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The Mother Of All Civilizations (Caral, Peru)
Times OF India ^ | 12-16-2007 | Shobhan Saxena

Posted on 12/16/2007 8:19:48 AM PST by blam

The mother of all civilisations

16 Dec 2007, 0001 hrs IST,Shobhan Saxena,TNN

The ruins were so magnificent and sprawling that some people believed that the aliens from a faraway galaxy had built the huge pyramids that stood in the desert across the Andes.

Some historians believed that the complex society, which existed at that time, was born out of fear and war. They looked for the telltale signs of violence that they believed led to the creation of this civilisation. But, they could not find even a hint of any warfare. It was baffling. Even years after Ruth Shady Solis found the ancient city of pyramids at Caral in Peru, it continues to surprise historians around the world. It took Ruth Shady many years and many rounds of carbon dating to prove that the earliest known civilisation in South Americas—at 2,627 BC–was much older than the Harappa Valley towns and the pyramids of Egypt.

Solis, an archaeologist at the National University of San Marcos, Lima, was looking for the fabled missing link of archaeology— a ‘mother city’—when she stumbled upon the ancient city of Caral in the Supe Valley of Peru a few years ago. Her findings were stunning.

It showed that a full-fledged urban civilisation existed at the place around 2700 BC. The archaeologist and her team found a huge compound at Caral: 65 hectares in the central zone, encompassing six large pyramids, many smaller pyramids, two circular plazas, temples, amphitheatres and other architectural features including residential districts spread in the desert, 23 km from the coast.

The discovery of Caral has pushed back the history of the Americas: Caral is more than 1,000 years older than Machu Picchu of the Incas. They built huge structures in Caral hundreds of years before the famous drainage system of Harappa and the pyramids of Egypt were even designed.

But, it was not easy for Ruth Shady to prove this. It was only in 2001 that the journal Science reported the Peruvian archaeologist’s discovery. And, despite the hard evidence backing her, she is still trying to convince people that Caral was indeed the oldest urban civilisation in the world.

"There were many problems, many of them in my own country," says Ruth Shady, on a visit to India to discuss her discovery with other historians. "The discovery of Caral challenged the accepted beliefs. Some historians were not ready to believe that an urban civilisation existed in Peru even before the pyramids were built in Egypt," she says.

Basically, there were two problems. First, for decades archaeologist have been looking for a ‘mother city’ to find an answer to the question: why did humans become civilised?

The historians had been searching for this answer in Egypt, Mesopotamia (Iraq), India and China. They didn’t expect to find the first signs of city life in a Peruvian desert. Secondly, most historians believed that only the fear of war could motivate people to form complex societies. And, since Caral did not show any trace of warfare; no battlements, no weapons, and no mutilated bodies, they found it hard to accept it as the mother city.

That’s when Ruth Shady stepped in with her discovery. "This place is somewhere between the seat of the gods and the home of man," she says, adding that Caral was a gentle society, built on trade and pleasure. "This great civilisation was based on trade in cotton. Caral made the cotton for the nets, which were sold to the fishermen living near the coast. Caral became a booming trading centre and the trade spread," she says.

Caral was born in trade and not bloodshed. Warfare came much later. This is what this mother city shows: great civilisations are born in peace. Ruth Shady continues to battle for this great truth.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; caral; civilization; godsgravesglyphs; peru; pyramids
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Caral may have the oldest pyramids in the world.

Voyages Of The Pyramid Builders

1 posted on 12/16/2007 8:19:51 AM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

Many pictures here

2 posted on 12/16/2007 8:22:22 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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sounds like post flood migration builders....


3 posted on 12/16/2007 8:26:35 AM PST by raygunfan
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bookmark


4 posted on 12/16/2007 8:28:47 AM PST by federal
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To: blam

Thanks blam, good stuff as usual!

Regards


5 posted on 12/16/2007 8:31:03 AM PST by ARE SOLE (Agents Ramos and Campean are in prison at this very moment.. (A "Concerned Citizen".)
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To: blam
why did humans become civili[z]ed?

Sometimes I think we're still waiting...

6 posted on 12/16/2007 8:31:50 AM PST by econjack (Some people are as dumb as soup.)
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To: blam
Caral is more than 1,000 years older than Machu Picchu of the Incas.

True enough. Actually about 4,000 years, but who's counting millenia?

7 posted on 12/16/2007 8:33:03 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: blam
Sounds to me like someone is jumping to some pretty wild conclusions based on sketchy evidence. Unless the wealth of this elusive "city" was evenly distributed, there would be those who coveted the belongings of others, and who tried to take them by force. Either they were resisted by force -- and showed the signs of it -- or their victims were laid low -- and would show the signs of it. If the wealth WERE shared equally among all the citizens, then the signs of force would come from the government, as it strove to undo the inequities nature created.

The very absence of any violent indicators makes this whole edenic premise suspect. Violence and war are an inescapable reality of human nature.

8 posted on 12/16/2007 8:37:50 AM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: blam
Caral was a gentle society, built on trade and pleasure.

This meme has been announced many times, from the Polynesians to the Maya to the Anasazi. Every time, as knowledge of the ancient people grows, it is found that they were as bloody-minded as anybody else.

Might even be true this time, but that's not the smart way to bet.

Leftists have an insatiable urge to believe in a primeval Garden of Eden, from which we fell only by the Original Sin of our ancestors, the development of private property. Usually white male ancestors.

Since we fell from a state of peace, harmony and equality, we can return to it if we just assign all power to the Annointed.

9 posted on 12/16/2007 8:39:27 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: econjack

I, myself, go with the hydrology theory.


10 posted on 12/16/2007 8:48:50 AM PST by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: blam

How old are the Chinese pyramids? No one seems to have dated them yet.


11 posted on 12/16/2007 8:52:35 AM PST by Eternal_Bear
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To: Sherman Logan

Well said. The Maya-as-peaceful-loving-farmers theorists got their rear ends handed to them on a platter. Turns out they were as blood-thirsty as the rest of us. The hilarious part was that the Kumbaya crowd kept asserting that the Mayas were peace-loving several decades after the entire world saw the paintings at Bonampak. Complete denial. Oh, and I also enjoyed the huge fuss that was raised when it turned out the Anasazi were cannibals.


12 posted on 12/16/2007 8:54:25 AM PST by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: 3AngelaD

They finally deciphered the Maya script and most of the inscriptions turn out to read like something left by the Assyrians.

I toured Mesa Verde 25 years ago, and the story was put forward by the guides that the Anasazi had moved into the uncomfortable, cramped and dangerous cliff dwellings for some sort of solar energy reason. Since they had previously lived for many centuries in mesa top villages much more convenient to their fields, it seemed obvious to me that they moved into the cliff dwellings because they were scared to death. The neighbors turning into cannibals will do that!

I’ve often wondered if some Meso-American religious influence may not have been involved in the apparent change in the Anasazi way of life. Refugees from the Toltec, perhaps, who certainly had trade relations with the Anasazi.


13 posted on 12/16/2007 9:06:38 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: 3AngelaD
You would probably enjoy the book War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage by Lawrence H. Keeley. Pretty conclusively proves that almost all ancient and modern "primitive" peoples were far more violent than any societies of today.
14 posted on 12/16/2007 9:08:36 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

Arf! I was told the same tale at Mesa Verde, which I love and have visited several times, back in the late 80s. They never give up. The Toltecs certainly did a number on the religious practices of the Maya when they arrived in the Yucatan, so I think your theory might hold water. One interesting link between Central Mexico and the Four Corners area is that both the Ute language and nahuatl are closely related linguistically , and come from a separate line of development from the other pre-columbian languages. Perhaps the nahuatl-speakers were break away Utes who traveled south. Have you ever visited Paquime in Chihuahua? Very interesting site, and strangely New Mexican.


15 posted on 12/16/2007 9:15:36 AM PST by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours)
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To: 3AngelaD

Oddly, I’ve never actually been into Mexico, although I’ve been in border towns quite a few times.

There is certainly a linguistic link between the Utes, Comanches and Aztecs, among others.

Very diverse cultures among these peoples, of course. The legends of the Aztecs indicate that they were dirt-poor nomads when they entered Mexico, much like the Utes or Comanches were before they got horses.

I have backpacked over much of the Four Corners area, and I suspect few people realize how widespread the Anasazi ruins are. There are only a few spectacular cliff dwellings or pueblo ruins, but less dramatic remains are scattered widely. It has been estimated that a lot more people lived in the area in 1000 than today.


16 posted on 12/16/2007 9:24:32 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: 3AngelaD
"I also enjoyed the huge fuss that was raised when it turned out the Anasazi were cannibals. "

They still hate Christy Turner for that one.

Did cannibalism kill Anasazi civilization?

17 posted on 12/16/2007 9:25:22 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: 3AngelaD; Sherman Logan
The Zuni Enigma

"For many years, anthropologists have understood the Zuni in the American Southwest to occupy a special place in Native American culture and ethnography. Their language, religion, and blood type are startlingly different from all other tribes. Most puzzling, the Zuni appear to have much in common with the people of Japan. "

18 posted on 12/16/2007 9:28:40 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: 3AngelaD

Didn’t some American once say that “If you want peace be prepared for war”.


19 posted on 12/16/2007 9:30:46 AM PST by fella (The proper application of the truth far more important than the knowledge of it's existance."Ike")
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To: blam
Billman discovered one other significant item, a coprolite - a pile of preserved human fecal matter - in the center of a fireplace. He concluded that after the fire had died, someone had squatted over the hearth and defecated. The coprolite has become a key part of the cannibalism puzzle. It has been analyzed for the presence of human protein, which would prove the ingestion of human flesh. The results are expected to be published this year.

The results showed that it contained human proteins. The defecator was a cannibal.

20 posted on 12/16/2007 9:35:35 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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