Ancient Maya Mercury

  title={Ancient Maya Mercury},
  author={D. Pendergast},
  pages={533 - 535}
Discovery of mercury in an ancient Maya offering at Lamanai, Belize, has stimulated examination of possible sources of the material in the Maya area. Two zones of cinnabar and native mercury deposits can be defined in the Maya highlands, and the presence of the native metal suggests that the ancient Maya collected rather than extracted the mercury from ore. 
Molecular genetic and geochemical assays reveal severe contamination of drinking water reservoirs at the ancient Maya city of Tikal
It is revealed that two of the largest reservoirs at Tikal, essential for the survival of the city during the dry seasons, were contaminated with high levels of mercury, phosphate and cyanobacteria known to produce deadly toxins, demonstrating severe pollution problems at a time when episodes of climatic aridity were prevalent. Expand
Mercury source in Copan (Honduras): Local mining or trade?
Abstract Mercury was widely used in the art and rituals of the pre-Columbian Maya. A large amount (>6 kg) of documented liquid mercury has been recovered in Maya cultural deposits at Copan, Honduras.Expand
A Tale of Maize, Palm, and Pine: Changing Socio-Ecological Interactions from Pre-Classic Maya to the Present Day in Belize
The environmental impact of the ancient Maya, and subsequent ecological recovery following the Terminal Classic decline, have been the key foci of research into socio-ecological interactions in theExpand
A late-Holocene vegetation history from the Maya lowlands, Lamanai, Northern Belize
A 3 m core from the New River Lagoon, adjacent to the Maya city of Lamanai, Northern Belize, contains a continuous record of vegetation change between c. 1500 bc and ad 1500. Inferred changes inExpand
Agroforestry and ritual at the ancient Maya center of Lamanai
Paleoethnobotanical data retrieved from caches of Late Classic to Early Postclassic origin at the ancient Maya site of Lamanai, Belize, revealed carbonized maize kernels, cob fragments, common beans,Expand
Portable XRF analysis for the identification of raw materials of the Red Jaguar sculpture in Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Abstract In 1935, the sculpture of the Red Jaguar throne was discovered in the upper part of the sub-structure of Kukulkan's pyramid (Chichen Itza, Mexico). However, the origins of the raw materialsExpand
Deciphering the inorganic chemical record of ancient human activity using ICP-MS: a reconnaissance study of late Classic soil floors at Cancuén, Guatemala
Abstract Inorganic chemical analysis of soil floors using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was undertaken to provide information on the nature and location of past human activityExpand
Techniques of gilding and surface-enrichment in pre-Hispanic American metallurgy
Abstract Between c. 1500 BC and the European conquest, native American metalworkers discovered (with no apparent influence from the Old World) almost all the techniques of gilding and plating knownExpand
Amalgamation and Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Ancient Andes
In 1532, the volume of gold provided by Atahualpa, the Inka king, as ransom for his release from the Spanish was hard evidence for the efficient small-scale gold mining that took place beforeExpand
The center and the edge: Archaeology in Belize, 1809–1992
The archaeological history of Belize now spans, in a sense, 183 years. For all but the past quarter-century of that time, research in the country has ranged from sporadic to nonexistent. In recentExpand


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