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.

Early Native Americans Imported Exotic Parrots, DNA Reveals

Science & InnovationYear of the Bird<p>The discovery suggests that scarlet macaws were being bred for trade centuries earlier than previously thought.<p>For more than two millennia, indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica have traded macaws and included their feathers in rituals. The birds held immense …

Native Americans

Ancient mound builders carefully timed their occupation of coastal Louisiana site

A new study of ancient mound builders who lived hundreds of years ago on the Mississippi River Delta near present-day New Orleans offers new insights …

Conservatism took hold here 1,000 years ago. Until the people fled.

By Annalee Newitz<p>During the eighth century, a new kind of civilization arose in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon. It started a social movement that swept across what is now the U.S. Southwest, transforming people’s beliefs about how to live, worship and farm. For the next six centuries, Ancestral Puebloan …

Ancient Native American King's House Rediscovered in Florida

Known from Spanish records, the once-lost structure belonged to Caalus, ruler of an indigenous people famous for resisting colonial missionaries.<p>In February 1566, Caalus sat on his throne and watched a procession of strange men march toward his house.<p>The Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Aviles had …

Researcher digs into mystery of ancient Arkansas burial ground containing at least 114 skulls but no bodies

John Samuelsen hopes to solve the mystery of Crenshaw.<p>The prehistoric Caddo village in southwest Arkansas has a burial ground that contains at least …

Datan en 2000 años de antigüedad, cabeza momificada de guacamaya hallada en cueva Avendaños, Chihuahua

El colorido plumaje de las guacamayas fue motivo de que esta ave ocupara un lugar relevante en el imaginario colectivo de las comunidades …

Archaeologist says fire, not corn, key to prehistoric survival in arid Southwest

Conventional wisdom holds that prehistoric villagers planted corn, and lots of it, to survive the dry and hostile conditions of the American …

Forests

Chaco Canyon’s ancient civilization continues to puzzle

Chaco Canyon is a land of extremes. Summer heat scorches the desert canyon, which is sandwiched between sandstone cliffs nearly two kilometers above …

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 …

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 …

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

That's reflected in the decline of deer bones found in ancient middens, or waste sites, and the rise in the number of turkey bones, said Lipe.<p>"At …

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 …

Salt's secret success in ancient Chaco Canyon

One of the most valuable resources the researchers had while combing through the desert was the friendships they built with the Puebloans and Navajo …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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

"If you look at the island, there's symmetry to it, with the tallest mounds being almost 10 meters high (or 32 feet) above modern sea level," …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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

It likely started as a simple stroll through their crops, but the footprints left in the mud by a family of farmers 2,500 years ago are now providing …

The early 'gastronomes' of Tucson

When Tucson was selected as the first U.S. Creative City of gastronomy by UNESCO last week, its long history of cultivated crops was cited as part of …

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 …

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 …