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Offerings in the Cenote at Chichen Itza are from Panama and Peru

Created on Thursday, 11 February 2016 11:23
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 February 2016 11:24

MEXICO, MERIDA (Notimex) .- Studies optical microscopy, fluorescence spectrometry and X-ray diffraction applied to various rescued offerings cenote at Chichen Itza confirmed that mostly came from what is now Panama, Costa Rica and Peru. 

Jose Luis Ruvalcaba Sil, researcher Institute of Physics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said that these results prove the religious significance of the site and the existence of extensive exchange networks.

The specialist explained that along with the University of California, Berkeley, the Institute of Anthropological Research of UNAM and School Conservation, Restoration and Museology INAH analyzed various parts obtained from Chichén Itzá to know its composition, technology and determine its origin. 


Leader draft and specialist archeometry said in an interview that researchers at Harvard University noted from the 50s of last century in various parts obtained Chichén Itzá could come from other regions of the continent. 

This view of their manufacturing high purity gold and tumbaga (alloy of the same metal and copper), common in Central America, although it is not known about the origin of the parts gilded copper until the eighties. 

The studied pieces, detailed, are in the National Museum of Anthropology, the Canton Palace in the capital of Yucatan and the Peabody Museum in Boston, United States, whose common feature is that all obtained in Chichén Itzá. 

According to Ruvalcaba Seal, studies were performed with equipment belonging to the National Science Laboratory for Research and Conservation of National Heritage (Lancic), consisting of the UNAM and the National Institute for Nuclear Research (ININ), with support from the National Council Science and Technology (CONACYT). 

He said studies spectrometry XRF and XRD provide insight into the composition of alloys, while optical microscopy allows to know the status of the surface of objects. 

In this regard, he said they found several pieces of pure gold, typical of what is now Costa Rica and Panama, where such is the purity of the material to be handled is added copper in ancient times. 

In turn tumbaga parts are gilded with a process that removes the copper surface and the gold-enriched. 

He noted that determined that several pieces were gold-plated copper, with a thickness of only one micron and is well adhered to the material from which the piece is made. 

This evidence, according to the interviewee, a technology well developed in the pre-Columbian era in Peru by the Moche culture. 

He recalled that pieces of gilded copper were also found at the Mayan site of Lagartero, Chiapas, and have been reported gilded copper pieces from what is now Guatemala. 

On objects of gilded copper, he scored which were subsequently made to 600 AD, during which flourished Chichén Itzá, the so-called Classic period, which also corresponds to the proposed contacts with Central and South America by sea. 

In his opinion, the presence of these parts in the cenote at Chichen Itza confirms the religious and social importance of this Mayan city. 

In this regard, he asked to recall also found in the cenote at Chichen Itza turquoise Northwest from what the United States and obsidian deposits in the region of Michoacan today. 

Ruvalcaba Sil said the study, which also used a particle accelerator to study technology, are the first to establish with certainty the origin of various objects were thrown as offerings in the Mayan sacred cenote.


He added that with the commissioning in 2014 of Lancic National Laboratory as a network of laboratories that include the Institute of Physics, Chemistry and Aesthetic UNAM and ININ Materials Research. 

He said it has also been possible to understand and replicate some of the Mexican pigment production techniques at different times, for the conservation and proper recovery of numerous works. 

Today, he said, you can tell by Raman spectrometry using lasers, and reflectance, how certain colors, several of which were obtained usually plants, and thus redeemed ancient techniques were elaborated. 

There are also studies of prehispanic masks that let you know what kind of minerals are produced and the origin thereof, without the study represent harm to the piece, and if intervenirse know what material is used without RISK ENVIRONMENTS.- Juan Matu Chalet



Courtesy: El Diario de Yucatan