Archeological News of March 2008: Gold and Stonehenge

An ancient gold necklace has been discovered in Peru, which will serve as one of the earliest known gold jewelry pieces made in the Americas. This discovery and a new project involving Stonehenge is the topic of this article.

Ancient Gold Jewelry Uncovered , Peru

The necklace is estimated close to 4,000 years old , resting nicely for many years at a burial site located close to Lake Titicaca. The findings have already been reported in an issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for all to drool over. An anthropologist at the University of Arizona was quoted as saying that the find was “a complete shock.” The find certainly excited those in its presence, as it was not expected at the time.

This find also shatters the assumption that a society required settlement before they were able to generate agricultural surpluses that could sustain activity, including the creation of ornamental items. The people living in the area at the time that the necklace dates back were predominately hunter gatherers. They were just on the path towards becoming settled peoples, but weren’t exactly there yet.

But, someone took the time out to create this ornament, which signifies importance. It also shows that at least someone had the knowledge of such craftsmanship. It is suspected that the necklace is an object of prestige that denotes success. However, archeologists are stumped as to how the item was created. It appears that a nugget of raw gold native to the region was used , pounded flat with the help of a stone mortar and pestle. Speculators suggest that the gold was then “wrapped around a piece of wood and pounded until it was folded into a tube.”

As for the next oldest piece of ornamental gold located in this hemisphere , the honor goes to an example found in Peru that was uncovered farther north , dated around 600 years later than this current necklace find. Thanks to the funded research of the U.S. National Science Foundation and the University of Missouri , we now have information on this attractive piece of history.

Archaeologists Begin Digging at Stonehenge , Britain

For the first time, the month of March became the initial digs of one of England’s most prized pieces of land in more than 40 years. With a thirst to solve the enigma of Stonehenge , researchers are on a quest to uncover the answers to when and why this particular prehistoric monument was constructed.

On this particular excavation project , which is slated to continue on until April 11th , it is the hope of participants to uncover materials that can set a specific date as to when the mysterious set of stones were first put into place. To date , Stonehenge is known as one of the best-known landmarks in Britain.

Over the years, the site has captured the attention and interest of people studying the Druids, neo-Pagans, and New Agers. There has also been an undeniable mystical significance that people equate to the oddly shaped formation of the stones. Nowadays, most everyone wishes to discover the reasoning behind the structure in the first place.