Mayan Super Highways?

Ancient Maya developed super highways network more than 1,000 years ago

 

Roads of more than 240 kilometers long designed, traced and built by the ancient Maya have been discovered in Guatemala, near the border with Mexico.

El Mirador is a late Maya preclassic city, located in Guatemala, in the heart of the Petén jungle, and it was recently revealed that the first network of super highways in the world was made there by this ancient civilization.

This was concluded in the framework of the “Cuenca Mirador” archaeological project, in which more than 700 square kilometers have been analyzed by experts. In addition, Richard Hansen, director of this program explained that this a one-of-a-kind study ever to be conducted in Mesoamerica.

In total, it is estimated that El Mirador, also known as the the “Kan” Kingdom, covers an area of 2,158 square kilometers within the Maya Biosphere Reserve and is also one of the most important environmental lungs in all the American Continent.

As part of this research, it has been determined that Guatemala has the privilege of being the cradle of the Maya civilization, and has the highest pyramids, in addition to the aforementioned unique road.

Read the full story here: http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2017/01/ancient-maya-developed-super-highways-network-more-than-1000-years-ago/

Earliest Tobacco Use in the Pacific Northwest

tobaccopipe-ucdavisresea

The earliest known usage of tobacco in the Pacific Northwest was smoked using a pipe similar to this one, according to Shannon Tushingham, a UC Davis archaeology research associate. Credit: Shannon Tushingham

Tobacco is a plant that originated in South America and slowly over the ages migrated northward. The latest research shows that tobacco had reached the Pacific Northwest by 860 AD. Read the story below to learn more:

(Phys.org)—Native American hunter-gatherers living more than a thousand years ago in what is now northwestern California ate salmon, acorns and other foods, and now we know they also smoked tobacco—the earliest known usage in the Pacific Northwest, according to a new University of California, Davis, study.

“The study demonstrates that tobacco smoking was part of the northwestern California culture very early … shortly after the earliest documented Pacific Northwest Coast plank house villages,” said the study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Testing organic residues extracted from pipes, researchers from the UC Davis Department of Anthropology and the Fiehn Metabolomics Laboratory of the UC Davis Genome Center confirmed tobacco was smoked, and likely grown in the region, by at least A.D. 860.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-uncover-earliest-tobacco-pacific-northwest.html#jCp

Mounting Evidence of Maya-Taino Connection

tainoEvidence continues to grow that the Maya seafarers did not just control coastal trade routes in Mexico and Central America but ventured further afield including the islands of the Caribbean and the Southeastern U.S. Just as the Maya-Georgia connection is currently scoffed at by mainstream academics, the Maya-Cuba connection was also once dismissed as well. This was, of course, before hard evidence showing evidence of Mayan ball courts and Mayan gods was discovered on the island. Now the same academics who once dismissed the claims are busy trying to downplay the connections. Read below to learn more about the evidence showing contact between the Maya and the Taino throughout the Caribbean:

The Taínos were accomplished seamen and traveled through-out the Caribbean in their hand-crafted canoas. Some large canoes could carry thirty people. The caciques owned these larger canoes and were thus responsible for public transportation. The importance of the canoes in the daily lives and in the expansion of the Taínos cannot be overstated. Due to their navigating skills, the Taínos were able to travel from their land of origin, the Orinoco Valley of Venezuela, and island-hop from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Bahamas and Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and as far west as Cuba. This expansion did not occur over a short period of time, but it did guarantee a Taíno presence in the Caribbean. Another important consequence of their navigation skills and their canoes is that the Taínos had contact with other indigenous groups of the Americas, including the Mayas of Mexico and Guatemala.

 

Read the full article here: http://indigenouscaribbean.ning.com/group/archaeologyofthecircumcaribbean/forum/topics/mounting-evidence-of-mayataino

DNA Reveals Chihuahua and Carolina Dog originated in America and Asia

New DNA testing has proven definitively that several Native American dog breeds, including the Chihuahua and Carolina Dog, have been in North America for thousands of years and can trace their genetic heritage back to Asia not Europe as was previously conjectured.

A year ago my research report entitled “Ancient Chihuahuas in Southeastern U.S.?” produced significant criticism when I argued that artifacts found in Mexico as well as the southeastern United States represented the Chihuahua breed. Academics argued here and here that DNA analysis showed that Chihuahuas had no “native American” dog genes and that their closest genetic kin were from Europe. Thus the artifacts that I suggested depicted Chihuahuas were dismissed.

Side-by-side comparison of a dog effigy pot unearthed in Georgia dating to 1325 AD and a modern Chihuahua

Side-by-side comparison of a dog effigy pot unearthed in Georgia dating to 1325 AD and a modern Chihuahua

For instance, I had argued that dog-shaped pots unearthed at the Bull Creek site in Georgia dating back to 1325 AD matched the American Kennel Club’s breed description for only one dog: the ‘applehead’ variety of Chihuahua. Other dog pottery dating back to 1250 AD unearthed at the site of Casas Grandes (aka Paquime) in Chihuahua, Mexico were shown to match the ‘deerhead’ variety of Chihuahua. Coincidentally, modern folklore maintained that the first modern Chihuahuas were discovered running around these very same ruins of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexico which is the origins of the dog’s name: Chihuahua.

Wheeled toy representing “apple head” Chihuahua  from Tres Zapotes, Veracruz dated ca. 100-200 AD.

Wheeled toy representing “apple head” Chihuahua from Tres Zapotes, Veracruz dated ca. 100-200 AD.

Another depiction of a Chihuahua at the Tres Zapotes site in Mexico dating back to 100 AD showed that the dog breed was present in Mexico for at least two thousand years, long before the arrival of Europeans. As I concluded in my research paper:

“Many theories argue that the Chihuahua is a modern breed created after the arrival of Europeans which resulted from a cross between a Techichi with dogs from China or Europe to achieve the modern toy-size Chihuahua. Yet the appearance of these Chihuahua effigies in Mexico by 100 AD and the dog effigy pots in Georgia by 1325 AD seems to refute those claims and suggests the Chihuahua has purely New World origins.”

Yet none of this physical evidence convinced the skeptics. They attacked the American Kennel Club breed descriptions as faulty and irrelevant. They attacked the comparison of physical traits between the artifacts and living Chihuahuas as fanciful.

Yet the latest genetic analysis has proven definitively that the skeptics were wrong. As noted in the research article “MtDNA analysis confirms early Pre?Colombian origins of Native American dogs”:

“Dogs were present in Pre-Columbian America, presumably brought to the New World by early human migrants of Asian origin. However, the extent to which historical Arctic, North and South American breeds, e.g. the Alaskan Malamute, Inuit, Eskimo and Greenland dogs, Xoloitzcuintli, Chihuahua and Perro Sín Pelo del Peru, are descendants of these original dogs or were replaced by European dogs remains to be assessed.”

The researcher, Mattias Oskarsson of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, analyzed the mtDNA of these native American breeds looking for markers indicative of either an East Asian or European origin. Oskarsson’s research revealed,

“Evidence for a Pre-Columbian origin was found for all… American breeds….[and their genetic markers were] distinct from European [markers], exclusive to America, shared only with East Asia, or identical to ancient American sequences.”

Furthermore, Oskarsson’s research revealed that identical markers between “ancient and modern samples showed geographic continuity over time in Mexico (Chihuahua) and Alaska (Alaskan Malamute).” In relation to the Chihuahua, Oskarsson further stated in his dissertation:

“We can also for the first time present evidence for continuity between the ancient and extant dog population with e.g. exclusive sharing of a haplotype between a modern sample of Chihuahua and an ancient Mexican sample.

Thus the Chihuahua was a purely indigenous dog of the Americas whose presence could be traced back for thousands of years and whose only genetic cousins were in East Asia not Europe.

Carolina_Dog

The Carolina Dog indigenous to the Southeastern U.S.

Additionally, Oskarsson found that the Carolina Dog, a native dog of the Southeastern United States long believed to be indigenous was, in fact, an indigenous dog whose closest genetic relatives were also in East Asia. Oskarsson noted that his research “provide the first DNA-based evidence for an ancient Asian origin of the Carolina Dog, a dingo-like free-ranging population in the USA. Numerous dogs were probably brought from Asia, since totally 13 mtDNA haplotypes among extant and ancient American dogs were distinct from haploypes found in Europe.”

This should put to rest once and for all the origins of both the Carolina Dog and Chihuahua. Both artifactual evidence and DNA prove that the Chihuahua is a native dog of the Americas with a deep ancestry on the North American continent and traces of an East Asian origin suggesting this breed’s ancestors came with Native Americans over 10,000 years ago when they first migrated to North America from Asia.

The Mesoamerican Connection to the Eastern United States

I found the following information in the comments section of a blog that was critiquing the Mayan-Georgia connection. The author of this comment, Bill Tiffee, provides a wealth of information about research made through the years that support a connection between the Native American tribes of the U.S. and their counterparts south of the Rio Grande in Mexico. Read his comments below:

I believe the famous Zelia Nuttall was the first to propose a link between Georgia (Etowah) and the Maya.(Comparison between Etowan, Mexican and Mayan designs in Etowah Papers (1932).
And of course the dominant paradigm prior to the 1970s was that Mesoamerica and the SECC region were closely linked. A handful of scholars, including Timothy Pauketat, Peter Peregrine, Alice Kehoe and Stephen Lekson, have continued to champion theories very close to those of Richard Thornton….

RETHINKING NORTH AMERICA; Timothy R. Pauketat pauketat@illinois.edu
“My research interests in archaeoastronomy and ancient religion have been developed in part through my participation in a working group on pan-American cosmology at the Santa Fe Institute, organized by Linda Cordell, George Gumerman, and Murray Gell-Mann. There and in other ways I have benefitted from working with and learning from Robert Hall, who happens to also have done early work at the Emerald site, the focus on future work and key in what is going to be another radical change in how we understand Cahokia. Via Bob, others at the SFI, and influential figures such as Alice Kehoe, Mesoamerica has reemerged in what Steve Lekson would call a big-historical re-thinking of North America.

Alice Kehoe:
“Mesoamericanists will be interested in the connection I found between Osage priest texts and the Vienna Codex:
Kehoe, Alice B. 2007. Osage Texts and Cahokia Data. In Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms, edited by F. Kent Reilly III and James Garber. Austin: University of Texas Press,
and in this entire volume, which includes my paper suggesting the name Powhatan was a praise name from Maya Pahuatun:
Kehoe, Alice B. 2005 Wind Jewels and Paddling Gods: The Mississippian Southeast in the Postclassic Mesoamerican World. In Gulf Coast Archaeology, the Southeastern United States and Mexico, ed. Nancy Marie White. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Pp. 260-280.

Alice kehoe (wiki entry)
“Kehoe emphasizes that, from these stale and false notions of ancient Native American history, much has been missed in the archaeological record of the Americas that is only just now coming to light. This history is now being reinterpreted through the new knowledge and understanding of peoples who built towns and even cities (e.g. Cahokia) of pyramidal mounds and other forms of monumental architecture surrounding huge ceremonial plazas. For instance, in examining the most recently discovered archaeological evidence of Cahokia, Kehoe suggests that this largest known center of Mississippian culture should best be termed a state. She argues that the Mississippian, often called “mound-building,” culture had close trade and communication links with civilizations of Mesoamerica (Mayas, Aztecs, their predecessors and contemporaries) and that this link is readily apparent from the archaeological record. She argues that trans-Gulf contact between the Mississippi Valley and Mesoamerica was quite likely, with communication and trade occurring either on foot, by canoe, or both, leading to clear similarities in the culture, religion, and art of the SECC, Midwest, and Mesoamerica (Kehoe 2005 Wind Jewels and Paddling Gods: The Mississippian Southeast in the Postclassic Mesoamerican World. In Gulf Coast Archaeology, the Southeastern United States and Mexico, ed. Nancy Marie White. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Pp. 260-280).
Gulf Coast archaeology : the southeastern United States and Mexico /Authors:White, Nancy Marie. | Society for American Archaeology. — Meeting — (2001 : — New Orleans, La.)Published by : University Press of Florida,

Archaeologist Alice Kehoe(professor emeritus of anthropology at Marquette University), is another prominent scholar who continues to support close ties between American and Mesoamerican cultures. Kehoe notes that the “Tolteca may have traded, perhaps via nations in the Huasteca, across the gulf and up the Mississippi lacks hard evidence (other than filed human incisors), but hard evidence for Highland Mexico itself in this period is relatively limited and subject to much debate…Evidence for contacts, for shared conceptualizations, does exist in similarities between Early Postclassic Mexico and contemporary Mississippian (e.g. Carlson 1981; Hall 1984; Gillespie 1991). Some of the strongest parallels are in iconography (especially if mound-and-plaza architecture is counted as iconography)…. Phillip’s tenacity in rejecting Mississippian-Mesoamerican contacts even when evidenced on Gulf of Mexico shells transported to eastern Oklahoma, is a strong example of the power of core beliefs in this discipline.”

“the principle of actualism, not to mention Occam’s Razor, posits Cahokia to be a market hub, and one that was likely to ship goods downriver. Downriver from Cahokia leads into the gulf of Mexico and the ports of the Huastec and Maya. Huge platform pyramidal mounds constructed around great plazas-the central theater of power signaled by an imposing wall-neighbored by relatively well-constructed (wall-trench) houses with a variety of finely polished open bowls, cups, and jars, amid miles of hamlets among raised fields of maize and squashes? This form for a metropolis was standard in Mesoamerica…The parsimonious hypothesis is that Cahokia’s pyramidal mounds and plazas and ‘green city’ farmsteads and hamlets, which replicate the general Mesoamerican pattern of the urbs, embody architectural conceptions originating in Mexico.” (Assembling the Past; studies in the Professionalization of Archaeology at 169).

Among archaeologists, there is a maxim that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, yet this lack of evidence is offered as the primary grounds to dismiss decades of careful analysis of the links between the Mesoamerican and North American pyramid building cultures, even to the extreme of stating that such contacts can no longer be “seriously hypothesized.” The real question is whether there are plausible explanations for the lack of evidence of trade, and history is replete with examples of closed trading systems(US gunboats under the command of Commodore Perry shelled Japanese ports in 1853 in order to force them open to trade).

Given the number of wars in history that have their roots in trade conflicts, the two cultures may have also simply agreed to trade in their own exclusive zones(the Mesoamerican one obviously extended into the southwestern United States). A state of hostile relations between the two cultures could also account for the lack of trade. The absence of evidence means very little in terms of what influence the two cultures had on each other, a link that may well go back to 3000 BCE, the Maya creation era of 3114 BCE.

The Mexican Connection and the far west of the American Southeast
Nancy White
American Antiquity
© 2008 Society for American Archaeology
73(2) 2008 227-277
Abstract
New World archaeologists have long agreed that there was prehistoric cultural interaction between the southeastern United States and Mesoamerica, but seldom are the details of such potential relationships discussed, especially recently. The farthest westward extent of Southeastern cultural influences, as shown through the distributions of fiber-tempered pottery, Archaic and Woodland mounds, later platform mounds, ceramic styles, and other material culture, seems to be east Texas. Only a few Mexican artifacts have been found at the edges of the Southeast-obsidian at Spiro and coastal Texas, asphalt-covered pottery extending northward from Mexico into southern Texas-though general ideological connections, not to mention the sharing of maize agriculture, seem obvious. In northeast Mexico, outside the Mesoamerican heartland, Huastecan people made artifacts similar to types in the Southeast. But long-distance interactions overland or via the Gulf of Mexico were apparently sporadic, despite some common cultural foundations. Strong Southeastern cultural identities plus the presence of the north Mexico/south Texas desert may have discouraged movement into the Southeast of many important Mesoamerican traditions, such as cotton growing and beer drinking.”

In less enlightened times during the post-World War II era, it was commonplace for scholars to suggest links between the Mesoamerican cultures and those of southern America, particularly Spiro, where the most prized treasures of SECC art were found. According to David Sutton Phelps:
“Mesoamerican influence on the culture of the eastern United States has long been recognized and variously discussed in the literature of the past 60 years. While the majority of these discussions have recognized the existence of relatively direct diffusion from Mesoamerica to the Southeastern United States, they have dwelled primarily on attempts to correlate traits and establish the possible routes of contact…The cultural exchange between Mesoamerica and the Southeastern United States may have begun as early as 3000 B.C.” (“Mesoamerican Glyph Motifs on Southeastern Pottery,” by David Sutton Phelps, International Congress of Americanists, 1965).

As late as 1968, Robert Silverberg would write that “Beyond much doubt the basic Mississippian ideas stemmed from Mexico, for they follow Mexican thought in many ways…Though the Mexican influence on Hopewell and Adena is still a matter for conjecture, there is little doubt that Mexican thought underlies the Mississippian Tradition.” (Silverberg; Mound Builders of Ancient America: The Archaeology of a Myth, 296)

.
There is also a long history linking Spiro to the Huastec Indians, and recent research lists Tula, Hidalgo as a Huastec rather than a “Toltec” site.

MacNeish (1947) gave a list of traits “which he believes connects Spiro and the Southeast with Mesoamerica, particularly into the Huasteca area of northeastern Mexico.” (James Griffin; An interpretation of the Place of Spiro in Southeastern Archaeology, 1950).

Wicke (1965) noted that various scholars have considered the problem of Mesoamerican cultural influences in the eastern United States. They “agree in general on a Mesoamerican origin for temple mounds. Eastern temple mounds are larger than the earliest ones from Mesoamerica and, like them, are characterized by groups of four around a plaza, superimposed construction, frequent eastward orientation of the principal platform of a group, and capping by a temple structure. The Huastec region of northeastern Mesoamerica seems to show the closest architectural similarities to the southeastern United States.” (Wicke; Pyramids and Temple Mounds: Mesoamerican ceremonial architecture in Eastern North America; American Antiquity, vol 30, April 1965 at 409).

On the other side of the border fence, modern Mexican scholars such as Alfredo Austin and Leonardo Lujan have no difficulty connecting the Mexican cultures to the “American” natives: “The
Huastecs also had contact with the Mississippi Basin in the southeastern US, as shown by the similarities in the motifs on luxury items in both place.” (Mexico’s Indigenous Past; Austin et al at 264).

Huastec art figures “frequently sport extensive and complicated tattoos” (just as the Tula encountered by de Soto had tattoos around the nose and mouth), and “many of the sculptures have adornments identifying them with Quetzalcoatl or with death gods.”(at 264). They also note that Huastec ceramics have been found at Tula Xicocotitlan in the state of Hidalgo, and list Tula as a “Huastec” site(at 264), which supports recent scholarship which views Tula Xicocotitlan not as a “Toltec” culture but rather as Huastec. Aztec myths also speak of a “Huastec Lord” at Tula(Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas; ed. Bruce Trigger et al, 184 )

Cahokia-Moundville-Etowah Artifacts Unearthed at Mayan site in Mexico

Over the past year there has been much debate about the possible presence of Maya in America, specifically in Georgia. Certain academics were quite vocal in their opposition to this idea stating emphatically that there was “no evidence” of a Maya presence in Georgia. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this article from the magazine Archaeology dated to 2010. It clearly states that pottery from the Etowah site in Georgia had been found at the Mayan site of Tamtoc in Mexico. So why all the denials by academics over the past year that there is “no evidence” of a Mayan presence in Georgia? Were they unaware of this major research article in Archaeology magazine? Unlikely.

Furthermore, are we to believe that the inhabitants of Etowah went south but no Maya came north? The article below suggests just this sort of sillyness. The mental gymnastics academics will go through to avoid having the Maya in America is astounding as if there was some type of force field on the Rio Grande River that prevented people a thousand years ago from crossing it. But if this was a trade relationship then the influence likely went back and forth not just in one direction. Read an excerpt below from the Archaeology article to learn about the evidence of artifacts from Etowah (as well as Cahokia and Moundville) at the Mayan site of Tamtoc in northeastern Mexico:

This view looks eastward from the top of one of the long mounds above Tamtoc’s ceremonial plaza. The large ritual mound Cerro del Cubilete is on the left. (Courtesy Tom Gidwitz)

Tamtoc

by Tom Gidwitz

These projectile points, unearthed at Tamtoc, share a style common to points from the Mississippian culture that was prominent in what is now the Southeastern, Eastern and Midwest United States. (Courtesy Patricio Davila and Diana Zaragoza)

For decades, archaeologists have theorized that North America’s Late Woodland and Mississippian cultures drew inspiration from the Huasteca, but Davila and Zaragoza’s excavations at Tamtoc in the 1990s convinced them that cultural influence, and perhaps actual migration, spread from north to south. They unearthed objects that seemed to come from the American Southeast in about A.D. 900—a fragment of a sheet of hammered copper, a pointed metal hand tool, a piece of engraved shell, a cache of a dozen whole and twenty fragmented Cahokia projectile points, and pottery that could have come from sites to the north such as Etowah, and Moundville. When they dug into a terrace beside the site’s western mound, they found that, like the mounds at Cahokia, it had been piled up layer-by-layer in basket-sized loads, with dirt from pits that became the lagoons around the site.

“We dug and dug and dug,” says Davila, “but I understood nothing.” Then he read Garcilaso de la Vega’s La Florida del Inca, an account of the 1539 Hernando de Soto expedition to the Southeast. It describes huge Indian trade and war canoes that plied the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the rivers of the Southeast. “We think there was a migration by sea,” says Davila.

Scholars have long recognized that both the Southeast and Huasteca had towns with artificial lagoons and platform mounds with thatched structures on top, engraved shell jewelry, imagery of feathered dancers, stone pipes, and ghostly pots that represent the dead with closed eyes, open mouths, and filed teeth. They have theorized that the cultural influence flowed from Mesoamerica northward, but the Tamtoc artifacts, other mounds in the Huasteca, and the region’s incised shell gorgets, post-date their earliest North American counterparts.

University of South Florida archaeologist Nancy White says that major cultural influences, as well as people, may well have traveled north to south. “We know other things may have moved from North to South America, things that may be considered less important or equally important, like tobacco.” The Mississippian motifs of the Late Prehistoric period that appear in the Huasteca do indicate that “at this late time people were probably moving around and sharing these ideas, but just a few things.” In the field, Martínez and Córdova want to see for themselves.

Read the full article here: http://www.huasteca.tomgidwitz.com/html/tamtoc.html

Did Mayan Astronomers Create the Forsyth Petroglyph?

Does the Forsyth Petroglyph record the same astronomical event recorded in Temple XIX at Palenque and also depicted on the Mayan Blowgunner Vase?

Abstract: The hieroglyphic platform in Palenque’s Temple XIX records a comet breakup and impact event in 3300 BC. The same event was recorded on a Maya vase known as the Blowgunner Vase, which has been interpreted as a star map. The Forsyth Petroglyph appears to contain information found in both the Temple XIX inscriptions as well as the Blowgunner Vase and likely alludes to the same event. Additionally, the use of a Mayan glyph(s) (CHUM and/or YEH) and mythological symbol (CIPACTLI) on the Forsyth Petroglyph further links it to its Mayan counterparts and strongly suggests it was carved by Maya or Maya-influenced astronomers.

In a previous paper I argued that the Forsyth Petroglyph was a star map that recorded a comet breakup and impact event in 539 AD that coincided with a severe climate downturn at that time recorded in both historical records and the Greenland ice core.1 I have since found connections between the Forsyth Petroglyph and Maya “mythological” accounts of an event which happened near the end of the last Maya calendar that is also consistent with a major impact event. Evidence for this event is found in ice core, climate, and sedimentary records.

The event known as the Maya Flood Myth is the basis of much of Maya religion and mythology.2 The event is recorded in an inscription in Temple XIX at Palenque3 as well as on a Maya vase known as the Blowgunner Vase.4 The Blowgunner Vase has been argued to be a Maya star map.5 Coincidentally, it contains the exact same constellations in the same configuration as those on the Forsyth Petroglyph. Since the Forsyth Petroglyph and Blowgunner Vase show the most similarities I will compare them first.

The traditional interpretation of the Blowgunner Vase6 is that it illustrates a Maya myth wherein a figure known as Jun Ajaw, “One Lord” or “One Sun” uses a blowgun to shoot Itzam Yeh (“Itzam Revealed”), the Celestial Bird, out of the sky.7 The Celestial Bird is represented as a Quetzal bird. The glyphs on the vase below the blowgun read, “Itzam Yeh Descends (from) the Sky.”8

 

Others have taken the interpretation further and argued that not only does the vase record a myth but also serves as a star map.9  According to this interpretation, the tree in which Itzam Yeh is perched represents the bright band of stars of the Milky Way. The scorpion at the bottom of the tree represents the constellation Scorpio located in the sky next to the bright band of the Milky Way. The Serpent on the far right of the vase rollout is thought to represent the constellation Draco.

Blowgunner Vase as a star map: tree represents the Milky Way, scorpion represents Scorpio constellation and serpent represents Draco constellation.

These star groups match the star map that I have argued exists on the Forsyth Petroglyph. The constellation Draco is unmistakably represented on the far right of the Forsyth Petroglyph just as on the Mayan Blowgunner Vase. The claws of the constellation Scorpio are represented on the left side of the petroglyph just as on the Blowgunner Vase.

Interpretation of the symbols on the Forsyth Petroglyph including the constellations Scorpio & Draco as well as a comet and comet fragments.
Scorpio constellation on petroglyph Pincers of the Scorpio constellation
Draco constellation on petroglyph Draco constellation

Yet I’ve also argued that a comet is also represented on the petroglyph and this comet breaks into fragments. Does anything similar exist on the Blowgunner Vase?

In fact, there is. The Celestial Bird in the top of the tree likely represents a comet. The use of a Quetzal bird to represent this Celestial Bird is quite telling. The Quetzal is a bird from southern Mexico that has extremely long tail feathers. A bird flying across the sky with a long tail is a perfect symbol for a comet.10 The Chinese actually referred to one type of comet as a “long tailed pheasant star” showing that they, too, related birds with long tail feathers to comets.

The blowgunner, Jun Ajaw, shooting the Quetzal from the top of the tree thus represents the comet impacting earth. The Mayan glyphs below the blowgun read, “Itzam Yeh descends (from) the sky.” Thus the blowgunner scene is a clear reference to a comet which falls from the sky similar to the comet breakup recorded on the Forsyth Petroglyph. Curiously, the glyph for YEH, “revealed,” is nearly identical and in the same location (between Scorpio and Draco) as the incomplete star symbol on the Forsyth Petroglyph. I’ve interpreted this as a supernova on the petroglyph thus the Mayan verb YEH, “revealed,” is a fitting description of a star that appears out of nowhere.

Blowgunner Vase as both a star map and account of comet impact event.

This same symbol on the Forsyth Petroglyph also closely resembles the glyph for the Mayan word CHUM, “enthronement.” This is an important aspect of the Mayan Flood Myth as recorded in Palenque’s Temple XIX. The first event that takes place in this myth is the “enthronement” of God GI in the sky on March 10, 3309 BC. Curiously, the myths surrounding GI have him being born and enthroned multiple times. This has confused scholars but makes sense when one realizes that his enthronement in the sky is best explained as the appearance of a supernova in the sky.11  Supernova can brighten becoming visible and dim becoming invisible multiple times before they explode. Thus GI’s multiple births becomes explicable via an astronomical interpretation.

Classic version of Mayan CHUM glyph meaning “to seat” on Palenque Temple XIX
Possible CHUM glyph on Forsyth Petroglyph

Just as YEH, “revealed,” was a perfect description of a supernova so is CHUM, “enthronement.” Most stars are always in the sky night after night thus they don’t “come to power.” They are simply always there. Only a supernova appears out of nowhere and takes its position in the sky, i.e., is “enthroned.” The fact that supernovas are usually so bright they are even visible during daylight hours is likely another reason they are said to be “enthroned,” since they are the “king” of the stars during their short reign in the sky.

A berrylium-10 spike shows up in the ice core records around 3300 BC12 which is the same time that God GI was enthroned in the sky. Such spikes are known signatures for supernova explosions thus the physical evidence supports this astronomical interpretation of God GI.

The most important symbol in the Temple XIX Flood Myth is the decapitation of a cosmic crocodile. In my book chapter, “Decoding the Mayan Flood Myth,” I argue that the cosmic crocodile represents a comet.13 Like a comet a crocodile has a head and a long tail. The decapitation event was likely a phenomena known as a “tail disconnection event” when a comet’s tail is torn off by a coronal mass ejection from the sun. In 2011 Comet Elenin exploded after being hit by a CME.

Interestingly, the blowgunner Jun Ajaw, “One Lord” or “One Sun,” is shown with three spots on his body likely representing sunspots. Sunspots only appear on the sun during active periods, which is also when solar flares and coronal mass ejections are possible. Perhaps Jun Ajaw’s blowgun represents the sun shooting a coronal mass ejection at the comet, which is responsible for bringing the comet down to earth?

On the Forsyth Petroglyph there is a symbol on the far right of the stone that is very similar in design to representations of Cipactli.14 Cipactli is the Aztec version of the decapitated crocodile and is always represented as a disembodied crocodile head with a distinctive crest above his eye.15 The Maya Cosmic Crocodile also always features a distinctive crest above his eye. The Forsyth Petroglyph also includes this distinctive crest.

“Cipactli” or decapitated “Cosmic Crocodile” featuring distinctive curl over its eye on the far right side of the Forsyth Petroglyph
One version of Cipactli which looks most similar to the Forsyth Petroglyph design.

The impact events represented in Palenque’s Temple XIX and the Blowgunner Vase happened around 3300 BC while the event recorded on the Forsyth Petroglyph likely happened around 539 AD. Yet scientists have noted that two major ammonium peaks in the Greenland ice core, signatures of cosmic impacts, stand out in the ice core record: one at 3300 BC and one at 500 AD. Thus the 500 AD event was similar to the 3300 BC event and likely revived the memory of this older event.

The fact that this “myth” was recorded at Palenque sometime after 500 AD further supports the idea that the 539 AD event revived the memory of this ancient catastrophe and resulted in it being recorded in various mediums including the vase and hieroglyphic platform. It appears this Mayan record of an ancient catastrophe was also recorded on the rock petroglyph known as the Forsyth Petroglyph in Georgia. The use of Mayan glyphs and mythological symbols on the petroglyph as well as the similarity in layouts between the petroglyph and the Maya Blowgunner Vase strongly suggest it was carved by Maya or Mayan-influenced astronomer-priests.

[This article is based on the research paper: Comparison of Forsyth Petroglyph, Mayan Blowgunner Vase and the Mayan Flood Myth from Palenque Temple XIX.]

References Cited

[1] Daniels, Gary C. “Possible Astronomical Symbols on the ‘Sculptured Rock from Forsyth County, Georgia.’” LostWorlds.org. Accessed online 20 August 2012 at < http://www.scribd.com/doc/52788845/Possible-Astronomical-Symbols-on-the-Forsyth-Petroglyph>.

[2] Roys, Ralph, trans. “The Creation of the World.” The Chilam Balam of Chumayel. Accessed online 16 August 2012 at < http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/maya/cbc/cbc15.htm>.

[3] Garcia, Erik Velasquez. “The Maya Flood Myth and the Decapitation of the Cosmic Caiman.” PARI Online Publications. The Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute. Accessed online 14 August 2012 at <http://www.mesoweb.com/pari/publications/journal/701/flood_e.pdf>.

[4] Daniels, Gary C. “Decoding the Mayan Blowgunner Vase.” Mayan Calendar Prophecies: Predictions for 2012-2052. CreateSpace: 2012, pp. 110-116.

[5] King, Timothy David. “The Blowgunner Vase as a Star Map.” The constellation system of the ancient maya. Stanford University.

[6] Kerr, Justin. Blowgunner Vase. FAMSI.org. Accessed online 16 August 2012 at <http://research.mayavase.com/kerrmaya_hires.php?vase=1226>.

[7] Freidel, David and Linda Schele. Maya Cosmos. Harper Collins. New York: 1993, p.70. Accessed online 16 August 2012 at < http://www.amazon.com/Maya-Cosmos-Three-Thousand-Shamans/dp/0688140696/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345464423&sr=8-1&keywords=maya+cosmos>.

[8] Zender, Marc. “The Raccoon Glyph in Classic Maya Writing.The PARI Journal.  The Precolumbian Art Research Institute. Spring 2005: Volume V, Number 4. Accessed online 16 August 2012 at <http://www.mesoweb.com/pari/journal/archive/PARI0504.pdf>.

[9] King, Timothy David. “The Blowgunner Vase as a Star Map.” The constellation system of the ancient maya. Stanford University.

[10] Daniels, Gary C. “Comet Machholz and the Return of Kukulkan.” Mayan Calendar Prophecies: Predictions for 2012-2052. CreateSpace: 2012, pp. 53-54.

[11] Daniels, Gary C. “Supernova or Galactic Core Explosion?” Mayan Calendar Prophecies: Predictions for 2012-2052. CreateSpace: 2012, pp. 104-105.

[12] LaViolette, Paul. Earth Under Fire. Bear and Company.

[13] Daniels, Gary C. “Decoding the Mayan Flood Myth.” Mayan Calendar Prophecies: Predictions for 2012-2052. CreateSpace: 2012, pp. 90-109.

[14] Cargill, L. A. “Aztec or Mayan star glyph – Native American rock carving.” HubPages.com. Accessed 19 August 2012 at <http://austinstar.hubpages.com/hub/aztec_maya_puzzle>.

[15] Stuart, David. The Inscriptions at Temple XIX at Palenque. The Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute. San Francisco: 2005, p.71. Accessed online 16 August 2012 at <http://www.mesoweb.com/publications/stuart/TXIX-spreads.pdf>

Language Evidence of Mesoamerican Trade Contact in Southeastern U.S.

Linguist David Kaufman at the University of Kansas has found compelling linguistic evidence of trade contact between Mexico and the Southeastern U.S. In a lecture given on November 2, 2012 Kaufman presented evidence of this linguistic connection between the  Totonacs and Maya and various tribes in the Southeastern United States.

For instance, the Totonac word for “maize (corn)” was kuxi. (The ‘x’ represents a sound similar to ‘sh’ in English.) This was similar to the word for maize in several Southeastern U.S. languages. In Caddo the word for “maize” was kisi and among the Catawba it was kus. The Totonac word for “corn sprout” was chaxa. In Alabama/Koasati the word for “corn sprout” was chassi and in Alabama chasha-lokba referred to an “old type of corn.” In the Mobilian Trade Language the word was chashe and in Chitimacha it was chasa. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, the word for “corn” was xilo. In Cheroke it was selu. In Mayan the word for “corn tassle” was tz’utuj. In Atakapa tso’ ots meant “corn seed.”

Words related to corn were not the only borrowings. In Mayan, chompati meant to “buy to resell.” In both the Mobilian Trade Language and Choctaw chompa meant to “buy.” In Mayan b’ul meant “bean.” Bala meant “bean” in the Mobilian Trade Language and Choctaw. In Mayan t’e meant “wood/tree” and in Atakapa te meant “bow.”

In Totonac, tamaw(an) meant “place to buy/plaza.” In the Mobilian Trade Language and Choctaw tamaha meant “town.” In Totonac chiki meant “house” and chiki also meant “house” in Creek and “sit-settled” in Alabama. (I discussed this very connection in my article, “Mayan Words Among Georgia’s Indians.“)

Kaufman goes on to make comparisons between the Totonac site of El Tajin in Veracruz, Mexico and the Bottle Creek Mounds site in Alabama. Learn more here: “Possible Language Evidence of Gulf  Maritime Trade Between Mesoamerica and Eastern North America. (A preliminary study.)

Ancient Metropolis of Canada Unearthed

An ancient Native American city the size of New York City has been discovered in Canada. It’s amazing that archaeologists are still discovering such massive sites in North America. Just goes to show that we know very little about the true history of this hemisphere. Even more interesting is they found European artifacts at this site that predate the arrival of Europeans by 100 years! Read the article below:

A tantalizing glimpse at the faces of the people of the Mantle site. CREDIT: Owen Jarus

Today New York City is the Big Apple of the Northeast but new research reveals that 500 years ago, at a time when Europeans were just beginning to visit the New World, a settlement on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in Canada, was the biggest, most complex, cosmopolitan place in the region.

Occupied between roughly A.D. 1500 and 1530, the so-called Mantle site was settled by the Wendat (Huron). Excavations at the site, between 2003 and 2005, have uncovered its 98 longhouses, a palisade of three rows (a fence made of heavy wooden stakes and used for defense) and about 200,000 artifacts. Dozens of examples of art have been unearthed showing haunting human faces and depictions of animals, with analysis ongoing.

Now, a scholarly book detailing the discoveries is being prepared and a documentary about the site called “Curse of the Axe” aired this week on the History Channel in Canada….

…among Mantle’s discoveries are the earliest European goods ever found in the Great Lakes region of North America, predating the arrival of the first known European explorers by a century. They consist of two European copper beads and a wrought iron object, believed to be part of an ax, which was carefully buried near the center of the settlement.

A maker’s mark on the wrought iron object was traced to northern Spain, and the fact that it was made of wrought iron suggests a 16th-century origin. In fact, in the early 16th century Basque fisherman and whalers sailed to the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s believed that it would have been acquired by the aboriginal people there and exchanged up the St. Lawrence River until eventually reaching Mantle.

Read the full article here: http://www.livescience.com/21494-ancient-mantle-site-discovered.html

Native American Tea Cups Unearthed at Cahokia

Archaeologists have unearthed unique drinking vessels in the ancient Native American metropolis of Cahokia that are proven to have once been used as drinking vessels for the Black Drink. The Black Drink was a highly-caffeinated Native American tea made from the leaves of the Yaupon holly plant that grows in coastal regions of the Southeast. The scientists were able to test residue remaining in the cups and determined their use. The researchers then jump to the amazing conclusion that this was the earliest known use of Black Drink in America. This simply isn’t true. The earliest use of the Black Drink is documented in the Southeast during the Woodland Period and it spread into the Midwest during the Hopewell Period. Some archaeologists even think they have evidence for its use as far back as the Archaic Period. (See the Wikipedia article: “Black Drink” for a good overview.) In fact, the Ocmulgee Mounds site in Georgia predates the Cahokia site by at least 100 years and is known to have consumed this tea and likely controlled the trade of Yaupon holly leaves with its strategic location in Central Georgia.

Another interesting tidbit from the article is the fact that these drinking cups date from 1050-1250 AD. Over and over again I’ve seen this pattern of settlements in America lasting for exactly 250 years. Yes, the article states the site lasted until 1350 but the last hundred years were likely just hangers-on. The Black Drink cups reveal the true length of time the site was at its height. Once again we see a 250-year cycle related to the rise and fall of a powerful Native American civilization. Interestingly, scientists know of a 250-year solar cycle that influences rainfall patterns. Research has shown that Iron Age settlements in Europe lasted 250 years as a result of this rain/drought cycle. It is likely one of the reasons for the decline of Cahokia as well. Other scientists have noted a 250-year seismic cycle. Since Cahokia sits right in the middle of the New Madrid fault zone earthquake activity could also have contributed to its decline. (Curiously, the Maya believed in a 256-year cycle that governed the rise and fall of civilizations. I researched this topic and published my results in the book Mayan Calendar Prophecies| Part 1: Predictions for 2012 and Beyond.)

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Archaeologist Patricia Crown at the University of New Mexico and chemist Jeffrey Hurst at the Hershey Technical Center in Pennsylvania analyzed plant residues in eight mug-shaped pottery beakers from Greater Cahokia and its surroundings. They found signs they once held “black drink,” a caffeinated brew made from the toasted leaves of the Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) that grew more than 300 miles (480 kilometers) to the south.

“We’re not sure when Native Americans stopped using black drink,” Emerson said. “I think its use went more into the closet, due to pressure from Europeans to drop pagan practices.”

For many tribes of Native Americans, the black drink was a key component of purification rituals before war parties, religious ceremonies, important political councils or other important events. Rapid consumption of large quantities of the hot drink preceded ritual vomiting as part of the purification rituals. People in South America continue to make drinks from varieties of holly, such as yerba maté and té o’ maté, albeit in more relaxed contexts. [Top 10 Extreme Religious Sects]

“It’s always described by Europeans and people who have consumed it as something tasting like tea,” Emerson said.

You can read the full article here: http://www.livescience.com/22136-caffeinated-black-drink-first-city.html

Evidence of Fireworks in Ancient America?

Eyewitness accounts of what appears to be fireworks were recorded by the earliest Spanish explorers of the South Carolina coast in the 1520s. These fireworks were used at the time of the chief’s death to trick the commoners into thinking the chief had supernatural abilities.

In 1526, Spanish explorer Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon landed in modern-day South Carolina around the area of the Santee River. He visited with many of the Native American tribes in the area and recorded their customs, rituals, and ways of living. While visiting a province named Duhare he witnessed many unusual things.

First, he noted that the people of this province were white not Native American. Second, he noted that the king of Duhare, named Datha, and his wife were much taller than the commoners and lived in a palace built of stone. He noted their hair was brown and hung to the ground. If tall, long-haired caucasian people living in a stone palace in South Carolina in 1526 isn’t unusual enough, the next observation certainly is. Ayllon noted that these people were in possession of some form of pyrotechnic devices including sparklers and rockets.

Ayllon’s accounts were recorded by Peter Martyr d’Anghiera in his book De Orbe Novo. The reference to sparklers and rockets appears as follows:

“Another fraud of the priests is as follows: When the chief is at death’s door and about to give up his soul they send away all witnesses, and then surrounding his bed they perform some secret jugglery which makes him appear to vomit sparks and ashes. It looks like sparks jumping from a bright fire, or those sulphured papers, which people throw into the air to amuse themselves. These sparks, rushing through the air and quickly disappearing, look like those shooting stars which people call leaping wild goats. The moment the dying man expires a cloud of those sparks shoots up 3 cubits high with a noise and quickly vanishes. They hail this flame as the dead man’s soul, bidding it a last farewell and accompanying its flight with their wailing, tears, and funereal cries, absolutely convinced that it has taken its flight to heaven. Lamenting and weeping they escort the body to the tomb.” Testimony of Francisco de Chicora, paragraph 12

Chief Pelers, Tuscarora Tribe

Two hundred years later in the early 1700s among the Tuscororas in nearby North Carolina another witness to such an event was Baron von Graffenreid. His description, recorded in The Colonial Records of North Carolina, is as follows:

“After the tomb was covered, I noticed something which passes imagination, and which I should not believe, had I not seen it with my own eyes. From the tomb arose a little flaming fire, like a big candle-light, which went up straight in the air, and noiselessly, went straight over the cabin of the deceased widow, and thence further across a big swamp above 1 mile broad, until it finally vanished from sight in the woods. At that sight, I have way to my surprise, and asked what it meant, but the Indians laughed at me, as if I ought to have known that this was no rarity among them. They refused, however, to tell me what it was. All that I could ascertain was that they thought a great deal of it, that this light is a favorable omen, which makes them think the deceased a happy soul, but they deem it a most unpropitious sign when a black smoke ascends from the tomb. This flying flame, yet, could not be artificial, on account of the great distance; it could be some physical phenomenon, like sulpurous vapors, but this great uniformity in its appearance surpasses nature (Saunders 1886-1890, I:982).” Colonial Records of North Carolina.

What is one to make of the use of pyrotechnic devices among the inhabitants of North and South Carolina between the years 1500-1700? And who was this village of white people known as the Duhare who were the first to be witnessed using these fireworks in their rituals?

An etching of the Royal Fireworks display on the Thames, London, England in 1749.

Fireworks were first invented in China in the 7th century, were known in the Middle East by 1240 and the earliest evidence of rocket-propelled fireworks is from 1264. Yet, according to Wikipedia, fireworks didn’t become available in Europe until the 1650s. This is over 70 years after these pyrotechnic devices were first witnessed in South Carolina which likely explains why the Spanish in 1526 and the English in the early 1700s were so shocked and amazed by these displays. They had, in fact, never seen fireworks before. So who could have brought fireworks to the southeastern United States before these pyrotechnic devices had even arrived in Europe?

As stated earlier, the province of Duhare was the first place where such pyrotechnic devices were witnessed and recorded by the first European explorers. The Spanish claimed the Duhare were white people who had herds of deer which they milked for cheese production as well as flocks of chickens, ducks and geese. While ducks and geese are native to North America, chickens are not. Thus these mysterious white inhabitants of South Carolina had fireworks and chickens long before such things are believed to have arrived in the Americas.

The Spanish chroniclers wrote the following about the Duhare:

“Leaving the coast of Chicorana on one hand, the Spaniards landed in another country called Duhare. Ayllon says the natives are white men, and his testimony is confirmed by Francisco Chicorana. Their hair is brown and hangs to their heels. They are governed by a king of gigantic size, called Datha, whose wife is as large as himself. They have five children. In place of horses, the king is carried on the shoulders of strong young men, who run with him to the different places he wishes to visit.” Anghiera, Pietro Martire d’, 1457-1526; MacNutt, Francis Augustus, 1863-1927. De orbe novo, the eight Decades of Peter Martyr d’Anghera; (Kindle Locations 3670-3673). New York, London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Further details of the Duhare were provided elsewhere in these same accounts:

“In all these regions they visited, the Spaniards noticed herds of deer similar to our herds of cattle. These deer bring forth and nourish their young in the houses of the natives. During the daytime they wander freely through the woods in search of their food, and in the evening they come back to their little ones, who have been cared for, allowing themselves to be shut up in the courtyards and even to be milked, when they have suckled their fawns. The only milk the natives know is that of the does, from which they make cheese. They also keep a great variety of chickens, ducks, geese, and other similar fowls. They eat maize-bread, similar to that of the islanders, but they do not know the yucca root, from which cassabi, the food of the nobles, is made. The maize grains are very like our Genoese millet, and in size are as large as our peas. The natives cultivate another cereal called xathi. This is believed to be millet but it is not certain, for very few Castilians know millet, as it is nowhere grown in Castile. This country produces various kinds of potatoes, but of small varieties. Potatoes are edible roots, like our radishes, carrots, parsnips, and turnips. I have already given many particulars, in my first Decades, concerning these potatoes, yucca, and other foodstuffs.” Anghiera, Pietro Martire d’, 1457-1526; MacNutt, Francis Augustus, 1863-1927. De orbe novo, the eight Decades of Peter Martyr d’Anghera; (Kindle Locations 3679-3688). New York, London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Further on the account mentions they possessed a twelve-month calendar, metal and olive trees:

“Their year is divided into twelve moons. Justice is administered by magistrates, criminals and the guilty being severely punished, especially thieves. Their kings are of gigantic size, as we have already mentioned. All the provinces we have named pay them tributes and these tributes are paid in kind; for they are free from the pest of money, and trade is carried on by exchanging goods. They love games, especially tennis; they also like metal circles turned with movable rings, which they spin on a table, and they shoot arrows at a mark. They use torches and oil made from different fruits for illumination at night. They likewise have olive-trees.” Anghiera, Pietro Martire d’, 1457-1526; MacNutt, Francis Augustus, 1863-1927. De orbe novo, the eight Decades of Peter Martyr d’Anghera; (Kindle Locations 3774-3779). New York, London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

So who were these white people called the Duhare who raised chickens and possessed fireworks? One theory is that they were Irish. A researcher noted that the name Duhare could be the Gaelic word du h’Eire which he translated as “place of the Irish.”  Actually, the  prefix in Gaelic means “black/dark” and Eire means “Ireland” thus the proper translation would be “black Ireland.” Black Irish have been referred to throughout history and this description appears to refer to Irish with dark hair and eyes, just as the people described by Ayllon in Duhare.  Interestingly enough, people referred to as “black Irish” have long been known in the Southeastern United States and were thought to be descendants of Spanish and Native Americans. The preceding evidence suggests this may not be the case since the Duhare were already in America at the time the Spanish arrived.

Additionally the Irish definitely had chickens and were known for milking deer as recorded in an Irish lullaby called “Bainne nam faith“:

On milk of deer I was reared.
On milk of deer I was nurtured.
On milk of deer beneath the ridge of storms
on crest of hill and mountain.

While this may explain the presence of white people in the southeastern United States in 1526 it does nothing to explain the presence of fireworks which weren’t known in Europe until the 1650s.

As noted previously, fireworks were invented in China and interestingly, researcher Gavin Menzies in his book 1421: The Year China Discovered America has argued that the fleets of Chinese Admiral Zheng He visited the Americas in 1421. If this fleet had reached South Carolina could they have given fireworks to the locals as gifts?

There are still many mysteries regarding ancient America which only further research will solve.