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Wednesday, November 7
by Jessica E. Saraceni
November 7, 2012

Bolivia has returned the mummy of a child  estimated to have been two years old at the time of death to Peru. The 700-year-old mummy was seized two years ago by police from a woman who had planned to ship it to France. Archaeologists think the child, who had been wrapped in blankets, came from a pre-Inca culture of coastal Peru. Trafficking in human remains is less common than the illegal trade in artifacts.

A rare fourteenth-century copper smelting operation, including traces of a wooden structure, charcoal, slag, and lumps of copper, has been found in Norway, on an island in the Kopperåa River. “It’s hard to figure out why they would place a smeltry here other than to use hydropower for the process. You’d have a hard time finding a more out-of-the-way place,” said Lars Stenvik of the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology in Trondheim. Scholars knew that the metal was used at that time to make coins and church bells, but it had been thought that the materials were imported. Copper smelting eventually became big business in Norway in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

There’s more information available on the tomb of a fifth-dynasty Egyptian princess  that was uncovered in Abusir South. Most members of her royal family were buried in central Abusir or to the south in Saqqara, but her tomb is surrounded by the burials of non-royal officials. “By this unique discovery we open a completely new chapter in the history of Abusir and Saqqara necropolis,” said Miroslav Bárta of the Charles University in Prague.

A fourteenth-century seal made of silver  was unearthed by a metal detector enthusiast on the Isle of Man. The medieval seal belonged to a Christian bishop. “It is a very rare find and an important part of Manx history,” said Allison Fox of Manx National Heritage.

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