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The Mayan Underworld

by baywax
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baywax
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Aug15-08, 08:20 PM
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There should be some good finds here.


Portal to mythical Mayan underworld found in Mexico
Thu Aug 14, 8:18 PM

By Miguel Angel Gutierrez

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican archeologists have discovered a maze of stone temples in underground caves, some submerged in water and containing human bones, which ancient Mayans believed was a portal where dead souls entered the underworld.

Clad in scuba gear and edging through narrow tunnels, researchers discovered the stone ruins of eleven sacred temples and what could be the remains of human sacrifices at the site in the Yucatan Peninsula.



http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/0...xico_mayans_dc
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wolram
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Aug15-08, 11:52 PM
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Cool, shame there are not more pictures.
baywax
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Aug16-08, 01:39 PM
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Quote Quote by wolram View Post
Cool, shame there are not more pictures.
Wait for the tourist attraction to get established!

What would be good to find out is if the underground find pre-dates the above ground structures or visa versa. That could prove to be a difficult undertaking.

baywax
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Aug18-08, 11:11 AM
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The Mayan Underworld

I'm not sure if this is the same function as the type of underground "facilities" I've linked to here but "chultuns" have been found in the past and they are said to be underground storage units for the Mayans.

Here's a link to some photos of those types of underground utilities.


http://archaeology.about.com/gi/dyna...2Fchultun.html

There is, as they mention on this site, a dilemma in archaeology these days. Many sites are still being used today and so the historical and pre-historical value is diminished by present day activity and requirements. When I first got into archaeology the "aboriginals" or "first nations" or "natives" were simply called indians. This was a throw back from Columbus or another exploiter...er.. explorer... thinking they'd found the passage to India.

By the time I was supervising excavations and surveys we were handing the responsibility of uncovering the histories and pre-histories of the first nations back to the first nations. Today there is a higher percentage of First Nation people running museums and even excavating. In the Haida Nation of Haida Guaii... or what we called the Queen Charolotte Islands, there are "watchmen" at every significant site where the Haida had very populous and vibrant villages.edit... if you want to tour these sites, and they are incredible even in the state they're in... you are always under the watchful eye of a Haida nation dude who lives on site in a portable that's been fashioned to look like a miniature longhouse.

Where many do not want to continue talking with me is when I remind them that the Haida often conquered other nations, taking the women back to Haida Gauii and killing all of the men on the spot. When the first nations ask for reparation for the abuse in Residential Schools, churches, and white man's transgressions.... I think its good to air these things out.... but I also think the Salish, Stolo and other nations could use the same dialog with the Haida and perhaps they'd all learn some better negotiating skills and have a better alliance for future economic/community endeavors.
Greg Bernhardt
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Aug24-08, 03:02 PM
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neat! I did the seattle underground tour... I bet this would be even better!
marcus
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Aug25-08, 11:52 AM
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Quote Quote by baywax View Post

By the time I was supervising excavations and surveys we were handing the responsibility of uncovering the histories and pre-histories of the first nations back to the first nations. Today there is a higher percentage of First Nation people running museums and even excavating. In the Haida Nation of Haida Guaii... or what we called the Queen Charolotte Islands, there are "watchmen" at every significant site where the Haida had very populous and vibrant villages.edit... if you want to tour these sites, and they are incredible even in the state they're in... you are always under the watchful eye of a Haida nation dude who lives on site in a portable that's been fashioned to look like a miniature longhouse.

Where many do not want to continue talking with me is when I remind them that the Haida often conquered other nations, taking the women back to Haida Gauii and killing all of the men on the spot. When the first nations ask for reparation for the abuse in Residential Schools, churches, and white man's transgressions.... I think its good to air these things out.... but I also think the Salish, Stolo and other nations could use the same dialog with the Haida and perhaps they'd all learn some better negotiating skills and have a better alliance for future economic/community endeavors.
fascinating stuff to hear about!
I assume Haida means the people, and Gauii means Island (it sounds like Hawaii to me but I don't assume there could be any linguistic connection)

I have seen the phrase Xhaaidlagha Gwaayaai ---- I assume that Gwaayaai is the same word as Gauii, perhaps with a different transcription or case inflection, and then Xhaaidlagha would be "the edge of the world"----an agglutinative word where one part, e.g. Xhaai, might mean world and the other part, e.g. lagha, might mean edge (or vice versa).

So you are giving us a glimpse of Canadian----or British Columbia----negotiations and policy regarding pre-European people and archeology. These are extremely delicate and complex issues. In the USA many mistakes have been made in how to handle this business (not to speak of broad social issues, I only mean the archeology part) A friend of ours is an archeologist whose professional career has been largely involved in navigating the site preservation process entailed whenever they build a new freeway or shopping mall in Arizona or Nevada. For a while he was at digs in Scotland and other UK areas and I imagine they have their own bluepainted aboriginals to cope with but maybe it is not so complicated. We are all obsessed with our ancestral past whether we realize it or not.

So that is all really fascinating about what you do in the Queen Charlottes. I wish you success and would very much like to hear more.
baywax
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Aug25-08, 12:46 PM
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Quote Quote by marcus View Post
fascinating stuff to hear about!
I assume Haida means the people, and Gauii means Island (it sounds like Hawaii to me but I don't assume there could be any linguistic connection)
Actually there is an unconfirmed linguistic connection and a confirmed genetic connection. Many of the Haida are, well, you know, really big. Like huge... just like many of the Hawaiians. And as you can see in the names and useage of the "ii", the linguistics hold a striking bit of evidence of a connection.

Here's a bit of (pre)-history surrounding the area...

15,000 B.C.

Some believe the Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) was first occupied about this time and they called them Xhaaidlagha Gwaayaai which means Islands at the Boundary of the World. The Islands are 90 km from the mainland and can be seen on a clear day. Their arrival therefore had to be via boats. The Haida would later name the 150 plus Islands as Haida Gwaii meaning the Islands of the People. Others called it the Haida Place. It is believed the Haida arrived 8,000 to 13,000 B.C. The ocean levels on the Islands fluctuated by up to 50 feet and did not stabilize until 3,000 B.C. making it difficult to find archeological evidence. It is noteworthy that Haida Gwaii was ice free during the ice age as were many of the islands of southern Alaska. Other coastal areas were ice free 12,000 to 11,000 B.C. maybe earlier. The low water levels produced great grass lands to support mammoth, mastodon and bison that were found on Haida Geaii and Quadra's Island (Vancouver Island).

A mammoth humerus from southern Vancouver Island has been dated to 17,000 YBP,

A bison find on Vancouver Island suggests human hunters killed bison on the Island peninsula Royal Oak, Victoria.

13,300 B.C.

Some contend this is the first Giant Flood of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon when Glacial Lake Missoula ice dam broke sending 500 cubic miles of water to the Pacific in 48 hours. Others contend these have been going on since 80,000 B.C. The devastation however was profound, as this is more water than Lake Erie and Ontario combined. In some places there was a 1/2 mile high wall of water destroying the people and artifacts down the Columbia River. J. Harlen Brentz (1882-1981) first proposed the Giant Flood theory in 1922 to explain the geological evidence but was laughed at by the Geological Society.

12,000 B.C.

The Fluted Clovis point spearhead used to hunt mammoths appears all over North America. Clovis man has been found in the Peace River, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Washington, and Mexico. This unprecedented form of stone point has the conservatives puzzled, as it requires a very rapid spreading to fit their hypothesis. Conservatives suggest the Clovis Point likely only dates to 11,500 B.C. Another problem with this technology is that few Clovis points are discovered in Alaska and no Clovis points in Siberia except those dated 6,300 B.C. at Uptar which suggests an American to Asia migration. All evidence supports a south to north migration of this technology. The Clovis technology may have migrated from America to Asia. Many conservative scientists resort to science fiction type theories to explain these and other anomalies.

Segments of the Coast Salish people-the ancestors of the Squamish, Burrard, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam (Xw'muthk'i'um), Tsawwassen, Coquitlam (Kwayhquitlam), Katzie and Semiahmoo Indian bands-arrive English Bay. They seem to be quite satisfied with the beaches teeming with seafood-they named English Bay Ayyulshun, which means 'soft under feet'. And they liked the forests teaming with wildlife. Not to mention that nearby is the mouth of a big river (Fraser River) emptying into a vast ocean where big, fat, silvery salmon swam by six months out of every year.

Mount St. Helens erupted leaving a time line of pre and post giant floods of Glacial Lake Missoula that left extensive marks in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. It is believed that 12 giant floods actually occurred some say between 13,300 B.C. to 9,700 B.C. while others contend they occurred 80,000 B.C. to 10,000 B.C.

11,500 B.C.

Some believe the Proto-Polynesians are living Haida Gwaii and are called the Old Haida. Speculation is they arrived on the Kuroshio Current from Asia.
http://www.telusplanet.net/public/dgarneau/B.C.1.htm

And here's the DNA evidence as Wikipedia has it:

Recent DNA analysis suggests that Polynesians, including Tongans, Samoans, Niueans, Cook Islanders, Tahitians, Hawaiians, Marquesans and Māori, exhibit a maternal mitochondrial DNA link to indigenous peoples of the New Guinea Highlands 40,000 years ago (Bryan Sykes - Seven Daughters of Eve, page 133). The paternal Y chromosome also comes from "New Guinea 11,500 years ago - but since that time have evolved quite separately from Melanesians" (see "Melanesian Origin of Polynesian Y Chromosomes" and "Melanesian Origin of Polynesian Y Chromosomes (correction)" cited in References). After this period, proto-Polynesian genes exhibit a 9based pair mtDNA deletion common to East Asians, showing a separation from Taiwanese aborigines 6,000 years ago. (See "Melanesian origins of Polynesian Y chromosome") Polynesian population expansion began in isolation in the Pacific 2,000 years ago (see also Melanesian origin of Y chromosomes). One particular DNA haplotype - the human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) Bw48 is commonly found in Polynesian populations, but occurs only sporadically in Melanesia. The only other known population with an appreciable frequency of HLA-Bw48 is that of the North American Indians or more specifically the Tlingit of Alaska. (Susan Serjeantson - Out of Asia - Peopling the Americas and the Pacific Edited by Robert Kirk and Emoke Szathmary 1985). In Polynesia Bw48 co-occurs with A11, - suggesting a variation since Polynesians departed from the people of the Alaskan/Canadian coast. This DNA evidence is supported by cultural and archaeological evidence showing a definite link between Eastern Polynesia and the Tlingit, Kwakuitl and Haida of the islands off Alaska and Canada[citation needed]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynesia

The language of the Haida is endangered and an "isolate" language but just looking at the people and hearing the language makes you think of the distant shores of Hawaii.

Here's a link to Wikipedia's take on the language.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haida_language


Greg Bernhardt, yeah the Seattle underground city is fascinating. Vancouver has a similar feature. I guess that's one reason why Vanc. and Seattle are sister cities... another is that we share the rain and volcanic ash + earth quakes!
wolram
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Aug25-08, 01:24 PM
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How can trading be ruled out, i mean it only needs one small group to manufacture, they could trade, then others copy, i guess an essential and successful tool would be to them as electricity is to us.
Edit.
In other words the people were all ready there and the tool spread to them.

The Fluted Clovis point spearhead used to hunt mammoths appears all over North America. Clovis man has been found in the Peace River, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Washington, and Mexico. This unprecedented form of stone point has the conservatives puzzled, as it requires a very rapid spreading to fit their hypothesis. Conservatives suggest the Clovis Point likely only dates to 11,500 B.C. Another problem with this technology is that few Clovis points are discovered in Alaska and no Clovis points in Siberia except those dated 6,300 B.C. at Uptar which suggests an American to Asia migration. All evidence supports a south to north migration of this technology. The Clovis technology may have migrated from America to Asia. Many conservative scientists resort to science fiction type theories to explain these and other anomalies.
marcus
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Aug25-08, 01:32 PM
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I didn't realize there was any evidence of a Polynesia-British Columbia connection. That is some of the most interesting stuff I have heard on PF for many a moon. Quite remarkable!

I don't know much about linguistics. don't know when the Hawaiian Islands are supposed to have been settled. Dont know how fast languages change.

Can't guess when the last contact would have been, if there ever was contact, between Hawaii and the BC islands.

Or maybe some words passed along by way of Tlingit? It all seems very tenuous.

The way I picture it either
1. it is purely accidental that Guaii sounds like Hawaii, and that the Haida are big people (I imagine them like Tongans, good football linesmen)

2. it isn't accidental and there was some recent contact that nobody knows about and the words are actually from the same root! which sounds almost crazy

3. there was some kinship but the common ancestor was over 10,000 years ago and maybe involved Tlingits and the Bering Trek, and in that case it is all so remote I would think that language would have changed beyond all recognition and the two words could not be traced to a common root. But there could still be some traces of linguistic and genetic similarity.

It is confused and only faintly suggestive, but absolutely fascinating!
baywax
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Aug25-08, 01:56 PM
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Quote Quote by wolram View Post
How can trading be ruled out, i mean it only needs one small group to manufacture, they could trade, then others copy, i guess an essential and successful tool would be to them as electricity is to us.

The Fluted Clovis point spearhead used to hunt mammoths appears all over North America. Clovis man has been found in the Peace River, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Washington, and Mexico. This unprecedented form of stone point has the conservatives puzzled, as it requires a very rapid spreading to fit their hypothesis. Conservatives suggest the Clovis Point likely only dates to 11,500 B.C. Another problem with this technology is that few Clovis points are discovered in Alaska and no Clovis points in Siberia except those dated 6,300 B.C. at Uptar which suggests an American to Asia migration. All evidence supports a south to north migration of this technology. The Clovis technology may have migrated from America to Asia. Many conservative scientists resort to science fiction type theories to explain these and other anomalies.
The main theory concerning the Clovis is that it "migrated" from Northern France at around 17,000. The "migration" is said to have taken place when a hunting party (which included women, men and children) was out on an ice shelf after some seal and it broke off the mainland and headed for North America. This is probably the Sci Fi you're talking about.

Bradley and Stanford argue that at the time of the Last Glacial Maximum, ca 25,000-15,000 radiocarbon years ago, the Iberian peninsula of Europe became a steppe-tundra, forcing Solutrean populations to the coasts. Maritime hunters then traveled northward along the ice margin up the European coast and around the North Atlantic Sea. They point out that the perennial Arctic ice at the time would have formed an ice bridge connecting Europe and North America. Ice margins have intense biological productivity, and would have provided a major food source.

Cultural Similarities

Bradley and Stanford further point out that there are similarities in the stone tools. Bifaces are systematically thinned with an overshot flaking method in both Solutrean and Clovis cultures. Solutrean leaf-shaped points are similar in outline and some (but not all) Clovis construction techniques. Further, Clovis assemblages often include a cylindrical ivory shaft or point made from mammoth tusk or long bones of bison. Other bone tools were often included in both assemblages, such as needles and bone shaft straighteners.
http://archaeology.about.com/od/skth...rean_clovi.htm

But, then the problems with this theory are:

Problems with Solutrean/Clovis

The most prominent opponent of the Solutrean connection is Lawrence Guy Straus. Straus points out that the LGM forced people out of western Europe into southern France and the Iberian peninsula by about 25,000 radiocarbon years ago. There were no people at all living north of the Loire Valley of France during the Last Glacial Maximum, and no people in the southern part of England until after about 12,500 BP. The similarities between Clovis and Solutrean cultural assemblages are far outweighed by the differences. Clovis hunters were not users of marine resources, fish or mammal. Finally, the Solutrean hunter-gatherers used land-based hunting supplemented by littoral and riverine but not oceanic resources.

Most essentially, the Solutreans of the Iberian peninsula lived 5,000 radiocarbon years earlier and 5,000 kilometers directly across the Atlantic from the Clovis hunter-gatherers.

PreClovis and Solutrean

Since the discovery of credible Preclovis sites, Bradley and Stanford now argue for a Solutrean origin of Preclovis culture. The diet of Preclovis is definitely more maritime-oriented, and the dates are closer in time to Solutrean. However, the stone technology is not the same as Clovis, and the discovery of an ivory rhinoceros horn tool at the Yana RHS site in Western Beringia has somewhat lessened the strength of the technology argument.
(same link)

If you look at South America and North America you can see that there are many points of entry to the two, conjoined continents. This leads me to believe there were many cultures embarking upon exploring the vast areas of these lands. And you can see the various genetic and cultural diversities even as early as the periods we're talking about. One find in the Yukon Territories, the "Blue Fish Caves" shows human habitation at 26,000 years ago. There are always going to be anomalies like this that throw everyone's "theories" off.

There is the Northwest Passage that travels down the Rockies from Manning Park in BC. You can get to Mexico along that route and many "Native" stories from the interior and the coast speak of the travels to Mexico and beyond. One nation... the "Laxgalts'ap" and others have a direct genetic link with the native tribes in Mexico. The Laxgalts'ap traded their Obsidian... which was of fine quality... with them and many others around America and Central America.

You're right to say that trade was a great "ice breaker" for different regions and we have to be able to distinguish between the original cultures works and those that have been traded.

For instance, how mummies in Egypt test positive for cocaine and nicotine? The obvious answer... trade...

Balabanova's "Cocaine mummies"

Some have advocated that Ancient Egyptians may have traveled to the New World. Evidence for such claims involves the mystery of the "Cocaine mummies", mummies reported to have contained coca and nicotine.[5] The initial discovery was made by a German toxicologist by the name of Dr. Svetla Balabanova, after examining the mummy of a female priestess called Henut Taui. She states:
The first positive results, of course, were a shock for me. I had not expected to find nicotine and cocaine but that's what happened. I was absolutely sure it must be a mistake.
Follow up tests by way of the hair shaft - performed to rule out contamination - offered the same results. The significance of these finds lie with the fact that both coca and tobacco plants are indigenous to the Americas and thought not to have reached Africa until after the voyage of Christopher Colombus, in 1492.[6][7] Subsequent examination of numerous Sudanese mummies undertaken by Balabanova, mirrored what was found in the mummy of Henut Taui.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Col...ntact_theories
baywax
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Aug25-08, 01:59 PM
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Quote Quote by marcus View Post
I didn't realize there was any evidence of a Polynesia-British Columbia connection. That is some of the most interesting stuff I have heard on PF for many a moon. Quite remarkable!

I don't know much about linguistics. don't know when the Hawaiian Islands are supposed to have been settled. Dont know how fast languages change.

Can't guess when the last contact would have been, if there ever was contact, between Hawaii and the BC islands.

Or maybe some words passed along by way of Tlingit? It all seems very tenuous.

The way I picture it either
1. it is purely accidental that Guaii sounds like Hawaii, and that the Haida are big people (I imagine them like Tongans, good football linesmen)

2. it isn't accidental and there was some recent contact that nobody knows about and the words are actually from the same root! which sounds almost crazy

3. there was some kinship but the common ancestor was over 10,000 years ago and maybe involved Tlingits and the Bering Trek, and in that case it is all so remote I would think that language would have changed beyond all recognition and the two words could not be traced to a common root. But there could still be some traces of linguistic and genetic similarity.

It is confused and only faintly suggestive, but absolutely fascinating!
Yeah, it is nutzo!

The more I learn the less I know about it. I have to dig up some of the stories from the Similkameen peoples in the interior... they talk about meeting the people on the southern tip of South America... by a method of "walking fast".

But, I neglect my work so... cheers for now!
baywax
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Aug26-08, 12:33 PM
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Here's what I could find for pictures of the "Mayan Underworld".

http://imagesoftheworld.org/mexico/cenote-cancun-mx.jpg

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1421/...f260d0.jpg?v=0

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n.../11898621.html

http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures...cienceNews#a=2

Interesting video about the rituals and some shots of the underground temples

http://www.atitlan.net/video/mayan-religion.htm

What appears to be new footage of the entrance and innards of the caves with shots of cave wall carving...

http://www.reuters.com/news/video?vi...el=scienceNews
marcus
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Aug26-08, 03:09 PM
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Quote Quote by baywax View Post
...
Interesting video about the rituals and some shots of the underground temples

http://www.atitlan.net/video/mayan-religion.htm

...
I focused on this one. I especially like the story of the two brothers whose ballplaying angered the gods----and then there is this kind of Osiris myth that causes the Hero Twins to be born, and they play a trick on the gods. It is a good story.

Someone who I think is named George Stewart tells it. I wonder what his reputation is, among anthropologists. He is in North Carolina, does that mean Chapel Hill UNC? Or is he freelance?
wolram
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Aug26-08, 04:23 PM
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Thank you Baywax.
baywax
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Aug26-08, 04:45 PM
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I'm so wrong about the name of the trail from Manning park, east of Hope, BC to Mexico.
Its called the Pacific Crest Trail... and here's one link of many to a description of it.

Meandering from Mexico to Canada for 2,650 miles, the PCT traverses three states, three national monuments, seven national parks, 25 national forests, and 33 federally mandated wildernesses. Along the way it ascends more than 57 major mountain passes and skirts the shores of countless lakes, tarns, ponds, creeks, and rivers. Scurrying, slithering, foraging, and hunting in the trail’s environments are a wealth of extraordinary creatures – many of which PCT walkers are privileged to glimpse — including rattlesnakes, coyotes, mountain lions, marmots, bears, mountain goats, and elk.
http://www.walkaboutmag.com/20footpaths.html

You can see why it was a viable trade route for over 7000 years... if not 15,000.... with all the game a healthy trade/explorer could eat. I have very little doubt that the Maya sent out ambassadors along this route (pronounced "root" here!!) and shared understanding and gifts with the people of the Pacific Northwest.
Evo
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Aug26-08, 08:08 PM
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Baywax, I've been menaing to tell you those are great links.

I too loved the story of the two brothers. I'd never heard that tale.
baywax
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Aug27-08, 12:11 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Baywax, I've been menaing to tell you those are great links.

I too loved the story of the two brothers. I'd never heard that tale.
Oh yeah, that is a good little synopsis of the significance of the caves.

I visited a remote cave dwelling in the Similkameen Nation, the interior of BC. I have photos of the pictographs and the thousands of summer's worth of soot on its ceiling. I'll get them up here as soon as I find and scan them... with commentary.

The coolest thing about these ones is that its a mix of the northern interior and the southern interior people's stories on the walls. The people in Montana and south of there would come up to the Similkameen territory, across today's boarder, to fish and hunt for the summer. I attempted to live that life while I was there, but you have to be very well trained at flint-knapping, spear fishing (illegal) and basically wrestling bears, cougars and wolverines.

PS. Thanks Evo and Wolram!
marcus
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Aug27-08, 04:00 PM
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BTW is baywax a familiar substance, like are bay-berries waxy and so people could cook the wax out of some leaves/berries and use it to make leather shiny or something/

you make anthropology look like a good life

I will tell you something about anthro that resonates with me and that is when a group of CavalliSforza protege (I think) researchers took some DNA samples from a village in northern Iran and established that descendents of ALEXANDER'S SOLDIERS were living there.

And it is the same experience as when you talk about links between Hawaii and Queen Charlotte.

what thrills me is when linguistic or artifact or DNA evidence comes out that tells of great treks and voyages.
And I can tell you what part of my brain reacts to that. It is where I have a certain question about ourselves. Does our civilization have the balls to propagate earth life to another earthlike planet?
They did, I think to myself, now what about us? that is where the (admittedly irrational, emotional) resonance comes from. It helps to make anthro interesting to me as outsider.


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