March 29, 2014

Who Originally Lived in North America?

An arctic ice bridge is one way ancient settlers may have visited America tens of thousands of years before modern voyages. Evidence suggests native migration patterns followed ancient routes through Alaska and as far south as Colorado following the mountain range. With that in mind, it wouldn't be too much further, all considering, to venture into Central and South America as well, let alone spread out toward the Eastern countryside. Further examination of those 40,000 year old migration routes will help us understand the paths our ancestors followed to eventually build the foundations of the western world. We know there was a thriving human population in North America long before it was claimed as a new world by European explorers.

Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah by David JolleyTheories on Aztec origins for example, the mythical homeland of Aztlan, talk of a a great white land as the cultural point of origin. This pinpoints much further north than Mexica establishments in Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco after their arrival in Central America. Tracing through ancient maps, university professor Armando Sol-rzano believes the location could be in northern Utah. By the narrative, it's quite possible someone may interpret salt flats as a white land. Similar theories identify historic sites much further north, into Canada, to be part of the great land of white where the Aztecs originated. The naming of an Indian settlement in Wisconsin, Aztalan, is meant to represent the location we find in ancient lore, but artifacts found at the site later suggest a different tribe established the fort.

Further ideas bolster this concept by suggesting the critical similarities in creation myths between various ancient Indian tribes may have started from one source, only then to develop slight differences over time as tribes split off. Future archaeological evidence may confirm these theories by placing ancient cultures in the areas at the correct time. There is an interesting connection to the  40,000 year old Siberian-Arctic North American migration routes, and a sudden growth in human population, known as the second wave in expansion. The first wave dates to around 60,000 years ago as the time when modern humans began to migrate out of Africa to Asia, Europe and Australia. The second wave of population growth is thought to attributed to an adaptation for colder climate survival.

Migraciones humanas en haplogrupos mitocondriales

DNA migration mapping shows us macrohaplogroup M (ABCDX) followed an ancient route across the ice bridge between 10,000 to 30,000 years ago. On the same map, we see A concentrating in Central America, north United States, and northern Canada; with a smaller concentration residing in the Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico area. Given this evidence, it looks like Sol-rzano is on the right track by investigating Utah for the Aztec's place of origination. However, with the same DNA evident much further north, it remains to be determined if the great land of white refers to salt flats or snow.

March 3, 2014

Who Built the Pyramids?

A brief documentary by Zahi Hawass, head of Egyptian antiquities, examined exactly who built the pyramids. Hawass talks about a burial chamber found in proximity to Giza which he calls a worker's tomb. From the evidence, accordingly, the workers were treated similar to royalty as far as burial method, that they were not slaves or treated as slaves. An online article about this discovery claims it took 10,000 workers, who ate 21 cattle and 23 sheep sent to them daily, more than 30 years to complete the construction. According to a bone study, most of the workers had significant cases of arthritis and lower vertebrae problems. 

The numbers state pyramid building was fueled by at least 229,950 cattle and 251,850 sheep over the 30 year period. On average in 2013 by the USDA livestock report,  consumers in the US ate roughly 0.0086 cattle, and 0.000675 sheep per person. Might add in here too, 0.0326 average pigs were also consumed per person during the period for reference. Pyramid builders averaged to 0.77 cattle and 0.84 sheep per person per year. This means Egyptian workers were comparatively and significantly, very much, well-fed for their efforts. On the other hand, it's quite possible either a number of workers are not accounted for, or there is a discrepancy in the food consumption numbers found in worker tomb hieroglyphs. Extra protein would be necessary for the work labor involved, however, does that necessarily equate to 3 lbs or more meat per day, per person?

As far as evidence of the building itself, again, Egyptian Antiquities tells us hieroglyphs in the tombs of workers and pharaohs explain the story, yet those stories often talk about the daily lives of workers, not specifically about the pyramid building itself. To me, I think this is where part of the problem is in deciphering true origination. Maybe the workers were responsible for renovating, not building the pyramids, as perhaps another culture built them long before the Egyptians. I agree, that if no solid evidence has been uncovered to show the Egyptians building pyramids, or a process thereof, how can Egyptology support the claim?

Perhaps by this, maybe it truly is that Egyptians inherited the pyramids instead of building them. They became the keepers of passed knowledge, the proprietors of masonry on an extreme scale. Given the tireless research performed by Egyptian Antiquities, I would like to believe they are correct in asserting the Egyptians built the pyramids. However, there is enough evidence, or lack thereof, to suggest alternative possibilities. It does seem very odd, on many levels, to build such monumental structures and not document how that happened. A discovery one day will likely change all of what we know about the Egyptians in a heartbeat, or maybe, the discovery has already happened and it's being kept from general public knowledge.

The closest evidence pointing toward Egyptians constructing the pyramids comes from a stone stele on the island of Sehel. Carved into the rock is Pharaoh Zoser, Imhotep, and God Khnum, who are associated with the first step pyramids built. Interesting it is, that even this monument brings controversial issues, considering no where is it mentioned the types of construction materials required or anything about building methods and quarry locations. There is a list of minerals in Zoser's dream to build monuments, but the list does not mention limestone, sandstone, or granite.