This page is dedicated to all new 'finds' and events in the Archaeological community. Things such as new information from 'digs' and new items discovered by the community of knowledgeable professionals. Some of these finds' are making news around the world. When we hear of this we will post a link here so you can keep up with the most recent goings on in the Native America cultures. Periodically we will 'clear the post' when they reach a certain time period of age. So keep up with the new and exciting events in our culture's history. We will not post any political, radical views or contemporary events of today's Tribes or Nations. This will be just information on what is happening concerning our HISTORY and new items thereof. As Periodicals move forward with their news articles, some of the links may not work. (Please Notify Us)
We would like the thank Michael Ruggeri for all his work and keeping us informed with these new events in the Native community.
1. New 3D scan
INAH has conducted the first 3D scan of an ancient shaft tomb in Western Mexico. The tomb is at the Cerro del Teul Site in Zacatecas. A device called Total Station was used. The tomb dates from 200 BCE-400 CE. There are 6 shaft tombs at the site. Recently, these tombs have yielded beads of marine shell and stone, atlatls, zoomorphic wind instruments and necklaces. The objects prove a commercial network that stretches to the Pacific Ocean. INAH is now looking at the site in order to find the transitions between the shaft tomb culture tradition and the later Mesoamerican temple tradition.
* National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH)
2. This takes you to an explination of who INAH is and some information about their mission.
3. Spiro Mound Culture
Dennis Peterson, site manager at the Mississippian era Spiro Site in Oklahoma, lectured on Spiro recently. Here is what he had to say;
Spiro was an active metropolis from 700 CE-1400 CE. It had contact with 60 tribes coast to coast, involving 30 languages and 3 million people. The Spiro community overcame language barriers and forged many alliances to create a vast trade alliance. They built their metropolis on the banks of the Arkansas River to control trade on the river. They built boats that could transport 80 people. It has the largest repository of burial items found anywhere in the USA.
In 700 CE, maize cultivation took over. Maize can grow in many climates and can be stored for long periods, but it is nutritionally deficient--leading to high infant mortality, bone disease, tooth decay. Women did most of the farming and produced 80-85% of the food and men hunted for the remaining 15% of the food. The Spiro polity controlled the bison herds and made light, sharp tools from the bison shoulder blades. And they controlled bison trade. They also had many stands of Bois d'Arc wood that was sought for its bow-making abilities. Tribes in the East needed these commodities. They were go betweens for smaller sites and places like Cahokia.
They created the only pan-tribal writing system, using icons to solidify stories from tribe to tribe. They did this through conch shell engravings. They obtained the conch shells from the southern tip of Florida and sent an ambassador there to control its trade. These ambassadors would transcribe the stories and religious myths of all the tribes and take the conchs along the river systems to tell the stories to smaller groups. Eventually, they would reach Cahokia and relate the story to the leaders there. The conch became like the excepted bible of these tribes.
The Tahlequah Daily Press has the story here;
4. New Clovis Points Found
INAH has found 3 Clovis points alongside the extinct gomphotheres (elephant ancestors) animal species in Sonora. The excavation has been dated to 11,200 BCE. The site of the discovery is called "World's End," where excavations have been ongoing for a number of years. A quartz crystal Clovis point was found there in 2008 in relation to the same extinct animal species. The three new Clovis points found are of red and brown flint. Two were found complete. One was missing a tip which would have still been in the animal that was hunted. Other stone tools were also found. The previous Clovis material was too small and fragmented to prove the animals were being hunted. This find confirms they were. The points are similar to ones found in Rio San Pedro in Arizona, dated to the same time period. A new archaeological site was also found in the area this season, the 8th site in the area.
5. Oldest mine ever found in the Americas!
A 12,000 year old mine that was used for the extraction of iron oxide has been discovered in the San Ramon Ravine of Chile. It was found in 2008 but not announced till now. The culture that used this mine are known as the Huentelauquen culture. This is the oldest mine ever discovered in the Americas. The culture was a hunting and gathering one and fishermen. The iron oxide was used in religious ceremonies as a coloring agent. Chinchorro mummies found further north, for example, were dyed with iron oxide at 10,000 years ago.
6. Chewing of Coca was at least 8000 yrs old!!!!!
Tom Dillehay and his team have found that South Americans were chewing coca leaves at least 8000 years ago. They have found coca leaves under house floors in Peru. They also found calcite which is used to bring out alkaloids from the leaves. So coca leave processing and chewing began at the same time as farming in the region. The report will appear in the latest edition of Antiquity.
7. Archaeologist Find First Evidence of Jungle Dwellings In Peru
Archaeologists have discovered ancient tombs in southeastern Peru that are very important. They are Wari culture tombs from 600-1200 CE. A silver chest plate, silver mask, 2 golden bracelets with feline figures and two wooden walking sticks laminated in silver have been found in a tomb of a personage called the Lord of Wari. The find was in the archaeological complex of Espiritu Pampa. This is the first proof of jungle dwelling Wari, and shows the Wari were in this area long before the Incas.
8. Ancient Seafood Buffet Found On Channel Islands
Researchers looking at three sites on the Channel Islands off the coast of California have found many stone tools and bone and shell fragments from meals eaten more than 11,000 years ago.
On the menu for the earliest colonizers of the Americas: seabirds, seals and sardines.
The sites have yielded dozens of delicate stone tools and thousands of bone and shell fragments from these meals, researchers report in this week's issue of the journal Science. The tools also show a link to populations far inland in Utah and Nevada. Human remains dating back to 13,000 years ago had been found on Santa Rosa Island, part of the Channel Island chain a few years ago. The new research has found 52 stone points called "Channel Island barbed points," at Santa Rosa. They are ultra thin serrated points that look like hunting points used by groups in the Great Basin. 15 stone crescents have also been found. They look exactly like the stone crescents from the Great Basin-and this makes the contact idea stronger. There is one bit of obsidian found so far that came from eastern California. The bones and shells were from meals of rockfish and sardines and geese. The other two sites on San Miguel Island turned up crabs, mussels, abalone, escargot shells and bones.
9. Additions to Channel Island Finds
Physorg.com has important additions to the Channel Island finds. The points and crescents found at the three sites are not Clovis based and are similar to artifacts in the Great Basin and the Columbia Plateau, including the tools found at the pre-Clovis site of Paisley cave in Oregon. The Channel Island points are broadly similar to points found around the Pacific Rim from Japan to South America, making the story more intriguing.
10. Science explains ancient copper artifacts
Researchers reveal how prehistoric Native Americans of Cahokia made copper artifacts
11. 470 Inca tombs found in the Mountains of Peru
The BBC has a report and a short but good film about the discovery of 470 Inca tombs found in the mountains of southern Peru dated between 1400-1500 BC. (There is a one minute ad BBC inserted before the film begins).
12. A Walk Around Teotihuacan
Dick Diehl has posted a nice page taking us on a walk around Teotihuacan at about.com.
13. Oldest Burial Of Mayan Ruler Found
Archaeologists have found the burial of a ruler at the Guatemalan site of K'o that pushes the first known Maya ruler back two centuries to 350 BCE. There are older Maya burials, but not any this old with grave goods including a royal symbol. K'o is a suburb of the Maya site of Holmul. The grave was found under the ruins of a wealthy house.
14. Adena groups had own burial practices
Nine Adena sites in Ohio, including five mound sites, have been researched. The Alum Creek Mounds in the north indicate that burial rituals there took place in a wooden house like structure. At the end of the ritual, the structure was dismantled and they covered the site with earth. The dead were cremated, but there were no formal burials in these mounds. Columbus sites further south show formal burials of great diversity. But there is enough evidence to show that the Alum Creek people and the Columbus people shared common beliefs, but religious leaders at these two sites enacted those beliefs differently. The Alum sites were secluded and served smaller communities. Fewer religious visionaries would have visited these sites. The Columbus sites were on major transportation routes that would have seen more ideas introduced. More people lived at these sites.
Around 100 BCE, Adena in the Scioto Valley exploded with mortuary ceremonialism and the Hopewell Culture was born. The Hopewell built monumental earthen architecture.
The research appeared in the summer, 2010 journal, "Southeastern Archaeology."
15. -37 pre-Inca tombs discovered in southern Peru
37 tombs of the Tacna culture dating to 800-1445 CE were found by workers installing a water system near the city of Tacna in Peru. Half were children. Ceramics, depictions of boats, harpoons and copper hooks were found with them. The remains are from the Late Regional Development era and are evidence for the exchange between the cultures on the coast and those in the Andean valleys in the Tacna sierra.
16. X-ray Technique Peers Beneath Archaeology's Surface
Stricking discoveries in archaeology are being made possible by strong beams of x-rays, say researchers.
Dave Francis sent this article on this new technique. www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12820302
17. Texas find suggests earlier settlers in N. America than Clovis !
In huge Pre-Clovis news, archaeologists at the Debra L. Friedkin site at the Buttermilk Creek Complex in Texas have found stone tools date back to 13,500 BCE. The tools range in age from 13,200-15,500 years. The report is in the current issue of Science Magazine. The finds are five feet below Clovis materials. The tools are in a large open campsite. 15,528 artifacts have been uncovered so far including blades, scrapers and choppers. This is the largest and oldest Pre-Clovis site so far found in the Americas. Pre-eminent Pre-Clovis expert Tom Dillehay is concerned about the separation of layers there. But another Pre-Clovis expert Dennis Jenkins, who has found human coprolites in a cave in Oregon dating back to 12,000 BCE, the oldest human DNA so far found in the Americas, has taken a look at the research and is impressed by the "incredible, meticulous scientific work" of the Texas team. There are no organic materials found there yet, so carbon dating is not yet possible. Luminescence dating was used instead, among other techniques.
This is huge news in the archaeology of the Americas, and stories are appearing in many sources. Most skeptics are pretty convinced the dates are genuine. And this find is monumental.
18. Pueblo traded for chocolate big-time
Researchers have found that cacao drinking by ancient Pueblo people was more widespread than thought, and involved all classes and not just rulers. Chemical analyses of Pueblo vessels indicate the widespread nature of the consumption of cacao. Turquoise was traded to Mesoamerica in exchange, and this trade lasted for 500 years, from 900-1400 CE. The new study was inspired by the 2009 find of three jars from Pueblo Bonito (900-1130 CE) containing theobromine, a residue of cacao. And Macaw remains, copper bells from Mesoamerica and other decorative items had already been found in Pueblo excavations. But the regular consumption of cacao among the Pueblo peoples shows that this exchange was larger and more constant. The researchers found theobromine in 50 of 75 pitchers and bowls from Pueblo Bonito, in farming villages and the graves of high ranking Hohokam in Arizona.
Turquoise from New Mexico has been found as far afield as Chichen Itza in Mesoamerica. Mesoamericans may have built large pueblos as trading centers in Chaco Canyon. Turquoise workers there may have been paid in cacao, just as happened in Mesoamerica, making cacao drinking more universal. The researchers will now study other Pueblo groups outside of Chaco Canyon, for further evidence of widespread cacao drinking.
19. Nine tombs from the Wari culture (700-1200 CE) were found in Peru recently, and this is being heralded as a major find.
They were found in the Cuzco highlands and 362 artifacts have been found so far including a large silver breastplate, silver mask, gold bracelets, silver walking sticks and feline figurines. Several years ago, Wari tombs were found at Conchopata, in the highlands.
20. Why slash apart a mummy? New research in Peru leaves Archaeologists with an Ancient Mystery
Researchers working at the La Real site in Peru have found that the early Wari people at 600 CE were creating mummies bound with sack, twine, textiles and a headdress and then ripping them apart when done. They also hacked textiles, smashed pots, set them on fire and scattered the remains in the cave. The researchers have not found one intact mummy bundle. 100 mummies were found in a cave at the site with puma feet, dog heads, parrot heads, llamas and a condor. 700 ceramics and 1,200 textiles, silver and gold plaques, feathered textiles, 7 human trophy heads were also found.
32 out of 104 adult skulls showed at least one head wound. Some females also had skull wounds. It appears they were hit multiple times, after their wounds healed. Men were hit in the front, women in the back. The wounds may be the result of a ritual battle with fists and maces and stones called "Tinku." This was recorded by the Spanish.
The ripping open of mummies and artifact destruction may have been a result of the original egalitarian inhabitants of the area revolting against being incorporated into a status driven Wari society.
Unreported Heritage News has the story here with a great series of photos;
21. Carbon dating identifies South America's oldest textiles
Textiles and rope fragments that were found 30 years ago in Guitarrero Cave in the Andes have now been dated to 10,000 BCE, making them the oldest textiles ever found in South America. The fragments were originally bags, baskets, wall or floor coverings or bedding. The items were placed there by settlers from lower altitudes. Textile weaving took place in these caves showing that women were probably among the first to live at these altitudes in the area.
22. Volcanic Ash in the Maya World may Solve a Mystery
Archaeologists have found clay minerals in old canals at Tikal that is derived from volcanic ash from a series of volcanoes in El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico. Currents carried the volcanic ash long distances. Ash was deposited at Tikal over 1,300 years from 340 BCE-990 CE. This is an important discovery since the soil at many Maya sites was weak, fragile and consisted of weathered limestone. So how did these cities support so many people. One answer can now be derived from the volcanic ash discovery. The soil was periodically enriched by these deposits. Volcanic ash retains water and is rich in iron and magnesium. Even a little volcanic ash can enrich the soil for a decade or two. but the downside is the suffocation of plant pollinating insects and acid rain.
22. "Three Felines" Olmec style monolith uncovered at Chalcatzingo, Mexico
National Geographic has posted a nice photo of the "Three Felines" Olmec style monolith uncovered at Chalcatzingo in Morelos with a few additional details.
23.******The World's Second, And Probably The Largest, Serpent Mound Is Found ******
Archaeologist Ken Tankersley has found the remains of a serpent mound constructed by the Fort Ancient Culture somewhere after 1400 CE. It is extraordinarily large, 2,952 feet long, which is twice the length of the Great Serpent Mound. It is now called the Mariemont Serpent Mound. Tankersley says it is better preserved than the Great Serpent Mound. The mound, which sits next to a roadway is 7 feet high at its highest, which would put it close to its original height.
24. Maya Royal Tomb Found With Rare Female Ruler
25. Scientists glimpse inside a Peruvian mummy
26. Humans colonized the New World earlier than previously thought—a revelation that is forcing scientists to rethink long-standing ideas about these trailblazers.
27. The First pre-Historic Bronze Artifact Found In Alaska.
28. Peru archaeologists find pre-Inca sacrificed babies and more.www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-15813793
29. Blue Creek: Rise and Fall of a Maya Center
30. Jaguar Reserve In North America! See also: Wikipedia for this subject.
31. Palenque and its deities - by August Hunt.
32. The excavation of a cemetery more than a thousand years old has uncovered tombs of powerful warriors adorned in gold. One of the richest discoveries in the Americas. Could be the America's "Valley Of The Kings".
33.New Excavations Provide Insights to the Rise of Pueblos of the American Southwest.
34.Maya Jadeite Necklace Found In Guatemala
35. Oldest Corn Cobs Found In Peru- 1,000 Years Older Than Thought.
36. Artifacts Found Under The Pyramid Of The Sun.
37. Ancient Farming Method May Help Conserve Savannahs
38. Great Photos of Maya Life In Ceramics - Language is Polish, But Pictures Are Great Posted 05-26-2012
39. Maya Murals Found At Xultun In Scribes House - Click on the Additional Illustrations By National Geographic Posted 05-26-2012