Mike Ruggeri's Ancient Moundbuilders/Ancient Southwest News Magazine

By Michael Ruggeri | News from Ancient North America, from the Adena and Hopewell to the Mississippian civilizations, to the civilizations of the Ancient Southwest.

Chaco’s Elites Were Natives of Chaco Canyon, Not Migrants, Their Remains Show

More than a century after the great sandstone monuments of New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon were first studied, archaeologists are finally learning about …

Anthropology

1,000 Years Ago, Corn Made This Society Big. Then, A Changing Climate Destroyed It

About a 15-minute drive east of St. Louis is a complex of earthen mounds that once supported a prehistoric city of thousands. For a couple of hundred years, the city, called Cahokia, and several smaller city-states like it flourished in the Mississippi River Valley. But by the time European …

Little Ice Age

New Evidence Reveals Violent Final Days at Arizona’s Montezuma Castle

It’s one of Arizona’s most famous landmarks: a pair of 900-year-old limestone cliff dwellings whose sudden abandonment centuries ago has proven to be …

Archaeology

Earliest Known Clay Figurines in the Southwest May Be Fertility Symbols, Study Says

Curious clay figurines that have been found in southern Arizona appear to be fertility symbols used by desert farmers as much as 3,000 years ago, …

Archaeology

Turkeys were a major part of ancestral Pueblo life

While the popular notion of the American Thanksgiving is less than 400 years old, the turkey has been part of American lives for more than 2,000 …

Mummified Bird, Baby Found in Cave Shed Light on Earliest Desert Farmers

Archaeologists called to investigate a cave on a rancher’s property have discovered an unusual burial that’s providing new insights into the ways of …

Archaeology

Salt's secret success in ancient Chaco Canyon

A team of University of Cincinnati researchers had to go deep to uncover brand new knowledge that they say will "shake up" the archaeological field …

Dating the Macaws

Macaw Feathers and Copper Bell on Display at Chaco Visitor Center MuseumOne of the most exciting recent developments in the study of Chaco Canyon is …

Archaeology

The Utah Chocolate Story

Cacao pods growing on the plant, Theobroma cacao. Eco Chocolate Museum, Yucatán Peninsula. Photo: Enrique Pérez Huerta<p>Chocolate, a product of the …

Archaeology

Fresh look at burials, mass graves, tells a new story of Cahokia

A new study challenges earlier interpretations of an important burial mound at Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city in Illinois near present-day St. Louis. …

Ice Age Hunting Camp, Replete With Bird Bones and Tobacco, Found in Utah Desert

In the dead-flat desert of northwestern Utah, archaeologists have uncovered a scene from a distant, and more verdant, time.Just a few centimeters …

Archaeology

900-Year-Old Village Recorded in Volcanic Badlands of New Mexico

In the black-rock badlands of northwestern New Mexico, archaeologists have documented a 900-year-old village with unique ties to the Ancestral …

Archaeology

Building on shells: Interdisciplinary study starts unraveling mysteries of Calusa kingdom

Centuries before modern countries such as Dubai and China started building islands, native peoples in southwest Florida known as the Calusa were …

First Evidence of Corn Beer in Southwest Discovered on Teeth From Ancient Burials

The last meals of men and women buried centuries ago in the ancient city of Casas Grandes were dominated by corn, new research has found — from …

Archaeology

Ancient Grave of Teenage Girl May Reveal Secrets of Southwest’s Earliest Farmers

Archaeologists working in the borderlands of northern Mexico have uncovered a camp used by ancient hunters as much as 10,500 years ago, revealing …

Archaeology

Nearly 20 Stone-Tool Sites, Dating Back Up To 12,000 Years, Discovered In Nevada

Along lakes and streams that have long since disappeared, archaeologists working in southern Nevada have found nearly 20 sites used by ancient …

Archaeology

A 2,500-year-old family stroll frozen in time: Footprints left by Native American farmers, children and their dog unearthed in Arizona

• <b>Dozens of barefoot prints were uncovered to the north of Tucson, Arizona</b>• <b><br>They show adults walking through fields as children scamper around them</b></b> …

How far did Hohokam reach?

The Hohokam who built hundreds of miles of irrigation canals in Phoenix also created the most advanced civilization in the Southwest — a peaceful, …

The early 'gastronomes' of Tucson

Inhabitants of an early irrigated agriculture site in North America ate rabbit, greens and masa made from popcorn.

Archaeology

Nearly 9,000 Artifacts Uncovered in California Desert, Spanning 11,500 Years of History

Archaeologists exploring the remote reaches of a military training base in southern California have uncovered nearly 9,000 artifacts that represent …

Archaeology

Pig Point likely a hub of vast Native American settlement

Is this a case of prehistoric sprawl?<p>County archaeologists over the past several years have uncovered centuries of Native American history at Pig …

Archaeology

America’s Largest Earthwork, Cahokia’s Monks Mound, May Have Been Built in Only 20 Years, Study Says

It was ten stories tall, and wider at the base than the Empire State Building. And nearly a thousand years ago, it was the centerpiece of the …

Archaeology

MIKE RUGGERI'S ANCIENT NORTH AMERICA NEWS

Cocoa, Caffeinated ‘Black Drink’ Were Widespread in Pre-Contact Southwest, Study Finds

Stimulating drinks made from exotic plants, like the cocoa tree and a type of southern holly, were consumed much more widely across the prehistoric …

Archaeology

Victims of Human Sacrifice at Cahokia Were Locals, Not ‘Foreign’ Captives, Study Finds

The practice of human sacrifice in America’s largest prehistoric city was more subtle and complex than experts once thought, new research …

'Winged Monster' Rock Art Finally Deciphered

The mystery surrounding the ancient rock paintings of Utah's Black Dragon Canyon has finally been solved. For decades, researchers and creationists …

Ancient History

1,200-Year-Old Pouches Found in Arizona Cave Contain Prehistoric ‘Chewing Tobacco,’ Study Finds

Dozens of small, fiber-wrapped bundles discovered in a cave in Arizona have been found to contain wild tobacco, the first scientific evidence …

Archaeology

Scarlet macaw skeletons point to early emergence of Pueblo hierarchy

<b>American Museum of Natural History</b>—New work on the skeletal remains of scarlet macaws found in an ancient Pueblo settlement indicates that social and …

Mississippi Valley archaeological site reveals transition from hunter-gatherer to farming cultures of ancient Native Americans

Professor Meg Kassabaum climbed a ladder down into the earth, where bits of pottery and charcoal and stripes of soil and sand sketch the story of the …

Archaeology