Originally posted by Pimander
I agree they would be recorded normally - unless they were kept quiet. Remember that many merchants would never reveal where their rarest and most
valuable goods were from for obvious reasons.
I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learned that 'someone had done it'...once, in ancient history.
The problem is "Meaningful" contact.
When two alien cultures come in contact, the FIRST thing people appropriate is military technology. Then comes food, cooking, and food husbandry.
3 years after Cousteau's son sailed up the Amazon, the entire basin had bic lighters and M-16's. Likewise, the !Kung had plastic grocery sacks a
couple of years after they appeared in super markets.
The inca and aztecs were both experimenting with copper-tin alloys (trying to develop brass) while the spaniards were wading ashore. There are
metallurgical issues to sort out, but they instantly began copying the technology once they saw Spanish examples.
Likewise, the ndns of the American Southwest had horses by 1688, and practically every tribe (except the Utes and a few others, where it was too arid
for equines) had horses within 40 years...and that's saying a lot since they had no prior concept of domestication and breeding techniques.
So how come, if there had been culturally meaningful contact, did the native americans not copy the pottery wheel? Some artistic technologies like
Egyptian glass-making were
considered state secrets; but the technique of turning pottery is obvious in the product itself. Many indians
intuited the technique from a close examination of trade goods. The cherokees quickly copied it from european colonial wares. Why couldn't the
predecessors of the incas, or the olmecs, have done the same?
What about chain mail? The "coc aine mummies are actually ptolemaic, and not classical New Kingdom mummies, if I remember correctly; so why
didn't they have greek armor and ship-building technologies?
And what about the Egyptians? certainly turkey, corn and potatoes could have been easily transferred back to the old world, and were by 1500. So why
not in 300 BC? Why bother taking coc aine (but not bringing cultivars), and still skipping the excellent foodstuffs the americas brought? Why
The problem with all hypotheses of ancient contact is that you have to invoke "secret" contacts and technologies to explain why intelligent, even
crafty, humans would not utilize excellent technologies when they saw it---which their descendants did so quickly, in historical times.
Leif Ericcson made Contact. I believe St. Brendan did too. But the contact ended with the man....