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Mother Of Us All, Or Sister? Olmecs A Puzzle
Times Union ^ | 3-15-2005 | John Noble Wilford

Posted on 03/15/2005 5:42:09 PM PST by blam

Mother of us all, or sister? Olmecs a puzzle

By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD, New York Times
First published: Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On a coastal flood plain etched by rivers flowing through swamps and alongside fields of maize and beans, the people archaeologists call the Olmecs lived in a society of emergent complexity. It was more than 3,000 years ago, along the Gulf of Mexico around Veracruz.

The Olmecs moved a veritable mountain of earth to create a plateau above the plain, and there planted a city, the ruins of which are known today as San Lorenzo.

The Olmecs are widely regarded as creators of the first civilization in Mesoamerica, the area encompassing much of Mexico and Central America, and a cultural wellspring of later societies, notably the Maya. Some scholars think the Olmec civilization was the first anywhere in America.

Were Olmecs the "mother" culture? Or were they one among "sister" cultures?

Last month, Dr. Jeffrey P. Blomster, an Olmec archaeologist at George Washington University, reported in the journal Science what he and other researchers described as evidence of widespread export of Olmec ceramics that they said supported "Olmec priority in the creation and spread of the first unified style and iconographic system in Mesoamerica."

But proponents of the sister school are not letting things go unchallenged. The mother-culture advocates, said Dr. Susan D. Gillespie, a Mesoamerican archaeologist at the University of Florida, were "flogging a dead horse, the idea that the Olmec invented civilization, carried it to all of Mesoamerica, and it's the basis of the Maya."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: all; archaeology; china; corn; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; maize; mother; olmec; olmecs; puzzle; sanlorenzo; shang; sister; us
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1 posted on 03/15/2005 5:42:09 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
emergent complexity

Sort of stopped me right there!

2 posted on 03/15/2005 5:44:21 PM PST by rocksblues (Rino's = Collins, Snowe, DeWine, Graham, Specter, Coleman, McCain developing)
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To: blam

Archaeologist catfight!


3 posted on 03/15/2005 5:45:51 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (How do you spell dynasty? P-A-T-R-I-O-T-S!)
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

The Link Between Chinese And American Cultures? The Olmec And The Shang

Jomon type 'cord-marked-pottery' has been found in Olmec ruins. The Jomon are the original Japanese.

4 posted on 03/15/2005 5:47:19 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
and there planted a city

The seed must have been huge!

5 posted on 03/15/2005 5:49:07 PM PST by SIDENET
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To: blam
The Shang Dynasty characters are easily read by anyone conversant with Plains Indians sign language.

Remember, the modern Chinese characters are far, far removed from Shang, and have gone through several major reforms in just the last 2000 years. The Shang characters are true ideographs whereas modern Chinese characters are stylized representations of ideographs.

I once demonstrated this to some Chinese people observing the display of Shang Dynasty characters at the Smithsonian. Using my sign language book I correctly interpreted what was said. The Chinese observers could not do so.

The Plains Indian tribes were living in the vicinity of Cahokia and the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio rivers prior to European immigration. One would imagine that any Chinese influence there would have arrived on boats coming up the Mississippi from the Gulf.

6 posted on 03/15/2005 6:00:16 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: muawiyah
"I once demonstrated this to some Chinese people observing the display of Shang Dynasty characters at the Smithsonian. Using my sign language book I correctly interpreted what was said. The Chinese observers could not do so."

Amazing

7 posted on 03/15/2005 6:14:04 PM PST by blam
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To: muawiyah

So... the mound builders were Asians ?


8 posted on 03/15/2005 6:14:39 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: muawiyah

Now I'm curious. Do you have any pictures of Shang Dynasty characters? With translations?


9 posted on 03/15/2005 6:16:23 PM PST by SIDENET
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To: muawiyah
What's your take on this: The Zuni Enigma
10 posted on 03/15/2005 6:18:07 PM PST by blam
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: SIDENET
Look up Shang Dynasty Characters at www.google.com. You should get 22,900 references!

I'm sure the Plains Indian sign language connection has been made before. One of the problems here is that we've known the sign language longer than we've known about the Shang character set. Although it is very ancient in origin, it was discovered rather recently by archaeologists.

12 posted on 03/15/2005 6:22:36 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: muawiyah
Man, I remember you from a thread about 3 years ago on Euro-languages.

Didn't I read somewhere that Some other plains tribes could hold a conversation in Hindi?

13 posted on 03/15/2005 6:24:57 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: blam
My take on the Zuni is simple ~ not all those pots that looked Japanese were made there.

BTW, I know a Japanese American lady for whom a firm offer was made by an interested Zuni. The "resemblance" is tremendous.

14 posted on 03/15/2005 6:25:12 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: Cactuspete
There's some sort of stone building, or maybe just a big stone, smack dead center at the bottom of the main Cahokia mound.

Lot's of bets on what's written there!

15 posted on 03/15/2005 6:26:16 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: muawiyah

It makes sense, many Idians have the high cheekbones and a more caucasian than asian look to them. I have noticed some caucasian features in many Japanese. Something you wont find in Koreans or Chinese for instance.


16 posted on 03/15/2005 6:28:33 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
"So... the mound builders were Asians ?"

Statue Found In Olmec Ruins At La Venta

17 posted on 03/15/2005 6:29:19 PM PST by blam
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To: keithtoo
Not that I know of. You may be recalling the belief by the Virginia Company that Turkish was a language in common use up and down the Eastern Seaboard circa 1607.

In fact, Captain John Smith was chosen as the first governor of Jamestown because he was fluent in Turkish (which he had learned as a prisoner of war).

There's some basis in fact for this idea since the Spanish used South Carolina as a POW camp for Turks, Greeks and Balkan people (e.g. Croats) they captured in their wars in the Eastern Mediteranean at the time. In this lightly guarded POW operation, many men escaped, fleeing to Indian villages up the coast.

No doubt many such former prisoners lived out their days as slaves in numerous tribes.

This business also ties into the Melungeon supposition that this group of families in the Piedmont of West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee have some Turkish roots.

18 posted on 03/15/2005 6:31:01 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: keithtoo
The Japanese have an ancestry that appears to be aboaut 60% identical to the Chinese, and 40% identical to the ancient Jomon, who are also the same as the modern Ainu.

Kennewick Man also appears to have been Jomon.

I don't think there's any doubt that Japanese people have been coming to America for many centuries. It's just that none of them ever traveled back to Japan to tell anyone. Some problem with Pacific currents, the distance, etc.

19 posted on 03/15/2005 6:34:57 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: muawiyah

I had no idea that the Spanish had any dealings that far north in America as early as the 1600's? Are their Spanish named towns in the Carolinas? Surnames?


20 posted on 03/15/2005 6:39:34 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: blam


Asians have little or no facial hair though. What's the deal with the beard?


21 posted on 03/15/2005 6:40:41 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: blam

bump for later


22 posted on 03/15/2005 6:41:25 PM PST by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopeckne is walking around free)
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To: blam

Asian have little or no facial hair though. What's the deal with the beard?


23 posted on 03/15/2005 6:41:38 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: keithtoo
Carolina, in fact, was Caroline, the Spanish Princess after which the area was named.

The Spanish had a mission at Hopewell, Virginia!

DeSoto came as far North as Terre Haute, Indiana, while members of his party actually traveled all the way North to Lake Michigan. Then there's the fellow who put Spanish boundary markers in what is now West Virginia.

This was New Spain!

24 posted on 03/15/2005 6:42:02 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: keithtoo

Different Asians have different amounts of facial hair. You may be thinking of the Indian practice of pulling out the hairs ~ that leaves you "clean shaven" longer.


25 posted on 03/15/2005 6:42:59 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: Cactuspete
There is another very large mound, not quite a pyramid, in Tennessee...
I drove by it the other day.
26 posted on 03/15/2005 6:43:48 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: muawiyah

I didn't think American indians had ANY facial hair. And very little body hair at all.


27 posted on 03/15/2005 6:44:14 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: keithtoo
"Didn't I read somewhere that Some other plains tribes could hold a conversation in Hindi?"

You may find this thread from earlier today interesting.

Searching For The Welsh-Hindi Link

28 posted on 03/15/2005 6:45:22 PM PST by blam
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To: keithtoo

American Indians, like other Asiatic people, have facial and body hair, although not generally to the degree you would get with Iraqis (for example).


29 posted on 03/15/2005 6:47:07 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: muawiyah
"The Japanese have an ancestry that appears to be aboaut 60% identical to the Chinese, and 40% identical to the ancient Jomon, who are also the same as the modern Ainu."

Professor Stephen Oppenheimer has done some pretty good DNA work and is covered in his book, "Out Of Eden."

He says the 'X' gene (so called European gene) that is found only in Europe and among the American Indian population was once widespread. The Toba volcano 74,000 years ago severed the link (killed everyone in between). There was an explosion of human DNA 'branches' just after Toba and again during/after the Last Glacial Maximum(LGM).

31 posted on 03/15/2005 6:56:04 PM PST by blam
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To: Cactuspete
"Read a book called the Zuni Enigma by Davis. That book pretty well documents Japanese trade to our west coast and Southwest from about 800AD to 1400 AD."

See post #10.

32 posted on 03/15/2005 6:59:35 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Saw that on "Factor X" ~ another interesting connection with all the world's early writing systems is that the Sumerians invented them all, even the first one used in China (what we might call "proto Shang") as well as Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The Sumerians were also a wide-ranging nomadic people who kept and/or hunted cattle.

One philologist has demonstrated that there is a single American Indian language (once spoken in California) that is related to an Old World language. That language is, intriguingly, Sumerian.

As a consequence I'm not too sure that any Shang characters we find in the Americas should be attributed to the Chinese since they might more properly be attributed to Sumerians.

33 posted on 03/15/2005 7:02:19 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: muawiyah
"As a consequence I'm not too sure that any Shang characters we find in the Americas should be attributed to the Chinese since they might more properly be attributed to Sumerians."

Oppenheimer, in his book, "Eden In The East," said that the Sumerians probably came from SE Asia, Sundaland, when it went (completely) underwater 7-8,000 years ago. The Strait Of Mallaca(sp) was opened at that time and allowed sailing access to Mesopotamia, Egypt, etc..

34 posted on 03/15/2005 7:14:47 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
The Sumerian cognate languages are, of course, the 9 still spoken among the Sa'ami in Scandinavia, as well as the dozens and dozens of variations spoken among the Dravidian peoples in India.

It's really difficult to tell where the core Sumerian ethnic group came from, but I would imagine it's not too farfetched to suggest that they turned into an occupation group best described with the word "scribe".

35 posted on 03/15/2005 7:18:24 PM PST by muawiyah (gonna' be like with the anthrax thing ~ find a guy, harass him, let the terrorists escape)
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To: blam

ancestry.com will do a DNA genealogy profile for around $300. I've always wanted to do it just to see what would turn up.


36 posted on 03/15/2005 7:26:59 PM PST by hispanarepublicana (I was Lucy Ramirez when being Lucy Ramirez was't cool.)
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To: muawiyah
Dr Robert Schoch wrote a book, Voyages Of The Pyramid Builders, with the same (out of Sundaland) theme. He said the Sundaland refugees took their custom of pyramid building with them all over the world.
37 posted on 03/15/2005 7:32:21 PM PST by blam
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To: hispanarepublicana
"ancestry.com will do a DNA genealogy profile for around $300. I've always wanted to do it just to see what would turn up."

What would you think if it indicated you were related to the Basque people?

38 posted on 03/15/2005 7:34:32 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
We still put out our seit stones, of course. Always wondered why we did that, then they invented the internet!

BTW, many of the "mounds" found in Midwestern river valleys have more than one purpose ~ they become places to move out of the flood waters in Spring.

39 posted on 03/15/2005 7:36:24 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
Just read on another thread the explanation of Hindi being understood by some American Indian tribes.

Here goes:

1. Welsh and Hindi are related languages, with Indo-European roots and similar structure.

2. King Mardoc of Wales lead a flotilla of 700 ships to America in the 600's. 'White men', ie: Welsh, were reported to have traveled into the American midwest.

3. Hence, plains tribes were able to communicate with a Hindi speaker.

40 posted on 03/15/2005 7:37:00 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: keithtoo
The problem is no one ever demonstrated conclusively that any Indians could speak or understand Welsh.

Part of the problem may relate to the British Crown's name for the former French territory along the Ohio River.

Right after their victory in the French and Indian War the Brits renamed the territory in question "New Wales". You can find colonial maps showing that name.

41 posted on 03/15/2005 7:42:32 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: blam

I don't know about that...but am I the only one who thinks that some of those big stone heads look like the rapper Ice Cube?


42 posted on 03/15/2005 7:44:31 PM PST by RichInOC ("Let me tell ya somethin' 'bout a vato like me...")
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To: muawiyah
This thread says that there is circumstantial evidence to that effect:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/943967/posts

Heres a sample quote:

"Jim Michael, President of the Ancient Kentucke Historical Association, and one of our most active US supporters, takes up the tale: "In the early 1800s a Dr. Ward was summoned to the White Water area of Indiana to treat the people of a village of Native Americans who were dying of, perhaps, smallpox. One of the last surviving men, who called himself a king, asked if he could give Dr. Ward some sacred information. He told Ward that the member of the tribe who was to have received this "Lleni Llenape" information was dead, and there was no one left to pass it on to. He then handed him 148 sticks each of which had carving upon it."

"Dr Ward later gave these sticks to Professor Constantine Rafinesque of Transylvania College. Rafinesque and Eli Lilly went back to the tribal area to get more information on the history, called the "Wallam Ollam". They met with several of the remaining elders and learned that there was a chant that went with each stick. One of the sticks told of a great flood, and another of the creation myth. The remaining sticks told what happened when different kings were leading their people. It appeared to be a chronology of their tribal leadership. Eli Lily published the Wallan Ollam in book form and gave every member of the Indiana Historical Society a copy."

"The bards of Britannia also recorded all the births and deaths of nobility on sticks, and on special occasions they brought them out into public and sang their story to all. It is very hard to believe that two historical record systems could be independently invented. Of course, the two men had a bit of trouble understanding the wording but they did the best they could to write down what they heard."

Sounds crazy? Not really; the best part is that the Delaware histories tell of a great and powerful nation of "White men" who came to the Kentucky and Indiana regions in antiquity and that only an unprecedented alliance of all the Mid Western and Eastern tribes was able to fight against them. Had Rafinesque and Lilly known that Gwallam Oll-means "The Organization of Everyone", and that Lleni Llenape means "Secret Knowledge", in the Khumric-Welsh language, then things would have been rather different. "

43 posted on 03/15/2005 7:48:08 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: blam
What would you think if it indicated you were related to the Basque people?

based on my research , there may well be very old ties ...what should I think of that?

44 posted on 03/15/2005 7:54:41 PM PST by hispanarepublicana (I was Lucy Ramirez when being Lucy Ramirez was't cool.)
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To: keithtoo
From a previous post:

We have a plaque down here too at Ft Morgan, on Mobile Bay, for Prince Madoc.

"The inscription on a plaque placed alongside Mobile Bay in 1953 by the Daughters of the American Revolution reads: "In memory of Prince Madog, a Welsh explorer who landed on the shores of Mobile Bay in 1170 and left behind, with the Indians, the Welsh language."

40 posted on 07/10/2003 10:50:06 PM CDT by blam

45 posted on 03/15/2005 7:56:37 PM PST by blam
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To: hispanarepublicana
"based on my research , there may well be very old ties ...what should I think of that?"

I think most would be suprised at how closely related we all are. Afterall, 74,000 years ago, there were only about 2,000 of us worldwide.

46 posted on 03/15/2005 8:03:02 PM PST by blam
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To: muawiyah

BTW, to my suprise, Oppenheimer says that the oldest undisputed Mongoloid skeleton ever found is only 10,000 years old. There must have been a lot of the Jomon - Ainu and Negrito types around in Asia prior to 10k years ago.


47 posted on 03/15/2005 8:10:30 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
I think most would be suprised at how closely related we all are

Cool...someone else to add to my "airport pickup/latest mlm home party trend" prospect list...

48 posted on 03/15/2005 8:18:25 PM PST by hispanarepublicana (I was Lucy Ramirez when being Lucy Ramirez was't cool.)
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To: hispanarepublicana

Not to mention the 'car wont start at 1:00 in the morning list'.


49 posted on 03/15/2005 8:20:21 PM PST by keithtoo (Kennedy says he's Irish, but we all know he's full of Scotch.)
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To: RichInOC
"I don't know about that...but am I the only one who thinks that some of those big stone heads look like the rapper Ice Cube?"

Every time I see a rapper, I change the channel. I went to Subway sandwich shop the other day, rap music was playing...I turned around and left...I'll never go back. I think we should cleanse the gene pool and execute all the rappers.

50 posted on 03/15/2005 8:31:15 PM PST by blam
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