Ancient Maya Mercury

Science  06 Aug 1982:
Vol. 217, Issue 4559, pp. 533-535
DOI: 10.1126/science.217.4559.533


Discovery of mercury in an ancient Maya offering at Lamanai, Belize, has stimulated examination of possible sources of the material in the Maya area. Two zones of cinnabar and native mercury deposits can be defined in the Maya highlands, and the presence of the native metal suggests that the ancient Maya collected rather than extracted the mercury from ore.