Ancient Maya Mercury

  title={Ancient Maya Mercury},
  author={David M. 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.
Mercury enrichment in anthrosols and adjacent coastal sediments at a Classic Maya site, Marco Gonzalez, Belize
Elevated concentrations of total mercury (THg) are found in the surface soils and flanking wetland sediments at the Classic Maya coastal site of Marco Gonzalez, Belize. Significant concentrations (up
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 the
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 in
Pigments — Mercury-based red (cinnabar-vermilion) and white (calomel) and their degradation products
  • E. Gliozzo
  • Geology
    Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
  • 2021
This article summarises the history of cinnabar, from its first uses in burials to modern oils on canvas. After a brief introduction on mercury and contamination issues, the article gets to the heart


The Emerald Serpent
  • 1957
Trik, The Ruins of Zaculeu, Guatemala (United
  • Fruit Co., Boston,
  • 1953
Belize, 1964-1970 (Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1979), vol. 1, pp. 61-63] for an example of HgS use in an elite burial
  • 1979
The Quirigua Project
  • 1979
The Emerald Serpent (Falcon's
  • development. SCIENCE,
  • 1957