Re: [Precolumbian_Inscriptions] Re: maya in ga?
Glad you appreciated the bits about the Natchez. It had been something I'd never thought about, but Ed Grondine had the full text of du Pratz's account in his book "Man and Impact in the Americas", and I thought it made a lot of sense.
At the same time, when you first think about it, it seems counter intuitive that migrations would be out of Mesoamerica northward, since the original migration into the Americas was out of the northwest, southward. Paleo-Indians coming down from Beringia would not likely set out across to the east, because staying along the coast afforded them fish and reasonable hunting. Eastward were mountains and - if they got far inland enough - desert and scablands. It would not have been the most enticing direction. (In the 1800s, if Lewis & Clark and then the Gold Rush had not given people a reasonable goal on the far side of the Great Plains, would anyone have ever set out across it?)
The farther south the trans-Beringians trekked the better then climate became, if they stayed along the coast. By the time they reached Mexico, the lands eastward were not so imposing. The mountains were less intimidating, and the climate inland is some of the best in the world. There are scores and scores of indigenous peoples in current-day Mexico, suggesting that groups of people decided to just stay where they were, while others continued southward. Panama - if it was anything like today - would have presented more or less a stopping point for most who still had wanted to explore farther southward.
But as someone who has spent a decent amount of time in central Mexico and along the Pacific coast, I'd say that Mesoamerica was definitely the place to stop and put down roots. For any of you who (like I used to) think that Mexico is a big hot, dusty desert until you get to the hot, steamy jungle of the Yucatan, nothing can be further from the truth. The climate of the Central Valley of Mexico is a close second to the climate of Hawaii. It is as close to heaven on Earth as is possible to get, climate-wise. With its volcanic soils, it is also exceedingly fecund.
It makes perfect sense to me that some of the most developed cities on Earth 1,000 years ago were in Mexico. Populations would increase where agriculture was most successful. Along the coasts north of Mexico there was only a thin strip of good land between the Pacific and the desert, except perhaps inland from San Fransisco bay along the Russian River. But Mexico offered a much greater agricultural upside than anyplace else.
At the same time, it also makes sense that, over time, there would be trouble in paradise, and that some would find reason to leave for other shores. Putting myself in their shoes, what would I have done, if the neighboring cities became too aggressive?
The Natchez account shows that some just took off in search of a less threatening place to call home. The Huastecans in NE Mexico, with the Aztecs/Teotihuacans dominating the center and south, the obvious direction to migrate would be northward. That may seem to be counter-intuitive, that migratinos would be to the north, when the main migration was FROM the north. But this was several thousand years later. It might also be the BEST route to the eastern part of North America. It was not so likely that many would endure the Rocky Mountains and the Great American Desert which was the Great Plains. It may have taken a few millennia, but going around to the south makes some sense.
(Yes, there is evidence of hunters in Clovis, NM and other areas of the Great Plains. But at the same time, agriculture was not possible, not without trekking another thousand miles to the east from Clovis - and how many would have made that journey willingly? A few did, because we have sites in PA and VA. And those might have populated those areas - but evidently that didn't happen. Population centers didn't happen until the Olmecs, thousand miles to the south and thousands of years later.)
For the Mayans, with Panama being again a bit of a barrier, and with the Aztecs/Teotihuacans to the west and north on the mainland, their evacuation choices would have seemed limited. Going north on the mainland would have taken them right into the Huastecan areas then being invaded and harrassed - right into the teeth of it, in fact - so that direction was not available. And if they did have the large boats on the coast of the Yucatan spoken of in the article, I am sure the captains of the ships would have experience of Cuba (only 75 miles from the mainland) and - very likely even knowledge of a large land beyond Cuba. It would have been no great sailing feat to take a seaworthy boat to Florida for refugees seeking an escape from the aggressors to their west.
Once there, Florida would have fairly closely fit the climate of those who lived in the Yucatan very nicely. People looking for a new place would most likely try to find a land with a climate that approximates that in the land they came from; they would have brought seeds of crops and they would need a similar climate for those crops. Certainly it is possible that some would have remained in Cuba, eventually to populate the other Caribbean islands. The Taino that Columbus found surely must have come originally from the mainland, either of South America or the Yucatan. Those who stayed the course northward would have found a land as inviting as the one they'd come from. The elevated area in and around the Great Smokies has a climate much milder than the Yucatan, Florida or the eastern coastal plains of Georgia and the Carolinas. I can see why the journey would end there for those who eventually built Etowah and Yupaha/Brasstown Bald. Even if it was too cold for their Yucatan crops, they would have found good hunting and other domesticatable plants. At the same time, the terraces at Brasstown Bald suggest grains that need flat terrain, and perhaps they were able to adapt their plants well enough.
Nothing of what I just wrote is backed up by a whole lot except my imagination. But as far as migrations go, that one wouldn't have been one of the more difficult ones.
--- In Precolumbian_Inscriptions@yahoogroups.com, "dcampbell75479" <fred-dobbs@...> wrote:
> Interesting comments on the Natchez and Huastecans. A few years back a friend on another list sent me a book containing many Indian origin traditions and the Natchez were treated at some length. This was the first time I remember reading anything conclusive about Mesoamerican migrations, though I had always strongly suspected contact based upon artifacts and motifs. In reviewing some very vintage copies of the Texas Archeological Bulletins, I found that the Mesoamerican/Southeast Temple Mound Builders connection was being made back in the early '30's. I think such contact is now accepted by many, though not to the extent that this article suggests. The modification of existing stone formations makes more sense than outright megalithic architecture. The Mayas did much the same throughout thier heartland which was full of limestone hills and caverns. Architectural modification of similar features in North America dates back to Paleoindian times.
> --- In Precolumbian_Inscriptions@yahoogroups.com, "bigalemc2" sgtti@ wrote:
> > I agree wholeheartedly. Cool item.
> > Something vague in my head from reading of Cayce and the mound builders
> > a good while back is that some the peoples of the Yucatan moved up did
> > move to SE the U.S. I may be wrong on that, so I will look it up if I
> > can. What the timing was, I can't recall, but I will find it out.
> > I was happy to see the mention of the Natchez in the article. A Natchez
> > chief in the 1700s told a French fur trader, du Prez I think his name
> > was, that the Natchez came up from the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains
> > in E/NE Mexico, around northern Veracruz or Tamaulipas (also mentioned
> > in the article), where they had gotten tired of defending themselves
> > for a long time against the Aztecs/Teohtihuacans. Again, the timing I
> > will have to look up, but I am virtually certain it was right in that
> > time period or very close.
> > The Natchez settled around Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in and
> > around the waterways, up to Arkansas - kind of close to northern Georgia
> > but not quite. And the Natchez were almost certainly Huastecans, not
> > Mayans.
> > I do think the Natchez princes were referred to as "Great Suns," which
> > is mentioned in the article, too.
> > I am also encouraged that the archeologists discuss the abandonment of
> > the Mayan cities, too. Just speculating, but it seems they may have
> > been hassled by the Teotihuacans, too, and may have left for the same
> > reason the Natchez did. Being as their cities had no fortifications
> > (not that I know of), they would have been very vulnerable. At least
> > the Natchez had the mountains, so they used them to fight off the
> > invaders from their SW. The Mayans didn't have any natural defenses.
> > Yeah, this is a really good development!
> > Steve Garcia
> > P.S. Do also read the sequel at Mayas in the U.S. controversy - You be
> > the juror
> > <http://www.examiner.com/architecture-design-in-national/mayas-the-usa-c\
> > ontroversy-you-be-the-juror?cid=PROD-redesign-right-next> . I threw my
> > two cents in!
> > --- In Precolumbian_Inscriptions@yahoogroups.com, "dcampbell75479"
> > <fred-dobbs@> wrote:
> > >
> > > That's a fascinating article, Mike. I ran across it yesterday at
> > another list. About a year ago I corresponded with Richard Thornton on a
> > project of mine. He has a whole slew of similar articles on the Examiner
> > which I suggest you check out.
> > >
> > > --- In Precolumbian_Inscriptions@yahoogroups.com, aumsparky@ wrote:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > mayan ruins near blairsville, ga
> > > >
> > > >
> > http://www.examiner.com/architecture-design-in-national/massive-1-100-ye\
> > ar-old-maya-site-discovered-georgia-s-mountains
> > > >
> > > > mike
> > > >
> > >
- Mike -
Good point about Tulum.
One has to think that - whether they planned it or not - they would
quickly have seen that from the top of the pyramids they could see a
long way. And no society that has enemies could not see the advantage
of having a high perspective.
This strongly suggests that one of the primary reasons for pyramids was
as a vantage point, a crow's nest on land. And like in The Lord of The
Rings, using them for signal fires could not be long in coming. I have
no idea if there is evidence for fires atop pyramids with flat tops. I
kind of doubt the evidence was there or someone would have mentioned it.
All we hear about is rituals.
But as vantage points, fires weren't necessary, but I won't drop the
idea until I have proven it wrong to my satisfaction.
Having the tops be above the trees not only gives the perspective of
looking down like gods, but it also allows seeing long ways across the
Yucatan, over the trees. Yet, there is not much to see except trees -
and other pyramids - and perhaps the smoke from fires of anyone camping
As an ancient version of the Pony Express or the telegraph, you couldn't
do any better. It would even justify building them.
I would not be mentioning this, except I have never heard of any thought
put into this, so I thought I'd put it out there.
If we consider the ancient peoples as practical in the slightest, we
have to consider what WE would do with certain structures that we find.
Yes, the Christian white guys who started archeology decided that the
ancients were all mumbo-jumbo fearing numb nuts. But we here don't.
So, if we had something taller than the trees, what would we utilize it
for? Just because the 19th century arkies had no imagination doesn't
mean we can't. And just because archeology is - amazingly - still stuck
in the thinking of those religious dummies, well, that isn't our doing.
My vote goes to them using them for signalling between complexes. Once
they were up there, they could NOT have not seen that potential.
SOMEBODY had to have seen the potential.
--- In Precolumbian_Inscriptions@yahoogroups.com, <aumsparky@...> wrote:
> hi david, all
> i reposted the link that was put on ancient-mysteries. brasstown
bald and blairsville are probably within 30 miles from my home at
franklin, nc. unfortunately, my legs are no longer up to the rigors
needed to hike up to the site.
> apparently, some of the maya escaped the general revolt of the
masses, and may have taken boats from tulum. they may have come inland
on the savanah river.
> i dont recall the particulars, but some relics from the mound in
franklin may have related to the maya. this may be how bamboo was
carried into this region.
> ive travelled much in asia in the last 9 years. im hoping to
explore the andes and mexico next.
> i will look for authors other articles.
> happy holidays
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: dcampbell75479
> To: Precolumbian_Inscriptions@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 1:43 PM
> Subject: [Precolumbian_Inscriptions] Re: maya in ga?
> That's a fascinating article, Mike. I ran across it yesterday at
another list. About a year ago I corresponded with Richard Thornton on a
project of mine. He has a whole slew of similar articles on the Examiner
which I suggest you check out.
> --- In Precolumbian_Inscriptions@yahoogroups.com, aumsparky@ wrote:
> > mayan ruins near blairsville, ga
> > mike