Saturday, November 05, 2011

Diffusionistic Fantasies IIc
Thor Heyerdahl, Part Three

Sacred Sun stone (Intihuatani)
Machu Picchu Peru

In two previous postings I went through Thor Heyerdahl’s listing of reasons to believe that there was significant cultural diffusion between the Old and New World before Columbus. Here I will go through the last 14 items in Thor Heyerdahl’s list and then wrap up with a few conclusions.
41. A round disk with a centrally placed human head with its tongue out and with the periphery of the disk divided by markers into sixteen equal parts.
42. Great importance in religious art of mythical figures illustrated as human beings with bird heads, and the frequent representation of those bird-men as captains or passengers on reed vessels, or as seamen pulling reed boats through the water with long ropes.
43. The occurrence also in both areas of another mythical figure with a human body and limbs but a feline head.
44. The same three animals as royal symbols: the snake, the bird of prey, and the feline. In both areas the snake is sometimes illustrated with projecting horns. The eagle of the Old World is substituted by the condor in the New World, and the lion of the Old World by the puma in the New.1
No. 41 is of interest in that once again Thor Heyerdahl just doesn’t get it. The circle or disk is universal among human cultures and so is depicting the human head in the centre of a circle. After all there is the common Christian motif of the head of St. John the Baptist on a circular disk. The image of a human head with its tongue sticking out is a particularly bad example in that this image is ubiquitous in the Americas and goes back a very long way. Further a human head with its tongue sticking out is also a rather obvious image of death, given that humans very often when dead have their mouth open with their tongues sticking out. As for a disk of this type divided by markers into 16 parts. I merely note Thor Heyerdahl does not give a reference or an illustration. No doubt he looked long and hard for something that resembled something in the Old World. I further note he does not give indication how common this sort of thing is. But then if you look for similarities and you have a vast number of things to compare you will find objects that resemble each other by simple coincidence.2

No. 42 is of a similar nature. Thor Heyerdahl is once again thinking of Egypt with its common motif of the bird headed figure, more especially the ibis headed god of learning and wisdom Thoth. Thor Heyerdahl refers to the image of the bird headed god as a frequent figure on reed vessels etc. This image of course does exist. However in the New World this image is not “frequent”. Thor Heyerdahl is referring to large extent to images of figures on Moche pottery that show figures on boats. Aside from the question of that the boats are not reed boats most of the time, the fact is the great majority of time the figures on the boats do not have bird heads. It appears for example that boats used by coastal Peruvians were not usualy made of reeds, but were raft like constructions and the Mexicans used dugout canoes or canoe like boats.  Reed boats were almost always very small among the costal Peruvian peoples.  Further moderate sized to large reed boats seem to be confined to lake Titicaca and a few other places. Also Thor Heyerdahl is likely referring to the God Quetzalcoatl in his guise of Ehecatl god of the winds. In his guise of the wind god Quetzalcoatl wears a duck bill mask. I note the figure does not look like an Old World bird headed god and it is a mask that the god wears. Of course pulling reed boats by ropes is just obvious and banal.3

Of course given that birds are worldwide it is likely that the concept of assimilating bird features to human bodies goes back a long way. No diffusion required. I further note no Egyptian artifacts have been found in a pre-Columbian context. And once again Thor Heyerdahl fails to give references, sources or a specific example.4

No. 43 is simply risible. Mexico and Peru have the Jaguar and Puma, big cats, just like the Old World had the Lion. Once again assimilating the Puma / Jaguar to the Human body seems obvious. Further the idea of the human / cat mix is part of the world wide tradition of Shamanistic transformation by which a Shaman transforms him / herself into an animal in this case a cat. Thor Heyerdahl is largely thinking about the human-Jaguar figures that are found frequently in Olmec sculpture and images. Aside from the considerable iconographic differences between those images and Old World images of human / cat combinations. These images it seems are likely images of Shamanistic transformation. Certainly the images of infant human / jaguar has little parallel in the Old World. Oh and Olmec figures of the human / cat “hybrid” do not show just a cat head on a human body but a whole range of features from only a touch of feline features to almost wholly feline. Thus likely indicating shamanistic transformation.5

No. 44 is also risible. Thor Heyerdahl mentions that the condor and puma replaced the Lion and Eagle in the New World. While aside from the fact eagles occur in the New World. Just why would Old World conqueror settlers replace those images with local ones? Why would they not retain the Old World images? After all the Chinese retained as an imperial symbol the entirely mythical 5 and 4 fingered dragon, despite the fact it does not exist. The fact that these are local animals argues for local origin.

Finally his statement, that the snake, bird of prey and feline were royal symbols in the New World is simple distortion. Frequently they were sacred symbols although not always. For example the Inca royal symbol was the disk of the sun. The snake was associate with various Gods in the New World, most especially with the feathered serpent that symbolized Quetzalcoatl.

The bird of prey was associated among the Mexicans with various warrior cults. And the Feline was associated with shamanistic practices and, religion and warrior cults also. Condors among the Inca’s were associated with implacable justice not necessarily with royalty.

Thor Heyerdahl just states that these were royal symbols therefore conflating religious symbols with symbols of royal authority and further does so despite the fact that the archaeological evidence that supplies the great majority of these finds seems to amply demonstrate the religious basis of these symbols does not indicate that they were just royal symbols. In fact the religious meaning of these symbols was more extensive than their royal symbolism. It appears that Royalty used those symbols in their religious practice which is far from making them royal symbols per say.6
45. The plumed serpent as a symbol of the supreme god and ancestor of the Royal dynasty. (The snake with feather-covered body or wings reoccurs in religious art from Mesopotamia and Hittite Syria to Egypt, Mexico and Peru.)
46. The belt of certain deities and important personages represented as double-headed snakes, and the importance of double-headed birds and mammals in symbolic art.
47. The idea of sometimes illustrating supernatural beings with three-fingered hands.
48. The understanding of the zero concept and its application in mathematical calculations.7
Regarding no. 45. The plumed serpent, Quetzalcoatl was never the supreme god in Mexico that role was taken by Tezcatlipoca, although the creator Gods were Two Lord and Two Lady, and among the Maya the supreme god was Itzamnaaj Neither was a plumed serpent the supreme god among the Inca. Instead it was Viracocha. Further what royal dynasty is Thor Heyerdahl referring to? The Inca royal family claimed descent from the Sun god. The Aztec royal family apparently didn’t claim divine descent. Some of the royal families of Mexico did claim descent from a ruler of Tula in the 12th century C.E. (A.D.), who had been assimilated to some degree with the god Quetzalcoatl. But note the time period c. 1150-1200 C.E. This is c. 2400 years after the supposed arrival of the culture bearers in Thor Heyerdahl’s scheme. The serpent with the feather covered body is actually not very common in Peruvian art, certainly compared to Mexican art. Further this symbol is also a lot less prevalent in Egyptian and Mesopotamian art. Oh and Hittite Syria was after 1200 B.C.E., and didn’t have a cultural flourishing until c. 1000 B.C.E. So what does it have to do with America of c. 1200 B.C.E.? Once again Thor Heyerdahl distorts. He also once again fails to provide a specific references. I am also rather intrigued by the notion that any dynasty of the Old World traced itself back to a feathered covered serpent.8

In no. 46 Thor Heyerdahl refers to double headed serpent bars. Although he does not mention it specifically I think he is referring to the serpent bars of the Maya, which do indeed seem to be a sort of royal symbol. Aside from ignoring the fact that these figures that we have date from well after the birth of Christ thus more than 1200 years after the arrival of Thor Heyerdahl’s culture bearers there is an additional snag in the idea. The so called double headed serpent bars are in fact representations of a common poisonous centipede in the forests occupied by the Maya. Oh and double headed birds etc., aside from being in the end rather banally obvious were not common in symbolic art in the Americas. The doubled headed serpent bar was very common in classical Mayan art but as I said the serpent is actually a centipede.9

No. 47 is just trivial. I suspect that Thor Heyerdahl is confusing drawing a hand with a thumb and three other fingers. Drawing a thumb with two fingers is much rarer but even so rather capable of independent invention. Was Thor Heyerdahl ever aware of the common practice among many drawers, especially cartoonists to draw hands with four fingers because it is easier than drawing a hand with five. I note he says “sometimes”, which indicates the trait is not common. Once again Thor Heyerdahl does not give an example. Thor Heyerdahl again uses a fairly obvious similarity that does not require diffusion.10

In no. 48 Thor Heyerdahl brings out the big guns. He of course neglects to mention that the Mesoamerican system of numerals is vigesimal, (20 based) which has no parallel in any of the cultures that Thor Heyerdahl says came the conquerors of the New World c. 1200 B.C.E. This of course argues for independent invention. Further he ignores that the zero used by the Babylonians looks nothing like the Mesoamerican zero. To give an example the Mayan zero. Neither does the vertical placement system of the Maya have much similarity. We have little evidence of anyone else but the Babylonians using the system and little evidence of its use outside of various schools in Babylonia. Further the development of an actual symbol for zero among the Babylonians seems to have occurred after 1000 B.C.E. So just who would bring it over? Certainly not the invaders of 1200 B.C.E. postulated by Thor Heyerdahl. It seems to be the case that the zero was independently invented in the New World. Oh and Thor Heyerdahl’s comment about its use in calculations is inspired. The zero was devised to do mathematical calculations, because it made doing the calculations that were already being done easier. So guessing that it might be useful would not have to taught but would be self-evident without being told.11
49. The importance of the first century of the third millennium B.C. as an ancestral beginning.
50. The selection of the first annual reappearance of the same stellar constellation, the Pleiades, as the beginning of a new year even though it is not inspired by seasonal reasons because of differences in geographical latitudes.
51. The remarkably high standard of the calendar system based on the most exact astronomical knowledge. Whereas open countryside’s like those of Mesopotamia or Egypt, with their extremely dry climate, would be ideal for uninterrupted observations of the stars, the Olmec on the Gulf of Mexico could hardly see the sky for jungle trees and tropical clouds, and their local evolution of a calendar system would seem anomalous as their choice of dry-land sandals and gowns for life in a muddy jungle.
52. The custom of lashing the round and painted combat shields of the warriors in a continuous row along the gunwales of navigating ships. (Phoenician custom also illustrated in the Mayo frescoes at Chichen Itza depicting the vessels arriving with a crew of yellow-haired men.)
53. The appearance on both sides of the Atlantic of the same favorite kind of watercraft: ocean-going reed ships with sickle-shaped, maritime lines, a composite bundle body ingeniously lashed together with a continuous spiral cord, and a canvas sail hoisted on a double-legged mast straddling the two main reed bundles.12
No. 49. Is Thor Heyerdahl once again cherry picking an interesting fact? In this case the beginning of the Mayan long count. Thor knew that the date that began the Mayan long count was in 3114 B.C.E. Although that in fact the date was not the beginning of the Long Count but of the Mayan's abbreviated way of usually writing the date. Since this seemed to be associated with, at least in Thor Heyerdahl’s mind, with the beginning of 1st dynasty of Egypt. I note that Thor Heyerdahl somewhat muffs it a bit referring to the “first century of the third millennium B.C.”, which is the period 3000-2900 B.C.E. The problem is that the long count number is in fact a short hand for a much larger number that actually start trillions upon trillions of years in the past. Rather than write the full number the Mayans wrote the last five usually. So it appears that the coincidence is in fact just that a coincidence and not regarded by the Mayans as a “beginning”. I further note that the evidence from other New World cultures that they regarded this time period as an ancestral beginning is weak to nonexistent.13

In number 50, we have another boring idea. The fact is all over the world the rising of the Pleiades is considered the beginning of the year among many cultures. Diffusion is not necessary.14

No. 51 is one of those reasons where Thor Heyerdahl both argues from incredulity and says basically the natives could not learn anything. The alleged fact that jungle and weather would prevent observation of the sky just shows that Thor Heyerdahl lacks patience. All it does is make it more difficult. The fact that Thor Heyerdahl seems to be unaware that jungle can be cleared permitting an unobstructed view of the sky is also forgotten. Thor Heyerdahl just seems to forget that the native Americans may simply have been more patient. Of course Thor Heyerdahl also forgets about things like the dry season in both the Mayan region and the gulf coast, where the sky would have been relatively unobstructed. In fact the dry season in the Yucatan is quite drastic. Also we have very little about the Olmec calendar system except that it seems to be ancestor to the Mexican and Mayan one. The Maya, if their inscriptions are anything to go by, assiduously observed the sky and made detailed observational records. It is likely the Olmecs did also. That Thor Heyerdahl seems to think that the whole calendar system was imported intact and then forever unchanged from the Old World says more about his biases against the intellectual abilities of native Americans than anything else. I further note the Mesoamericans had the rather anomalous 260 day sacred calendar, which has no parallels elsewhere, and which Thor Heyerdahl does not mention. If they could devise that system with its cycles within the actual year they could devise a full calendar. So of course Thor Heyerdahl does not mention it. I finally note that the deserts of coastal Peru are clear of clouds practically all the time which given Thor Heyerdahl’s biases must mean they could have developed a calendar by themselves.15

In no, 52 Thor Heyerdahl talks about another trivial comparison. First the boats the warriors are fighting in are canoes and hanging shields off the side is rather obvious to both get them out of the way and provide protection. Also this mural is more than 1500 years, (painted c. 1000 C.E.) after the Phoenicians. So the connection is rather tenuous. I further note that yellow haired men, are wearing absolutely traditional Mayan dress. As for the yellow hair? Well aside from indicating Thor Heyerdahl’s fixation of hair color as an indication of race, he neglects that the paint colors may have deteriorated. Further the scene in the painting depicts warfare at about the time 1000 C.E., and there is no indication of Europeans or Old World people in the Mayan region at this time.16

The reed boats mentioned in no. 53. Suffer as is all too common from Thor Heyerdahl’s inflation and exaggeration. Thor Heyerdahl compared Egyptian and Mesopotamian reed boats with modern reed boats in the New World. Note the time disparity, c. 5000 years. Just how “common” was the reed boat in Mesoamerica for long distant travel In coastal Peru small reed boats / rafts were used for fishing, trade was done with Balsa rafts frequently with sails. Apparently not at all. Was the large reed boat used for large scale sea and oceanic transportation in the Old World c. 1200 B.C.E. or later. It appears not. Was it ever in the Old World a favorite means of oceanic / sea travel at any time? That is debatable. And certainly for the New World we do not find the reed boat used for large scale transportation at any time, with the exception of perhaps lake Titicaca. Again we do not find such evidence. All we have are painted ships on Moche pottery (after 200 C.E.), that indicate reed rafts, not boats, that Thor Heyerdahl interprets as reed ships. And for Mesoamerica not even that. Thor Heyerdahl does not explain why they would use reed ships in 1200 B.C.E. Certainly in the Old World they were using wooden ships then. So it is amazing that the Mesoamericans forgot the use of the sail and apparently forgot the way to build wooden ships and it appears large reed ships.

In fact it is a bit strange that in 1200 B.C.E. invaders from the Old World would use large reed boats at all. And since we have no evidence that c. 1200 B.C.E. in the Americas anyone was using large reed boats the point is far from proven that there is a connection.

Meanwhile in Peru some of the coastal people did use sails. But they had sea going rafts and apparently had forgotten how to build wooden ships. In fact the only thing Thor Heyerdahl has going for him in this rather far-fetched idea is the similarity of building techniques in building a large reed boat. In this case between lake Chad builders and lake Titicaca. It is an interesting similarity but in the end that is all it is. There is nothing to show a connection. I note that all the excavations on the Peruvian coast have failed to the remains of a large reed boat.17

But then Thor Heyerdahl misses a lot. Perhaps the most damning indication of Thor Heyerdahl’s lack of scholarship is his inability to see a problem with what the invaders would have brought with them that incredibly failed to appear in the New World if they in fact had arrived.

As mentioned in an earlier posting the utter failure of these invaders to bring the bow and arrow. There is not a single solitary representation of a bow, or the remains of same, to be found in the Americas until well after the birth of Christ and it seems to have diffused from Asia over the Bering strait. Thor Heyerdahl’s mythological invaders came from a culture in the Old Word where the bow was a common military weapon and used in hunting. In the bowless New World it would have given them an enormous military advantage over the natives aside from being useful to hunt with. Yet unaccountably these bow rich cultures left it behind, or if they brought it they forgot it very quickly leaving not trace. this is absurd.18

The number of such absurdities can be multiplied easily. What these invaders left behind or forgot quickly is remarkable and frankly incredible if as Thor Heyerdahl alleges they came in numbers large enough to conquer Mesoamerica and Peru. They also failed to bring over such things as the pig and wheat. Bronze also mysteriously disappeared from their tool shelf and iron never arrived, along with the horse. I could go on.

What Thor Heyerdahl did was pile up similarities. The idea being that the sheer number of similarities would make up for the sheer dubiousness of each one separately. This is common technique of Diffusionistic thinkers. The idea is that if one similarity is dubious then piling up, say, 10 dubious similarities makes a strong case. The idea seems to be that ten bad arguments is a good argument, whereas one bad argument remains a bad argument. Unfortunately piling up bad arguments doesn’t transform a bunch of bad arguments into a good one, by force of numbers. Bad arguments do not reinforce each other by multiplication. The argument remains as weak as ever.

Thus Thor Heyerdahl’s similarities remain just that similarities and generally not very good ones at that.

Also Thor Heyerdahl plowed the well worn and quite inaccurate myth of the "White Gods" as the creators of civilization in the New World. Thus he bought the whole mythos of the returning "White God". It appears that native Americans did in fact have no such myths of "White God", culture bringers.19 

Further Thor Heyerdahl used the well-worn polemical route of fighting against the allegedly dogmatic establishment. It is a sure polemical device but not the slightest bit proof that the dissenter is right.

What Thor neglected was that given the vast amounts of cultural artifacts both, material and ideational, that exist in each culture if you look hard enough you will find similarities even amazing, stunning similarities that beggar belief. Of course the fact that these cultures are the creation of the same biological species would I would think lead inevitably to similarities from that alone. Why Thor Heyerdahl thought that the similarities he found were of greater import than other traits that showed no such similarities and in fact significant differences is of interest but that is what he did.

That Thor Heyerdahl ignored as mentioned the almost total lack of correspondence between New World and Old World agriculture in terms of plant cultigens. Maize, Potatoes etc., in the New World; Wheat, Rice, etc., in the Old World. That alone would argue for independent development.

I have already mentioned some of the glaring technical differences and problems. Like the bow and arrow, and bronze. But there are more.

Thor Heyerdahl’s model for the spread of civilization to the New World c. 1200 B.C.E., is clearly and consciously modeled after the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Peru and it clearly indicates a similar attitude that outsiders, who Thor Heyerdahl seem to like to think as blond / red headed with blue eyes, brought civilization to the benighted natives. That this mythos is similar to late 19th century racist attitudes is obvious. I note that these invaders managed to quite effectively to clean up after themselves, not a single Old World artifact that would have been brought by them has been found.

Of course the discoveries in coastal Peru that have put back the origin of high culture to before 2500 B.C.E or even it seems 3000 B.C.E., have put paid to the idea of Thor Heyerdahl’s culture bringers associated with the Sea People. The fact that Olmec civilization has been pushed back to c. 1600 B.C.E. hasn’t helped Thor Heyerdahl’s thesis either.20

It appears that the Old World had little or no influence on the process that created New World civilization. Any evidence for influence on the course and development seems tenuous at best. The lack of Old World artifacts in a pre-Columbian context counts against the idea.

Also so many of the similarities that Thor Heyerdahl piles up are absurd trivialities, that are at once both obvious and banal. Like the use of adobe - mud brick. Thor Heyerdahl seems to have contempt for human intelligence and in this case native American intelligence. This is indicated by his comments about jungle trees making observation of the sky difficult or impossible and his assumption that the native calendar was brought entire to the New World. Of course one of Thor Heyerdahl’s earlier comments that “the erection of colossal structures with no practical function”21, has evidence of diffusion is stunningly absurd.

Also along with Thor Heyerdahl’s polemical tricks is an almost breathtaking, at times, ignorance. Like his apparent non-knowledge of Mayan observation of the Heavens. Thor Heyerdahl feeds all the data he has to feed his theory and ignores the rest, even when what he says is wrong, distorted or beside the point.

Thor Heyerdahl set himself up the straw man of the moderate middle, by setting up a straw man of isolationism and hyper-diffusion. If anything his theory is hyper-diffusionism.

Genetic studies have also not been good to Thor Heyerdahl’s theory in that they seem to show no significant inroads by Old World peoples into the New World from 4000 B.C.E. to 1492 C.E.22 The Spanish left their mark on the Native Americans. Thor Heyerdahl’s invaders did not it seems.

Of course we still have some arresting similarities in material and ideational culture. So perhaps there was some influence but it is far from proven and seems to have been of only minor consequence in the development of New World Civilizations. In the end the idea that New World civilizations were largely of indigenous origin is much stronger today than it was when Thor Heyerdahl wrote his book.

It has been more than 30 years since Thor Heyerdahl published this book and if anything the extreme hyper-diffusion postulated by the book is more unlikely than ever.

On a closing note I would like to quote and reply to this comment:
Rather than classifying him [Thor Heyerdahl] as a pseudo historian it would be more fair and accurate to call him a careful scholar who sincerely holds some highly speculative hypotheses that are widely viewed as wrong.23
Thor Heyerdahl may have been a “careful scholar” some of the time but he did produce a large amount of pseudoscientific nonsense and in supporting that nonsense he was no “careful scholar”, but a slapdash and utterly careless. dogmatic writer all too often. When it was American Indians in the Pacific or Easter Island Thor Heyerdahl was anything but a “careful scholar” at times, instead all too often he was very much the pseudo-scientist. For example his last book about finding the “real” Odin is a perfect example of shoddy pseudo-scholarship.24

Feathered Serpent - Quetzalcoatl

1. Heyerdahl, Thor, Early Man and the Ocean, Vintage Books, New York, 1978, p. 90. My two previous postings are Here, and Here.

2. For many examples see Jones, David M, The Lost History of the Incas, Hermes House, New York, 2000, and Phillips, Charles, The Complete Illustrated History of the Aztec & Maya, Hermes House, New York, 2000. I note that the motif of the figure sticking its tongue out is also common in the art of the North West Coastal Indians. Another common motif is the figure with the clinched teeth, sometimes it is combined with the tongue sticking out.

3. For the Moche see von Hagen, Victor, Desert Kingdoms of Peru, Mentor Books, New York, 1964, Stone-Miller, Rebecca, Art of the Andes, Second Edition, Thames and Hudson, London, 2002, pp. 82-117, Davies, Nigel, The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru, Penguin Books, London, 1997, pp. 15-37, Moseley, Michael E, The Incas and Their Ancestors, Thames and Hudson, London, 1992, pp. 166-185, Miller, Mary, & Taube, Karl, An Illustrated Dictionary of The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya, Thames and Hudson, London, 1993, pp. 84-85.

4. Davies, Nigel, Voyagers to the New World, William Morrow and Co. Inc., New york, 1979, pp. 141-166.Wauchope, Robert, Lost Tribes & Sunken Continents, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962, pp. 7-27, Fritze, Ronald H, Invented Knowledge, Reaktion Books, London, 2009, pp. 63-103.

5. Diehl, Richard A., The Olmecs, Thames and Hudson, London, 2004, pp. 97-106.

6. See Miller et al, pp. 82-83, 103-104, 148-152, Jones, pp. 176-180. See also Schele, Linda, & Freidel, David, A Forest of Kings, William Morrow & Co. Inc, New York, 1990.

7. Heyerdahl, p. 90.

8. Stone, Andrea, & Zender, Marc, Reading Maya Art, Thames and Hudson, London, 2011, pp. 46-47, Jones, pp. 190-192, 208-211, Davies, 1997, pp. 108-136, Davies, Nigel, The Ancient Kingdoms of Mexico, Penguin Books, London, 1982, pp. 219-223, Gurney, O.R., The Hittites, Penguin Books, London, 1952, pp. 39-45.

9. Stone et al, pp. 178-179.

10. Does this have to be footnoted? See TV Tropes Here.

11. Roux, Georges, Ancient Iraq, Third Edition, Penguin Books, London, 1992, pp. 362-366, Ifrah, Georges, The Universal History of Numbers, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 2000, pp. 152-154, 297-322, Saggs, H.W.F., The Greatness that was Babylonia, Mentor Books, New York, 1962, pp. 424-425, Closs, Michael P, The Mathamatical Notation of the Ancient Maya, in Closs, Michael P, Editor, Native American Mathamatics, University of Texas, Austin, 1986, pp. 291-370. See also Payne, Stanley E, & Closs, Michael P, A Survey of Aztec Numbers and Their Uses, in Closs, pp. 213-236, and Ascher, Marcia, Mathematical Ideas of the Incas, in Closs, pp. 261-290. There is also a rather pointless piece arguing for the diffusion of the concept of the zero from the Old World to the New World by Seidenberg, A, The Zero in Mayan Numerical Notation, in Closs, pp. 371-386. Prof. Sidenberg seems to argue that being first means it diffused from there regardless of chronological or geographical differences. He further forgets about the differences in how the zero and the rest of the system looked or was structured. Also he engages in a polemical waste of time condemning those who disagree with him and gleefully pointing out how “wrong”, (in his opinion), they are. In other words one up man ship. He ignores the total lack of evidence, artifacts etc., for such contact. Seidenberg’s piece is just polemics.

12. Heyerdahl, pp. 90-91.

13. See Stuart, David, The Order of Days, Harmony Books, New York, 2011, p. 247. See also pp. 229-251 of Stuart.

14. Pleiades in Folklore and Literature Wikipedia Here, Krupp, E.C., A Sky for all Seasons, in Krupp, E.C., Editor, In Search of Ancient Astronomies, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978, pp. 1-37, at pp. 31-33.

15. Sharer, Robert J. & Traxler, Loa P., The Ancient Maya, Sixth Edition, Stanford University Press, Stanford CA, 2006, pp. 102-119, Schele et al, pp. 64-65.

16. Sharer et al, pp. 558-583.

17. Wauchope, pp. 103-114, Davies, 1978, pp. 57-59, von Hagan, pp. 129-135, Davies, pp. 77-79, 191-218, Wauchope, pp. 103-114, Diehl, pp. 89-94.

18. For an examination of the spread of the bow and arrow in the Americas see Hassig, Ross, War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica, University of California Press, Berkeley CA, 1992, pp. 119-121, 234 no. 64, 235-236 no.81.

19. For the absurdity of the "White God" mythos see Davies, 1978, pp. 125-140.

20. Diehl, pp. 25-28, Davies, pp. 115-118, Norte Chico Civilization, Wikipedia Here, Davies, 1982, pp. 21-30, 241-260, Jones p. 25.

21. Heyerdahl, p. 85.

22. Meltzer, David J., First Peoples in a New World, University of California Press, Berkeley CA, 2009, pp. 137-181, 321-344, Crawford, Michael H, The Origins of the Native Americans, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998, pp. 1-31, 260-261.

23. Fritze, p. 207.

24. Heyerdahl, Thor & Per Lillieström, Per, Jakten på Odin. På sporet av vår fortid (The Hunt for Odin, Examining our Past) Oslo, J.M. Stenersens forlag, 2001, Heyerdahl, Thor, American Indians in the Pacific, Allen & Unwin, London, 1952. For a devastating criticism of Thor Heyerdahl’s Odin ideas see a book review of that book by Even Hovdhaugen, Even, & Keller, Christian, & Mundal, Else, & Stalsberg, Anne, & Steinsland, Gro, Book Review, published originally in Norwegian in Maal og Minne, no. 1, 2002, pp. 98–109. I got this English version from the web. It is no longer available. I will send a copy to all that request it. For further insight see Davies, 1978, pp. 56-60, 191-218, Wauchope, pp. 103-114, Flenley John, & Bahn, Paul, The Enigmas of Easter Island, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002, pp. 27-60.

Pierre Cloutier

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