Thirteen restored pre-Columbian artifacts are introduced to a contemporary audience after being uncovered last year in Honduras.
Researchers are still unsure which society produced the clay vases, bowls, and metates, some decorated with images of monkeys, but they suspect they were crafted between 500 and 1,000 years ago. Investigators also found jade beads at the site they say may have been a necklace at some prior point.
"We have some results back but we’re still unsure which group made artifacts or the exact time period. We’re in the process of investigating this" using carbon 14 dating, said Omar Talavera, assistant director of the government’s Honduran Institute of Patrimonial Anthropology and History (IHAH).
Restauration expert, Honduran Lili Castillo, put the pieces back together again. She tells EFE the artifacts are a part of the country’s cultural patrimony. Castillo adds that some of the more damaged pieces required a "meticulous" hand and detailed work in order to be restored.
The clay pieces were uncovered in February of last year in the eastern part of Honduras, in Patuca located in the Olancho department where two Indigenous groups - the Pech and Tawahka - currently live. The shattered artifacts resurfaced while engineers were in the process of constructing a hydroelectric dam at the site.
However, IHAH experts and some Mexican archaeologists had already begun to find archaeological remnants near the site in 2009.
Castillo says that the pieces are "very important" for Honduras and people should "feel proud" of this patrimony she says needs to be conserved.
Talavera adds that the findings are significant and allow Hondurans to "know more about our roots, who we are, where we came from and what (this civilization) was doing."
Researchers want the artifacts to be put on display in a museum once they have more information about their origins.