South America

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Book Review: The Road To Ruins

The most avidly acquired antiquities of the New World during the last 50 years have been Maya relics from Mexico and Central America. Countless sculptures and artefacts unearthed at archaeological sites have gone to the museums and private collections of richer countries. At first, the traffic was slight; but in the 1960s it rose to […]

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Brian Fagan Digs Deeper

Robots roam at Teotihuacan, Mexico Robots for exploring deep under pyramids are a new fashion in archaeology. One revealed a hidden door and a chamber in the Pyramid of Khufu at Giza in Egypt. Now, Mexico’s National Institute of Archaeology and History has unleashed a locally designed, camera-equipped remote controlled vehicle under the Temple of […]

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Inca ancestors’ stones found in Andes

A team of archaeologists, working Peruvian Andes, has hailed as ‘sensational’ the discovery of three ‘ancestor stones’ on an isolated Andean mountainside. For the Inca, such ancestor stones were more precious than gold, and imbued with supreme symbolic significance as representing deities, ancestors, and the sun. No examples of the stones were believed to have […]

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Ancient Maya marketplace

Archaeologists and soil scientists have come up with the novel theory that the open areas conventionally described as ‘ritual plazas’ in Mayan cities of the Classic era (AD 300 to 900) could really be outdoor markets. This idea challenges the notion that the Maya had a centralised food distribution system whereby foodstuffs were controlled by the […]

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu symbolises the extent, technical skill, and productivity of the Inca Empire in its heyday.

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Incas under fire

Human remains unearthed in Lima, capital of Peru, have yielded the first direct evidence of Inca deaths caused by Spanish conquerors around 500 years ago, says Melissa Murphy of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. In a report on Violence and weapon-related trauma at Puruchuco-Huaquerones, Peru, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Professor […]

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Brian Fagan Digs Deeper

A Maya lord The ancient Maya continue to surprise us, this time with the discovery of a well-preserved tomb under the El Diablo pyramid at El Zotz in Guatemala. Stephen Houston and his research team encountered the grave under a chamber in a small temple in front of the pyramids dedicated to the sun god, […]

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Belize, Sweatbath

What do we know of Maya ritual practices? New revelations of a well-preserved sweatbath at Pook’s Hill in western Belize are hot. Christophe Helmke and Jaime Awe write.

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Amazonian Emire Found

Stories about lost jungle civilizations are normally the staple of adventure films or the lunatic fringe. Now fiction has become reality with the discovery of hundreds of huge and hitherto unknown earthworks in the upper Amazon basin, near the borders of Bolivia and Brazil. Wide-scale forest clearance for agriculture has revealed 200 enclosures and the […]

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Serra Da Capivara

The compelling rock art of north-eastern Brazil explored. But how might it redraft the story of early human migration

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Tombs of the Lords of Sipan

CWA investigates the unplundered tombs of the Moche culture ‘Lords of Sipan’, who were buried with dazzling splendour in the early centuries AD

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