* Astronomy

Members Login
Post Info TOPIC: Ancient iron ore mine


L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Ancient iron ore mine
Permalink  
 


A Purdue University archaeologist discovered an intact ancient iron ore mine in South America that shows how civilizations before the Inca Empire were mining this valuable ore.

"Archaeologists know people in the Old and New worlds have mined minerals for thousands and thousands of years. Iron mining in the Old World, specifically in Africa, goes back 40,000 years. And we know the ancient people in Mexico, Central America and North America were mining for various materials. There isn't much evidence for these types of mines. What we found is the only hematite mine, a type of iron also known as ochre, recorded in South America prior to the Spanish conquest. This discovery demonstrates that iron ores were important to ancient Andean civilizations" - Kevin J. Vaughn, an assistant professor of anthropology who studies the Nasca civilization, which existed from A.D. 1 to A.D. 750.

 In 2004 and 2005, Vaughn and his team excavated Mina Primavera, which is located in the Ingenio Valley of the Andes Mountains in southern Peru. The research team performed field checks and collected some samples in 2006 and 2007. The findings of the excavation are published in December's Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.
The researchers determined that the mine is a human-made cave that was first created around 2,000 years ago. An estimated 3,710 metric tons was extracted from the mine during more than 1,400 years of use. The mine, which is nearly 700 cubic meters, is in a cliffside facing a modern ochre mine.
Vaughn hypothesizes that the Nasca people used the red-pigmented mineral primarily for ceramic paints, but they also could have used it as body paint, to paint textiles and even to paint adobe walls. The Nasca civilization is known for hundreds of drawings in the Nasca Desert, which are known as the Nasca-Lines and can only be seen from the air, and for an aqueduct system that is still used today.
Vaughn and his team discovered a number of artefacts in the mine, including corncobs, stone tools, and pieces of textiles and pottery. The age of the items was determined by radiocarbon dating, a process that determines age based on the decay of naturally occurring elements.

Source

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.



Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard