Ancient Parrot and Macaw Remains Found in the Atacama Desert of Chile

July 20, 2021.

In the driest desert in the world, the Atacama desert of Chile, archaeologists have found that parrots and macaws were imported there from 1100-1450 CE.. Feathers were found in burials, leather boxes and other material. They also found mummified birds. The birds had to be transported across steppes, cold weather, difficult terrain. 
The team found 27 remains of Scarlet Macaws and Amazon parrots

Using zooarchaeological analysis, isotopic dietary reconstruction, radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA testing, the research cataloged scarlet macaws and at least five other parrot species that were transported from over 300 miles away in the eastern Amazon. Their feathers were plucked as they grew them. The mummified birds had their mouths open and tongues out or had their wings spread.

The birds ate the same food as humans enriched with the nitrogen from maize fertilized with marine bird manure. They were brought by llama caravans across the Andes and the desert. Difficult for the llamas to traverse.


Reference: “Pre-Columbian transregional captive rearing of Amazonian parrots in the Atacama Desert” by José M. Capriles, Calogero M. Santoro, Richard J. George, Eliana Flores Bedregal, Douglas J. Kennett, Logan Kistler and Francisco Rothhammer, 29 March 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2020020118

scitechdaily has the report here;
https://scitechdaily.com/mummified-parrots-found-by-archaeologists-point-to-trade-in-the-ancient-atacama-desert/

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