I have always been fascinated by the African type giant Olmec heads that are from at least 1000 BC. A few years ago I saw a Mediterranean artifact showing African mercenaries. SO now I have a theory that Phoenicians or other Sea People traveled to the new world with African mercenaries on board. Some got stuck there, and the mercenaries as the most powerful and warlike ended up in control of the crews and native population, and with the inputs from Mediterranean civilization helped the Olmec become the first developed civilization in Central America. Being warriors, not scholars, they did not introduce writing, but buildings they had seen and could have directed building.
A theory like this has been making the rounds since at least the 70’s when I first heard it.
The problem with this theory is that geneticists should have found african dna that dates back a thousand years or more among central american tribes. This may have happened but I have not heard of it.
Another variation of this relates not to olmecs but rather to the mayans whose temples look strikingly like temples from Indonesia. But once again I have not heard about any confirming DNA evidence that would link the two peoples.
"...among the derived alleles that are at low frequency in Yoruba and at high frequency in east Asians, we find that essentially all of these alleles are at intermediate frequency in Europeans...We also observed that for most of these SNPs, the allele frequencies in the Americas are similar to Han frequencies, suggesting that in most cases these alleles were already at high frequency prior to colonization of the Americas some 15,000 years ago ... Together, the latter observations suggest that perhaps the east Asian sweeps tend to be relatively old..."
I read an article where an anthropologist was speculating that the Olmecs were the remains of what was once an over the land version of the Panama Canal...moving goods across land from one ocean to another. If you look at Olmec art...they have every racial type covered in their art.
I even had a picture (no longer) of an Olmec statue that looked exactly like a Jewish Rabbi. A trade route between east and west would encounter all racial types, eh?
Another guy speculated that they were refugees from the Shang dynasty collapse where it was written that 250,000 'took to the sea'.
Others have wondered where the 'build-up', the evolution, of the Olmec culture can be found...it's not there. It's appears to have 'sprang up' fully developed.
Anyway, this port may be related to them.
I was wondering about that, too. The locals didn’t have any sea-going. I don’t think they they even had anything like the giant whaling canoes used in the Pacific Northwest. Why would they have a seaport?
Also, there are supposedly wreck sites in South America with Greco-Roman type amphora. I think somebody was trading in South America loooooooong before Columbus or even Leif Ericson made it to the western hemisphere.