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Re: [ANE-2] Re: Reading Revolutions

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  • Brian Colless
    Note: the thesis I am building is that the Canaanites transported the Mediterranean form of civilization to America, and inspired the establishment of the
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 9 4:17 AM
      Note: the thesis I am building is that the Canaanites transported the
      Mediterranean form of civilization to America, and inspired the
      establishment of the 'Olmec' civilization (not its real name), dated
      at 1200 BCE till 400 BCE.

      This fits the two themes of this thread: ANE and reading revolutions.

      On 8/09/2010, at 4:39 AM, Trudy Kawami wrote:

      > Brian,
      > Are you serious?
      Sometimes you need to ask me that, but I do have such an artefact for
      "show and tell".

      > (Could you point me to an Olmec cylinder seal?)
      A ceramic cylinder seal with a bird uttering speech in the form of
      writing; thus it has a picture and also script.

      Should I add *ceramics* to my list of material culture traits brought
      (imported) from the ANE to America?

      Is there anything else I have overlooked that sprang up in central
      America at this time?

      In 2002, at the Olmec site of San Andr�s, Mary Pohl discovered a
      cylindrical seal and two fragments of a green-stone plaque, both of
      which bear possible signs of a writing system; they were
      archaeologically dated to approximately 650 BCE, placing them among
      the oldest examples of Mesoamerican writing.

      In 2006 the inscribed Cascajal Block was published (first seen in 1999
      in a gravel quarry), attributed to the San Lorenzo phase (1200 to 900

      I have not heard of anyone being able to read it yet; and I certainly
      can not decipher it (unless it is West Semitic!).

      The text has 62 characters (presumaby pictophonic) , and its 28
      separate signs suggest it is based on the West Semitic acrophonic

      However, the Maya script is a syllabary, with 19 consonants (and 5
      vowels); it is an acrophonic logo-syllabary, just like the West
      Semitic system, which also inspired the Cretan (Knossos and Phaistos
      versions) and Luwian picto-acrophonic syllabic scripts (in my view).

      If the Olmec script is a syllabary it would require 19 x 5 signs (95)
      for the syllabograms (on the analogy of the Maya script).

      It is an insult to the intrepid Canaanites/ Phoenicians to deny that
      they crossed the Atlantic, especially as Diodorus of Sicily in the 1st
      century BCE has the Phoenicians sailing through the Pillars of
      Herakles (Gibraltar Strait) and crossing the ocean to a fertile
      island, with mountains and navigable rivers, and we may wonder whether
      this could have been Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, or Brazil.

      I am starting to think that all my lifetime of study has prepared me
      for this. I had Christopher Columbus (if he was Jewish, or Scottish,
      as claimed, my genes can forgive him) drummed into me at an early age,
      and I would like to drum him out of the history of discovery.

      Brian Colless

      Massey University, NZ

      > You
      > should be aware that the Bat Creek Stone is a 19th cent CE artifact
      > (do
      > check the web on this one!). It's rather like the Kensington
      > runestone;
      > you really need to know the context - social as well as
      > "archaeological"
      > - in which it (& they) were found.
      Right, on this point I was not being serious.
      > Trudy Kawami
      > ________________________________
      > From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      > Of
      > Brian Colless
      > Sent: Monday, September 06, 2010 12:02 AM
      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Reading Revolutions
      > > Peter Daniels mentions Mexico, and I am building a case for
      > Canaanite
      > > transmission of acrophonic syllabic writing (along with cylinder
      > > seals, and pyramids) to Meso-America.
      > >
      > >
      > PJD's response
      > > > Oh, c'mon, pyramids are probably the most obvious and easy
      > > > way to build a tall structure, and anyone who's seen a pebble
      > > > leave a trail as it rolls down a muddy slope would realize they
      > > > could make a cylinder seal..
      > >
      > Quite so, but pyramids, cylinder seals, and writing all appeared at
      > the same time in Meso-America (in the 'Olmec' civilization), and all
      > were already present in ANE culture, so "diffusion" is suspected (as
      > distinct from "diffusionism is suspect"); the seafaring Canaanites/
      > Phoenicians are the ideal candidates for transferring these traits
      > across the Atlantic Ocean; a bronze cup dug up in Jamaica has been
      > brought to my attention (it is on open access on the web); it has a
      > West Semitic syllabic inscription, and my past research allows me to
      > recognize this as the Byblos script.
      > Of course there is also a Phoenician inscription (several of them,
      > already) from Brazil, and the Bat Creek Stone (which certainly looks
      > like Phoenician; I recently got a copy of it), but this bronze cup
      > fills the bill nicely on its own.
      > Brian Colless,
      > Massey University, NZ
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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