Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Ancient Iron Ore Mine Discovered In Peruvian Andes (More)
National Geographic News ^ | 2-11-2008 | Kelly Hearn

Posted on 02/12/2008 2:17:28 PM PST by blam

Ancient Iron Ore Mine Discovered in Peruvian Andes

Kelly Hearn in Buenos Aires, Argentina
for National Geographic News
February 11, 2008

A 2,000-year-old mine has been discovered high in mountains in Peru. The find offers proof that an ancient people in the Andes mined hematite iron ore centuries before the Inca Empire, archaeologists say.

The mine was used to tap a vein of hematite, or ochre—the first such mine found in South America that predates the arrival of Spanish conquistadors, experts note.

The discovery, reported by a U.S. archaeologist, was made in southern Peru in the region once inhabited by the ancient Nasca (often spelled "Nazca") culture.

The rare find adds to a slim body of evidence about New World mining practices, said Kevin J. Vaughn, an anthropologist at Purdue University who reported the find.

"Because mining is an extractive industry, it tends to destroy archaeological evidence," he said.

"There is very little evidence of this type of mine. It demonstrates that iron ores were important to ancient Andean civilizations."

The discovery sheds light specifically on how hematite was used by the Nasca, who flourished along the Pacific coast from about 100 B.C. to around A.D. 600.

The culture is known for etching giant drawings in the Nasca desert, as well as making textiles, designing irrigation systems, and creating colorful pottery adorned with images of plants, animals, and complex religious symbols.

Some evidence suggests that ancient Andeans smelted metals like copper to make "prestige goods" for the elite classes, but this was not the case for the ochre mined at the newfound site, Vaughn explained.

"Our hypothesis is that the Nasca people used the red-pigmented mineral primarily for ceramic paints," Vaughn said.

"Nasca artisans could have also used the hematite to paint textiles or adobe walls, or even use it as body paint."

Vaughn's team is currently comparing the hematite from the mine to hematite pigment found on pottery samples, he added.

Rare Artifacts

The mine, dubbed Mina Primavera, was found by itinerant modern-day miners in the Ingenio Valley of the Andes mountains in southern Peru.

Its shaft is a hand-dug cave covering an area of some 700 cubic meters (24,720 cubic feet).

The mine produced some 3,710 metric tons (8,179,066 pounds) of ore over about 1,400 years of use, according to the researchers.

The site also rendered artifacts—such as beads, corncobs, stone tools, pottery shards, and textiles—that have allowed Vaughn's team link the mine to the Nasca.

Most of the artifacts date to the first few centuries A.D.

A paper describing the excavation appeared in the Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.

Donald Proulx, emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, called the study "a major step forward in our understanding of the nature of Nasca ceramic production.

"Vaughn and his colleagues are really the first to systematically look for the sources of clay and pigments used for Nasca pottery," he said.

"The discovery of the mine is extremely important, not only for showing us one of the major sources for the pigments, but also for demonstrating from the associated artifacts that the miners were members of the Nasca culture."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancient; andes; godsgravesglyphs; iron; peru

1 posted on 02/12/2008 2:17:46 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.


2 posted on 02/12/2008 2:19:55 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

And it appears it was also owned by the Chinese....


3 posted on 02/12/2008 2:20:14 PM PST by PGR88
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

That’s some terrain!

“”Because mining is an extractive industry, it tends to destroy archaeological evidence,” he said.”

Digging a hole to find a hole...


4 posted on 02/12/2008 2:21:56 PM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: blam
It demonstrates that iron ores were important to ancient Andean civilizations.”

The discovery sheds light specifically on how hematite was used by the Nasca, who flourished along the Pacific coast from about 100 B.C. to around A.D. 600.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Well,,,Strike me with a feather!

Aren’t these the very times that the Book of Mormon peoples were supposed to be using “steel”?

5 posted on 02/12/2008 2:23:22 PM PST by wintertime (Good ideas win! Why? Because people are not stupid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

So basically this hematite/iron mine was used for paint pigment. There is no indication of any iron smelting.


6 posted on 02/12/2008 2:26:41 PM PST by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

According to Sitchin (Lost Realms), the Sumerians (or their gods) were mining tin and copper ca 4000-3000 BC by Lake Titicaca and making bronze.

He claims that the ruins at Tiahuanaco are not “temples” but an ore-refining site and that TI.ANA.KU in Sumerian means “City Bright Tin”.

Interesting supposition — or flight of fancy, depending upon your outlook.


7 posted on 02/12/2008 2:39:25 PM PST by Oatka (A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: colorcountry
There are many ancient American iron smelting sites. Here’s just a couple for your perusal.

http://www.iwaynet.net/~wdc/

http://www.archaeologyfieldwork.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=135&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=be813b3e3b8737f344113b0bdaee70c9

But evidence is not what is needed. In fact, it’s the opposite of real knowledge, but you knew that.

8 posted on 02/12/2008 2:42:42 PM PST by sevenbak (Righteousness exalteth a nation... Proverbs 14:34)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: wintertime
From this verse they claim they were using both.

RLDS Book of Mormon.
2 Nephi Chapter 5 [15]
And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

The LDS Book of Mormon is numbered different.

9 posted on 02/12/2008 2:42:48 PM PST by Spunky ("You have Freedom of Choice, but not the Consequences.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: blam

That would be a hell of a commute.


10 posted on 02/12/2008 2:43:26 PM PST by dljordan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wintertime; restornu

The time frame overlaps the last few centuries of the Book of Mormon peoples and a couple centuries after their civilization collapsed, the location is somewhat close to the region where most scholars think the BoM peoples lived. I would guess the people mining here were neighbors of the BoM peoples.

Resty, could you do the honors and ping the others? Thanks.


11 posted on 02/12/2008 2:47:19 PM PST by Grig (Howard Dean + Terry McAulif = Mike Huckabee , Hillary Clinton + Obama = McCain)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: sevenbak

Obviously there ARE iron smelting sites. This is not one of them, nor is this the appropriate time frame for what you wish to prove by evidence.

Steel? Now that is entirely a different matter.


12 posted on 02/12/2008 2:50:22 PM PST by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: colorcountry
The time frame is not in question, it’s all over the chronological map. The Book of Ether clearly states that the Jaredites were also smelting iron to be used in swords, and that was loooong before the Nephites.

It is you who are looking to disprove by evidence or lack thereof, I clearly stated quite the opposite, that ‘evidence’ will get you nowhere. If you wish to argue, take it someplace else please.

13 posted on 02/12/2008 3:11:23 PM PST by sevenbak (Righteousness exalteth a nation... Proverbs 14:34)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: sevenbak

I’m not looking for anything. Where did you get that?

I stated that there was now smelting at this site. Now don’t go away mad, just go away.


14 posted on 02/12/2008 3:13:10 PM PST by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: colorcountry; sevenbak
there was now NO smelting
15 posted on 02/12/2008 3:14:17 PM PST by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: sevenbak

“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.”
SOURCE: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080129125405.htm

“Hematite derives its name from the Greek word haimatites, meaning “bloodlike,” an allusion to the vivid red color of the powdered stone. The red powdered hematite, ochre (also spelled ocher), is used as a pigment with many uses presently and throughout history. Red ochre was used by prehistoric artists in their cave paintings. It was used by the ancient Egyptians in religious ceremonies, and as an inscription stone for passages in the Book of the Dead. Native Americans also used ochre as red face paint. Currently, powdered hematite is used in lapidary as a rouge polish and as a pigment in paints and crayons.”
SOURCE: http://www.mamasminerals.com/latestissue.html


16 posted on 02/12/2008 3:15:14 PM PST by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: colorcountry
Agreed, this isn’t even the type of iron vein to be used in iron smelting. Why are we having this discussion?

Wanna start a new thread? ;-)

17 posted on 02/12/2008 3:20:01 PM PST by sevenbak (Righteousness exalteth a nation... Proverbs 14:34)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Adam-ondi-Ahman; America always; Antonello; asparagus; BlueMoose; Choose Ye This Day; ...

CTR


18 posted on 02/12/2008 3:23:01 PM PST by restornu (People do your own home work don't reley on the media!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: blam

btt


19 posted on 02/12/2008 4:03:28 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wintertime

“Swords of the finest steel...”

Is how I recollect it. (Open to correction on this point.)
It rather stood out as anachonistic. I don’t know the dating on the peoples mentioned in the book of Mormon. But steel did not exist in any quantity during the bronze or iron age. I believe some was made in India. Mass production happened after the introducation of the Bessemer process.


20 posted on 02/12/2008 7:07:27 PM PST by Pete from Shawnee Mission
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Pete from Shawnee Mission
Actually, the “finest steel” reference only occurs once, the other refers to ‘precious’ steel. These were referring to artifacts in Jerusalem about 600 B.C. One was a bow, made of steel, and one was a sword, with a hilt of gold, belonging to a member of the ruling class. This was called the ‘sword of Laban’ and future swords were patterned after it, but they aren’t referred to as fine steel.

Here are the references to these 2 artifacts.

http://scriptures.lds.org/1_ne/16/18#18

http://scriptures.lds.org/1_ne/4/9#9

Further, you may find this interesting. Steel was indeed manufactured at this period of time, and the term precious steel tells me that it was indeed rare, but possible.

"It seems evident that by the beginning of the tenth century B.C. blacksmiths were intentionally steeling iron” [Robert Maddin, James D. Muhly, and Tamara S. Wheeler, “How the Iron Age Began,” Scientific American 237/4 (October 1977): 127]. A carburized iron knife dating to the twelfth century B.C. is known from Cyprus [Ibid. The knife shows evidence of quenching. See Tamara S. Wheeler and Robert Maddin, “Metallurgy and Ancient Man,” in The Coming Age of Iron (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), 121]. In addition to this,
A site on Mt. Adir in northern Israel has yielded an iron pick in association with 12th-century pottery. One would hesitate to remove a sample from the pick for analysis, but it has been possible to test the tip of it for hardness. The readings averaged 38 on the Rockwell “C” scale of hardness. This is a reading characteristic of modern hardened steel [Maddin, Muhly, and Wheeler, “How the Iron Age Began,” p. 127].
The importance of this find is echoed by Amihai Mazar, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000 - 586 B.C.E., New York: Doubleday, 1990, p. 361:
A pick found in the eleventh century B.C.E. fortress at Har Adir in the Upper Galilee is the earliest known iron implement made of real steel produced by carbonizing, quenching, and tempering. This technological revolution opened the way for the widespread use of iron.
Quenching, another method of steeling iron, was also known to Mediterranean blacksmiths during this period. “By the beginning of the seventh century B.C. at the latest the blacksmiths of the eastern Mediterranean had mastered the processes that make iron a useful material for tools and weapons: carburizing and quenching” [Maddin, Muhly, and Wheeler, 131]. Archaeologists recently discovered a carburized iron sword near Jericho. The sword, which had a bronze haft, was one meter long and dates to the time of King Josiah, about 600 B.C. [Hershel Shanks, “Antiquities Director Confronts Problems and Controversies,” Biblical Archaeology Review 12/4 (July-August 1986): 33,35]. Hershel Shanks recently described the find as “spectacular” since it is the only complete sword of its size and type from this period yet discovered in Israel [Ibid., 33].
The ability to carburize iron, however, does not mean that iron or steel was widely used and commonly available.

Incidentally, a photo of a gold-hilted sword with a blade made of meteoric iron is available in Volume 3 of the Encyclopedia of Mormonism under the article, “Sword of Laban.” The sword comes from the tomb of Tutankhamun, who died in 1325 B.C., over 700 years before Nephi saw the sword of Laban.

For more information on the ancient use of iron and steel prior to Nephi’s time, see Oleg D. Sherby and Jeffrey Wadsworth, “Damascus Steels,” Scientific American 252 (February 1985): 112-20; J. P. Lepre, The Egyptian Pyramids: A Comprehensive Illustrated Reference (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1990), 245; Immanuel Velikovsky, Ramses II and His Time (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978), 222-37.

While most ancient works of iron or steel are not likely to survive because of corrosion, one recent well-preserved find of an ancient iron sword from the Middle East is reported by Avraham Eitan, “BAR Interviews Avraham Eitan: Antiquities Director Confronts Problems and Controversies,” interview by Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review 12/4 (1986):

A large iron sword, three feet long and about three inches wide was excavated at Vered Jericho (a place near Jericho in Israel). It has a bronze haft with a wooden grip. The strata from which the sword was excavated dates to the late seventh century BC. This sword is unlike the shorter daggers that are normally depicted in art from this part of the world.

21 posted on 02/12/2008 7:47:52 PM PST by sevenbak (Righteousness exalteth a nation... Proverbs 14:34)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: sevenbak
I would also add this. Examples of “steel” being mentioned in the Old Testament include 2 Sam. 22:35 (which refers to a steel bow, perhaps similar to the one Nephi had), Psalms 18:34, Job 20:24, and Jeremiah 15:12. Job 20:24, also clearly refers to iron weapons in one of the most ancient parts of the Bible: “He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.” Jeremiah 15:12 also mentions steel in the context of iron. - a passage dating from the time of Lehi.
22 posted on 02/12/2008 9:48:21 PM PST by sevenbak (Righteousness exalteth a nation... Proverbs 14:34)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: blam

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Blam. Wow, this one turned into something wild. ;') Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


23 posted on 02/12/2008 11:58:08 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, February 10, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson