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Pre-Inca Ruins Emerrging From Peru's Cloud Forests (Chapapoyas)
National Geographic ^ | 9-16-2004 | John Roach

Posted on 09/23/2004 8:09:38 PM PDT by blam

Pre-Inca Ruins Emerging From Peru's Cloud Forests

John Roach
for National Geographic News
September 16, 2004

On the eastern slope of the Andes mountains in northern Peru, forests cloak the ruins of a pre-Inca civilization, the size and scope of which explorers and archaeologists are only now beginning to understand. Known as the Chachapoya, the civilization covered an estimated 25,000 square miles (65,000 square kilometers). The Chachapoya, distinguished by fair skin and great height, lived primarily on ridges and mountaintops in circular stone houses.

Sean Savoy, leader of the Gran Saposoa-El Dorado IV Expedition (July-August 2004), points out a stone cross in bas relief at the main plaza of the "Las Cruces" citadel at Gran Saposoa in the Andes mountains of northern Peru. The site, originally uncovered in September 1999 and excavated in 2001, was further explored and cleared this year. The latest expedition estimates at least 200 structures at the Las Cruces citadel, one among a half dozen main citadels at Gran Saposoa.

"The cohesiveness of the nation is still not scientifically proved, but it was definitely a civilization that covered a large area," said Sean Savoy, vice president of operations for the Reno, Nevada-based Andean Explorers Foundation and Ocean Sailing Club.

The organization was founded in Trujillo, Peru, in 1957 by Savoy's father Gene Savoy. It has brought widespread attention to the Chachapoya, beginning with Gene Savoy's discovery in 1965 of Gran Pajaten, a ceremonial center atop a jungle-covered peak.

In addition to Gran Pajaten, the organization claims responsibility for recovering and exploring more than 40 Chachapoya ruins, including the Twelve Cities of the Condors in 1967, Gran Vilaya in 1985, and Gran Saposoa in 1999.

Chachapoya architecture is distinguished by circular buildings of stone and cliffside tombs for mummified dead.

While the Chachapoya were skilled masons, Savoy said their stonework was not as fine as that of the Inca, which is renowned for its precision craftsmanship. "What's very interesting is the size of the [Chachapoya] cities themselves. They are megalithic [very large prehistoric stone structures]," he said.

Gran Saposoa

Explorers and archaeologists are venturing deeper into the cloud forests, so called because of their relatively high altitude and persistent mists. And they continue to find more ruins hidden beneath the trees, bromeliads, and orchids.

In August Sean Savoy led a return expedition to Gran Saposoa that uncovered an additional five hilltop citadels at the sprawling metropolis. "Gran Saposoa was even more inhabited, even more built up, than we had originally thought," he said.

Some of the newly discovered ruins date to the seventh century, making them the oldest Chachapoya ruins yet known.

The ancient metropolis is located about 335 miles (540 kilometers) north of Lima and several days' walk from the nearest road. It is thought to cover more than 25 square miles (65 square kilometers). Preliminary estimates put the population at about 10,000 people.

To date, the Andean Explorers Foundation and Ocean Sailing Club has registered with Peru's National Institute of Culture about 30 sites at Gran Saposoa, the sites include several mountaintop citadels with hundreds of circular stone houses, cliffside tombs, agricultural terraces, and stone watchtowers.

In addition to the Chachapoya ruins, the explorers uncovered an Inca settlement within the Gran Saposoa complex, a find that could help prove theories that the two civilizations intermingled prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the late 15th century.

"As far as the historical record goes, the Chachapoya were never really conquered. The Inca were more like Romans: an empire based on many cultures they incorporated into their own," Savoy said.

Looming Tourism?

The discovery of yet more citadels at Gran Saposoa is helping this region of northern Peru steal some of the tourist trade from the Inca strongholds in southern Peru, such as the citadel of Cusco and the spiritual retreat of Machu Picchu.

By some estimates, 99 percent of the tourists who visit Peru each year go only to the southern cities. But tourism operators in little-visited northern Peru say uncrowded ruins await travelers seeking adventure and exploration.

"This zone has more ruins than anywhere else," said Charles Motley. With his wife Tina, Motley operates a lodging and guide service to the accessible Chachapoya ruins of Kuelap and Gran Vilaya in Amazonas state.

Today the tourist traffic to the region is a growing trickle. The Motleys said approximately 50 high-end tourists per year sign up for their packaged tours. About 300 budget travelers, mostly backpackers, stay at the Motleys' lodges and take day trips to the ruins.

Savoy said that though he applauds the Motleys' outfit, he is concerned that tourism in the region lacks coordination and cooperation between operators and the local, regional, and national governments. "Are they preserving the ruins? Are they working to make a protected zone? Or are tourists going there with no regard for the ruins?" he said.

The ruins at Kuelap and Gran Vilaya are open to anyone and unregulated. Other sites such as Gran Pajaten and Gran Saposoa are difficult to reach and officially closed to tourism, but they do attract the occasional foreign visitor and are constantly scoured by looters.

None of the sites have been formally preserved and restored, and only Gran Pajaten enjoys official protection—it lies within the Rio Abiseo National Park.

The Motleys' outfit, known as Los Tambos Chachapoyanos, is working with Peru's ministry of tourism to have a positive impact on the villages surrounding Kuelap and Gran Vilaya.

Income from the lodges, which the couple donated to the local villages, goes toward improving the local infrastructure and preserving the ruins. The couple hires local guides to conduct tours.

Other lodges are beginning to sprout up in the region, mostly catering to budget travelers. While Savoy worries that the growing interest will lead to exploitation, Motley is optimistic that the increased tourism will be a boon to the region.

"Hopefully, as the zone gets more popular—probably starting with the backpackers—then the herd-mentality instinct will kick in. I think that tourism is more likely to save the zone than ruin it," Motley said.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: andes; archaeology; chachapoya; cloud; emerging; forests; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; gransaposoa; granvilaya; history; incas; kuelap; machupicchu; peru; perus; preinca; ruins
Anyone care to speculate as to who were the Chapapoyas?

I'll start:

They were the exiled members of King Solomon's miners.

1 posted on 09/23/2004 8:09:38 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 09/23/2004 8:10:15 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

"Andean Explorers Foundation and Ocean Sailing Club." It does have an Indiana Jones sort of ring to it.


3 posted on 09/23/2004 8:16:41 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: blam

Excellent find this sort of stuff is very cool

Thanks for posting this


4 posted on 09/23/2004 8:16:56 PM PDT by Flavius ("... we should reconnoitre assiduosly... " Vegetius)
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To: blam

Were they known to be tall??

John


5 posted on 09/23/2004 8:18:49 PM PDT by John_7Diamonds
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To: blam
Hello,

In 1996, for reasons that I will probably never figure out, I took myself and my Mom on a trip to Peru. We were there for 12 days, and spent 4 days at Machu Picchu. It is a memory I will never forget. It is a magical place, unlike any other. If you can ever go there (safely), I recommend it.

Glad to be here, MOgirl
6 posted on 09/23/2004 8:20:03 PM PDT by MOgirl (In memory of Walton Wayne Callahan, I love you forever.)
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To: MOgirl
"In 1996, for reasons that I will probably never figure out, I took myself and my Mom on a trip to Peru. We were there for 12 days, and spent 4 days at Machu Picchu. It is a memory I will never forget. It is a magical place, unlike any other. If you can ever go there (safely), I recommend it."

My son went there last year and still has a stomach bug he suspects he got there.

7 posted on 09/23/2004 8:30:34 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Thank you for the post.


8 posted on 09/23/2004 8:38:25 PM PDT by Ruth A.
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To: blam

This is really awesome. I used to study archaeology.

Now, however, after being tainted by the experience of living in San Francisco, I'd love to do the following:

Visit there, late at night, and bury a few "crystal wands" and other "new age" items.

I can just see it: Hippies from around the world, gathering there to see the "proof" that ancient, utopian, cultures were visited by Atlantean aliens and worshipped crystals for their "powers". Maybe I'd bury a few small pyramids as well.

That would be so much fun for a good laugh, don't you think? :)


9 posted on 09/23/2004 9:12:25 PM PDT by Banagor
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To: Banagor
"That would be so much fun for a good laugh, don't you think? :)"

Yup. I lived in that area during the hippie period.

10 posted on 09/23/2004 9:18:48 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Two weeks ago, I spent a week visiting the ruins of Machu Picchu and the ruins in and around Cusco. While I am no where near an expert,I've been fortunate in visiting Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and elsewhwere. I will say that the Inca antiquities are the most impressive. I was in awe. I mean, really in awe.

Lando

11 posted on 09/23/2004 9:19:27 PM PDT by Lando Lincoln (A Fair and Balanced Decision - GWB in 2004)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 2Jedismom; 4ConservativeJustices; ...
thanks blam!
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

12 posted on 09/23/2004 10:26:15 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: blam

I marvel at the amount of time and money we spend studying long dead savage societies having no bearing on modern life. Egyptian, Greek ... ok. they have relevance. S. American, African, Eskimo? Waste of time and resources.

Those that ARE interested should fund the studies with their own money. Not tax payers. If they come up with something grand perhaps they can sell it for a profit.


13 posted on 09/23/2004 10:40:50 PM PDT by mercy
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To: blam

How do they know the people were fair skinned and tall? I wonder if they were blue-eyed, too? Could they be kin to the "white tribe" of the Amazon?

Like you, I was wondering where they could have come from - especially using a cross like that.

I hope you find more information on this. It is intriguing!


14 posted on 09/23/2004 10:50:07 PM PDT by JudyB1938 ("A paranoid schizophrenic is somebody who just found out what's going on." - Wm S. Burroughs, Jr.)
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To: Carry_Okie

ping


15 posted on 09/23/2004 10:51:14 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: blam

My folks are leaving for Peru Sat.


16 posted on 09/23/2004 10:51:39 PM PDT by farmfriend ( In Essentials, Unity...In Non-Essentials, Liberty...In All Things, Charity.)
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To: mercy

How do ancient pharoahs have a bearing on modern life?

Who decides which ancient civilization has a bearing on modern life, anyway? Apparently, you?

Could you feel the way you do because ancient Egyptians and Greeks were "white", whereas the other societies you mentioned are "people of color"? Sure sounds racist to me.


17 posted on 09/23/2004 10:59:19 PM PDT by JudyB1938 ("A paranoid schizophrenic is somebody who just found out what's going on." - Wm S. Burroughs, Jr.)
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To: John_7Diamonds

There are some 7' skeletons in the region. Maybe even 8'.


18 posted on 09/24/2004 8:55:32 AM PDT by RightWhale (Withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and establish property rights)
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To: blam

I would like you to explain your speculation to me...Please


19 posted on 09/24/2004 5:06:46 PM PDT by ruoflaw
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To: ruoflaw
"I would like you to explain your speculation to me...Please"

I'll be glad to but, not tonight, I'm dead tired...still digging out from the hurricane. Now, you'll have to ask me again later, I'll surely forget.

20 posted on 09/24/2004 5:43:01 PM PDT by blam
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To: JudyB1938
"How do they know the people were fair skinned and tall? I wonder if they were blue-eyed, too? Could they be kin to the "white tribe" of the Amazon?"

Years ago I read an article about tall, blonde, blue-eyed people living in the high mountains of Colombia. The article called them, 'The-White-Cloud-People,' we had an engineer from Colombia working in our group (Zulma), I asked her and she said, yes they're there. I've never been able to find another word about them...and, I even wrote some letters.

21 posted on 09/24/2004 6:00:51 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Could this begin to explain the myth of Quetzalcoatl (supposedly a tallish white man)?


22 posted on 09/24/2004 6:03:54 PM PDT by Polonius (It's called logic, it'll help you.)
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To: Polonius
"Could this begin to explain the myth of Quetzalcoatl (supposedly a tallish white man)?"

Yes.

23 posted on 09/24/2004 6:05:28 PM PDT by blam
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To: Flavius
Blam has the most consistently fascinating posts of anyone on any site.
24 posted on 09/24/2004 6:07:56 PM PDT by Urbane_Guerilla
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To: RightWhale

7 or 8 feet that is tall. Yes I have heard about skeletons that have been found of very tall people. Some say these are the people genesis refers too. Giants, Men of reknown.

Our planet is 4 billion years old. Our history goes only about a nanosecond back, relatively that is.

No telling what the past was really like.

John


25 posted on 09/24/2004 6:08:06 PM PDT by John_7Diamonds
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To: Polonius
"Could this begin to explain the myth of Quetzalcoatl (supposedly a tallish white man)?"

Here, read about the 8,000 year old European mummies found in Florida.

26 posted on 09/24/2004 6:31:56 PM PDT by blam
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To: Urbane_Guerilla
"Blam has the most consistently fascinating posts of anyone on any site."

Thanks, I love this stuff.

27 posted on 09/24/2004 6:35:34 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

blam, that is ok, I just forgot where you lived. I will remind you another time and I will look forward to it!


28 posted on 09/25/2004 11:17:31 AM PDT by ruoflaw
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To: ruoflaw
Historic Atlantis In Bolivia?
29 posted on 11/10/2004 11:14:43 AM PST by blam
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To: Cronos

Ping. Chapapoyas.


30 posted on 11/10/2004 11:19:46 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
2004: Top (Archaeological) Finds on Bolivian Highlands

Statue Found In Bolovian Ruins

31 posted on 11/10/2004 11:23:27 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

" distinguished by fair skin and great height"

I've been looking around for some evidence for this claim and can find none. The Chapapoyas left plenty of mummies and they've been studied but I've seen nothing indicating that these mummies differ in any particular way from other South Americans. I wonder if somebody was pulling this reporters leg and he fell for it.


32 posted on 11/10/2004 11:32:18 AM PST by Varda
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To: Varda
" I wonder if somebody was pulling this reporters leg and he fell for it."

Don't think so. I've read about these people from a number of sources.

33 posted on 11/10/2004 11:52:52 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

Have you seen anything written by someone who works with these mummies?


34 posted on 11/10/2004 12:19:08 PM PST by Varda
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To: Varda
"Have you seen anything written by someone who works with these mummies?"

No.

35 posted on 11/10/2004 1:40:49 PM PST by blam
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To: mercy; blam
I marvel at the amount of time and money we spend studying long dead savage societies having no bearing on modern life. Egyptian, Greek ... ok. they have relevance. S. American, African, Eskimo? Waste of time and resources.

Well, "savage" would not be a correct term for the Incas. And yes, the Incas etc. would have a bearing on modern society -- at the very least we learn from their mistakes. African? Egypt is technically part of Africa, though I guess you mean sub-saharan Africa, because Egypt, North Africa and to some extent Ethiopia ARE relevant to the development of Western civilisation.

For sub-saharan Africa, the stone age tribes in Papua New Guinea and South America, got to admit, lesser influence, but we can learn and have learnt medicinal techniques from them
36 posted on 11/11/2004 2:01:25 AM PST by Cronos (W2K4)
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To: JudyB1938; mercy; blam
Could you feel the way you do because ancient Egyptians and Greeks were "white", whereas the other societies you mentioned are "people of color"? Sure sounds racist to me.

Welll, ancient egyptians weren't "white", they were "brown". They weren't even pure Caucasians, but looking at the paintings on their tombs seem to have been a Caucasian-Nubian-Ethiopian mix. That's in the Old Kingdom. In the Middle Kingdom they acquired more Semitic, Libyan and Berber blood (and maybe Mycenean Greek through the Sea Peoples/Philistines). In the Late Kingdom there were Assyrian, Persian invasions and Nubian Pharoahs.

The Ptolemys were Greek in ethnicity

Anyway, back to my point -- there's no such thing as the "white race", there are only Caucasians, Negroids and Mongoloids. Caucasians are the second most diverse grouping after the Negroids, with skin tones ranging from colorless (white) to near black (Dravidians) and with various shades of brown in between. The hair color also varys from India to England.
37 posted on 11/11/2004 2:15:52 AM PST by Cronos (W2K4)
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To: blam
Here, read about the 8,000 year old European mummies found in Florida.

Just to be scientifically consistent -- you mean Caucasian mummies, not European since 8,000 years ago most of the ancestors of most of today's Europeans were still wandering the lands of Central Asia, Eastern Persia and Western India (Indo-Europeans/Aryans)
38 posted on 11/11/2004 2:18:02 AM PST by Cronos (W2K4)
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To: blam
I think you'll find this interesting. There is a record available of two great civilizations, and two nations. Which lived on the american continent anciently. And you can read or listen to it online:

Hete's the Introduction
fortifications: (Citadels)
highways/cities
39 posted on 11/30/2004 3:42:09 PM PST by clearsky
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To: Cronos
"Just to be scientifically consistent -- you mean Caucasian mummies, not European since 8,000 years ago most of the ancestors of most of today's Europeans were still wandering the lands of Central Asia, Eastern Persia and Western India (Indo-Europeans/Aryans)"

I understand and agree with what you're saying. But, the doctor (in charge of the DNA lab) interviewed said European.

40 posted on 11/30/2004 6:27:08 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Hmmm... Media do tend to generalise -- When we say European, at any point in time, that would mean at least 3 different ethnic groups, ditto for the term Asian.


41 posted on 11/30/2004 7:19:02 PM PST by Cronos (Never forget 9/11)
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To: blam

Hi blam.

Sound's like you see Gene Savoy as Alan Quatermain, and the Chachapoya ruins as Great Zimbabwe. Don't you think Savoy taps into those old adventure stories for self-promotion? It's not really original, and the King Solomon - Great Zimbabwe connection has been exposed as a racist denial of black African achievements.

Anyone else see this?


42 posted on 04/14/2005 7:41:58 PM PDT by OhComeOnNow (Savoy, Quatermain, Chachapoyas and Zimbabwe)
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To: OhComeOnNow
"Great Zimbabwe connection has been exposed as a racist denial of black African achievements."

These guys claim to have built the Great Zimbabwe , The Lemba (Black Jews Of Southern Africa.)

43 posted on 04/14/2005 8:10:13 PM PDT by blam
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To: Cronos
"Just to be scientifically consistent -- you mean Caucasian mummies, not European since 8,000 years ago most of the ancestors of most of today's Europeans were still wandering the lands of Central Asia, Eastern Persia and Western India (Indo-Europeans/Aryans)"

An update. The PhD who was working on this DNA (and said they were 'European') has now said that the samples were contaminated with modern DNA. Someone else is working on the DNA project now.

44 posted on 04/14/2005 8:18:14 PM PDT by blam
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Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

45 posted on 08/11/2005 11:04:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: blam
Rare Skeleton, Jewels Found In Bolivia Pyramid (Tiwanaku)
46 posted on 05/05/2007 10:55:35 AM PDT by blam
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To: farmfriend

Where is “Peru Sat”?


47 posted on 05/06/2007 6:45:21 PM PDT by Sam Ketcham (Amnesty means vote dilution, & increased taxes to bring us down to the world poverty level.)
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Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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48 posted on 06/27/2008 9:56:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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