South American History

Ancient Orca Geoglyph Rediscovered in Peru

Found on a hillside in the Palpa desert, the 200-foot image was likely made by peoples of the Paracas and Nazca cultures

The marshmallows are essential, but the sweet potato is the heart of this classic dish.

How Marshmallow-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole Became a Thanksgiving Classic

Sweet potato pudding has been a part of American cuisine for a century

Pablo Neruda Did Not Die of Cancer, Raising the Possibility He Was Murdered

The Nobel-prize winning Chilean poet died 2 weeks after the brutal Pinochet regime took power in his country


Did Lager Beer Originate In South America?

Residue from 1,000-year-old pots suggests people in Patagonia were fermenting beverages with lager yeast well before the Bavarians

Chocolate was in North America as early as 900-1200 A.D.

A Brief History of Chocolate in the United States

Eating chocolate is a relatively new innovation

An archeologist works at the site where 16 tombs belonging to 19th-century Chinese immigrants were discovered, at Huaca Bellavista in Lima, Peru.

Remains of 19th-Century Chinese Laborers Found at a Pyramid in Peru

Between 1849 and 1874, more than 100,000 workers traveled from China to Peru, where they faced discrimination and abuse

USS Ranger traverses the Panama Canal during World War II

Documents Show Chile Foiled Nazi Plot to Attack Panama Canal

Files released by Chile's Investigations Police show a special unit busted two Nazi spy rings in South America

A member of the federal police holds an hourglass with Nazi markings, one of the 75 Nazi artifacts seized from an Argentinian house this June.

Trove of Nazi Artifacts Found in Secret Room of Argentina Home

A bust of Hitler, a knife with Nazi markings and a medical device for measuring heads were among the objects uncovered by authorities

Mateo-Vega (derecha) muestra a los compañeros Emberá y Kuna cómo tomar medidas forestales. De izquierda a derecha, los técnicos indígenas Edgar Gariboldo, Chich Chamarro, Baurdino López, Evelio Jiménez, Alexis Solís. (Sean Mattson / Smithsonian)

Cómo Los Científicos y Grupos Indígenas Pueden Aliarse Para Proteger Los Bosques y el Clima

The mask being held by researcher Leticia Cortes the day of the discovery.

Ancient Mask Challenges Theories on Origin of Metalworking in South America

The 3,000-year-old mask found in Argentina suggests that advanced metallurgy may not have been born in Peru

Although ketchup has roots in Southeast Asia, tomato ketchup may be an American original.

There's Something Fishy About the Ketchup You Put On Your Burgers

The red stuff that Americans eat on their French Fries doesn't look much like the 'kôechiap' it's based on

There is no one final theory about the original purpose of the Nazca Lines.

How a German Mathematician Took Responsibility for an Ancient Peruvian Artifact

Maria Reiche lived in a shack in the desert with the Nazca Lines for 40 years

Mateo-Vega (right) shows Emberá and Kuna colleagues how to take forest measurements. From left to right, indigenous technicians Edgar Garibaldo, Chicho Chamorro, Baurdino Lopez, Evelio Jiménez, Alexis Solís.

How Scientists And Indigenous Groups Can Team Up to Protect Forests and Climate

A collaboration between Smithsonian researchers and the Emberá people of Panama aims to rewrite a fraught narrative

Vanilla has risen to become one the most popular and costly spices in existence.

The Bittersweet Story of Vanilla

Today, less than 1 percent of vanilla flavoring comes from the vanilla flower. Is that a good thing?

Statuary inside the salt cathedral.

Step Inside This Underground Cathedral, Carved Into the Walls of an Abandoned Salt Mine

An old mine has transformed into a subterranean worship space, 650 feet underground

Weapons from the Falkland War are melted down for the project, which brings together British and Argentinian families affected by the conflict.

This Artist Creates Roses From Weapons Left Behind By War

"Two Roses for Peace" brings together people on both sides of a 1982 conflict

Chinchorro mummy at San Miguel de Azapa Museum in Arica, Chile

What Have the World’s Oldest Mummies Kept Under Wraps?

Researchers are making digital reconstructions of the 7,000-year-old bodies, which face rapid deterioration from microbes

In Mexico's Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, America's most beloved native insect faces threats from illegal loggers and avocado growers.

The Best Way to Protect the World’s Forests? Keep People in Them

Instead of kicking indigenous groups out, let them continue to manage these lands effectively, argues a new report

A Colombian man cries during a June 20 peace protest in Bogotá.

After 52 Years, the War Between Colombia and the FARC Will End

Four out of five of the decades-long conflict's dead were civilians

10,000 Scrotum Frogs Found Dead Near Lake Titicaca

Over 10,000 of the world's largest water frogs were found dead along the Coata River, a tributary of the heavily polluted lake

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