Ancient Iron Ore Mine Discovered in Peruvian Andes

<< Back to Page 1   Page 2 of 2

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."

Free Email News Updates

Sign up for our Inside National Geographic newsletter. Every two weeks we'll send you our top stories and pictures (see sample).

<< Back to Page 1   Page 2 of 2


SOURCES AND RELATED WEB SITES

ADVERTISEMENT

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S PHOTO OF THE DAY

NEWS FEEDS     After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.   After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

National Geographic Daily News To-Go

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.
Click here to get 12 months of National Geographic Magazine for $15.