Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lost Language Discovered on 17th Century Paper in Peruvian Archaeological Excavation

Dr. Jeffrey Quilter of Harvard's Peabody Museum discusses the amazing discovery from Magdalena de Cao Viejo (also known from its also amazing prehispanic component, the Moche site El Brujo). This site is extremely dry, and has preserved actual documents, an astounding find from an archaeological site. Not only are these documents very rare, that they record extraordinary information about the number system of a little known language is almost unbelievable. As the video notes, this material has just been published in American Anthropologist (press release on the research can be read here). Here's the project website. I know several of the folks there, either through attending Tulane University with them, or through work on the upcoming hybrid material culture volume I'm editing.

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