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Mummified parrots suggest ancient trade routes crossed South American desert

Mummified parrots suggest ancient trade routes crossed South American desert

Science
March 29 (UPI) -- The recovery of ancient mummified parrots in South America, dating to between 1100 and 1450 AD, suggest trade routes crossed the Atacama Desert, according to a study published Monday in PNAS. "Feathers are valued across the Americas and we see them in high-status burials," José M. Capriles , said in a press release. Advertisement "We don't know how the feathers got there, the routes they took or the network," Capriles, an assistant professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. Northern Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world, and parrots and macaws are not normally found in the region. However, archaeologists have unearthed the feathers of the exotic birds at human burial sites, as well as the mummified remains of parrots and macaws. Scien...