W5 Reflection Post

I really enjoyed this article and thought that all of the discoveries were incredibly interesting. I personally thought that liquid mercury found at the Teotihuacan site in Mexico was the coolest. The cultural material that was found at this site was Mercury in its liquid form. The archeologists found liquid mercury under a pyramid in Teotihuacan that dates to the 3rd century A.D.

Mercury is known to be very persistent in nature, meaning it actually lasts for a really long time in nature which is why its so toxic. I, however, did not realize exactly how long it could stay. It was also really cool that they found the mercury in its liquid form because seeing this, they were able to interpret what it was used for. The archeologist interpreted the liquid mercury to be a part of a representation or a map. The map was of the geography of the underworld, where the silver mercury was used to depict bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. The article also mentioned that the mercury was able to stay in its liquid form mainly because of the environmental factors that the underground chambers provided. Plant seeds and other degradable objects had also been preserved because of the humidity and low oxygen.

I picked this as my favorite discovery because it is a really cool way to see how certain objects are used differently over time. Liquid mercury today would never be used freely for recreational use because of its toxicity, let alone be used in maps.

In looking at the top ten discoveries, what stirred my interest was how much of a range there was in the different artifacts found. The discoveries included human skulls and tombs, to chemicals, to food, to clothes and even to animals! I know that archeology covers a lot of topics, but to actually see the diverse and incredibly wide range of artifacts and discoveries is really cool.

When looking at these discoveries, I am always surprised by how much there still is left to find. For example, Jamestown, Virginia is one of the most well known archeological sites and has been studied for decades and yet people are still discovering new things, such as the silver box in a grave on the site filled with human bone fragments! Even in places such as Germany and Denmark, which are heavily populated and have been documented for centuries, there are still more discoveries to be made, such as pretzels and bridal wear. It just shows that although we have discovered a lot of history and culture, there is still so much left to find.

2 thoughts on “W5 Reflection Post

  1. I didn’t choose the same discovery to talk about, but all of the liquid mercury found was definitely cool. As you pointed out, it is pretty crazy to see how different items and objects are used over time. Imagine being in that time period and just seeing this odd silver liquid that kind of forms together in a weird way and sometimes seems like it’s between a solid and a liquid. Without knowing of the toxicity and how harmful it actually was, it had to have been wild! It’s still crazy to me that something like that can occur in the natural. Fortunately, we now know better, but it does pose the question as to what item or objects we’re using now that might be looked on negatively in the future. Cell phones, wifi, who knows what the future will judge us on?

  2. I also found this article to be very interesting! The fact that they do not usually find Mercury in the liquid form makes this discovery rare and unique. The way you pointed out how certain objects that were once considered to be prized and for the elite now are used for a completely different purpose and meaning. Liquid Mercury is extremely toxic; today it would never be used in such a manner. I love the there is still so much of history to be discovered. Every site and artifacts tells a story about the people that lived there and what they were like.

Leave a Reply