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Lost Maritime Cultures: China and the Pacific

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posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 09:59 PM
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Lost Maritime Cultures: China and the Pacific

For years, many have searched for the origins of people living on islands throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Their roots can be traced to China, according to some linguists and human biologists (who study both genetics and bones).

Now for the first time, some archaeologists in Hawaii are documenting evidence linking China’s ancient seafaring cultures with the Pacific. This also marks the first time an international team of archaeologists from China, Taiwan and the United States are collaborating in their research about these ancient seafaring civilizations that once flourished in southeast China 3000 to 7000 years ago.

The research is groundbreaking because it establishes how seafaring technology developed in prehistoric China and it's important in understanding the origins of Pacific heritage.



This is a short but well, short article. I have no doubt that there were ancient Chinese seafaring explorers in various periods of the Pacific's long history. I can't help but get the feeling they are attempting to claim more credit than can be given.

I don't doubt the Chinese explored the Pacific and may have colonized various islands but there were people from other regions exploring and colonizing as well. Still this is an interesting perspective. I've often wondered if the Olmecs of Central America may have had some contact with Ancient Chinese explorers in more recent times than is discussed in the story?

Olmec figurines.....


There is so much circumstantial evidence of early Chinese contact with the West coast of the new world but we are still lacking concrete proof. Take these for examples. A bearded statue so it could be said that he looks Caucasian or very Asian here are some more.




This is a very rare pre columbian wooden sculpture found in Guatemala.



This one here and the one above reminded me of the famous Chinese Terracotta statues.




Here are some other random pre Colombian Olmec figurines...











Thoughts?
edit on 24-10-2012 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 10:08 PM
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Interesting work, Slayer, as usual. I have to agree, that there must have been several different sea-faring cultures at the time colonizing and trading. If we think about the Peri Reis map and the other maps similar to it, it seems most of the world was already mapped (with proper longitude/latitude) way prior to the times of modern exploration. The full beard on the first statue picture you posted made me think about the legends of Viracocha and his description. Strange to see it in another culture's artwork. ETA. The Olmec statue does looks a little more Asian than Caucasian, though.
edit on 24/10/2012 by TheSparrowSings because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 10:12 PM
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Slayer - I love your threads. Always well presented and very thought provoking.

With the evidence you have provided there is no doubt in my mind that the ancient Chinese travelled far and wide. It is a pity that there is no conclusive proof...

I have often thought after seeing photos of people, especially the elderly, that many people have 'Chinese' qualities about them. For example I find the appearance of some American Indians, people from Peru and even Hawaii very similar to that of the Chinese.

Great Thread!



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 10:13 PM
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reply to post by TheSparrowSings
 


This is a fairly well known Olmec stela from la venta. I've always pondered if it could have been some sort of stylized representation of a Chinese "Dragon boat"




posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by SuchIsLife
 


I've always thought some of the indigenous peoples of the Andes in South America reminded me often of the people of Nepal or Tibet for some odd reason.....



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 10:34 PM
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I would have to say that each and every one of those figurines can and do resemble many pieces of Chinese art and sculptures we see being produced even today. Nice find.

Can this tie in to the land bridge again tho? Maybe not so much seafaring but Nomadic Asians crossing over and dropping into North America to become what we know as the Inuit today.

Eventually dropping to South America as well?

Peace

edit on 24-10-2012 by jude11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by jude11
 


I suppose anything is possible. Both cultures loved Jade......

I recall reading an article about giant anchor stones being found up and down the West coast of North and South America that resembled known Chinese stone anchors but on a much grander scale. Of course many also thought they were naturally occurring formed stones that simply resembled them ...

So.

The land bridge connection would have occurred at a much much earlier period than the statues and figurines are believed dated to be.



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by jude11
 


I suppose anything is possible. Both cultures loved Jade......

I recall reading an article about giant anchor stones being found up and down the West coast of North and South America that resembled known Chinese stone anchors but on a much grander scale. Of course many also thought they were naturally occurring formed stones that simply resembled them ...

So.

The land bridge connection would have occurred at a much much earlier period than the statues and figurines are believed dated to be.


I can see the time period of the land bridge being earlier but what I'm thinking is a possible tie in because of the bridge.

If they started migrating at an earlier period on foot because of the bridge I have to wonder if the migrations continued after the bridge in the form of boats seeing as they already knew of the NW Coast being reachable.

A constant flow of travelers over long periods of time.

Just a theory.


Peace



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 10:57 PM
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reply to post by jude11
 



If anyone could have made the trip it would have been Zheng He but that was much more recent than what we are discussing.


If you haven't seen this yet this is a mind blower....

Zheng He's ship compared to Columbus's



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by jude11
 



If anyone could have made the trip it would have been Zheng He but that was much more recent than what we are discussing.


If you haven't seen this yet this is a mind blower....

Zheng He's ship compared to Columbus's


Um...Holy Crap!

Never knew about this. Yes, my mind is blown and now I have a lot of reading to do...Thanks!

I did notice

The purported size of the Ming ships is strongly disputed by maritime historians.
but even cutting it in half to perhaps satisfy the Historians leaves a lot to argue with again.

I still have a 'feeling' there is something missing between the time periods tho. Traders, fishermen, nomads and just all out explorers. Either on course or off.

Peace

edit on 24-10-2012 by jude11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 11:09 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by TheSparrowSings
 


This is a fairly well known Olmec stela from la venta. I've always pondered if it could have been some sort of stylized representation of a Chinese "Dragon boat"




I hate to say it but it looks like a spaceship. *lol* I am not trying to get a Giorgio Tsoukalos on you here but even the serpent behind the boat reminded me of a "tail"of some form and the head looks like it has a mask. So, my conclusion, ITS ALIENS. (



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


I once watched some history show on the tv box where anchor stones, used by the Chinese, were found all up and down the west coast of America.

Fascinating article.




posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 12:22 AM
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reply to post by jude11
 


Disputing the size doesn't surprise me. Something being perceived that large that long ago is hard to believe but I think it was possible.



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 12:34 AM
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reply to post by TheSparrowSings
 




I was waiting for the "Alien" angle. I'm a firm believer in the possibility of visitors then and now but so far I havent seen any worth while evidence, But, I'll keep an open mind....



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by beezzer
reply to post by SLAYER69
 


I once watched some history show on the tv box where anchor stones, used by the Chinese, were found all up and down the west coast of America.

Fascinating article.




I think we may have seen the same history show



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 08:23 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Good stuff mate


Being a captain in the Merchant Navy, I wish to provide some further verification of ancient maritime involvement in the Australasian Region to this thread - namely by the Polynesian peoples. At the end of this post are a number of links suggesting that the chinese maritime involvement in the Pacific may very well have started thousands of years before Christ.

It is a well known fact that the Polynesians were experts in reading ocean currents which allowed them to travel and colonise vast parts of the Pacific Ocean. For instance, they created the first navigational "chart" called "Stick Charts"


Stick charts were made and used by the Marshallese to navigate the Pacific Ocean by canoe off the coast of the Marshall Islands. The charts represented major ocean swell patterns and the ways the islands disrupted those patterns, typically determined by sensing disruptions in ocean swells by islands during sea navigation. Stick charts were typically made from the midribs of coconut fronds tied together to form an open framework.

Island locations were represented by shells tied to the framework, or by the lashed junction of two or more sticks. The threads represented prevailing ocean surface wave-crests and directions they took as they approached islands and met other similar wave-crests formed by the ebb and flow of breakers. Individual charts varied so much in form and interpretation that the individual navigator who made the chart was the only person who could fully interpret and use it.

Use of stick charts and navigation by swells apparently ended after World War II, when new electronic technologies made navigation more accessible, and travel between islands by canoe lessened.


When the European Navigators arrived at various Islands in the Pacific they were perplexed with how seemingly simple-living folk had arrived there first and had knowledge of agriculture & navigation - including celestial.


The debate over Polynesian migrations is a long running one. Early European voyagers in the Pacific were perplexed by the existence of people who were obviously culturally related but who inhabited the widely dispersed islands of the Pacific.
European navigators were particularly confused as their own technology had only just allowed them to voyage to these islands, and yet on landing they seemed to be inevitably confronted by people using stone-age technology who had reached these small and widely scattered pieces of land well before them.
Once appeals to divine intervention were no longer thought a sufficient explanation for Polynesian dispersal, speculation about their methods of finding and settling islands became widespread, and among the explanations proposed was that of accidental voyaging.



I could go on and on about this, suffice to say there is plenty of Archaeological evidence even right here in Australia (Northern Territory and thursday Island) showing the arrival of Asian peoples thousands of years ago. Check out the links if you want some more insight on this fantastic subject.

Once again thank-you Slayer.

(you're not an ex-seafarer are you? Thats 2 great threads now on maritime ventures of ancient cultures)

www.divediscover.whoi.edu...
Stick Chart
www.archaeology.org...
James Cook University
www.maritimecookislands.com...
Researchcommons



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 09:54 AM
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Nice~

The truth is right before our eyes,
masquerading in disguise.
Plain for all to see,
how present culture came to be!

We have a lot to learn - and it is our lot to learn.

Very fascinating to imagine these cultures connected.

Thanks - cool!

∞LOVE
mayallsoulsbefree∞



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by Sublimecraft
 


Awesome I hadnt heard of the stick charts. Your contribution will be referenced later for another in depth thread I've been working on



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 10:44 AM
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I find the pictures of the contortionist figurines to be the most interesting. The postures and poses are the exact same ones that the chinese teach in some yoga, chi gong and pre-kungfu training known as Tong Zi Gong (virgin boy practice) It was taught to the shaolin monks in ancient times all the way up to present day when they were still children and too young to learn martial arts. THe idea was to get the body supple and prepared for the training that would come as they got older.

I don't know any where else this practice and that specific pose has been used or developed other than in china. Maybe in India too, since a lot of chinese culture was inspired by india.

Either way unless the americans came up with this practice independently it would appear that it was influence by asia and that some sort of contact was going on.

THe chinese boats were pretty well designed for open seas. THey were wide and flat bottomed for stability. The inner bulkheads were influenced by the partitions in bamboo. SO the ship had sealable bulkheads below the water line making it resistant to sinking. They deck plans were well laid out too. They had main ships and support ships, transport ships, similar to a modern navy.



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 10:45 AM
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A great thread as always Slayer

Some points

Native Americans are of Asian descent, obviously they will tend to resemble Asians!

Boat drift will bring Asians to N America it happened in historic times and may have happened before

The Polynesians may have pushed eastward (I suspect they did) but their culture would not have done well against SA cultures of that time





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