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Did ancient native American seafarers cross


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#1    Abramelin

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:15 PM

Did ancient native American seafareres cross the Atlantic?

What we always hear and read about is whether people living in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East may have crossed the Atlantic and came in contact with and influenced ancient American cultures.

Now would it not be nice to give these ancient Americans some credit too, and think of the possibility it was they who crossed the Atlantic in the opposite direction, and not the afore mentioned peoples??

If you read the next texts, it is certainly not impossible, but just based on their seafaring and navigational capabilities:

Here's an 'eye-watering' site:
http://mayannation.c...chontalmaya.htm

or as two pdf's (recommended if your eyes are not that young anymore, lol):

http://www.newworlde...yaSeafarers.pdf
http://www.newworlde...rg/PrhstNWE.pdf


(this thread was inspired by my own post in another thread:
http://www.unexplain...dpost&p=3296887 , heh )

Edited by Abramelin, 20 February 2010 - 03:19 PM.


#2    Clobhair-cean

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:26 PM

Why would they do such a thing? The Europeans went to America because Eurasia has an East-West orientation and they wanted a quicker trade route to the other side. The Americas are oriented North-South so it would make no sense for its inhabitants to just go off across the Atlantic.


#3    Abramelin

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:32 PM

View PostClobhair-cean, on 20 February 2010 - 03:26 PM, said:

Why would they do such a thing? The Europeans went to America because Eurasia has an East-West orientation and they wanted a quicker trade route to the other side. The Americas are oriented North-South so it would make no sense for its inhabitants to just go off across the Atlantic.

Does curiosity and the desire to explore make sense?

People all over the world have crossed the oceans and migrated across the continents.


#4    Clobhair-cean

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:39 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 20 February 2010 - 03:32 PM, said:

Does curiosity and the desire to explore make sense?

People all over the world have crossed the oceans and migrated across the continents.


People have sane goals. I don't know of any explorers who just went into the complete unknown not looking for anything in particular. Especially head into an ocean that could just as well be endless. Explorers need something to gain from the trip, not just a distant possibility that they won't die a horrible death.


#5    Abramelin

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:48 PM

View PostClobhair-cean, on 20 February 2010 - 03:39 PM, said:

People have sane goals. I don't know of any explorers who just went into the complete unknown not looking for anything in particular. Especially head into an ocean that could just as well be endless. Explorers need something to gain from the trip, not just a distant possibility that they won't die a horrible death.

You are obviously not an explorer, lol.

People tend to do things out of curiosity; certainly not everything we do is based on logic and sanity.

And the peoples living in the Pacific travelled far greater distances with no land in sight for thousands of miles. OK, maybe they were just looking for a new home, but they did it anyway, not expecting and only hoping to succeed.

The vessels used by the Mayas and Caribbean tribes seem capable of travelling long distances. You only need a couple of 'idiots' to set out on such a long voyage, and bingo: maybe they reached Europe and the Mediterranean.


I just posed the OP as a possiblity, as opposed to the Old-World-centric fantasies/ideas/theories about seafaring Romans, Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Sumerians.

Edited by Abramelin, 20 February 2010 - 03:52 PM.


#6    ShadowSot

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 03:52 PM

View PostClobhair-cean, on 20 February 2010 - 03:39 PM, said:

People have sane goals. I don't know of any explorers who just went into the complete unknown not looking for anything in particular. Especially head into an ocean that could just as well be endless. Explorers need something to gain from the trip, not just a distant possibility that they won't die a horrible death.

A large enough population managed to end up on the Hawaiian Islands, far off from navigatable distances.

And, they may not have believed there was was endless ocean.

Not necessarily supporting the theory, but humanity has explored before with no obvious gains, at least to later generations.

Edited by ShadowSot, 20 February 2010 - 03:56 PM.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
-Terry Pratchett

#7    Abramelin

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 04:30 PM

From the links in the OP:

The large seaworthy vessels that the Chontal Maya had developed for their coastal trade would have given them the capability for exploration across the sea, but they would have needed a strong motive to embark on a voyage into unknown and dangerous waters.

The ancient and well-known Maya mythology of the god-king Kukulcan gave them this motive. Kukulcan was the principal god of the Chontal Maya in the late Formative period and his homeland called Tlapallan was located in the sea east of the Yucatan (Prescott 1969:38-39; Peck 2000:1-6).

The strongest motivation for venturing eastward into unknown seas would have been a religious pilgrimage to Tlapallan, the homeland of their revered god-king Kukulcan.

A secondary motive for the mercantile oriented Chontal Maya would have been to establish a trading port or colony in this exotic land. Mythical lands beyond the horizon have inspired sea voyages throughout history from Jason to Odysseus to Pytheas to St. Brendan and even Columbus who sought the mythical isle of Antillia in the Atlantic on his way to the Indies. In like manner, the Kukulcan mythology could have inspired some enterprising Chontal Maya ruler or nobleman merchant to send long overseas venture would have required large, well designed and finely constructed, seaworthy vessels such as those of the Maya, as opposed to the primitive log canoes possessed by the Indians of the islands and Florida.




If they ventured eastward too far, they would have ended up in the Gulf Stream (let's say, east of Florida), and might - I say MIGHT - have ended up in Europe.

Edited by Abramelin, 20 February 2010 - 04:33 PM.


#8    Abramelin

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 05:16 PM

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#9    ShadowSot

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 05:23 PM

The issue I have with that, is the current would have pulled them fairly well north before taking them south again.
The temperatures would have been markedly different.
Even if this happened, then you run into a similar issue the natives experienced when the settlers first arrived here, primarily disease.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
-Terry Pratchett

#10    Clobhair-cean

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 08:58 PM

[quote name='Abramelin' date='20 February 2010 - 04:48 PM' timestamp='1266680918' post='3296991']
You are obviously not an explorer, lol.

People tend to do things out of curiosity; certainly not everything we do is based on logic and sanity.[/quote]

People don't tend to undertake extremely expensive and quite probably deadly expeditions just for the helluvit, at least not before modern times.

And the peoples living in the Pacific travelled far greater distances with no land in sight for thousands of miles. OK, maybe they were just looking for a new home, but they did it anyway, not expecting and only hoping to succeed.[/quote]

The Polynesians are a special case, because they were an island-hopping seafaring civilisation. The Maya, on the other hand were a "terrestrial" urban civilization.


[quote name='Abramelin' date='20 February 2010 - 04:48 PM' timestamp='1266680918' post='3296991']
The vessels used by the Mayas and Caribbean tribes seem capable of travelling long distances. You only need a couple of 'idiots' to set out on such a long voyage, and bingo: maybe they reached Europe and the Mediterranean.[/quote]

Just because the ships are capable of doing something it doesn't mean that they did it.



I'm also not sure if Kukulcan is associated with Tlapallan, of which I've only heard in a Nahua context before.


#11    jmccr8

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 09:38 PM

Great topic for a thread Abramelin although I couldn't get two of the links to open for me.Man has always faced advercity in discovering new lands and man has been known to traverse great distances under harsh conditions to achieve his goals.Even in more recent times with space exploration there has been great risk.I look forward to seeing what information and discussion arises here.Thanks jmccr8


#12    MARAB0D

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 10:00 PM

The OP article mentions some large size cargo ships, but mostly talks about large canoes powered by men on the ores. Did Maya know the sails and harnessing of wind power? Using just a manpower to cross the ocean in its widest part is not appearing as possible as the ships capacity is not sufficient to carry the needed food/water stocks for the crew. Vikings and Polynesians had the sails on top of their manpower and their vessels or rafts were large enough to carry the needed stocks. William Willis certainly proved that Atlantic can be crossed by a single person, but he was also using the sails, not the paddles.

One can fantasise that in the times of Atlantis there was a trade existing between the Americas and the island empire, but such trade was hardly demanding for a large vessel size as the sea levels were low enough for much more islands to be along the trade rout, so it was rather a travel along the coast than across the ocean. This same trade could be enough for the tribes from both sides of the ocean to pick up the architectural idea of pyramids and establish a common name for the ocean itself, as Hellenic/Phoenician name "Atlantic" is the same as Maya were using, Atl (also being the general word for water). But this does not mean they were disembarking in Europe, as the European population of those days did not survive the Flood or at least had no memories of it or of any navigation at all, they were using the same primitive canoes themselves and were certainly related to American Indians, because they had a land bridge to America instead of Bering straight. And Egyptian records, as far as we know, were mentioning Americas but not the cultures, residing there.


#13    JustMeRicky

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 10:34 PM

View PostClobhair-cean, on 20 February 2010 - 03:26 PM, said:

Why would they do such a thing? The Europeans went to America because Eurasia has an East-West orientation and they wanted a quicker trade route to the other side. The Americas are oriented North-South so it would make no sense for its inhabitants to just go off across the Atlantic.
That is a very good point.

"The truth is out there......but are we willing to accept it when we find it?"

#14    jaylemurph

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:28 AM

View Postmarabod, on 20 February 2010 - 10:00 PM, said:

This same trade could be enough for the tribes from both sides of the ocean to pick up the architectural idea of pyramids and establish a common name for the ocean itself, as Hellenic/Phoenician name "Atlantic" is the same as Maya were using, Atl (also being the general word for water).


This is extreeeeeemely unlikely (though not impossible) for two reasons. There is nowhere recorded where cultural contact occurred and exactly one word was absorbed into another language, and that absorption was strictly one-way.

The other is the fact that Atl- is /not/ a word in any language*. It's a morpheme, a part of a word like "pro", "con", "gress" or "ced". It would needs to be put together with one or more other morphemes to form a whole word to be traded or borrowed. And, once you realise there are only so many sounds a human can make, it looks a lot like coincidence two cultures happen to have word vaguely connected to water with the sounds "atl". (In exactly the same manner, there's a word in Persian -- "bad" that sounds roughly like the English word bad and means sort of the same thing. Yet there's no reason at all to think those two cultures had an inordinate amount of contact.)

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*Go on, find it in any reputable dictionary by itself. I'll dutifully eat the requisite crow.

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#15    Qoais

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:04 AM

Quote

Marabod
And Egyptian records, as far as we know, were mentioning Americas but not the cultures, residing there.

Show me!!

An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Intuitive knowledge is knowledge beyond intellectual reasoning.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."




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