Scarlet macaw skeletons point to early emergence of Pueblo hierarchy

New work on the skeletal remains of scarlet macaws found in an ancient Pueblo settlement indicates that social and political hierarchies may have emerged in the American Southwest earlier than previously thought. Researchers determined that the macaws, whose brilliant red and blue feathers are highly prized in Pueblo culture, were persistently traded hundreds of miles north from Mesoamerica starting in the early 10th century, at least 150 years before the origin of hierarchy is usually attributed. The findings, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that the acquisition and control of macaws, along with other valued items like chocolate and turquoise, may have facilitated the development of hierarchy in the society. —> Read More