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March 23, 2014

The Remarkable Coin Cache

My wife and I were heading to Southern Utah for a teaching conference. It was June 4th and school had just let out for the summer the day before. Both of us are Middle School Science teachers so this was our first vacation for the summer. When we… More
March 07, 2014

Shamanic figurine guarding shaft tomb discovered in Colima

A shaft tomb containing skeletal remains along with a rich assemblage of grave goods, has been discovered in a later cemetery in the state of Colima, Mexico by researchers at the National Institute of Anthropology and History Archaeologist Marco… More
February 11, 2014

Filmmakers search for Montezuma's treasure in Kanab pond

KANAB, Kane County – For 100 years, locals have believed Montezuma’s treasure lies at the end of a tunnel below Three Lakes pond in Kanab, Utah. Now, filmmakers hope to discover just what is there. Producer Mike Wiest along with landowner Lon Child… More

Scientists in the United States and Canada are reporting the first scientific evidence that ancient civilizations in the Central Andes Mountains of Peru smelted metals, and hints that a tax imposed on local people by ancient Inca rulers forced a switch from production of copper to silver.

Their study is scheduled for the May 15 issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal.

The University of Alberta's Colin A. Cooke and colleagues point out that past evidence for metal smelting, which involves heating ore to extract pure metal, was limited mainly to the existence of metal artifacts dating to about 1,000 A.D. and the Wari Empire that preceded the Inca. The new evidence emerged from a study of metallurgical air pollutants released from ancient furnaces during the smelting process and deposited in lake sediments in the area.

By analyzing metals in the sediments, the researchers recreated a 1,000-year history of metal smelting in the area, predating Francisco Pizarro and his Spanish conquistadors by 600 years. Their findings show that smelters in the Morococha region of Peru switched from production of copper to silver around the time that Inca rulers imposed a tax, payable in silver, on local populations.

Article: "A Millennium of Metallurgy Recorded by Lake Sediments from Morococha, Peruvian Andes"

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

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