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Mesoamerican Pyramids, Cultural Diffusion?

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posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 10:58 PM
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Question about Mesoamerica. My first people roots do not go into Central America so I dont like much more about the Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecs etc than the average man. Were the Olmecs the first culture to build pyramids here? And if so, how would they have had knowledge of any pyramids when the closest ones to this side of the world were in Egypt and Nubia?




posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 11:42 PM
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Why would anyone need to speak to any egpytian to build a mound?



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 11:54 PM
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The Olmecs were probably the first pyramid builders of Mesoamerica. Further south were the Mayan. The original Olmec settlement was known as Tula, but there are three locations this is thought to be so it is hard to see a purely Olmec pyramid. Their culture was absobed by the later invading Aztec overthrowers.

As for the similarities, Montezuma indicated when he first met Pizzarro and his 300 conquistadors, that his oldest writings indicated his people migrated to turtle island right after the flood alongside white men. Quetzacoatl then went east to his homeland but promised to come back. Montezuma mistook the conquistadors for the peaceful white men that his people had originally migrated with. This is why his armed 40,000 warriors didnt wipe out the conquistadors but they should have cuz the conquistadors wiped out his people via disease and cultural assimilation almost immediately. Montezuma probably spent his last days regretting his choice for mistaking the newcomers as spiritual messengers of peace.

As for similarites in pyramid design, considering the ruins underwater at Bimini have Olmec symbols, not to mention the many Nubian/Olmec ties indicated by statues found underwater off the coast of Mesoamerica underwater, the similarites must predate to preflood times.



posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 05:31 AM
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What underwater ruins at Bimini?


Whilst it's possible that the early Olmecs may have got the idea for pyramids from contact with the Old world, that's not really necessary - after all, various peoples around the world invented similar styles of huts to live in without any cultural diffusion.

Actually, the flat-topped American pyramids are more closely related to the Sumerian ziggurats than the pointed Egyptian Pyramids.



posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 02:22 PM
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There was no flood, if you mean a global worldwide flood, and the genetic evidence indicates that man migrated from africa, not that whitemen and mesoamericans shared the same homeland.

As far as olmec symbols on the bimini 'road', the structure is beach rock, which is a natural formation that has regular 'rectilinear' patterns, not a man-made thing. I haven't seen teh claim that there are olmec symbols on it before, what makes them olmec, as opposed to anything else?

As far as connections between nubia and mesoamerica, and basing it on statues, the people in that region of mesoamerica where the statues are from look like the statues, ie, they're not statues of black nubians living in central america, and the people that live there, I have never heard of a genetic study that showed that they were the result of a migration of nubians from east africa.

Also, as far as the aztecs defeating the conquistadors, this is unlikely. After the spanish killed montezuma, it would've been obvious that they weren't the 'good guys', yet the stone wielding tribesmen still didn't manage to kill them, so it looks like their effectiveness in battle is really over-rated.



posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 08:28 PM
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this is sort of off topic from the original ? but:


www.freerepublic.com...

www.theosociety.org...

dwij.org...


the book "the crystal skull" by richard garvin (kind of new age atlantis bs but the newspaper clipping shows artifacts i have never seen anywhere else) there is an old newspaper clipping of a fiqueres found underwater (Pacific) many are african looking. I dont mean african looking like the large statues in Mexico I mean African. As for the african comment Bantu historian Credo Mutwa indicates in his book "indaba my children" that his people relate in their oral history their original homeland is to the east of Africa (Pacific) underwater. Not sure how that fits into modern genetic testing but African and Meso/South American oral history indicates former deluges. its Just my .02

I also beleive the Aztecs had a game exactly like Parcheesi just like in Ancient India. I read that in a Charles Berlitz book, im not a big Atlantis buff just into global similarities among indiginous peoples.








[edit on 12-4-2006 by mosca]



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 12:49 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

As far as connections between nubia and mesoamerica, and basing it on statues, the people in that region of mesoamerica where the statues are from look like the statues, ie, they're not statues of black nubians living in central america, and the people that live there, I have never heard of a genetic study that showed that they were the result of a migration of nubians from east africa.

.


You just hit on a couple of key "cultural diffusion" problems. I've covered these before, but they bear repeating, for those interested in scientific method.


A) people copy weapons before art.

A quick study of documented cultural diffusions shows that people copy weapons first. For instance, the Yamomamo and Jivaro, remote tribes of the amazon basin, aquired their own M-16's within a decade of their appearance in the vietnam war. Likewise with Yemen, where most farming is done with draft animals, and where most of the citizens live in mud huts. Yet they have the latest in anti--tank handheld weapons.

Now, here's the problem for proposing meaningful connections betwixt Mesoamerica and Egypt. The bow seems to have been invented once: in SE Asia around 3000 B.C. The Egyptians had it by 2000 BC. Yet the MesoAmericans didn't aquire it until around 1200 AD. The technology was only grudgingly shared across the Bering straights by rival bands of Innuit (Eskimo). But this begs the question: why did the Olmecs copy pyramids, but not the Bow and arrow? Why copy Nubian statues, when what they really needed was the wheel? Why copy astronomy, when Bronze would have given them hemispheric domination???

Cross-culture contact is unhealthy.
Literally. Remember the tribes of the American West being wiped out by smallpox? The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara were exterminated at the very height of power. They were once the lords of the praries, and the Sioux and Lakota feared them. But one wagon full of infected blankets changed all that.

So, if Nubians or Egyptians had mesoamerican contact, why didn't they bring malaria? See, malaria is the overiding fact of human existence. Fully 10% of the people WHO'VE EVER LIVED have died of malaria. It is/was endemic in Egypt (which is partly why they Egyptians invented embalming.) Egyptians, like most mediterraneans, have formed blood mutations (B series blood, sickling cells) to combat it. But Malaria doesn't show up in Mesoamerica until the Spaniards introduced African slaves from the Azores sugar plantations in the 16th century. If Egyptians HAD met olmecs a thousand years before, wouldn't the Olmecs have acquired immunity back then? And malaria has been around since people started farming, about 8000 BC.

C. Maybe they left a note
Because classical egyptian pyramid-building ended with the old Kingdom, around 2200 BC. Where the Olmec didn't start doing their thing until 1200 BC, a thousand years later. By that time, the pyramids had already been looted, and their limestone facing stolen for other building projects, at least near the base. So how was egyptian culture frozen in time for a thousand years, without leaving any trace in the historical record, while it was transmitted to the Americas, and only there?


D. A rose, by any other name, is still not a pyramid.
The only reason mesoamerican pyramids are even called that is because the conquistadors measured everything according to the yardstick of classical civilization. They saw themselves as Christian "Alexanders," conquering a whole new world. Some of them were actually reading the classics while they dismembered the Aztec empire.

Yet the fact remains: Other than the name, there is no functional connection. The Egyptian pyramids were made to serve as tombs, and were based on the earlier mastaba tombs of the pre-classic period. As one author has noted, the Egyptian pyramid was an attempt to "capture the sunrise in stone." It reflected their beliefs specifically about sunrise and rebirth.

The Olmecs and their successors, on the other hand, were modeling their priestly knowledge of astronomical alignments with respect to the nodes of the sun and moon. Their mounds mark the time for the descent of the serpent to earth. Until the Aztec period, no kings were buried inside a temple-mound. The important feature was the exterior steps, not found on Egyptian pyramids. In messoamerica, the pyramids mark the moment of the sun's transit of the zenith--an event that was irrelevant in Egyptian religion.

In conclusion, the cultures in question are unique, and can be adequately explained by their own influences and religious systems---the idea of outside influence doesn't explain any previously anomalous data. It just confuses the picture.

Notice I'm not saying there was NO contact. I'm just saying that, if there was, then the contact was not a major force in either culture's history; since it didn't alter either's tech or world-view (flat earth, etc.). Therefore, if they didn't copy bows, arrows, bronze, or mastabas . . . they probably didn't copy statues, either.

.

.



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 01:11 AM
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Originally posted by mosca
As for the similarities, Montezuma indicated when he first met Pizzarro and his 300 conquistadors, that his oldest writings indicated his people migrated to turtle island right after the flood alongside white men.

I believe that Montezuma was talking about historical events in Atlantis when the continent was inhabited by all the major races in a sort of harmony for awhile anyways. But the continent sunk and it can be found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean for the most part of it.

If you have more info on this topic I would love to read it here.





Mod Edit: Please Don't Quote Entire Posts

[edit on 4/13/2006 by Majic]



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 01:52 AM
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Originally posted by mosca
As for the similarities, Montezuma indicated when he first met Pizzarro and his 300 conquistadors, that his oldest writings indicated his people migrated to turtle island right after the flood alongside white men.


What was your source for this info????

Because Pizarro conquered Sapa Inca's empire. In Peru. South America.

Moctezuma, the Aztec, had the ill-fortune to meet up with Cortez in what would become modern-day Mexico.

Here's the Wikipedia entry for Montezuma

Here's the Wikipedia about Pizzaro

Did you make a typing error (all of us do, since we think faster than we type), or did your source say this? If the latter, then that source is definitely not to be trusted . . .

.

[Edited sentences structure for clarity, first-grade level typos.]




[edit on 13-4-2006 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 06:40 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

As far as connections between nubia and mesoamerica, and basing it on statues, the people in that region of mesoamerica where the statues are from look like the statues, ie, they're not statues of black nubians living in central america, and the people that live there, I have never heard of a genetic study that showed that they were the result of a migration of nubians from east africa.



As you are a moderator I assume you have seen or be aware of the pictures of the massive heads in Zecharia's Sitchin's book "The Lost Realms" which suggest that the Olmecs had an African Negroid appearance. I am not aware of any genetic proof and I am not aware that anyone would fund such research. But as a starting point given that these stone "heads" look so obviously of Negroids one could assume that there was some connection between the Olmecs and people in Africa.

Also see:
www.sitchin.com... and

www.wovoca.com...

www.raceandhistory.com...

The last link refers to similarities in written language between the Olmecs and...



[edit on 13-4-2006 by foofoo]



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 12:17 PM
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Originally posted by foofoo
As you are a moderator I assume you have seen or be aware of the pictures of the massive heads in Zecharia's Sitchin's book "The Lost Realms" which suggest that the Olmecs had an African Negroid appearance.

Indeed, that is what I am talking about. The people that live in those regions today, from what I understand, look like the statues.

But as a starting point given that these stone "heads" look so obviously of Negroids one could assume that there was some connection between the Olmecs and people in Africa.

Sure, its reasonable, based on that anyway, and based on that a primitve people could probably make the journey.
BUT, we don't need african immigrants to explain the statues, the people there look like the statues, and aren't black. Humans are far more diverse than we appreciate sometimes. Things that we are told are 'typical of blacks' are, in fact, characteristics that can be found in many other places.



The Mende script found on monuments at Monte Alban in Mexico, has been deciphered and it was found to be identical to the Mende script used in West Africa. Afterwards, the language was found to be the very same language spoken by the Mende of West Africa.

This is intersting and warrants further investigation.
However, I will say, if one wants to show that a particular population is derived from another, you do a genetic analysis.

Oh, that last article is by Paul Barton. I have seen other stuff by him. I will take the claims made in the article as just that. They sounded interesting, but after seeing that its Paul Barton that is making the claims, I expect that they are gross exxagerations, possibly outright lies. But still, worth checking out. If all this other evidence supports it so strongly, then the genetic analysis is the natural next step. But considering the source, the other information probably isn't all that supportive, and that would explain why no one even bothers to do a genetic analysis.


dr stranngecraft
Because Pizarro conquered Sapa Inca's empire. In Peru. South America.

Dang, way to pay attention man! *slaps forehead*



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 12:36 PM
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@Nygdan,

thank you for a considered reply. I also found Zecharia Sitchen's picture of the ancient Olmec toy elephant interesting - knowledge of elephants in South America within an ancient society!



posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 07:06 AM
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Originally posted by foofoo
As you are a moderator I assume you have seen or be aware of the pictures of the massive heads in Zecharia's Sitchin's book "The Lost Realms" which suggest that the Olmecs had an African Negroid appearance.

Actually, they don't. They do look like a lot of Native American peoples. If you're TOLD that the ONLY sign of an African is thick lips, then you might see these statues as African. But this will then lead you to misidentify real Africans (who don't have thick lips) and identify as Africans people like Jennifer Lopez.


I am not aware of any genetic proof and I am not aware that anyone would fund such research.

Oh, there's TONS of proof (literally) that this is not so. The most striking one is that there are certain differences in the skulls of Africans and other races (the eye sockets are of a different shape; square rather than oblong). One glance at any set of skulls from North American Indian tribes (and Aztecs, Olmecs, etc) shows very quickly that they aren't African and had no African influence.

Really!



The last link refers to similarities in written language between the Olmecs and...


Actually, the last link is Incredibly Bad Science.

Humans have only a limited number of sounds that the mouth can produce. There's a limited number of combinations of these sounds. So there are words in many unrelated languages that sound somewhat similar.

This doesn't mean the languages are related at all (Chinese, for instance, has a word that sounds like "young." That doesn't mean English is derived from Chinese or vice-versa.) Languages that are related have similar sentence structure, similar ending forms, similar beginning forms, and have root words in common. A list of "sounds like and means similar to" words (particularly when the originator of the list has so badly bent the translation to make it fit his theory) is only bad scholarship and not proof of a connection.



posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 07:08 AM
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Originally posted by foofoo
@Nygdan,

thank you for a considered reply. I also found Zecharia Sitchen's picture of the ancient Olmec toy elephant interesting - knowledge of elephants in South America within an ancient society!


Have a look at the WHOLE object first.

What Sitchin presents you is an edited drawing. And, heck, I can edit drawings of old Olmec objects to look like your grandmother! But that doesn't mean she's Olmec.



posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Did you make a typing error (all of us do, since we think faster than we type), or did your source say this? If the latter, then that source is definitely not to be trusted . .


That is a typing error. I meant Cortez. Thanx for asking. My source was one of the many Charles Berlitz books, and I was fascinated not only by the fact that Montezuma surrendered willingly but by the descriptions of the original Aztec homeland (Aztlan) contained black and red volcanic rocks and Im told the islands due west of the Canary Islands do too (was it Azores?) . anyways i have a scan somewhere of an early statue thought to be Quetzacoatl once i find it I will try to get it up. Bearded guy in sandals.

[edit on 15-4-2006 by mosca]



posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 03:58 PM
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Berlitz' Burmuda Triangle was one of the first "fringe" books I ever read. I think I was like, nine.

Anyways, I'll always be open to the idea of prehistoric/nonhistoric transatlantic contact.

An example is Lief Erikkson; his visit to Vinland has been completely validated by archaeological science. But 40 years ago, you'd have been laughed out of just about any discussion, from a graduate level seminar to a truck-stop cafe.

But Lief's Vinland colony really wasn't a "significant" cultural contact. The Skraelings (indians) in Newfoundland already had as good a bow as the Vikings had, and there were only a few score Europeans. Not enough of a threat for the natives to get busy trying to copy the metal implements Vikings used. And the colony lasted less than a decade. Like I said, not really "culturally significant."

Yet it DID happen.

.



posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by mosca
...and I was fascinated not only by the fact that Montezuma surrendered willingly but by the descriptions of the original Aztec homeland (Aztlan) contained black and red volcanic rocks and Im told the islands due west of the Canary Islands do too (was it Azores?)

Mosca,
The "parallel" often made between Aztlan and Atlantis cannot be supported by the facts:


Legend states that the Mexica Indians originally came to the Valley of Mexico from a region in the northwest, popularly known as Atzlan-Chicomoztoc. The name Aztec, in fact, is believed to have been derived from this ancestral homeland, Aztlan (The Place of Herons).
In A.D. 1111, the Mexica left their native Aztlan to settle in Chicomoztoc (Seven Caves). According to legend, they had offended their patron god Huitzilopochtli by cutting down a forbidden tree. As a result, the Mexica were condemned to leave Aztlan and forced to wander until they received a sign from their gods, directing them to settle down permanently.
My emphasis.
As you see, these Indians moved from "Aztlan" far too late to be associated with Atlantis, Crete or Thera. Additionally, they came out of the northwest, by their own legends.



The land of Atzlan was said to have been a marshy island situated in the middle of a lake. Some historians actually consider the names "Chicomoztoc" and "Aztlan" to be two terms for the same place, and believe that the island and the seven caves are simply two features of the same region. For nearly five centuries, popular imagination has speculated about the location of the legendary Aztlan. Some people refer to Aztlan as a concept, not an actual place that ever existed.

However, many historians believe that Aztlan did exist. The historian Paul Kirchhoff suggested that Aztlan lay along a tributary of the Lerna River, to the west of the Valley of Mexico. Other experts have suggested the Aztlan might be the island of Janitzio in the center of Lake Pátzcuaro, also to the west, with its physical correspondence to the description of Aztlan. Many people have speculated that the ancestral home of the Aztecs lay in California, New Mexico or in the Mexican states of Sonora and Sinaloa.
My emphasis.
"Marshy island in the middle of a lake" - doesn't sound nearly as dramatic as an ancient civilization with worldwide contacts.
There's good reason to believe that the Aztecs originated in the American Southwest, based on their language (Nahuatl.)



The idea that Sinaloa, Sonora, California, and New Mexico might be the site of Aztlan is a very plausible explanation when historical linguistics have been considered. "The north-to-south movement of the Aztlan groups is supported by research in historical linguistics, " writes Professor Smith in The Aztecs, "The Náhuatl language, classified in the Nahuan group of the Uto-Aztecan family of languages, is unrelated to most Mesoamerican native languages." As a matter of fact, "Náhuatl was a relatively recent intrusion" into central Mexico.

On the other hand, if one observes the locations of the indigenous people who spoke the Uto-Aztecan languages, all of their lands lay to the northwest of the Valley of Mexico. The northern Uto-Aztecans occupied a large section of the American Southwest. Among them were the Hopi and Zuni Indians of New Mexico and the Gabrielino Indians of the Los Angeles Basin. The Central Uto-Aztecans - occupying large parts of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Sonora in northwestern Mexico - included the Papago, Opata, Yaqui, Mayo, Concho, Huichol and Tepehuán. It is reasonable to assume that where there is a linguistic relationship there is most likely also a genetic relationship. Thus, it is highly likely that the legendary Aztlan was located in northwestern Mexico or the Southwestern United States.

Source for all above quotes: History: The Rise of the Aztec Empire


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
But Lief's Vinland colony really wasn't a "significant" cultural contact. The Skraelings (indians) in Newfoundland already had as good a bow as the Vikings had, and there were only a few score Europeans. Not enough of a threat for the natives to get busy trying to copy the metal implements Vikings used. And the colony lasted less than a decade. Like I said, not really "culturally significant."

The cultural significance of the Viking contacts in North America was curtailed by the onset of the "Little Ice Age." Viking settlements in Greenland disappeared at this time, and without those Greenland settlements, no further treks to "Vinland" were made.

But for an unfortunate whim of nature, what differences there might have been today. Not saying better, just different.

Harte
EDIT - Can't we just have an "External Source" button? I can never remember how to do it when I try to just type it in. H


[edit on 4/16/2006 by Harte]



posted on Apr, 19 2006 @ 05:00 AM
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Yeah I hear what you are saying. I quess this is one of these moments it would be nice to have a real Aztec perspective on all of this. Let me give you and example of perception.

the Aztecs were well documented during the conquest for thier blood sacrifice in their rituals, removing human hearts and what not....

yet one time I talked to Russel Means (of AIM fame) and he relayed to me he was explained by an Aztec elder that what was going on was really a form of heart surgery.

now who knows what the truth is, but it seems history can sometimes be interpreted many different ways based on perception (or opinion), or who recorded what. And when two different cultures clash there is always two different sides to the story. Civil war history is told very different in the south then it is the north for example.

I quess bottom line I really don't know who the first pyramid builders were in those areas (Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecs, Toltecs?), Stunkums hopefully we didn't make you more confused then you already were. As far as any transatlantic contact goes some say the Aztecs beleived there was but many don't agree. And Cortez did arrive on the 5th cycle of the morning star just as the Aztec priests were waiting for but the conquest happened. And I don't even think the Aztecs remembered where their Aztlan was located, and the whole Olmec to Toltec to Aztec shifting of power makes my head spin.. Who really knows.



posted on Apr, 19 2006 @ 08:39 AM
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Russel Means . . . . Well, heart surgery is usually performed today in the interest of increasing the patient's physical longevity. Maybe the families of the victims are entitled to some class-action malpractice claims?

Saying the Aztecs were "heart surgeons" is a slap in the face to their native american victims, as well as to any kind of grip with reality. Does means believe that Jack the Ripper was a gynecologist??


Admitting that different cultures have profoundly different world-views is not the same as saying they (we) are morally neutral or that we can pretend the past is anything we want.

I believe it is profoundly important to understand Aztec theology of sacrifice, and to see how it changed over time. On the one hand, the Valle Central had incredible population pressures, some of the most profound in human history. Knowing this helps to explain the growth and gore of sacrifice.

I think it says a lot more to ask whether the ruling class used sacrifice as a means to stifle dissent . . .

They were also causing a state of "total war" against their Northern and Western ethnic enemies. You cannot negotiate with people who plan to skin and eat you.

There is evidence that the Aztec's ethnic cousins practiced cannibalism of enemies, as far north as the Anasazi in the southwestern US. THAT tells us a lot more than heart surgery does!

And if it's all relative, then some "relativity" ought to be extented to the Conquistadors, who, when they encountered Aztecs, met the exact definition of "demon worship" within their own cultural lense.

If the Aztecs are morally innocent, then the Conquistadors must be, too.

.



posted on Apr, 19 2006 @ 09:31 AM
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Surgery?



Why was the surgery perfomed on POWs and atop a giant temple???



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