Excavation of ancient Native American canal offers insight

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posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 07:36 PM
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Excavation of ancient Naples canal offers insight
Archaeologist seek to learn more about waterway built by area's ancient Indians.
(from News-press.com)




Before the arrival of Europeans in the early 16th century, Indians built a series of canals in South Florida, including a 2.5-mile canal that connects Pine Island Sound to Matlacha Pass through Pineland and a 7-mile canal system at Ortona.

All of South Florida’s canals from that era were built to facilitate trade.


Archeologists are focusing on one canoe canal in particular, a "major highway" that connected the Gulf of Mexico to Naples Bay, built between 1200 and 1400 CE.


As to who built the canal, which was about 40 feet wide at the top and 12 feet wide at the base, archaeologists aren’t sure; Carr believes it was Indians from the Ten Thousand Islands rather than the Calusa, who dominated South Florida for centuries from population centers at Mound Key in Estero Bay and Pineland.

His reasoning is based on pottery found in the area.



Andrew E. Douglass wrote of the canal in the 1885 Florida Antiquarian: “It is impossible to imagine the object of so vast and laborious an undertaking... But by whomever constructed and for whatever purpose, it is a work of great, and, we must suppose, well organized and intelligent labor, and well calculated to excite astonishment and admiration.”


That would have been a site to see, traveling along the old canals and trade routes of native Indians. The earliest Europeans canals in America were also based directly on the canoe canals of natives.




posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 07:46 PM
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I read through the article real quick and didn't see any mention of what kind of tools they may have used to do this...does anybody have any idea?
edit on 12-4-2012 by The_Phantom because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 07:52 PM
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reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 


Excellent find and excellent thread!!


Yes, I would LOVE to travel back in time to see who the original architects of these canals were. It boggles the mind......



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:01 PM
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This is quite interesting. I don't have much to add. One thing that did stand out to me was the fact that in the 1800's people assumed it was built by pirates or Europeans. They couldn't believe that Natives could be capable of such a feat. Sad.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:03 PM
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The Hohokam seem to have constructed an assortment of simple canals combined with weirs in their various agricultural pursuits. Between the 7th and 14th centuries, they also built and maintained extensive irrigation networks along the lower Salt and middle Gila rivers that rivaled the complexity of those used in the ancient Near East, Egypt, and China. These were constructed using relatively simple excavation tools, without the benefit of advanced engineering technologies.

en.wikipedia.org...

I hope i'm not off topic but here is a similar culture in the southwest who dug canals and irrigation systems.
I think there may have been some more advanced accomplishmnents going on then sometimes the first nations may get credit for
canals, trade, mound cities, constitutions, the oldest functioning democracies...



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:23 PM
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reply to post by The_Phantom
 

AFAIK their tools were stone (flint "knapping" which they raised to a fine art), shells, fire, and wood (like wooden shovels). Scraping and hauling away dirt in a basket, I'm assuming they left an earthen dam to keep the area dry where they were working, but then canals for canoes wouldn't have to be very deep. It's still a prodigious amount of manual labor though!



Not bad for a flint tool - you could probably perform surgery with this.



reply to post by Ellie Sagan
 

Agreed, especially since it was such an extensive network of canals.



reply to post by Danbones
 

The only thing they really lacked was metallurgy, but most of the Eastern coast is not mineral rich (at least on the surface), so imagine a culture in the swamps of Virginia or Florida developing an advanced society but just lacking in that one crucial technology.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:37 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if there was trade in copper at one time from the great lakes all the way down the trade routes of which your awsome canals were a part of, all the way down to south america.
having said that
that point you posted is awesome
one of the Leakies proved (in africa) you can skin as fast or faster with a stone flake then you can with steel

I found a self sharpening STONE skin scraper, so maybe they felt they didn't need dumb a$$ metalurgy



Their name is derived from the fact of their having made a considerable variety of tools and ornaments out of Lake Superior copper by the processes of cold hammering or heating and hammering. The copper artifacts, most of which have occurred as surface finds, are distinctive for their thick coat of copper salts and heavy acid erosion which suggest considerable antiquity. The Osceola Site (Ritzenthaler, 1945) showed that a-long with such Old Copper artifacts as socket-tang spear points, spuds, knives, awls, conical points, beads, and bracelets there occurred a rather distinctive chipped-stone industry. The chipped-stone work exhibited fine workmanship in primary flaking and secondary retouching, and included in its products a characteristic type of drill, scraper, and point. The points were consistent in having a lanceoate shape with rather parallel sides, side notching, and a concave or sometimes straight base. Two bannerstones, of the "bow-tie" and prismoidal type, found by amateurs at the site provide evidence that they also made ground-stone artifacts.

www.rootsweb.ancestry.com...
edit on 12-4-2012 by Danbones because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-4-2012 by Danbones because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 09:09 PM
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I want to see the damned shovel that they used to dig the canal!.

Meaning, it is unlikely that native Americans built such a canal, but of course, that must be the official response. Pottery shards only mean that some people were there later and it could have been thousands of years after the canals were dug and perhaps fell into disuse.

To hand dig such a canal would have been an immense job, taking thousands of man hours that would have been better spent in hand carrying the trade materials. After all, how much trading can primitive cultures do? As a rule, a culture is self-supporting from its home region and trading between Indian nations was common for special, often "luxury" items, but not to the extent that canals were necessary or worth the trouble of building.

Where are the engineering standards that must be utilized for such an undertaking? My joke about the shovel, cuts to the heart of this mystery. More and more we are confronted with the increasing mystery of when will these fields of study start suspecting that the unfolding history of the entire world's civilzations do not seem to follow the old text books? Oh, I know. It is like the deal with the UFOs. The average citizen can look up and see or image one, but the officials and scientists, can'e (won't) see them as they peer off to Titan, etc.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by Aliensun
I want to see the damned shovel that they used to dig the canal!.


Why? You wouldn't believe it would you? Native Americans used shovels and hoe's made out of bone, usually shoulder blades


Meaning, it is unlikely that native Americans built such a canal, but of course, that must be the official response. Pottery shards only mean that some people were there later and it could have been thousands of years after the canals were dug and perhaps fell into disuse.


Please show evidence of these other people? What we only have evidence for the native Americans - so why is there no evidence for these others folks?


To hand dig such a canal would have been an immense job, taking thousands of man hours that would have been better spent in hand carrying the trade materials. After all, how much trading can primitive cultures do? As a rule, a culture is self-supporting from its home region and trading between Indian nations was common for special, often "luxury" items, but not to the extent that canals were necessary or worth the trouble of building.


Ah personal incredulity - I don't understand therefore it cannot be true. Ancient people did spent thousands of hours doing lots of things that required a lot of work, why are native Americans not allowed to do that? lol


Where are the engineering standards that must be utilized for such an undertaking? My joke about the shovel, cuts to the heart of this mystery.


Not to mysterious, native Americans were there, the canal was cut and would have benefited them - now you say someone else did it - people we cannot find, so why did THEY built this small canal and nothing else it would seem?


More and more we are confronted with the increasing mystery of when will these fields of study start suspecting that the unfolding history of the entire world's civilzations do not seem to follow the old text books?


I don't see that at all, you seem to have odd notion that 'text books' are static, they change constantly as new information is found. What exactly is it about this unfolding history, which scientists are doing, that you find mysterious?



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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whats not to believe the egyptians managed to do the same thing .same in england at stonehendge .try looking up egptian finds at grand canyon in 1908 .wonder what the smithsonian were dumping by the barge load .history stinks like a rotten egg



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by geobro
whats not to believe the egyptians managed to do the same thing .same in england at stonehendge .try looking up egptian finds at grand canyon in 1908 .wonder what the smithsonian were dumping by the barge load .history stinks like a rotten egg


I believe you are talking about the 1909 story. It was a made up story.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by Aliensun
After all, how much trading can primitive cultures do? As a rule, a culture is self-supporting from its home region and trading between Indian nations was common for special, often "luxury" items


didnt the dutch make an empire out of selling tulips around the world?

and obviously your knowledge on the subject is quite limited, why would I take your word on how the natives traded?



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 11:30 PM
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reply to post by aching_knuckles
 


If you are interested in the state of pre-Columbian trade in Florida/Southeast North America and the Caribbean. You can find that in the 'The Florida Anthropologist'


Florida Anthropologist online volumes

You can get more general information by looking at the wiki pages for the Tequesta, Tocobaga and of the course the Calusa people
edit on 12/4/12 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by Danbones

The Hohokam seem to have constructed an assortment of simple canals combined with weirs in their various agricultural pursuits. Between the 7th and 14th centuries, they also built and maintained extensive irrigation networks along the lower Salt and middle Gila rivers that rivaled the complexity of those used in the ancient Near East, Egypt, and China. These were constructed using relatively simple excavation tools, without the benefit of advanced engineering technologies.

en.wikipedia.org...

I hope i'm not off topic but here is a similar culture in the southwest who dug canals and irrigation systems.
I think there may have been some more advanced accomplishmnents going on then sometimes the first nations may get credit for
canals, trade, mound cities, constitutions, the oldest functioning democracies...


I was thinking the same thing--the Hohokam. The description of the structure of the Florida canals sounds like the same style of construction as the Hohokam. So the two tribes were probably related to one another.

There were certain tribes that were wiped out on first contact with the Spanish. They just didn't have any immunity to European diseases, not even a cold virus. So when the Spanish first landed in Florida, they documented the names of a bunch of tribes. When they went back, some of the tribes had vanished from disease on first contact.

The Hohokam were another tribe that was wiped out on first contact. There was an expedition into Arizona in the early 1500s and the explorers sent back information to Spain about the land and a group that sounded similar to "Four Waters" Hohokam. Then Hohokam land was put on the Royal Spanish claimed lands with about half of the Gila River drawn on the map.

Cortes was then sent back to Arizona on the previous explorers information, but by 1530 the Hohokam had been wiped out. Most likely disease on first contact. So the Florida tribe who vanished is probably related to the Hohokam who vanished.



posted on Apr, 18 2012 @ 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by MapMistress

The Hohokam were another tribe that was wiped out on first contact. There was an expedition into Arizona in the early 1500s and the explorers sent back information to Spain about the land and a group that sounded similar to "Four Waters" Hohokam. Then Hohokam land was put on the Royal Spanish claimed lands with about half of the Gila River drawn on the map.

Cortes was then sent back to Arizona on the previous explorers information, but by 1530 the Hohokam had been wiped out. Most likely disease on first contact. So the Florida tribe who vanished is probably related to the Hohokam who vanished.


The Hohokam collapsed before the arrival of the Spanish. The tribes in Florida were still around when the Spanish did show up about a century after the Hohokam culture dissolved. Cortes as far as I remember explored NW Mexico and never got into Arizona but I stand by to be corrected!




posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 10:59 AM
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reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 

Hi black
I don't think anyone mentioned the soil where this canal is build.
It should just be sand and not to difficult to move. Southern Florida is just ancient coral and sand. Far south just old coral and coral sand (keys, glades)
On the other hand you would think it would fill in quite quickly.
The Inca built extensive canals in extreme soil (rocks) and terrain.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If this is true, I have my doubts though.
Cabeza de Vaca's Travels Through Mid-North America 1528-1536
www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/cabeza.htm
www.sjsu.edu...


You are correct with your map Hans

Cortez

library.thinkquest.org/J002678F/cortez.htm

Cortez spent the next seven years establishing peace among the Indians of Mexico and developing mines and farmlands. In 1528 he went home and was received with great honor by Charles V, but he missed the adventure of the New World.

He returned to Mexico as a military commander. He explored Lower California from 1534 to 1535 and fought the pirates of Algiers in 1541. The same year he led an expedition against the Maya of Yucatan.

Cortez died near Seville on December 2, 1547.

the best ljb





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