Taipei, (CNA) Taiwanese and Spanish researchers have been cooperating on an excavation project to find an “embryo city” built by the Spaniards in Taiwan nearly 400 years ago.
The excavation, co-funded by Taiwan’s National Science Council (NSC) and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC), began in early October at Heping Island in the northeastern city of Keelung, where construction of a city named San Salvador began in 1626 during Spain’s 1626-1642 occupation of northern Taiwan.
At present, archeologists have dug six test pits in a parking lot belonging to Taiwan’s China Shipbuilding Corp. in their search for the remains of a Spanish convent that was once part of the city built to ensure Spain’s foothold in East Asia maritime trade. Read more.
South America’s ancient Inca rulers didn’t establish the largest empire in the New World by being sweethearts. But their reputation as warmongers, at least according to some influential 16th- and 17th-century Spanish accounts of Inca history, appears to be undeserved, a new study of skeletal remains suggests.
It’s more likely that Inca bigwigs adopted a range of largely nonviolent takeover tactics starting around 1000, say anthropologists Valerie Andrushko of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven and Elva Torres of the National Institute of Culture in Cuzco, Peru, once the capital of the Inca empire. Head injuries suggestive of warfare appear on only a small proportion of skeletons previously excavated at Inca-controlled sites located near Cuzco, the researchers report in a paper published online September 30 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Read more.
Between 1520 and 1650, Spain’s economy suffered crippling and unrelenting inflation in the so-called Price Revolution. Most historians have attributed that inflation, in part, to the importation, starting in 1550, of silver from the Americas, which supposedly put much more currency into circulation in Spain. But in a report out this week, a team of researchers argues that for more than a century the Spanish did not use this imported silver to make coins, suggesting that the amount of money circulating in Spain did not increase and could not have triggered the inflation.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Spanish extracted as much as 300 tons of silver per year from mines in Peru and Mexico. If the heavy bars managed to survive the hazards of the Atlantic, both natural and piratical, they could either be coined into pieces of eight or be traded with other countries to offset Spain’s many costs, which at this time included financing wars in the Netherlands and importing porcelain and silk from China. Read more.