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A copper mask that is square in shape has been dug up in the northwest of Argentina and it has been dated 3,000 years. The mask may just radically change South American history and about how people used to work with metal.
Copper Mask Was Found Hundreds Of Kilometers From Andes Mountains
Experts have been under the assumption that metallurgy, which is the study of physical along with chemical properties of metal in South America, had first been developed in Peru. However, the copper mask, which was discovered hundreds of kilometers from the Andes Mountains, is thought to be from a time earlier than other similar artifacts that were found in Peru.
The University of Buenos Aire’s archaeologists from Argentina pointed out that the arrival of metallurgy that is sophisticated is a big leap in ancient historical timelines and so pinning down the facts is very important.
Mask Is Oldest Copper Object To Have Been Shaped Intentionally
The team said that the mask is the oldest copper object that was intentionally shaped which has been found in the Andes Mountains, which has been carbon dated suggesting that metalworking technology had originated in more than just a single region in the Andes.
The mask is 6 inches in width and 7 inches in height and it had been discovered by villagers in 2005, but it has only just been given a date. The archaeologists also discovered 14 skeletons close to the mask and this suggested that it had played a part in funeral rites. The mask has nine holes of a small size and this leads the team to believe that perhaps it had been tied on and holes in the mask would be for the nose, mouth, and nose.
Scientists said that this theory had been backed up by some of the bones having a green tinge and this may have been from the runoff of copper carbonate from the mask along with others that may have been used in ceremonies.
Metalworkers In Argentina Made Complex Metal Designs Earlier Than Thought
The bones were dated back to 1414 and 1010 BC and the researchers believe that if the mask had been buried at the same time as the bones, the Argentina metalworkers had made complex designs on metal a lot earlier than what had previously been thought. The locations were the bones and mask was found is said to be close to the Bordo Marcial archaeological site. This is a site that is thought to be where a community lived around 2,000 years ago. It is thought that the funeral burial comes from a millennium before that period.
Experts have said that the copper mask might have been made using a technique that was repetitive in which the copper was first heated up and then hammered into shape when it went cold. The mask was said to be made from pure copper and it was perhaps mined in the Hualfin Valley, which was about 70 kilometers away.
Mask Was Made With Holes In It To Be Used As A Mask
The archaeologists said that what makes the find so exciting is the fact that it was shaped into a 3D form that was recognizable and it had been deliberately shaped with holes in it. This suggests that a higher level of skill was used in comparison to other artifacts that had been found in South America in the same era.
If the region of the Andes and Argentina are one of the regions where metallurgy began to develop, historians are certainly going to have a great deal to think about. This type of copper crafting led to societies being able to develop bronze, which they made from tin, arsenic, and copper, this was a development of such significant importance that a whole age was named after it. This then led the way for improvements to weapons, a very important stepping stone for ancient civilizations.