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The items were found on the Caribbean island of Antigua and date from between 250 and 500 AD. They could have only come from a primary source in far away Guatemala, tests show, prompting anthropologists to re-evaluate the ocean-faring skills of the settlers from that area.
Trade secrets revealed
Until now, it was assumed that the early Antiguans—called the Saladoid—only had contact southward with people in South America, said George Harlow, mineralogist with the American Museum of Natural History and co-author of a study on the new research.
“The best hypothesis now is that there must have been trade going on between Antigua and Guatemala,” Harlow told LiveScience. “This is a relationship we haven’t seen before in the Eastern Caribbean.”
The artifacts found were fashioned from jadeite jade—a specific variety that is different from the more common nephrite jade, found in abundance around the world. Harlow used new techniques to examine the mineral composition of the jadeite jade found in Antigua and the only possible match was a distinct source south of an earthquake fault in Guatemala.
“What’s more, only finished objects were found,” he said. The absence of unfinished bits and pieces of jadeite jade means that the Saladoid people did not modify the stones in Antigua, Harlow said. “They have to have known about them and wanted them enough to make the trip.”
Originally posted by theubermensch
King Solomon of the Old Testament: (Ecclesiasties 1:9)
'What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothin new under the sun.'
Originally posted by relocator
I find this really interesting... I love collecting rocks. I love turquoise and jade...etc.
I thought I would post to see if others find this interesting and provide an opportunity for others to add their thoughts.
TextOOps...I guess I didn't get that memo...
An international team of archaeologists and geologists has found an extremely unusual example of jade in the Southwest Pacific.T
he small green artifact is about 3,300 years old and has a chemical composition that is unlike any other described jade. Found during an archaeological excavation on a coral island in Papua New Guinea, the rock is thought to have been used as a wood gouge by the people living there.
But where did it come from? The researchers, from the American Museum of Natural History, the University of Otego (New Zealand), and the University of Papua New Guinea, address this question in an upcoming special issue of the European Journal of Mineralogy on jadeite, the rock that defines one type of jade.
Throughout history, these rocks have been made into tools and ornamental gems that were worn, traded, and treasured. Many nephrite jade sources exist, but the prominent locations are China, New Zealand, Russia, and Canada. Far rarer is jadeite jade, which was used by people living in what is now Central America and Mexico over a span of two millennia prior to the arrival of European colonists. “In the Pacific, jadeite jade as ancient as this artifact is only known from Japan and its usage in Korea,” said George Harlow, a curator in the Museum’s
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the lead guest editor for the special journal issue. “It’s never been described in the archaeological record of New Guinea.”
The artifact was recovered from Emirau Island in the Bismark Archipelago. It was likely dropped from a stilt house into the water below and covered by years of beach sand.
When we first looked at this artifact, it was very clear that it didn’t match much of anything that anyone knew about jadeite jade,” Harlow said.
The chemical composition of the jadeite in the rock is substantially different from that of other jadeitite samples. Jadeite, a mineral of sodium, aluminum, silicon and oxygen in its pure form, is usually mixed compositionally with small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and iron, representative of the minerals diopside and, to a lesser extent, hedenbergite. The jadeite in the newly discovered jade, however, has almost no diopside content and, instead, contains iron without added calcium, representing the mineral aegirine, containing sodium, iron, silicon, and oxygen.
In addition and equally unusual, the artifact contains minerals rich in niobium and yttrium, which, according to Harlow, have never been previously observed in a jadeitite. “It makes very little sense based on how we know these rocks form, and certainly not in the concentration that we see,” he says.
After investigating the possibility of other sources in Asia and coming up empty-handed, the researchers came across a clue in the form of an unpublished manuscript by German scientist C. E. A. Wichmann. A professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Wichmann collected some curious rocks from the Torare River in the Papua province of Indonesia in the beginning of the 20th century. According to Wichmann’s manuscript, the rocks he collected have chemical properties that are very similar to the Emirau Island jadeite.
Harlow is now investigating samples from Wichmann’s collection, on loan from the Institute of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University and the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden, to determine if a new source for this unusual type of jadeite has been found. So far, the data support the hypothesis.
“The discovery of this artifact’s source can be eagerly anticipated as something geochemically extraordinary,” Harlow said. Other authors on the paper include Hugh L. Davies, University of Papua New Guinea, who brought the Wichmann work to light, and Lisa Matisoo-Smith, University of Otago.
My guess is that the site you linked is that site that was attempting to prove ats was Cia or counter intelligence pro / cointelpro.
Originally posted by relocator
OOps...I guess I didn't get that memo...
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