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The Mayan Underworld

  1. Aug 15, 2008 #1

    baywax

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    There should be some good finds here.




    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/080815/n_science_reuters/science_mexico_mayans_dc
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2008 #2

    wolram

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    Cool, shame there are not more pictures.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2008 #3

    baywax

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    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.
     
  5. Aug 18, 2008 #4

    baywax

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    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/dyn...&zu=http://www.islc.net/~lesleyl/chultun.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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  6. Aug 24, 2008 #5
    neat! I did the seattle underground tour... I bet this would be even better!
     
  7. Aug 25, 2008 #6

    marcus

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  8. Aug 25, 2008 #7

    baywax

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    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...

    http://www.telusplanet.net/public/dgarneau/B.C.1.htm

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

    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!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  9. Aug 25, 2008 #8

    wolram

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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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  10. Aug 25, 2008 #9

    marcus

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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!
     
  11. Aug 25, 2008 #10

    baywax

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    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.

    http://archaeology.about.com/od/skthroughsp/qt/solutrean_clovi.htm

    But, then the problems with this theory are:

    (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...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Columbian_Africa-Americas_contact_theories
     
  12. Aug 25, 2008 #11

    baywax

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    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!
     
  13. Aug 26, 2008 #12

    baywax

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  14. Aug 26, 2008 #13

    marcus

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    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?
     
  15. Aug 26, 2008 #14

    wolram

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    Thank you Baywax.
     
  16. Aug 26, 2008 #15

    baywax

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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.

    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.
     
  17. Aug 26, 2008 #16

    Evo

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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.
     
  18. Aug 27, 2008 #17

    baywax

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    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!
     
  19. Aug 27, 2008 #18

    marcus

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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.
     
  20. Aug 27, 2008 #19

    baywax

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    You have really nailed it with regard to how Archaeology and Anthropology has had me tolerating the devil's club and moose flies for 12 years. This started for me as a founding member of the Archaeological Society at 12 years old.

    My handle on here is a combo of surfing experiences. Wax on the board, off to the bay! But it is also the name of the browser I've linked myself to.

    The Trek is one of the most exhilarating aspects of this study. However, at the start, for myself it was the artifacts themselves. Partially a kid's fascination with the tools and toys of a lost civilization. There is a universe of information in each of them and that was my initial attraction to the whole "forensic" aspect of the study.

    As soon as it dawned on me, while listening to the stories from the Grandmothers, Chiefs and nation members, that there had been expedition parties as far south as Argentina and back up the Peruvian coastline to home... I was as astonished and motivated as you.

    You wonder if it takes balls to want to trek into the unknown but it only takes genetics because treking is a trait that exhibits the survival instinct of our species. Its always a small percentage of the population exploring the outer reaches, but "spreading out" always ensures someone will survive from the main population.

    Remember the 5000 year old Scandinavian Ice Mummy found in Mongolia? Before his death this guy made it to the middle of one of the world's largest, most remote deserts in his cariboo skin clothes with his cariboo jerky and bag of marijuana. He was so venerated by the locals they buried him like one of their own.

    That was an approximately 7000 mile trek he made, on foot, allegedly with about 2 other people. Well, they may have ridden cariboos. But, that's the lengths we go to. Its natural. And, at least on earth, we are often pleasantly surprised by what we find when we go the distance. The Similkameen people found "people with the strangest customs and music" when they reached the Yucatan Peninsula (described in their oral (pre)history). They describe Central America as the "place where the land narrows". All this blew my mind and artifacts started taking a back seat to the romance and grandeur of the "trek" as you put it.
     
  21. Aug 27, 2008 #20

    Evo

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    One of my friends is an archaeologist and he's on a dig right now that has turned up some substantial paleolithic finds. I'd like to get him to post here when he has the time.

    He's about to release his second book.
     
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