Skip to comments.Archaeologists Unearth 1,700 Year-Old Canal System Near Lake Okeechobee (Florida)
Posted on 06/07/2002 2:13:56 PM PDT by blamEdited on 09/03/2002 4:50:36 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
ORTONA – Archaeologists on Thursday said they have uncovered a sophisticated 1,700 year-old canal system and a huge pond dug by ancient Indians near this tiny town, located west of Lake Okeechobee.
The canal site is so important that it could rival the discovery four years ago of the mysterious Miami Circle ruins near downtown Miami, one expert said.
(Excerpt) Read more at sun-sentinel.com ...
How can a pond be 20 degrees west of north?
Archaeologists say discovery found near Lake Okeechobee
News-Journal wire services
An archaeological find near Lake Okeechobee that will be announced Thursday will reveal more about the lives of ancient Florida Indians, says archaeologist Robert Carr.
The discovery in the Glades County community of Ortona, a former village of the extinct Caloosahatchee Indian tribes, comes after six years of investigations in the area.
Carr, the executive director of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, says the find will rival the discovery of the Miami Circle, the mysterious stone Indian ruins in downtown Miami that were found in 1998 when an apartment complex was torn down.
He will announce the discovery at Ortona Indian Mound Park, about 95 miles west of West Palm Beach.
Indians were digging canals hundreds and perhaps thousands of years ago in Ortona, said Jerald T. Milanich, a curator in archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Some canals likely were used for canoe travel between villages and rivers, he said.
In other sites near Lake Okeechobee, archeologists have found canals with complicated lock systems to maneuver canoes up hills, earthen mounds in geometrical shapes and intricate wooden sculptures and masks.
"South Florida Indians were very well adjusted to their environment and lived quite well," said Milanich, who has excavated some of the sites.
In Miami, archaeologists say Tequesta Indians carved a 38-foot circle, known as the Miami Circle, into limestone 2,000 years ago. Scientists believe the site was the base of a large building.
On the Net:
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If you imagine a compass (with N at true north not magnetic), the pond axis would be on a 340 degree axis.
Don't know. FReeper RightWhale will be along shortly, he can tell you.
The pond is in the shape of the sacred baton, which is to say, a stick. Thus it is longer lengthwise and a narrow in width and points in a direction. Why not true north or why not magnetic north as it is today, who knows. Of course, looking the opposite direction it would point toward the south, and a little to the east [20 degrees] of that. We could guess a lot of possible reasons for the angle, some of them obvious like astronomical signs, and some of them outrageously esoteric. Probably someone used to know even in 1492, but after the American civilization was sacked, there wasn't much left by way of clues.
According to the DNC, this district (Canal System precinct) is heavily democrat, and would have voted for Gore, had they not been prevented from voting by discriminatory requirements, implemented by rich Republicans.
In yet another such move, the rich Republicans have established rules, that voters must still be living. "This is unfair," claims the DNC. "In most other states, democrat votes still count, long after the voter is dead."
Sorry, I don't have a ping list. (BTW, I was just 'fussed at' by JudyB1938 yesterday for the same reason)
Maybe the Caloosahatchee Department of Natural Resourses found sucker fish in their pond...
I wondered the same thing until I reread and realized that they say the canal is 1700 years old and that the pond was built around 700AD which by my math would make the canals about 400 years older than the pond.
||The map at left shows why compasses don't point exactly north. The north magnetic pole is not at the geographic pole, but hundreds of kilometers away in northern Canada. Wisconsin is presently in a region where compass variation is almost negligible, but in Maine, compass needles point 20 degrees west of north and in Seattle, 20 degrees east.
[My comment: Coming from a similar longitude, that would be true of Florida. Plus compare the angle of the red line on the right with the angle of Florida. Florida itself is "20 degrees west of north". So it's probably a toss of the coin as to whether the pond is aligned with the magnetic compass or with the angle at which Florida lies. Either way, that's quite an achivement for a society that had little technological improvements.]
I am of the same exact opinion. I have been unable to explain (with all the contact) why these diseases (seem to) suddenly became so lethal to the ancient Americans
No, a sudden pandemic just doesn't make sense to me, but disease may have been a factor in the final stages. My intuition (and I will admit that it is all I have here) tells me that the decline of Amerindian civilization had probably started long before Columbus with war and religion being the primary cause. Remember too that the cultures we are talking about were "death oriented" (cannibalism, child sacrifice, etc.) in their latter stages, much the same as many cultures incapable of maintaining populations (Minoans). What would really be amusing would be to find out that the interjection of Indo/European/Babylonian paganism (note the similarities in glyphs, architecture, and rites) led to gradual population decline, much as we see in the counter-JudeoChristian amoral eco-culture today.
1. Why do we only know about plagues in Europe. Were there no plagues in the Americas?
2. We always assume that the diseases travelled in only one direction. Why?
3. The tree ring data recorded a worldwide event in 540AD that is thought to have begun the Dark Ages in Europe. Why not a Dark Ages in other places. Was the Dark Ages called such because it was in fact darker worldwide? (atomspheric veil?)
It's cold at the North Pole.
Good one. A spacial dust cloud nucleating stratospheric aerosols? Sounds like it might be fun to brainstorm some time. I was thinking of the Phonicians.
What about the Phoenicians? (BTW, Phoenician means 'red hair' in ancient Greek)
The Phoenicians were the principal navigators of the ancient world (because of Lebanese cedar trees). They were very secretive about their routes and sources and their records were destroyed by Roman conquest. They might well have accomplished what I am speculating above.
They must have been feeling a little sheepish about getting rambonkshus, don't ewe know.
Yes it was dark, and colder, crops failed, and it was worldwide. Check out the following for the most likely culprit. Were the Dark Ages Triggered by Volcano-Related Climate Changes in the 6th Century?
Friday, 8 September, 2000, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Tree rings challenge history
By BBC News Online's Jonathan Amos
Could a comet hitting the Earth 1,500 years ago have triggered a global disaster in which millions of people lost their lives?
It is an old claim that historians say has little evidence in written records to support it, but now a tree ring expert has said the idea must be re-examined.
Mike Baillie, professor of palaeoecology at Queen's University in Belfast, UK, said it was very clear from the narrowness of growth rings in bog oaks and archaeological timbers that a great catastrophe struck the Earth in AD 540.
"The trees are unequivocal that something quite terrible happened," he told the British Association's Festival of Science. "Not only in Northern Ireland and Britain, but right across northern Siberia, North and South America - it is a global event of some kind."
Professor Baillie favours the idea that cometary fragments smashed into the atmosphere throwing up dust and gas that blocked out the Sun. This, in turn, led to crop failures, famine and even plague among the weakened peoples of the world.
Professor Baillie said astronomers from Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland had published research 10 years ago in which they said the Earth would have been at risk from cometary bombardment between the years AD 400 and AD 600.
"This event is in AD 540, so it fits very nicely into the window," he said.
"We know from the tree rings to the year exactly when this event happened. And some archaeologists and historians are beginning to come round to the opinion that this was the date when the Dark Ages began in Northern Europe. It wasn't just when the Romans left."
However, there are many more historians who believe that if such a major event had occurred there would be much clearer references to the disaster in written texts. But Professor Baillie urged them to go back and look again - "to read between the lines".
He said mythical stories certainly seemed to point to a comet striking the Earth at about the right time. He said King Arthur died in this period and some stories talk about long arms in the sky delivering mighty blows.
"Mythology tells you and history doesn't and that raises some very interesting questions because the implication is that you could suppress the written word but you couldn't suppress the oral tradition."
Professor Baillie said chemical analysis would be carried out on the tree rings to investigate the comet idea further. He hopes also to get access to ice cores to see if they record any interesting data that might support the comet theory.
(For more, read Mike Baillie's book, Exodus To Arthur)
That saves the archeologists from answering any questions
What a shock! To have arbitrarily divided up the Earth into 360o and then discover that the iron ore was not cooperating!
When the super-volcano Toba blew 70-75,000 years ago, some say as few as 5,000 humans worldwide survived. (It also created a DNA 'bottleneck.') We have a very catastrophic history.
By Robert Matthews, Science Correspondent
SCIENTISTS have found the first evidence that a devastating meteor impact in the Middle East might have triggered the mysterious collapse of civilisations more than 4,000 years ago.
satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide impact crater caused by a meteor
Studies of satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide circular depression which scientists say bears all the hallmarks of an impact crater. If confirmed, it would point to the Middle East being struck by a meteor with the violence equivalent to hundreds of nuclear bombs.
Today's crater lies on what would have been shallow sea 4,000 years ago, and any impact would have caused devastating fires and flooding.
The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC.(This is probably the event that is recorded in the tree ring data in 2354BC. This may have been a 'swarm' and other impact sites are yet undiscovered.(?))
They include the demise of the Akkad culture of central Iraq, with its mysterious semi-mythological emperor Sargon; the end of the fifth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, following the building of the Great Pyramids and the sudden disappearance of hundreds of early settlements in the Holy Land.
Until now, archaeologists have put forward a host of separate explanations for these events, from local wars to environmental changes. Recently, some astronomers have suggested that meteor impacts could explain such historical mysteries.
The crater's faint outline was found by Dr Sharad Master, a geologist at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, on satellite images of the Al 'Amarah region, about 10 miles north-west of the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates and home of the Marsh Arabs.
"It was a purely accidental discovery," Dr Master told The Telegraph last week. "I was reading a magazine article about the canal-building projects of Saddam Hussein, and there was a photograph showing lots of formations - one of which was very, very circular."
Detailed analysis of other satellite images taken since the mid-1980s showed that for many years the crater contained a small lake.
The draining of the region, as part of Saddam's campaign against the Marsh Arabs, has since caused the lake to recede, revealing a ring-like ridge inside the larger bowl-like depression - a classic feature of meteor impact craters.
The crater also appears to be, in geological terms, very recent. Dr Master said: "The sediments in this region are very young, so whatever caused the crater-like structure, it must have happened within the past 6,000 years."
Reporting his finding in the latest issue of the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Dr Master suggests that a recent meteor impact is the most plausible explanation for the structure.
A survey of the crater itself could reveal tell-tale melted rock. "If we could find fragments of impact glass, we could date them using radioactive dating techniques," he said.
A date of around 2300 BC for the impact may also cast new light on the legend of Gilgamesh, dating from the same period. The legend talks of "the Seven Judges of Hell", who raised their torches, lighting the land with flame, and a storm that turned day into night, "smashed the land like a cup", and flooded the area.
The discovery of the crater has sparked great interest among scientists.
Dr Benny Peiser, who lectures on the effects of meteor impacts at John Moores University, Liverpool, said it was one of the most significant discoveries in recent years and would corroborate research he and others have done.
He said that craters recently found in Argentina date from around the same period - suggesting that the Earth may have been hit by a shower of large meteors at about the same time.