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Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact

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posted on May, 22 2005 @ 04:04 PM
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Can anyone please explain to me why the isolationist/landbridge theory is still the most wildly accepted theory of pre-columbian development?

www.recipeland.com...

I am also reading a book called Mayan Genesis, and I am becoming convinced that there had to be some kind of contact
between South Asian cutures and Mesoamerica. Am I becoming delusional?




posted on May, 22 2005 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by savagecupid
Can anyone please explain to me why the isolationist/landbridge theory is still the most wildly accepted theory of pre-columbian development?

www.recipeland.com...

I am also reading a book called Mayan Genesis, and I am becoming convinced that there had to be some kind of contact
between South Asian cutures and Mesoamerica. Am I becoming delusional?

Based on what?

You can't say "contact" based on "they played similar games" or "I found some words that sound like the words in this other language" or "I think they look similar."

You can prove contact based on artifacts from one culture showing up in another culture, in language families that develop from a common base language, in genetic similarities, in archetectural similarities, in common deities and a number of other ways.



posted on May, 22 2005 @ 10:25 PM
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Just the similarities as a whole. And the fact that its not all that hard to imagine travel across the oceans. How do you explain the Olmec statues that just happen to look african? Is there no way they are represnting africans? How do you explain this:
www.unm.edu...
Just many similar things. What kind of evidence would it take?



posted on May, 22 2005 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by savagecupid
Just the similarities as a whole. And the fact that its not all that hard to imagine travel across the oceans. How do you explain the Olmec statues that just happen to look african?

Actually, they do NOT look African. Here's what Africans look like (and notice all kinds of different face shapes, lip sizes, nose shapes (including narrow nostrils)
www.peterlanger.com...

The statues look a lot more like a caricature of the Eskimos or Inuits or other north coast AmerInds or Polynesians
www.crystalinks.com...((

I know that when we Westerners caricature Africans, it's always the big lips that "make the caricature." But that's something that WE did during the days of slavery (to show them as subhuman) and is not how the people saw themselves or others.


Is there no way they are represnting africans?

They could be representing the standard Native American type. There are a lot of people today of pure Native blood there in the area who look like that.

Besides, the people who lived on the West Coast of Africa had civilizations with more inferior technology than those who lived in the North and in the Nile Valley. And people who lived in the North and along the Nile Valley look a lot more "middle eastern" than caricatured Black.



How do you explain this:
www.unm.edu...

As the page itself said, nobody has ruled out it being planted for a joke or a hoax. In fact, that's still one of the leading contenders.


Just many similar things. What kind of evidence would it take?


Language, taboos, religion, technology (all being the same or derived from the same), art, music, writing (if any), boat construction, weaving patterns, kinship systems, legal systems. Not just a few things (because you can have similarities between very very different cultures simply because we're all human.) Think about the above in terms of the US and England. Now think about the differences in those between England and Easter Island (before the Whites landed.)

US and England are similar cultures and one came from the other. Easter Island and England have had no contact.



posted on May, 23 2005 @ 03:05 PM
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Maybe my original post was confusing. I didn't mean to imply that there were mass migrations, but contact. And I'm not saying that the Mesoamerican cultures came totally from another source, just that they had contact. IMO the Olmec heads do look like they are caricatured. Look at some of the representations of the Mayans of themselves. They look like caricatures. So why not the Olmecs? Look how stylized Mesoamerican art is in the 1st place.
From www.raceandhistory.com...

“The 22 or more colossal stone heads carved out of solid basalt rock has identifiable Black African in racial features as well as cultural traits like cornrow hairstyle, braids with beads and kinky hair as well as a type of war helmet identified as Nubian have been found carved in Colossal Olmec sculpture connecting them to West Africa and the Egypt/Sudan region.”

“Hundreds of clay and terracotta busts, statuettes and figurines also show Black African racial and cultural traits. For example, scarification marks and keloid tattoos identical to those worn by West Africans and Sudanese Africans can be seen on some Olmec busts and terracotta heads. Kinky hair, cornrows, braids are also represented.”

“The statue of an ancient Nigerian Oni or Priest-king dating back thousands of years shows him holding religious artifacts that have been found among Olmec priests who are holding identical artifacts in the very same manner.”

So it still looks to me that its more than my opinion or bias. And from India:
www.atributetohinduism.com... numerous similarities, too many to list here.

As to the land bridge theory, that is starting to be questioned by some:
www.contracostatimes.com...
www.si.edu...

I just think there is more to it than the dogma of isolationism.



posted on May, 23 2005 @ 05:32 PM
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Its not that unbelievable. They know there was contact between egypt and south america because they find traces of tobacco and coc aine(coco leaves) in the mummies.



posted on May, 23 2005 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by savagecupid
Can anyone please explain to me why the isolationist/landbridge theory is still the most wildly accepted theory of pre-columbian development?

Because of the evidence??

Am I becoming delusional?

Possibly.

There is evidence for pacific contact with places like oceania, but not very good evidence for trans-atlantic contact. What from that page did you find convincing??


Just the similarities as a whole. And the fact that its not all that hard to imagine travel across the oceans

Well, there ya go. Thats why its not accepted, thats why the other theories are. Because 'similarities as a whole' are pretty dang meaningless.

How do you explain the Olmec statues that just happen to look african?

They look like the actual natives of the region that they are found in, not africans.


www.unm.edu...

Faking African Art
But that might not even be the case, it might just be a more convetional type of fraud.

Barring that, I'd be wary of anything that 'looks' like one 'race' and not another.


another site notes
The stylistic examination tells us, more precisely, that it is a Roman work of the second century after Christ. It presents, in the cut of the hair and the shape of the beard, traits typical of the Severian emperors

This man is claiming that the empire, out of all reason, sent fleets to mexico??? With no record of it? And what prevents it from merely being reburied, ie an intrusion? The lack of a body is interesting, considering that hte claim is that it was from a burial/gravesite.

And from India:
www.atributetohinduism.com... numerous similarities, too many to list here.

Indeed, you may find similarities between inda and south america. But that almost certianly came from the pacific, with india culture extendning into the pacific islands and parts of it spreading thru the whole pacific, rather than them sailing across the atlantic.


I just think there is more to it than the dogma of isolationism.

Isolationism and no-trans-atlantic voyages aren't dogma. They're well supported theories. It requires quite a bit more than 'gosh, those statues look like negros' and a possibly fraudulent terra cotta head to settle it in favour of trans-atlantic contact.

XphilesphanThey know there was contact between egypt and south america because they find traces of tobacco and coc aine(coco leaves) in the mummies.

Apparently, there have been a number of plants that were around during that period in egyt and the world, that are extinct today. I recall reading that there was a similar situation wherein lots of germanic and european graves had, i think, tobacco, on them, or chemically tested for it, but it ended up being that there was a very similar tobacco like plant that used to be in the region. As for the coc aine, it was probably something similar, and apparently there are related plants that are still alive in the region (but that wouldn't test for coc aine).



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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'gosh, those statues look like negros' ? Did I not site a little bit more than that? I’m the first to be skeptical but I also have an open mind, and look for other possibilities to prove or disprove. Is that not the best way to deny ignorance? Scientist are notorious at not changing there minds even when presented with contrary evidence, sometimes it takes generations for a new theory to be accepted. As I said before I am not trying to say that the land bridge theory is wrong, but that there could have been oceanic contact at one time. Do I have to list each and every similarity here for discussion? What is the point where similarities are too numerous to make you think things might be different than the accepted thoery?
“They look like the actual natives of the region that they are found in, not africans.” Do they? What region would that be?
So Nygdan would you say that there was contact between India and Mesoamerica? Contact over the pacific is possible but not the atlantic? I’m not saying from where the contact occurred but just that it did. And ok maybe dogma is too strong of a word.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by savagecupid
Is that not the best way to deny ignorance?

Thing is, you haven't demonstrated that trans-atlantic contact has occured, nor that its a theory that deserves to be in the 'mainstream'. You are 'backing it' without sufficient evidence. "denying ignorance' is not merely accepting unpopular, but quasi-supported, theories. And, as the old saying goes, "an open mind is good, but not so open that your brains fall out'.


Scientist are notorious at not changing there minds even when presented with contrary evidence, sometimes it takes generations for a new theory to be accepted.

This reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the process.

Firstly, scientists do not as a whole reject good evidence merely because they disagree with it. Thats simply not true.

The second point, that it can take a long time for a scientific theory to become 'mainstream', is often true. However, this is a good thing.

There is a vetting process in science, and that process requires that these new ideas be demonstrated and supported, and studied and attempted to be refuted by other scientists. No one man is going to know everything about anything, so it can't be decided quickly. It takes lots of people putting a lot of thought into something to finally be able to say 'yes, this is in fact correct'. The trans-atlantic idea simply has not met and passed those tests. The evidence that supports it is flimsy, and, in the case of the olmec heads, extremely subjective.


Do I have to list each and every similarity here for discussion?

Well, yeah. You have to examine the data. Listing it isn't doing any good. Noting general similarities is not good enough, you have to consider how else these similarities could've come about and what ideas are more reasonable. Most nations in the world have a flood myth. Does this mean that every nation is directly descended from an original one, and that that nation suffered a destructive flood, and that all the nations since then have preserved, thru the millenia the story of surviing it? or does it mean that there was once a global flood, and everyone is descended from noah? Or does the simple fact that floods occur everywhere account for flood stories everywhere??

Do many nations connect the fertility of the crop fields with a fertile female divinity becuase of the dispersal of an uber-primitive Ceres cult? Or because the connection between the fertility of a field and the fertility of a woman is obvious?? Similarities on their own are not sufficient.




“They look like the actual natives of the region that they are found in, not africans.” Do they? What region would that be?

The very region that they occur in. There are tribes of people that look like the statues. Many natives in the region also don't look like the statues, and many natives in the region are the result of intermixing of native populations with the spanish invaders. Indeed, still others are the result of other central american tribes that invaded.


So Nygdan would you say that there was contact between India and Mesoamerica?

No. Certainly nothing like direct contact.



Contact over the pacific is possible but not the atlantic?

Its definitly possible over the atlantic, but then again, why is it that we can build a case for cultural contact and expansion in the pacific, but not the atlantic? I don't think that india sent canoes across the pacific, but I do think that very prmitive indian culture certainly had cultural contact with peoples on the andaman islands, and that they contacted with people in indonesia and the like, and so on to polynesia, and possibly ultimately to central america. Hence we can see a case for pacific contact, and the mainstream, at least at one point, considered it and discussed it.
And make no mistake, atlantic contacts have been considered and discussed, but ultimately they've been rejected, in general.



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Thing is, you haven't demonstrated that trans-atlantic contact has occured, nor that its a theory that deserves to be in the 'mainstream'.

But from the sites I have given I have show that it is possible unless you haven't looked at the websites, and who really cares if it deserves to be mainstream, most discusions here are not mainstream.

Originally posted by Nygdan
You are 'backing it' without sufficient evidence. "denying ignorance' is not merely accepting unpopular, but quasi-supported, theories. And, as the old saying goes, "an open mind is good, but not so open that your brains fall out'.

I am not backing or accepting it at all I am trying to have a discusion on the possibilities, but once again as I have seen here before, its easier to jump on a popular belief and put down anyone who questions them than to consider anything not “mainstream”

Originally posted by NygdanFirstly, scientists do not as a whole reject good evidence merely because they disagree with it. Thats simply not true.

On this I call B.S. Scientist are human and unless you come up with something so glaringly obvious they are going to resist your ideas and not consider them. More so in this day and age of quasi-science. Its easier to lump different ideas as crackpot ones, than to consider the alternative. The science of medicine is a good example of this.


Originally posted by Nygdan
The second point, that it can take a long time for a scientific theory to become 'mainstream', is often true. However, this is a good thing.

I agree with you.


Originally posted by Nygdan
You have to examine the data. Listing it isn't doing any good. Noting general similarities is not good enough, you have to consider how else these similarities could've come about and what ideas are more reasonable

Isn’t that what I am trying to do yet being dismissed at the same time? I am not trying to convice you as I’m not conviced myself, yet still by just bringing up the topic I have become a supporter of quasi-science, with my brains falling out of my head.



Originally posted by Nygdan
The very region that they occur in. There are tribes of people that look like the statues. Many natives in the region also don't look like the statues,

Of course they are in that region that’s where they went to, but where did they come from?

Originally posted by NygdanNo. Certainly nothing like direct contact.

So all the similarities in art, religion and myth are from indirect contact? Well you don’t see many similarities do you?



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 05:35 PM
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In case anyone is still interested, I found this today:

In conclusion, the Manding speaking ancestors of the Olmecs came from the Saharan zone of North Africa (Winters, 1983, 1984c, 1986). Here the Proto-Olmecs left their earliest inscriptions at Oued Mertoutek (Winters, 1979,1983). They took a full fledged literate culture to Mexico.
This view is supported both by 1) our ability to read the Olmec inscriptions; 2) confirmation that the Mayan term for writing *c'ib, is of Manding origin; and 3) the symbols for Mayan writing are cognate to the Manding writing systems used in Africa . Moreover, the evidence presented in this paper makes it clear that the people who introduced writing to the Maya when they met at Nonoulco, may have been Manding speaking Olmecs.. Discovery at Olmec sites such as LaVenta Offering No.4 , of Manding writing provide the "absolute proof " of African and Olmec contact. The presence of readable African writing on Olmec celts, masks and statues, is the genuine African artifact found "in controlled excavations in the New World" demanded by Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano and Barbour (1997: 419) that confirms the Afrocentric claim of ancient African and Olmec contact.

The full paper is here: geocities.com...



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 06:45 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
The statues look a lot more like a caricature of the Eskimos or Inuits or other north coast AmerInds or Polynesians...


In re: Polynesians. Very, very cool observation Byrd



Besides, the people who lived on the West Coast of Africa had civilizations with more inferior technology than those who lived in the North and in the Nile Valley.


Erm, with different technology. Superiority is a culturally relative term. Often proven wrong by Time and Darwin, LLP.


Think about the above in terms of the US and England. Now think about the differences in those between England and Easter Island (before the Whites landed.)


And then, think about Stonehenge. I build traditional sailing canoes, and I have shaken the hand of a wonderful woman who sailed around the world singlehanded. The capability of ancient boats, navigation, and mariners is far beyond what the uninitiated might expect. Plato claims Trans-Atlantic contact in the Timaeus; the ancient Irish built sweatlodges; the Lapps build tipis and wear moccasins; the first King of Mexico was blonde. I think the Hawaiians are right: there is an ancient brotherhood of the sea that knows neither race nor boundaries, only royalty.

To answer the question of the title of the thread: undoubtedly.

[edit on 24-5-2005 by Chakotay]



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 10:55 PM
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Here's my evidence for pre-Colombian contact. Some is mentioned in the initally posted ste, so forgive me for any glaring repeats.

Negroid Skulls in South America



The shape of the skulls changes between 9,000 and 7,000 years ago from being exclusively negroid to exclusively mongoloid. Combined with rock art evidence of increasing violence at this time, it appears that the mongoloid people from the north invaded and wiped out the original Americans.


Muslims in the New World



The Manding made contact with the closest land mass to the West African coast, Brazil. They appear to have used it as a base for exploration of the Americas, traveling along rivers in the dense jungles of South America and overland till they reached North America. The African Muslims of Honduras called themsleves "Almamys" prior to the coming of the Spaniards. They may have been related to the Africans of northern Honduras seen by Ferdinand Columbus, the son of Christopher Columbus. In the Manding language ‘Almamy" was used for Al-Imamu, Arabic for "prayer leader."


Carthaginians



The Syracusan (Greek 100bc) historian Diodorus said the Carthaginians had a "large island" which was located "far out in the Atlantic ocean" - on which there were "many mountains" and "large navigable rivers". The land was rich in gold, gems, spices, etc. He stated that the Phoenicians had found it "by accident" while founding colonies on the west coast of Africa when some ships got lost.


Roman Bust in Mexico

Even Hebrews
Okay, maybe that one is rather exaggerated.

Thor Heyerdal
Proved that it was possible to sail an Egyptian reed boat across the Atlantic



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 11:14 PM
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The problem is that a lot of new explorers (like the Spaniards) did their best to cover the tracks of the last civilization in their pursuit of being the first. I've found a similiar occurence with Antarctica.

It seems that the discovery of the Antarctic continent is dated to the early 1800s. Then one day I noticed in my history teacher's class that Antartica was shown in a Spanish map from to the 1500s. I can't remember the name of it, unfortunately, but I do have this.

The Hadji Ahmed map of 1559. For some reason I couldn't find any sites with it that were in english. Its Turkish in origin.
www.scienzeemisteri.it...



posted on May, 24 2005 @ 11:14 PM
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you guys should check out a book called 1421: The Year China Discovered America
He has done years of research and come up with a theory that a huge Chinese fleet left China in 1421 and may have not only discovered the Americas but has a few colonies there. Colonies that unfortunately were abandoned as soon as they were founded and the Chinese left there were son assimilated into the native populations.

His evidence is taken from maps, statues found, artworks, chicken dna, human dna, language analysis and other.
Very interesting read, but I am not sure whether I believe it or not.
Check it out.

His website is:

Gavin Menzies website



posted on May, 28 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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The evidence for "diffusionism" is so overwhelming that I wont even bother citing it. Many posts above this in the thread have already pointed the way to a lot of the evidence.

I think there is a western-centric view that discounts the achievments of non-white, non-modern cultures. In this view advanced technology and achievments of the ancients (pyramids, michigan copper mines, aircraft) are "impossible" and rather than a TRUE scientific objectivity, people start with the assumption that things which don't fit in the mainstream view are false and try to prove that theory.

For instance a post above discounts with an exceedingly speculative statement the example of coc aine and nicotine in Egyptian mummies. In fact this is well-researched and rather un-extrordinary when you think about it. Two relatively advanced cultures (Egyptian or Phoenecian and Proto-Classical American Empires) with access to the sea and a seafaring culture could easily have contact. Here is all the proof a open-minded person should need:

lTransoceanic Contact? Absolutly!

Here are some things to look out for in postings from supposedly "objective" skeptical types that should put you on your guard that they have an agenda:

Ad hominem: Or more simply put, attacking the arguer and not the argument. This is used to redirect the focus of the argument away from the idea to the person holding the idea in order to discredit the person and therefore make that person's argument meaningless. This is faulty because anyone can have a correct idea, whether they are a good person, bad person or neither. "Calling someone an atheist, communist, a child abuser or a neo-Nazi does not in any way disprove that person's statement." See the above post where the poster implies that a previous poster's "brains have fallen out".

Desire for Certainty: Most of us, most of the time want certainty. This leads us to reject conclusions that aren't 100% certain. This isn't how the scientific method works. Conclusions are tentative because information is neither perfect or complete. This desire for certainty is impossible to satisfy.

Desire for Simple Answers: Most of us want nice, neat, simple explanations for phenomenon in the world. This leads to the rejection of conclusions that aren't simple, nice or neat. Most answers to real-world questions are neither simple nor neat. This desire for simplicity is nearly impossible to satisfy.

see more at:

Logical Flaws



posted on May, 28 2005 @ 03:25 PM
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Thor Heyerdahl proved that transatlantic contact was possible from the East and the West. He was able to build period crafts using only materials available in the native regions of launch and sail to the new world.

www.kon-tiki.no...



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 11:40 PM
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All this talk about pre-Columbian contact and nobody's gonna mention the Vikings? I hear they might go 10 & 6 this year... Oh, wrong Vikings.


Seriously, I saw a documentary not that long ago which made this all a matter of semantics. We know for a fact that the Vikings came to the Western hemisphere, perhaps as much as 350 years before Columbus, by way of expeditions through Greenland, and eventually the extreme northern parts of Newfoundland. I wish I could remember the name of the show, but they made it seem like it's a closed case. Fact.

Now whether you want to count extreme northern Canada as 'contact' is another matter.

One of the more interesting stories (although a likely hoax) is the case of the Alexandria Runestone. Back in the day, a farmer in Alexandria, MN produced a stone with some strange markings on it--they resembled Viking characters. For years experts argued about it's authenticity, but I believe it was finally ruled a hoax in the nineties. But not before a whole legend was built around the stone... a fascinating tale involving a Viking Expedition which sails into the St. Lawrence, all the way through the Great Lakes, landing at Duluth, MN, and then continuing the expedition over land to the heart of Minnesota. To this day, Alexandria, MN (a gorgeous wooded town of about 8,000 with three lakes within city limits) is home to the "Alexandria Runestone Museum".



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 12:08 AM
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Originally posted by Zaknafein
Here's my evidence for pre-Colombian contact. Some is mentioned in the initally posted ste, so forgive me for any glaring repeats.

Negroid Skulls in South America



The shape of the skulls changes between 9,000 and 7,000 years ago from being exclusively negroid to exclusively mongoloid. Combined with rock art evidence of increasing violence at this time, it appears that the mongoloid people from the north invaded and wiped out the original Americans.


Muslims in the New World



The Manding made contact with the closest land mass to the West African coast, Brazil. They appear to have used it as a base for exploration of the Americas, traveling along rivers in the dense jungles of South America and overland till they reached North America. The African Muslims of Honduras called themsleves "Almamys" prior to the coming of the Spaniards. They may have been related to the Africans of northern Honduras seen by Ferdinand Columbus, the son of Christopher Columbus. In the Manding language ‘Almamy" was used for Al-Imamu, Arabic for "prayer leader."


Carthaginians



The Syracusan (Greek 100bc) historian Diodorus said the Carthaginians had a "large island" which was located "far out in the Atlantic ocean" - on which there were "many mountains" and "large navigable rivers". The land was rich in gold, gems, spices, etc. He stated that the Phoenicians had found it "by accident" while founding colonies on the west coast of Africa when some ships got lost.


Roman Bust in Mexico

Even Hebrews
Okay, maybe that one is rather exaggerated.

Thor Heyerdal
Proved that it was possible to sail an Egyptian reed boat across the Atlantic


Relating to the link about the Carthaginian contact with the New World, I find it interesting that the Carthaginians could navigate by the stars where their sea faring counterparts the Greeks and Romans could not. If stars played an important role in the success of the Carhaginian exploration wouldn't they adorn their cloaks with them? The founding father of the Toltec empire, then explained by the Aztec ruler Montezuma, called Quetzalcoatl is shown wearing a cloak with crosses all over it. Quetzalcoatl is said to have come from the East originally.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 12:26 AM
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The Viking (and pre-Viking) contact with North America is actually pretty well established. And we know that a large fleet from China did cross to the Pacific coast of America before Columbus landed in the Caribbean islands.

I think the Manding theory is nonsense, personally, based on other works that translate the Olmec writings (writing that seems to match the pictures on the stelae.)
www.sciencemag.org...

Beyond that, the textile patterns and the cultures are very different. If you have one culture derived from another (the American or Australian from the English, as an example) then you will have technological and religious and social symmetry between them.

There's little similarity in the Mandeke language group (the Manding-speaking peoples) and the Olmecs. The web author is relying on the work of one scholar who does have an agenda... and little data to back it up (according to Winters, people from the Manding group (which I would just bet include his ancestors) founded civilizations everywhere. Speaking as someone who is partly Native American, I think my ancestors were perfectly capable of developing writing and other technologies by themselves... I may be a tad biased, here, but I think the evidence I have is stronger than his.
library.thinkquest.org...

Another telling point is the absence of plants and domestic animals from Africa. When the Polynesians moved out into the Pacific, they took with them the plants from their gardens and their edible animals (pigs and dogs.) They couldn't guarantee there would be food for them in the new land, so wherever they traveled, their live animals went with them.




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