Mesoamerican evidence of pre-Columbian transoceanic contacts

Romeo Hristov PhD, Prof. Santiago Genovés PhD
USA, Mexico

In this article we discuss the results of the re-examination of a terracotta head of supposed Roman origin, found in a Pre-Hispanic burial offering near Mexico City. A stylistic analysis of the figurine by Bernard Andreae, a well-known specialist of Roman archaeology and director emeritus of Deutschen Archäologischen Institut in Rome (Italy) has confirmed its appearance as a Roman artifact from the second to the third centuries A.D. The thermoluminescence (TL) age test carried out in 1995 in FS Archäometrie in Heidelberg (Germany) sets the age limits of the artifact from 2870 B.P. to 730 B.P. (cal. 875 B.C. to 1265 A.D.) which, notwithstanding the chronological gap makes the Roman origin hypothesis applicable. On the other hand, the revision of the circumstances of this discovery does not reveal any sign of possible Post-Columbian intrusion of the figurine, and permits the acceptance of the object as the first hard evidence from Mesoamerica, relative to Pre-Columbian transoceanic contacts.