona.

Cerros de Trinchera was built on the side of a high hill with a central plaza, and walls in the shape of a snail shell spiral. The shell ornaments produced there were worked from 2,800 BC to 1400 AD. INAH and the University of Binghamton researchers have found seven kilograms of sea shells there worked into rings and bracelets with geometric motifs.

The La Playa site had 10,000 years of occupation. Shell ornamentation began there at 850 BCE-200 CE. This jewelry has not been found in burials in the area, so they were trade items sent to people further north and west. They worked shells into hoops worn as bracelets, which were worn by individuals all over northwest Mexico and the Southwestern US. The shell jewelry was exchanged for Paquime pottery and pottery from Arizona and New Mexico.

INAH has the report here (in Spanish) with a beautiful slide show of the jewelry. (Click on the tiny camera icon above the article to see the slide show,)
http://www.inah.gob.mx/en/boletines/6466-brazaletes-de-conchas-daninas-dan-identidad-a-los-pueblos-de-deierto-de-sonora

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August 15, 2017

1000 BCE Circular Wall Uncovered in Peru

Archaeologists at Marcaville in the Cusco region have found a seven meter ring shaped wall built by the Marcaville Culture dated at 1000 BCE. It was used as a dwelling and ritual site. They also found another wall. Probably part of a workshop or warehouse. Potttery, figurines, obsidian points, stone and bone beads were in the structures. This culture was a precursor to the Inca Culture.

Andina has the story here with great photos;
http://www.andina.com.pe/Ingles/noticia-peru-3000yearold-circular-stone-wall-found-in-cusco-678217.aspx

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News Magazine
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July 27, 2017

Aztec Structure Uncovered at Plaza Pino Suarez, Mexico City

INAH have uncovered an Aztec structure in the Plaza Pino Suarez in Mexico City. The structure is very close to the Ehecatl Temple inside the Pino Suarez metro station. This was within a calpulli or district of Cuezcontitlan which enabled fast and efficient distribution of agricultural products in the partialities of Teopan (also called Zoquipan or Xochimilca) and Moyotlan. There are fragments of Aztec III and IV ceramics (1430-1521) at the site.

INAH has the report here in Spanish;
http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/boletines/6331-hallan-vestigio-ceremonial-de-un-calpulli-mexica-en-la-plaza-pino-suarez

Mexico news Daily has the report in English with a good photo;
http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/another-pre-hispanic-find-in-mexico-city/

Mike Ruggeri’s Toltecs and Aztecs
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Mike Ruggeri’s Aztec and Toltec World Magazine
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July 7, 2017


Aztec Gold Covered Sacrificed Wolf Uncovered in downtown Mexico City


Mexican archaeologists have uncovered a wolf sacrificed by the Aztec, adorned with a rich array of gold, in downtown Mexico City. 22 pieces have been found including pendants, a nose ring, a chest plate. They were found in a stone box near the Temple Mayor. The wolf was placed over a layer of sacrificial knives. The wolf was facing west and represented the god of war, Huitzilopochtli. Wolves helped guide fallen warriors across a dangerous river in the underworld. The wolf was buried during the reign of Ahuizotl from 1486-1502.

Reuters has the report here with nice photos;http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-archaeology-aztecs-idUSKBN19S1RA

Mike Ruggeri’s Toltecs and Aztecs

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July 5, 2017

INAH Finds a Possible Tunnel Under the Pyramid of the Moon

INAH has found another possible tunnel underneath the Pyramid of the Moon. It was found by electrical resistivity tomography. The tunnel appears to go from the center of the Moon plaza to the pyramid. This would mirror the tunnels beneath the Pyramid of the Sun and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. The tunnels equate to the idea of Teotihuacan being related to the underworld and to agricultural fertility.

There are indications there may be other underground sites under the same pyramid. INAH will move to excavate the tunnel. This kind of excavation takes years of slow careful work.

INAH has the best report (in Spanish) of this discovery;

http://www.inah.gob.mx/es/boletines/6309-especialistas-del-inah-localizan-posible-tunel-bajo-la-plaza-y-piramide-de-la-luna-en-teotihuacan

Mike Ruggeri’s Teotihuacan

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Mike Ruggeri’s Teotihuacan; City of the Gods Magazine

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July 4, 2017


New Study on Early Human Habitation at 12,500 Feet in Peru


Archaeologists in Peru have found that groups in Peru survived at 12,500 feet before the advent of agriculture despite lack of oxygen, frigid weather and exposure to elements. Excavations have uncovered 16 people and 80,000 artifacts going back 8,000 years. Evidence at several sites puts hunting and gathering groups at this altitude 9,000 years ago. The bones of the individuals at the site studied show the bones of the individuals having oxygen and carbon isotopes that match permanent high level occupation. Travel time to low elevation zones were too long for seasonal occupation. And the presence of women and children at the site makes seasonal migration unlikely. The tools found were made with high elevation material.

The research is in the Royal Society Open Science journal

Science Daily has the report here;
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170628095929.htm

Mike Ruggeri’s The Ancient America’s Breaking News
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July 1, 2017

650 Skulls from Aztec Times Uncovered in the Zocalo in Mexico City in a Cylindrical Tower

Archaeologists have found 650 skulls caked in lime near the Temple Mayor. They were placed in a cylindrical tower. These skulls were placed in one of the skull racks on display at Tenochtitlan. Skulls of women and children were found among the skulls. This was an unexpected surprise. Were the skulls of women and children displayed on skull racks?

The Guardian has the story here with photos;

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/01/tower-human-skulls-mexico-city-aztec-sacrifices

And here is the same story in the Daily Mail with their usual display of many photos.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4658112/Tower-human-skulls-Mexico.html

Mike Ruggeri’s Toltecs and Aztecs
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Mike Ruggeri’s Aztec and Toltec World Magazine
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June 14, 2017

New Research at the El Volcan Pyramid in Peru

Archaeologists are suggesting that a pyramid in coastal Peru was built to resemble a volcano, and may have hosted ceremonies based on astronomical events. It is now called El Volcan. It was discovered 50 years ago, but in depth investigations have just begun. The pyramid was built between 900-200 BCE. The volcanic cone was either created by erosion or it was deliberately built like this. The preponderance of evidence is that it was deliberate. The last occupation of the pyramid was at 1563 CE. There were total solar eclipses at 1521, 1538, 1539 and 1543 CE. These solar eclipses may have been celebrated at the volcano.
The report was posted in the journal Antiquity.

International Business Times has the story here with photos;
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mysterious-volcano-shaped-pyramid-discovered-peru-hosted-celebrations-honour-solar-eclipses-1624111

June 9, 2017

Oldest Crafted Copper Object in South America Uncovered in Argentina

The oldest carefully crafted copper object ever made in South America has been uncovered in the La Quebrada region of Argentina. The mask is dated to 1000 BCE. It is a delicate copper mask. And the location in Argentina may show that copper technology had more than one place of origin. The mask was cold hammered and re-heated and then deposited as a grave good. The grave the mask was found in had 14 bodies of men, women and children. And then a single grave with a child buried with a bead and copper pendant. So metal working originated in small remote agricultural level communities.
The research is published in the journal Antiquity.

The International Business Times has the report with great photos;
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/3000-year-old-copper-mask-found-mass-grave-oldest-ever-discovered-south-america-1625586

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June 9, 2017

Aztec Temple and Ball Court Excavated in the Zocalo, Mexico City

A new major discovery of an Aztec Temple and Ballcourt have been excavated near the Zocalo in Mexico City. The excavation uncovered the foundations of a massive circular shaped temple dedicated to the wind god Ehecatl and part of a ball court. The structures were described in the Spanish chronicles. They also found 32 severed male neck vertebrae in a pile next to the court. These would have been the victims of the ball game ritual. The structures were built during the reign of Ahuizotl from 1486-1502. Mexican archaeologist Eduardo Matos said the top of the temple would have resembled a coiled snake with priests entering a doorway that was shaped as the serpent’s nose.

Numerous news stories on this discovery have appeared today. This one is from the Guardian, with photos;
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/08/mexico-city-ancient-aztec-temple-ball-court

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The same story was published in November 2016. Perhaps the Ball Court and the neck vertebrae are new details.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/08/mexico-city-ancient-aztec-temple-ball-court

image

June 9, 2017

Aztec Temple and Ball Court Excavated in the Zocalo, Mexico City

A new major discovery of an Aztec Temple and Ballcourt have been excavated near the Zocalo in Mexico City. The excavation uncovered the foundations of a massive circular shaped temple dedicated to the wind god Ehecatl and part of a ball court. The structures were described in the Spanish chronicles. They also found 32 severed male neck vertebrae in a pile next to the court. These would have been the victims of the ball game ritual. The structures were built during the reign of Ahuizotl from 1486-1502. Mexican archaeologist Eduardo Matos said the top of the temple would have resembled a coiled snake with priests entering a doorway that was shaped as the serpent’s nose.

Numerous news stories on this discovery have appeared today. This one is from the Guardian, with photos;
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/08/mexico-city-ancient-aztec-temple-ball-court

Mike Ruggeri’s Toltecs and Aztecs
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Mike Ruggeri’s Aztec and Toltec World Magazine
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The same story was published in November 2016. Perhaps the Ball Court and the neck vertebrae are new details.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/08/mexico-city-ancient-aztec-temple-ball-court

June 6, 2017

3,500-Year-Old Friezes Discovered At Huaca Garagay In Lima, Peru

Archaeologists have found 3,500-year-old high relief polychrome friezes —similar to those of Chavin de Huantar— at Huaca Garagay site in Lima. They appear to be older than the Chavin Culture. The Huaca had been abandoned for 30 years.

The report is short but the photos are great.

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.ca/2017/05/3500-year-old-friezes-discovered-at.html#Vby9M7SeUau5QQCO.97

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May 31, 2017

A Large Cache of Jade and Serpentine Objects Uncovered at the Ceibel Site in Guatemala

A new large cache of jade and serpentine objects have been uncovered at the Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala. 72 polished celts made from jade, metagabbro, serpentine and other metamorphic greenstone were found in the new excavation. They were buried in the central plaza at Ceibal near huge structures. These celts were used to give authority to a new elite. Many were aligned with the points of the compass.

The IB Times has the report here of the article published in the journal Antiquity, with very good photos;
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/treasure-trove-jade-stones-used-mayan-rituals-discovered-guatemala-1623929

Mike Ruggeri’s Maya World
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Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Maya News Magazine
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May 25, 2017

13,000 BCE Inhabitants at Huaca Prieta, Peru Exhibit Advanced Society

Researchers at the Huaca Prieta site in coastal Peru have found that early inhabitants of the region, living at 15,000 years ago, were far more advanced than thought earlier. Mounds of artifacts have been removed from the site for more than a decade. These include food remains, stone tools, baskets and textiles. Researchers found a variety of fish hooks to carry out a diversity of fishing. The early inhabitants also grew chilis, squash, avocado, and a large amount of a medicinal plant. So these early people would have probably had a bureaucracy and a large organized religion. Baskets made during this period show a variety of complex styles using elaborate dyes.
The latest excavations took six years at 32 excavation units, 32 test pits, 80 geological cores.

(My note, the early dates here fall within the Pre-Clovis time period).

Popular Archaeology has the report here;
http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/june-2013/article/groundbreaking-discovery-of-early-civilization-in-ancient-peru

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Peru (13,000 BC-600 BC)
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May 23, 2017

A New Generation of Reseach at Chaco Canyon

A new generation of Chaco Culture studies is underway. The impetus for this is a study of a burial at Pueblo Bonito, which included turquoise, shell, and the skeleton of a man buried there between 800-850 CE. Boxes of human bones from Chaco were packed away and carted to various museums decades ago. A researcher is now re-uniting the bones into whole bodies again. As the skeletons were re-assembled, signs of disease like syphilis and TB have been uncovered. Bodies were manipulated with bones placed in very unusual ways.

Recent research concludes that a dynasty based on a maternal line ruled at Chcaco for 330 years, and recent research also points to the idea that the local inhabitants built the large Chaco structures, and not more experienced outsiders. Individuals with six toes were apparently very important as evidenced in the Chaco art work. There is clear evidence of Chaco trading 2000 miles to the south and 50 miles to the west and south.

Room 33 at Pueblo Bonito shows individuals, probably rulers, were buried in layers over 300 years in time. The dates for the emergence of complex society at Chaco have now been pushed back to 900 CE, 200 years earlier than thought. Dental analysis from 61 individuals at Pueblo Bonito shows that folks there were eating plants, animals and water from local sources. This strengthens the idea that the local Chacoans built their own complex society. Wood for the structures came largely from the Zuni Mountains, 75 kilometers to the south, and the Chuska Mountains, about the same distance to the west of Chaco Canyon, provided 70 percent of the more than 240,000 trees that were used for roof beams, doorframes and other features of Chaco great houses. Residue on Pueblo Bonito jars and pitchers comes from a chocolate beverage made from cacao that grew in Mesoamerica. Scarlet macaws from Mesoamerica appear at Chcao at 800 CE.

Once Chaco collapsed in 1300 CE, the people lived in small communities around clans based on maternal descent.

Earlier reports on all of these findings can be found at my web sites;

Mike Ruggeri’s Aztlan World
http://mikeruggerisaztlanworld.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Casas Grandes World Magazine
http://bit.ly/1ztd8vF

Science News has the report here;
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/chaco-canyons-ancient-civilization-continues-puzzle

May 20, 2017

New Research into the Moche Civilization Diet

Archaeologists have studied the calcified plaque of Moche individials who lived from 200-800 CE. Plaque hardens over time and turns into micro-fossils. They found the Moche once ate a grain heavy diet, which included amaranth. But they also found sponge spicules, and green and red algae from fresh water and deep sea sources. This means the Moche were eating fish and mollusks, and perhaps seafood from the banks of the Moche River. The researchers also saw an increase in cavities and dental wear showing a shift from a carb-heavy diet to marine protein. And this shift showed up among all classes of people.

Forbes.com has the story here;
http://bit.ly/2qG9bKU

Mike Ruggeri’s Moche/Wari Era Peru
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Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean News Magazine
http://bit.ly/1KJvVt1

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


May 1, 2017

Havana Hopewell Meteoric Iron Beads Research

In 1945, researchers found 22 beads made from meteoric iron at the Avana Hopewell site in Illinois. The Hopewell culture spanned 200 BCE-500 CE in time. A team from the National Museum of Natural History tried to find a linkage between the beads and a specific meteorite found in North America. Artifacts made of meteorites stretch back 5,000 years acriss the glove. The team found a link between the Havana site beads and iron from a meteorite in Anoka, Minnesota. New masses of Anoka iron have recently been found near the Mississippi River. The team studied three of the iron beads, and a polished section of Anoka iron from a sample excavated in 1983. Using modern technology, they found a close relationship between the beads and the Anoka iron. It would appear to strengthen the idea of long distance trade by the Hopewell of Illinois to Minnesota to obtain the iron for the beads.

The International Business Times has the report here;
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/scientists-discover-origins-ancient-hopewell-cultures-meteorite-jewellery-1619103

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

Mike Ruggeri’s Adena and Hopewell World
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Mike Ruggeri’s Adena, Hopewell, and Fort Ancient Cultures Magazine
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April 26, 2017

New Khipu Discovery

A new discovery by Sabine Hyland of St. Andrews University in Scotland about Inca Khipus looked at two khipus kept by village elders and found that they have 14 different colors that allow for 95 unique cord patterns. They could represent syllables and words. The khipus have been kept in a wooden box by elders in the village of San Juan de Collata. Unlike most known khipus which are made of cotton, these two khipus are made from the hair and fiber of  vicuna, alpaca, guanaco, llama, deer, and the rodent vizcacha. A Spanish chronicler who claimed that khipus made from animal fiber “exhibited a diversity of vivid colors and could record historical narratives with the same ease as European books.” The problem with the new khipus is that they only date to the mid-18th century.This brings into question how closely related these khipus are to the ancient ones, and if these khipus are influenced by the Spanish alphabet and language. Researchers will now use computer technology to try to unravel more understanding of khipus.

National Geographic has the report here;
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/inca-khipus-code-discovery-peru/

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April 12, 2017

Macaw Feather Harvesting Finds in the Ancient Southwest

Macaw skeletons in three pueblos in New Mexico show signs of feather harvesting. Macaw feathers have been found all the way north to Utah at sites dating from 300-1450 CE. There is little evidence of macaw breeding in the Southwest. So the birds were imported from Mesoamerica. Researchers found that the macaw bones in the three pueblos show multiple feather loss the entire length of both wings. Thus the feathers were being harvested. Evidence of hand feeding and great care for the birds also showed up in the study. Chaco had an aviary with a 25 centimeter layer of guano. Macaws lived at Chaco around 1050-1120 CE. They saw the birds as tied to the underworld and rain bringers. So the birds were carefully cared for beyond the need for feather harvesting.

Nature.com has the report here;
http://www.nature.com/news/prehistoric-native-americans-farmed-macaws-in-feather-factories-1.21803

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April 8, 2017

New Analysis of 12,000 Year Old Remains of a Girl Found in a Yucatan Cenote.

New analysis by INAH of the 12,000 year old skeleton of a girl found in a cenote in the Yucatan in 2007, nicknamed “Naia,” shows that the girl traveled a long distance and suffered severe nutritional stress that scarred her bones and teeth. Half of her bones were recovered. She died at age 15-17 from a fall into the deep pit where she was found. It appears she gave birth.

Nature.com has the report here;
http://www.nature.com/news/ancient-bones-reveal-girl-s-tough-life-in-early-americas-1.21753

And the full research paper is here;
Nature 544, 15–16 (06 April 2017) doi:10.1038/nature.2017.21753

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