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Girl’s Remains May Be the First From Cerro Juanaqueña Culture

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Mexico teenager grave CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO—The 3,200-year-old grave of a teenaged girl has been found in northern Mexico, at a site that yielded more than 18,000 stone flakes, cores, and hammers; 370 projectile points; and a dozen stone ovens. Emiliano Gallaga and his colleagues at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History think that the site may have been intermittently used as a tool-making camp over thousands of years, while the girl may have been one of the first corn farmers to live in the region. “When we were doing the surface collection, we noticed an interesting feature on the surface: a circle of bones coming out. We thought it could be a turtle shell, but we decided to make an [excavation] unit there, just in case. And there it was. We just cleaned a little bit, and a human cranium appeared,” Gallaga told Western Digs. The grave dates to about the same time as a nearby settlement known as Cerro Juanaqueña, whose residents are thought to have grown corn on some of the more than 400 terraces. Further analysis of the bones could tell scientists more about who the girl was, where she lived, and what she ate. For more on archaeology in Mexico, go to "A Circle of Skulls."

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