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The Golden Chiefs of Panama

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posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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In a grassy, sun-parched field in central Panama, gold was coming out of the ground so fast that archaeologist Julia Mayo was tempted to yell, Stop, stop! For years she had been working for this moment, waiting for it, but now she was overwhelmed.


A gold pendant about an inch tall depicts a two-headed bat. It hung from the neck of one of the warriors buried with a great chief.

Determined to uncover new evidence of the ancient society she had been studying since graduate school, Mayo and her team began geophysical surveys in 2005 at a site known as El Caño, named for a waterfall on one of the area's many rivers. The results identified a circle of long-forgotten graves. By 2010 she and her team had dug a pit 16 feet deep and discovered the remains of a warrior chieftain bedecked in gold—two embossed breastplates, four arm cuffs, a bracelet of bells, a belt of hollow gold beads as plump as olives, more than 2,000 tiny spheres arranged as if once sewn to a sash, and hundreds of tubular beads tracing a zigzag pattern on a lower leg. That alone would be the find of a lifetime, but it was just the beginning. Mayo had struck a lode of treasure.


Excavated ornaments include arm cuffs and a breastplate crafted for a warrior chief.

The team returned last year during the January-to-April dry season and unearthed a second burial every bit as rich as the first. Bearing two gold breastplates in front, two in back, four arm cuffs, and a luminous emerald, the deceased was surely another supreme chief. Near him lay a baby similarly adorned in gold, most likely his son. Beneath both of them stretched a layer of tangled human skeletons, possibly sacrificed slaves or war captives. Radiocarbon tests would date the burials to about A.D. 900—the era when the Maya civilization, some 800 miles to the northwest, was beginning to unravel.


The personal treasures of a chief include a seahorse pendant about three inches tall, ear ornaments, part of a breastplate, a necklace, and plaques. All were buried in a bag studded with the surrounding stone beads, which scattered as the fibers decayed.

In his 1937 report Harvard archaeologist Samuel Lothrop identified the Sitio Conte people as one of the native groups the Spanish had encountered when they invaded Panama in the early 1500s. As the conquistadores marched across the isthmus, they wrote detailed chronicles of their progress. In the Sitio Conte region they found small, belligerent communities vying for control of the savannas, forests, rivers, and coastal waters. Their warrior chiefs covered themselves in gold to proclaim their rank as they fought each other and the Spanish. The conquistadores accumulated a fortune in gold for the royal coffers back in Seville as they defeated chief after chief. From one funeral alone they plundered 355 pounds of gold, including jewelry that they tore from the bodies of three chiefs who had been mummified over a smoking fire after falling in battle.


Ornaments excavated from the site include a human-headed pendant about five inches tall

Specialists at the Smithsonian Institution are analyzing the array of materials Mayo's team has unearthed and have already made a major discovery. Natural impurities in the gold indicate that the metal was mined and worked in the region. This firmly puts to rest any debate about whether Panama's treasures were imported from farther south, where cultures were supposedly older and more advanced. The native people in this area may have lived in simple huts, but they were rich enough to support master craftsmen and sophisticated enough to appreciate fine art.


Sources: archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com... and
National Geographic: ngm.nationalgeographic.com...

Well, very interesting indeed. Much more advanced that I had thought, in the metal areas anyway.

With the recent news that metorites most likely brought gold and other precious metal/minerals to Earth, I think this find even further supports that concept. It seems like that whole area was/is riddled with Gold.

I find it interesting that they knew the importance of Gold back then. Just seems odd to have put so much time into the metal when they needed to improve the living conditions first and foremost. Same as in Egypt, IMO.

Well, I hope they enjoy what they are doing as it sound like that whole area will be worked for sometime to come.




posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 03:51 PM
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Nice find, great story and thanks for improving my day

2nd line



posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by anon72
I find it interesting that they knew the importance of Gold back then. Just seems odd to have put so much time into the metal when they needed to improve the living conditions first and foremost. Same as in Egypt, IMO.


One or two scholars of late, have put forward the idea that the reason we started burying our dead with gold objects was to increase it's value monetarily. It had always been valued for it's incorruptibility, but, according to research, almost everywhere in the ancient world, it was quite abundant. It was only through burying so much of it, that scarcity was created. There was always enough to go round otherwise.

That's a thought...how much gold has been sent out into space?

Now that could put a spanner in the works...theoretically...hmm.


Fantastic thread OP...thanks for posting.



posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 07:59 PM
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reply to post by anon72
 


Great find. Very interesting.

I would point out, however, that it may be possible that they saw no need to "improve their living conditions". This is a modern perspective said from a western state of mind. Aboriginal existence is less about how nice the hut is and more about things like actually living. It is a society that places an emphasis on nature and the world around them.

The metalwork is suprisingly fine, i agree. But metal work is an expression of love of nature. The same as carpentry (not construction, mind you). The art form of putting human perspective and imagination to wholly natural items. My personal favorite of such things is stonework. Is there really anything more beautiful than some really nice marble? A hotel i stayed at recently has this black marble with streaks of red, green, and white in it. The most gorgeous thing I have ever seen.

Here is a picture of the columns:



edit on 21-12-2011 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by anon72
 


Oh, LOVELY artifacts -- and somewhat reminiscent of the objects I saw in the Museo del Oro in Costa Rica. Exquisite craftsmanship, and a very nice report of the preliminaries. The two headed bat reminded me somewhat of El Gran Chaman of Costa Rica (but only a little bit.) I look forward to seeing these pieces on exhibit someday.

(Gold, however, is not brought in by meteorites... it's associated with volcanic vents, though, and the Andes/mountains of Central America/Rockies/etc are volcanic. Very rich area for metals and gold, unlike, say, most of Texas.)



posted on Dec, 21 2011 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by Omphale
One or two scholars of late, have put forward the idea that the reason we started burying our dead with gold objects was to increase it's value monetarily.


This isn't a theory by archaeologists or anthropologists because the amount of gold buried is actually fairly insignificant compared to the amount that's around. In addition, gold wasn't valued by all ancient societies (the Native Americans of California didn't revere it.)

Items of great status are buried with people of great status -- things like jade axes, certain animals, beautiful jewelry, beautifully chipped flints, and high quality pottery are offerings buried with a high chief. Poor people mostly got buried with whatever they had that nobody wanted.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 04:57 AM
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Originally posted by Byrd
This isn't a theory by archaeologists or anthropologists because the amount of gold buried is actually fairly insignificant compared to the amount that's around. In addition, gold wasn't valued by all ancient societies (the Native Americans of California didn't revere it.)


Yes, I apologise, it does really apply to the Ancient Civilisations of the Near East and through into Europe where Gold was clearly abundant, but as it was traced further and further into the mountains, and supply could be controlled, preventing alluvial distribution, the appearance of scarcity could be created and maintained. If you look at the history of Dacia, and it's relationship with first Greece, who took over the distribution of finished and raw gold, and later the Romans who went to loot the Dacian sacred river offerings and graves. Knowledge of the gold workings was lost. All the mines of the trans-Carpathian region, lay fallow throughout the dark ages, some were rediscovered in the middle-ages and worked, mainly for silver, but only now are we returning to the gold in the Carpathian ring. Because, to expand on your earlier statement that gold is produced by volcanic venting, it is also caused by continental folding...along with a whole load of other exciting and useful minerals. There is a lot of continental folding on that side of the med, obviously.


Originally posted by Byrd
Items of great status are buried with people of great status -- things like jade axes, certain animals, beautiful jewelry, beautifully chipped flints, and high quality pottery are offerings buried with a high chief. Poor people mostly got buried with whatever they had that nobody wanted.


Poor people, as often as not, emulate their 'betters'. It is not a question that they were buried with what wasn't wanted, that is a crass assessment, they were buried with what could be spared. There's a difference and I am sure you can understand it.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 07:33 AM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


Not that I believe it or not but I was referrencing this story/info put out in September, when I wrote about Gold from Other Space....

All the world's gold comes from outer space, say scientists

Scientists believe they have evidence that the Earth's reserves of precious metals, including gold and platinum, which have underpinned the world's economies for millennia and which are used to make everything from jewellery to computer parts, are the result of meteorite strikes up to 200 million years after the planet was formed. Analysing four-billion-year-old rocks from Greenland, experts from the University of Bristol believe they have found the "fingerprints" of huge meteorite bombardments which created the deposits that are mined today.


Source: www.independent.ie...



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 10:37 AM
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Ahhh gold. Gold has been a constant thorn in my side for many years now, as well as silver. I wish I knew why it was coveted so much. It may have some sort of spiritual property as many idols are made from it and most of the false gods in the Holy Bible are made of Gold.......but also the Ark of the covenant as well....mystery's abound.

Another neat thing to notice, look at the Dinosaur/Dragon carved into the gold plate....either man lived with Dinosaurs or all the old cultures some how near what dinosaurs looked like. I say we lived with them. 65 million years ago time periods is trash.



posted on Dec, 22 2011 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by KJV1611
 


Dam.. good eye on the dragon... STAR!!! Flag if I could.

You just got my mind racing. Let's see what I come up with.

I can't wait to see what others say. 1500+years ago and they were making dragons in Central AMerica? Mostly those were Asian and European... I thought.
edit on 12/22/2011 by anon72 because: (no reason given)




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