Find us @

Featured

Discovered Mummified Birds Transported Hundreds Of Miles Across The Longest Mountain Range In The World While Alive 

A research has found that vendors used to transport parrots across the Andes a millennium ago to barter their colorful feathers to consumers in the Atamaca desert. W

Published

on

57890

According to a study, traders once crossed the Andes with parrots to trade their colorful feathers for goods in the Atamaca desert. The examination of 6 embalmed species showed that the birds were carried more than 300 miles from their homeland, in the eastern Amazon, to the arid land across the mountain range.

wp
Source: PNAS

The parrots were taken alive from their natural environments and kept in cages attached to llamas while subsisting on grain. Meanwhile, vendors frequently plucked their vibrant feathers, highly valuable items in pre-Columbian societies across South America, with owners conserving them in cases and often being buried with them.

The significance of plumages has long been identified among the South American societies prior to the invasion of the Spanish, however, the mysteryous reasons for mummifying the parrots haven’t been clarified. On 27 samples that were either whole or partially preserved, experts conducted investigation.

wp
Source: Pinterest

Six kinds of birds, including the scarlet macaw, blue-and-yellow macaw, mealy amazon, yellow-crowned amazon, blue-fronted amazon, and mitred conure, were discovered to have been embalmed dating back to 900 years ago. Isotope analysis of their remains indicated that they did not die within the same location of their birth, showing that they ended up in the Atacama deserts, the driest place in the world, after having been carried across the continent in the Amazon rainforest.

wp
Source: PNAS

wp
Source: PNAS

Researchers also discovered evidence of the parrots’ beaks and claws being clipped, suggesting that they may have endured these conditions for a very long time. Most of their remains date back to between 1100 and 1450 AD, from the end of the Tiwanaku empire and the beginning of the Inca empire.

The period was attributed to warfare time, which was also surprisingly great time for commerce, as evidence of llama carvans moving about was found. The majority of the mummies were discovered at Pica 8, a historical location close to an oasis village that is still active as a trading center today.

H/T: PNAS