Ancient Mesoamerica



MESOAMERICAN EVIDENCE OF PRE-COLUMBIAN TRANSOCEANIC CONTACTS


Romeo  Hristov a1 and Santiago  Genovés a2
a1 Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University, P.O. Box 750336, Dallas, TX 75275-0336, USA
a2 Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas-UNAM, Ciudad Universitaria 04510, México DF, Mexico

Abstract

In this article we discuss the results of the re-examination of a terracotta head of supposed Roman origin found in a pre-Hispanic burial offering near Mexico City. A thermoluminescent age test performed in 1995 at the Forschungsstelle Archäometrie in Heidelberg, Germany, set the age limits of the artifact at 1780 ± 400 B.P., which is consistent with the Roman-origin hypothesis. A review of the circumstances of this discovery did not demonstrate any sign of possible post-Columbian intrusion and permits the acceptance of the object as the first hard evidence from Mesoamerica to support pre-Hispanic transoceanic contacts between the Old and New Worlds.