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bornagainuhmanduh

Ancient Egyptians in South America

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Hello! I am brand spankin' new here and I hope that someone will find this topic as interesting as I do. I recently came across a few websites that claimed there is evidence of Egyptians and possibly other ancient civilizations having visited and traded with ancient south and central americans. Does anyone know of any physical evidence of this? The only connection I was able to come up with (and this will sound strange to some) is the odd physical similarities between the native canines of egypt and south and central america. Specifically the Pharaoh hound and the Peruvian Inca Orchid dog. I recently noticed this similarity while at a dog breed info site. Here are the links: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/pharaohhound.htm http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/peruvianincaorchid.htm

I couldn't find any information whatsoever on this so I was hoping some of you could take a look and tell me what you think. Also if anyone else has any other supporting evidence outside of my "dog theory" I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks!

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The only place that I've seen any theories on this was in the book "Gateway to Atlantis" by Andrew Collins, one of my favorite books. He took 10 years to research everything about Atlantis. He goes over every possible hypothesis. In the back of the book are appendices that go over some cool topics. He talks about the shells that wash up on the chilean coast. When you crush them, purple dye comes out. He thinks that it could be possible that either the Phoenicians taught the Peruvians this and how to dye their stuff with the awesome purple dye, or vice versa. How else would both cultures figure it out? Also, he talks about different idols/statues/figurines that have been found in south america which look like phoenicians, and were made well before the spanish came to south america. they also have figures that look like sumo wrestlers.

Besides this, have you heard of the cocaine mummies? probably the best evidense that no one will give any credence to. There are mummies with cocaine in their bodies. Cocaine can only be grown in south america, at least at that time. And especially at that time in history, you had to travel somewhere to get something like cocaine, there werent airplanes or ships or anything to send it in the mail. How on earth did these mummies get cocaine in their system unless they somehow traded it? Which means someone had to be trading with someone who had cocaine. "Other claims of contacts with Egypt were based on reports that some chemical tests run on Egyptian mummies had found traces of plant products native to the Americas, such as tobacco and coca, which some have proposed were brought to them by Carthaginian merchants. Most Egyptologists, however, would rather ascribe those results to modern contamination or some other experimental error until they are verified by other scientists."

Now remember, some people still think that America was discovered by Chris Columbus, which is ridiculous, so it will take a long time for some people to digest these ideas. But I think it is TOTALLY probable that some people came to the North American or South American continent well before we currently accept.

"In 1947, Norwegian writer Thor Heyerdahl sailed for over 6,900 km across the Pacific, from Callao in Peru to the Raroia atoll in Tuamotu Islands, on the Kon-Tiki, a balsawood raft built after ancient Peruvian designs. In 1969, Heyerdahl turned to the Atlantic, and sailed 6,400 km from Safi in Morocco to Barbados in the Ra II, a reed boat of ancient Egyptian design. The Frenchman Alain Bombard had already done a similar trip in 1952, starting from the Canaries. Bombard sailed in a modern inflatable boat, but alone and without taking any food or water reserves.

In 1977, Irish writer Tim Severin sailed from Brandon Creek on Ireland's Dingle Peninsula to Newfoundland in a currach made with 6th century Irish designs and materials — namely, oxhides stretched over a wooden frame. "

It is obviously possible to cross these oceans.

Here's a GREAT wikipedia article about this very subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Columbian...oceanic_contact

Graham Hancock is another guy who believes in the world culture theory. He has a lot of books.

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You could go to Oaxaca Mexico....to a site called Monte Alban....they have a sculpture of Cleopatra.

Those ruins date to the time of the Egyptians.....

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There are also, I believe, mummies with traces of nicotine in them, which poses the same problems that cocaine does.

My biggest problem is that the Egyptians weren't (as far as I know) big explorers, unlike the Greeks or Romans or Pheonicians, who planted colonies hundreds and thousands of miles away from their homelands. Why would they /go/ to South America?

--Jaylemurph

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Thanks for all the great info rezna! The mummies are truly fascinating. It seems ludicrous to claim that they were contaminated by modern day cigarette smoke while sitting around in the back room of the museum. Plus that really doesn't explain the cocaine found in the body tissues. Now, in response to Jaylemurph: maybe the cocaine and the nicotine were exactly why the Egyptians explored or ventured to the Americas. It could have been an "accidental" discovery or perhaps they came by the geographical knowledge through other explorers like the Phoenicians, etc. I have come across purported evidence of heiroglyphs in South America and Australia and something about Kangaroo skeletons in Egypt. It seems unfortunate that most of these artifacts are not even considered for verification. I have also read of roman coins being discovered in Pre-Columbian graves throughout North America and Mexico but all of these are either unsubstantiated or shrouded in secrecy. I realize that there isn't a lot of information in historical documents supporting this but maybe there have been other dark ages or similar events. After all, there have even been a few popes who were struck from the record by the catholic church.

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There are also, I believe, mummies with traces of nicotine in them, which poses the same problems that cocaine does.

My biggest problem is that the Egyptians weren't (as far as I know) big explorers, unlike the Greeks or Romans or Pheonicians, who planted colonies hundreds and thousands of miles away from their homelands. Why would they /go/ to South America?

--Jaylemurph

The theory is not that the Egyptians went to the Americas, but the ancient Chinese may have. There is some evidence for contact and trade among the ancient Eurasian cultures from the ancient Britons in the west across through the rest of Europe and North Africa/the Middle East, across the sub-continent and into the Far East and China. While travel/trade could have been by sea a land -based trade route (a la the Silk Road) is also a possibility.

High value goods, such as cocaine, could have been a lucrative trade for an enterprising merchant wishing to invest in these lengthy trips. If the Chinese had negotiated the coast up to and across the Bering Strait then down the West Coast of the Americas it is possible to see how such ancient trade may have taken on a truly global aspect. While the evidence for this is circumstantial (like the cocaine mummies) it is not beyond the realms of possibility and certainly within the capabilities of these cultures.

Here is a transcript of the tv documentary about the Cocaine Mummies.

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I believe the most renowned claims for Chinese visitation of the Americas is Gavin Menzies' 1421. Unfortunately, the late date doesn't coincide with ancient Egyptian period.

--Jaylemurph

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Hello! I am brand spankin' new here and I hope that someone will find this topic as interesting as I do. I recently came across a few websites that claimed there is evidence of Egyptians and possibly other ancient civilizations having visited and traded with ancient south and central americans. Does anyone know of any physical evidence of this? The only connection I was able to come up with (and this will sound strange to some) is the odd physical similarities between the native canines of egypt and south and central america. Specifically the Pharaoh hound and the Peruvian Inca Orchid dog. I recently noticed this similarity while at a dog breed info site. Here are the links: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/pharaohhound.htm http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/peruvianincaorchid.htm

I couldn't find any information whatsoever on this so I was hoping some of you could take a look and tell me what you think. Also if anyone else has any other supporting evidence outside of my "dog theory" I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks!

very interesting. I also notice that not only are the dogs similar in size and weight but also in temperament.

Of course we have very little evidence for contact between ancient egyptian and south american cultures but it is possible. The problem is that the classical period of south american culture appeared long after the egyptian one had disappeared but we can answer this disparity by pointing to the ancient Olmecs who achieved a high culture around the same time as the egyptian classical period. Many archaeologists now believe that all later south american cultures were founded on the Olmec one.

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I believe the most renowned claims for Chinese visitation of the Americas is Gavin Menzies' 1421. Unfortunately, the late date doesn't coincide with ancient Egyptian period.

--Jaylemurph

Yes, as I said the evidence is circumstantial. It is interesting to note that no one will dispute that the Americas may have been discovered some 12,000BCE (or before) by migrating Asian peoples crossing a land bridge then existent across the Bering Strait, yet will not accept that a second discovery could have been made by the very capable cultures around 2-3000BCE (or maybe a bit later).

I'm not accusing you of this, jaylemurph, this is a general statement I make.

We have no written account of the building of the Pyramids, yet the evidence they were [built] is plain to see. We have no written account of ancient transcontinental trade yet the evidence (cocaine, nicotine in Europe/North Africa) would also appear to be plain. Notwithstanding the theory that species of plants capable of being reduced to provide cocaine, nicotine etc may have existed in Africa/Asia in ancient time and may simply have become extinct the transcontinental trade theory is still worthy of consideration.

Edited by Leonardo

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Here's a link showing ancient carvings of goddesses in India holding ears of South American corn.

http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku/dif/wmzpix1.htm

If you Google the words "Brazil", "shipwreck", and "Roman" together you will find lots of sites referring to a Roman shipwreck off the Brazilian coast.

It seems like, if these civilizations sailed to the Americas, ancient Egyptians could have too.

Edited by BlueZone

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The Maori peoples of New Zealand had as part of their staple diet, the Kumara, which is a type of potato. The kumara is of American origin, a wild species of Ipomoea found in Mexico. The Kumara has been cultivated in NZ (or Aotearoa as it was known in pre-European times) since the fourteenth century A.D, and this date is conservative as archaeological excavations point to an earlier date of introduction to NZ.

Nothing to do with Egyptians in South America I know, tho it's another bit of proof that the Americas weren't so isolated pre Chris Columbus as was once thought.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Egyptians scored their coke via the Phoenicians.

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You could go to Oaxaca Mexico....to a site called Monte Alban....they have a sculpture of Cleopatra.

Those ruins date to the time of the Egyptians.....

Sorry Aztec, but this is exactly the sort of claim that screams for a good debunking.

Monte Alban dates to about 900 BC, which I suppose is old enough to be considered "Ancient " if you want, and the Egyptians were around then, yes, (as they are today.)

Monte Alban was deserted by 700 AD, BTW.

Cleopatra was the last of the Greek rulers of Egypt, the Ptolemaic Pharoahs. She was deposed and died in 30 BC. This time frame does allow for the construction of her statue in Monte Alban.

The problem is, the Egyptians of that time were speaking and writing in hieroglyphics, greek and demotic. Excellent records from that time are in our possession.

The Greeks had ruled over them for a century or two and the Romans had been dominating them for quite some time as well. When did they sneak off to Mexico to make this statue, right under the eyes of the Romans and the Greeks, and completely escape the notice of the entire known world at the time?

There are also, I believe, mummies with traces of nicotine in them, which poses the same problems that cocaine does.

--Jaylemurph

The contaminated mummies have been well explained. People today don't realize what Europeans were up to in the early 1800's. Mummies, for example, were once used as firewood. There was a medication, known as Mummia, which was sold all over Europe at the time. It consisted of ground-up mummies, "mummy dust," if you will.

People with enough money used to hold "mummy unwrapping" parties. The handful of mummies with the cocaine and nicotine contamination have been shown to have been present at several such private soirees, primarily in Germany, where nicotine and cocaine were regularly used. It should be noted by all that once these contaminants had been found, there was a rush to test all the mummies that could be tested. Other than the handful known today, no other mummy from any era has ever tested psoitive for these contaminants. How do we explain this, if these drugs were in use in Egypt during the era of the Ancient Egyptian Civilization?

Harte

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The contaminated mummies have been well explained. People today don't realize what Europeans were up to in the early 1800's. Mummies, for example, were once used as firewood. There was a medication, known as Mummia, which was sold all over Europe at the time. It consisted of ground-up mummies, "mummy dust," if you will.

People with enough money used to hold "mummy unwrapping" parties. The handful of mummies with the cocaine and nicotine contamination have been shown to have been present at several such private soirees, primarily in Germany, where nicotine and cocaine were regularly used. It should be noted by all that once these contaminants had been found, there was a rush to test all the mummies that could be tested. Other than the handful known today, no other mummy from any era has ever tested psoitive for these contaminants. How do we explain this, if these drugs were in use in Egypt during the era of the Ancient Egyptian Civilization?

Harte

Indeed 'mummy parties' were in vogue for a while. It was also the done thing, in the 16th century to actually consume parts of mummies (don't even go there). This led to unscrupulous characters 'manufacturing' mummies by disinterring the recently buried and preparing them as if mummified.

There are tests, however, to determine whether a mummy is genuine or not and at least some of the mummies tested were shown to be so. Also there was at least one mummy with a nicotine content 25 times the level of a heavy smoker. This cannot be explained by the mummy being contaminated from an external source and it is now believed that nicotine may have been used as part of the mummification process (for a while at least). It has a strong anti-bacterial action and could have been used as a preservative.

Other mummies from other cultures (and presumably different time periods) have tested positive for these drugs

And if that wasn't enough, it turned out that the results from the Munich mummies were not the only evidence from the dead. The anthropologists who originally ordered the tests didn't continue the project. But Balabanova, alongside her normal research into the metabolism of drugs started requesting samples of other ancient human remains from universities. And it was then that she got more results from Egypt.

She tested tissue from 134 naturally preserved bodies from an excavated cemetery in the Sudan, once part of the Egyptian empire. Although from a later period, the bodies were still many centuries before Columbus discovered the Americas. About a third of them tested positive for nicotine and cocaine.

Balabanova was mystified by the presence of cocaine in Africa but thought she might have a way of explaining the nicotine. As well as Egypt and the Sudan, she tested bodies from China, Germany and Austria, spanning a period from 3700BC to 1100AD. A percentage of bodies from all these other regions also contained nicotine.

[Graph showing presence of nicotine: Percentage of bodies with positive result - Egypt:89% Sudan:90% China:62.5% Germany:34% Austria 100%]

This is from the link I posted. Now the cocaine and nicotine CAN be explained if there was some plants, now extinct, from the families of both which grew and were available in Europe/Africa in ancient times and from which the drug(s) could be extracted. There are indeed plants of these families that grow in these areas, but the drug cannot be extracted from them.

Edited by Leonardo

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The theory is not that the Egyptians went to the Americas, but the ancient Chinese may have. There is some evidence for contact and trade among the ancient Eurasian cultures from the ancient Britons in the west across through the rest of Europe and North Africa/the Middle East, across the sub-continent and into the Far East and China. While travel/trade could have been by sea a land -based trade route (a la the Silk Road) is also a possibility.

High value goods, such as cocaine, could have been a lucrative trade for an enterprising merchant wishing to invest in these lengthy trips. If the Chinese had negotiated the coast up to and across the Bering Strait then down the West Coast of the Americas it is possible to see how such ancient trade may have taken on a truly global aspect. While the evidence for this is circumstantial (like the cocaine mummies) it is not beyond the realms of possibility and certainly within the capabilities of these cultures.

Here is a transcript of the tv documentary about the Cocaine Mummies.

I have read that they did fnd a ancient chinese map of the americas that is around 500 years older than Columbus' map. The Phoeniciansalso were there first.

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People with enough money used to hold "mummy unwrapping" parties. The handful of mummies with the cocaine and nicotine contamination have been shown to have been present at several such private soirees, primarily in Germany, where nicotine and cocaine were regularly used.

Harte,

I've noticed that when I see your beating heart avatar my heart begins to beat a little faster expecting whatever were talking about to be skepticized. (kewl word smithing there eh?)

Where are you getting this information from? Who has "shown" that those mummies, all of them, were at these soirees? And I find ithard to believe that Zahi Hawass would let any researchers go around testing every single mummy for cocaine. From what I know, they have not tested every single mummy and come to the conclusion that all of them have been contaminated. And what does this show about anthropologists? are they a bunch of cocaine addicts or something? how are they contaminating these mummies? makes them look bad doesn't it? I can understand the nicotine but not the cocaine.

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Here's a link showing ancient carvings of goddesses in India holding ears of South American corn.

http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku/dif/wmzpix1.htm

If you Google the words "Brazil", "shipwreck", and "Roman" together you will find lots of sites referring to a Roman shipwreck off the Brazilian coast.

It seems like, if these civilizations sailed to the Americas, ancient Egyptians could have too.

... from your source: "I note no university affiliation nor any mention of any publication in a refereed journal."

My Basset Hound Sebastian also claims he captained a Roman trade ship to the New World c. 150 B. C. in search of ham. He doesn't seem to remember the outcome, but he may well have run into company there.

Sorry Aztec, but this is exactly the sort of claim that screams for a good debunking.

Monte Alban dates to about 900 BC, which I suppose is old enough to be considered "Ancient " if you want, and the Egyptians were around then, yes, (as they are today.)

Monte Alban was deserted by 700 AD, BTW.

Cleopatra was the last of the Greek rulers of Egypt, the Ptolemaic Pharoahs. She was deposed and died in 30 BC. This time frame does allow for the construction of her statue in Monte Alban.

The problem is, the Egyptians of that time were speaking and writing in hieroglyphics, greek and demotic. Excellent records from that time are in our possession.

The Greeks had ruled over them for a century or two and the Romans had been dominating them for quite some time as well. When did they sneak off to Mexico to make this statue, right under the eyes of the Romans and the Greeks, and completely escape the notice of the entire known world at the time?

The contaminated mummies have been well explained. People today don't realize what Europeans were up to in the early 1800's. Mummies, for example, were once used as firewood. There was a medication, known as Mummia, which was sold all over Europe at the time. It consisted of ground-up mummies, "mummy dust," if you will.

People with enough money used to hold "mummy unwrapping" parties. The handful of mummies with the cocaine and nicotine contamination have been shown to have been present at several such private soirees, primarily in Germany, where nicotine and cocaine were regularly used. It should be noted by all that once these contaminants had been found, there was a rush to test all the mummies that could be tested. Other than the handful known today, no other mummy from any era has ever tested psoitive for these contaminants. How do we explain this, if these drugs were in use in Egypt during the era of the Ancient Egyptian Civilization?

Harte

I agree with Harte here and I think Occam's Razor should again be employed here: what's more likely 19th Cent. contamination or previously unknown-of extraction from species that no longer exist?

I have read that they did fnd a ancient chinese map of the americas that is around 500 years older than Columbus' map. The Phoeniciansalso were there first.

Not even the most serious ardent claimant for Chinese exploration of the New World (Gavin Menzies, again, his book is 1421) claims this*; then again, by this time Basset Hound Sebastian was in his Asian period. Maybe he made the trip with his Roman experience. Certainly the Romans learned a great deal from the Phoenicians,what with the whole-scale destruction of Punic culture after the Punic Wars.

--Jaylemurph

*And it's not like Menzies' theories have met substanial resistance from knowledgeable sources.

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Thanks for all the great info rezna! The mummies are truly fascinating. It seems ludicrous to claim that they were contaminated by modern day cigarette smoke while sitting around in the back room of the museum. Plus that really doesn't explain the cocaine found in the body tissues. Now, in response to Jaylemurph: maybe the cocaine and the nicotine were exactly why the Egyptians explored or ventured to the Americas. It could have been an "accidental" discovery or perhaps they came by the geographical knowledge through other explorers like the Phoenicians, etc. I have come across purported evidence of heiroglyphs in South America and Australia and something about Kangaroo skeletons in Egypt. It seems unfortunate that most of these artifacts are not even considered for verification. I have also read of roman coins being discovered in Pre-Columbian graves throughout North America and Mexico but all of these are either unsubstantiated or shrouded in secrecy. I realize that there isn't a lot of information in historical documents supporting this but maybe there have been other dark ages or similar events. After all, there have even been a few popes who were struck from the record by the catholic church.

The problem is that we think of cocaine in its refined form - a powder. Of course the native americans of the period we are discussing would not have been able to refine the coca and would have simply chewed the leaves , much as they do today.

Had the coca leaves been imported into ancient egypt there would have remained some evidence of their presence most likely in the form of dried leaves. Nothing has ever been found in the hundreds of sarcophagai opened.

You may find the following interesting: American Drugs in Egyptian Mummies:

A Review of the Evidence

Samuel A. Wells

recent findings of cocaine, nicotine, and hashish in Egyptian mummies by Balabanova et. al. have been criticized on grounds that: contamination of the mummies may have occurred, improper techniques may have been used, chemical decomposition may have produced the compounds in question, recent mummies of drug users were mistakenly evaluated, that no similar cases are known of such compounds in long-dead bodies, and especially that pre-Columbian transoceanic voyages are highly speculative. These criticisms are each discussed in turn. Balabanova et. al. are shown to have used and confirmed their findings with accepted methods. The possibility of the compounds being byproducts of decomposition is shown to be without precedent and highly unlikely. The possibility that the researchers made evaluations from of faked mummies of recent drug users is shown to be highly unlikely in almost all cases. Several additional cases of identified American drugs in mummies are discussed. Additionally, it is shown that significant evidence exists for contact with the Americas in pre-Columbian times. It is determined that the original findings are supported by substantial evidence despite the initial criticisms.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In a one-page article appearing in Naturwissenschaften, German scientist Svetla Balabanova (1992) and two of her colleagues reported findings of cocaine, hashish and nicotine in Egyptian mummies. The findings were immediately identified as improbable on the grounds that two of the substances are known to be derived only from American plants - cocaine from Erythroxylon coca, and nicotine from Nicotiana tabacum. The suggestion that such compounds could have found their way to Egypt before Columbus' discovery of America seemed patently impossible.

The study was done as part of an ongoing program of investigating the use of hallucinogenic substances in ancient societies. The authors themselves were quite surprised by the findings (Discovery, 1997) but stood by their results despite being the major focus of criticism in the following volume of Naturwissenschaften. Of the nine mummies evaluated, all showed signs of cocaine and hashish (Tetrahydrocannabinol), whereas all but one sampled positive for nicotine. It is interesting too that the concentrations of the compounds suggest uses other than that of abuse. (For example, modern drug addicts often have concentrations of cocaine and nicotine in their hair 75 and 20 times higher respectively than that found in the mummy hair samples.) It is even possible that the quantities found may be high due to concentration in body tissues through time.

Without question, the study has sparked an interest in various disciplines. As Balabanova et. al. predicted, "…the results open up an entirely new field of research which unravels aspects of past human life-style far beyound [sic] basic biological reconstruction."

The Criticisms

The biggest criticism of the findings of Balabanova et. al. was not necessarily directed at the extraction process per se, although this was discussed. The biggest criticism was that cocaine and nicotine could not possibly have been used in Egypt before the discovery of the New World, and that transatlantic journeys were not known - or at least they are highly speculative. It is safe to say that the criticisms of the study would have been minimal or nonexistent if the findings had been made of Old World drugs. Such findings, in fact, would not have been at all unusual as the use of stimulants were known in Egypt. Poppy seeds and lotus plants have been identified for just this use in manuscripts (the Papyrus Ebers) and in hieroglyphs (as Balabanova et. al. show).

Schafer (1993) argues that, "the detection of pharmacologically active substances in mummified material never proves their use prior to death." He argues that such compounds could have been introduced as part of the mummification process. The suggestion is that (especially) nicotine could have been introduced around the mummy (and subsequently absorbed into its tissue) as an insecticide (being used as a preservative) within relatively modern times. A similar criticism was raised by Bjorn (1993) who wondered if nicotine might have been absorbed by the mummies from cigarette smoke in the museums where the mummies have been preserved. According to Schafer, the only way to show that the compounds were taken into the bodies while they were alive would be to find different concentrations at different distances from the scalp - a procedure not undertaken by the authors.

Another interesting criticism of Schafer (1993) is that Balabanova et. al. might have been the victims of faked mummies. Apparently people (living in the not too far distant past) believed that mummies contained black tar called bitumen and that it could be ground up and used to cure various illnesses. In fact the very word 'mummy' comes from the Persian 'mummia' meaning bitumen (Discovery, 1997). A business seems to have developed wherein recently dead bodies where deliberately aged to appear as mummies and that some of the perpetrators of such deeds were drug abusers.

The criticism that seems most popular is that the identified drugs might have been products of "necrochemical and necrobiochemical processes" (Schafer, 1993; Bjorn, 1993). One explanation is that Egyptian priests used tropine-alkaloid-containing plants during the mummification process that subsequently underwent changes in the mummy to resemble the identified compounds.

Yet another argument is that there is nothing in the literature showing that any of the three compounds have been identified in bodies that have been dead for some time.

Reply to the Critics

Analytical Techniques and Contamination

In the study, samples were taken from nine mummies that were dated from between 1070 B.C. to 395 A.D. The samples included hair, skin and muscle were taken from the head and abdomen. Bone tissue was also taken from the skull. All tissues were pulverized and dissolved in NaCl solution, homogenized, and centrifuged. A portion of the supernatant was extracted with chloroform and dried and then dissolved in a phosphate buffer. Samples were then measured by both radioimmunoassay (Merck; Biermann) and gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (Hewlett Packard) - hereinafter GCMS.

This is the procedure used to produce what McPhillips (1998) considered indisputable evidence for confirming products of substance abuse in hair. Within recent years, hair analysis has been used more commonly in this kind of screening process and the techniques employed have been optimized. Mistakes are known to have occurred in some cases evaluating for metals, but the ability to detect drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, and hashish seem not been problematic (Wilhelm, 1996). The two possible mistakes in analyzing hair for drugs include false positives, which are caused by environmental contamination; and false negatives, where actual compounds are lost because of such things as hair coloring or perming. In recent years, these techniques of hair analysis have revealed the interesting findings of arsenic in the hair of Napoleon Bonaparte, and laudanum in the hair of the poet Keats.

The procedure includes a thorough washing of the hair to remove external contaminants followed by a process of physical degradation using a variety of methods (such as digestion with enzymes or dissolution with acids, organic solvents, etc.,). Following these preparatory procedures, the hair is then analyzed. Antibody testing (e.g. radioimmunoassay) is a well-established procedure although there is small potential of obtaining false positive results. These are mainly caused by the cross-reactivity of the antibody with other compounds, including minor analgesics, cold remedies and antipsychotic drugs - compounds not likely to be found in Egyptian mummies. Because of the possible false positives, chromatography (GC-MS) is routinely utilized to confirm the results.

The suggestion of nicotine contamination from cigarette smoke is eliminated by the use of solvents and/or acids in the cleaning process - methods used by Balabanova et. al. and all other researchers that have documented drugs in mummies.

The validity of Balabanova's findings seems to be vindicated at least so far as the analytical methods used in the study. The authors' methods as well as those in the additional findings reported here (see below) have used the combination of immunological and chromatographic methods to both analyze and confirm samples.

Faked Mummies

The argument that the mummies might have been modern fakes was investigated by David (Discovery, 1997). David is the Keeper of Egyptology at the Manchester Museum, and undertook her own analysis of mummies, independent of Balabanova's group. In addition, she traveled to Munich to evaluate for herself the mummies studied by Balabanova's group. Unfortunately the mummies weren't available for filming and they were being kept isolated from further research on grounds of religious respect. David had to resort to the museum's records. She found that, except for the city's famous mummy of Henot Tawi (Lady of the Two Lands) the mummies were of unknown origin and some were represented only by detached heads.

David's inability to examine the mummies herself may have kept the possibility of faked ones open; however, her evaluation of the museum's records seemed to indicate otherwise. The mummies were preserved with packages of their viscera inside. Some even contained images of the gods. In addition the state of mummification itself was very good. The isolated heads may have been fakes (evidence one way or the other is lacking) but the intact bodies examined in Balabanova's research were clearly genuine.

Chemical Changes

The argument that the identified drugs might be byproducts of decomposition is highly unlikely. The argument appears to resemble a 'Just So' story of biochemical evolution without the benefit of natural selection. Schafer (1993) admits that natural decomposition or mummification has never led to the synthesis of cocaine or related alkaloids but leaves the possibility open anyway. He argues that the compounds in question might theoretically have been produced by tropine-alkaloid-containing plants (such as were present in species that were utilized in the mummification process).

The benefit of the doubt in this case clearly goes to Balabanova et. al. Until it is shown how cocaine could be produced in this way, the argument is hypothetical at best.

Isolated Example

The detection of drugs in human hair is a fairly recent endeavor (McPhillips, 1998; Sachs, 1998). A few compounds were identified during the 1980's but it wasn't until the 1990s that drug screening via hair analysis became accepted and used as a possible alternative to urine sampling. The criticism that no known cases of cocaine, nicotine, or hashish have been reported in human hair must, therefor be interpreted with clarification. None of these compounds had been observed in human hair because the process had not been fully developed, nor had the application even been considered until quite recently. Even then the claim is not true.

Cartwell et. al. (1991) using a radioimmunoassay method detected cocaine metabolites in pre-Columbian mummy hair from South America. In this study two out of eight mummies analyzed showed cocaine metabolites. All samples tested were confirmed by a separate laboratory (Psychomedics Corporation, Santa Monica, California) using GC-MS. The two mummies testing positive were from the Camarones Valley in northern Chile. The artifacts as well as the mummies at this site were typical of Inca culture.

Since the initial work of Balabanova et. al., other studies have revealed the same drugs (cocaine, nicotine, and hashish) in Egyptian mummies, confirming the original results. Nerlich et. al. (1995), in a study evaluating the tissue pathology of an Egyptian mummy dating from approximately 950 B.C., found the compounds in several of the mummy's organs. They found the highest amounts of nicotine and cocaine in the mummy's stomach, and the hashish traces primarily in the lungs. These findings were again identified using both radioimmunoassay and GSMS techniques. Very similar results were again found in yet another study by Parsche and Nerlich (1995). Again, the findings were obtained using the immunological and chromatographic techniques.

David's work (Discovery, 1997) though not finding cocaine, did confirm the presence of nicotine. This finding has seemed a little less threatening to conservative scholarship in that it seems possible (albeit unlikely) that a nicotine-producing plant may have existed in Africa within historic times - only becoming extinct recently.

Such a possibility might allow for a comfortable resolution to conservative scholarship but doesn't explain the evidence of cocaine. Additionally, the possibility of a native plant going extinct is unlikely. Much more reasonable would be that an introduced species under cultivation could go extinct, yet this only begs the question of the original provenance of the species.

In any event, considering the several confirmations of Balabanova's work (as well as that of Caldwell et. al. prior to her study) it appears that the argument against their findings based on too little evidence is quickly vanishing (if not already obviated).

Pre-Columbian Voyages to America

The major reason for the initial criticisms to Balabanova's work is the disbelief in pre-Columbian transoceanic contacts. Egyptologist John Baines (Discovery, 1997) went so far as to state, "The idea that the Egyptians should have traveled to America is overall absurd…and I also don't know anyone who spends time doing research in these areas, because they're not perceived to be areas that have any real meaning for the subjects." Another interpretation on why researchers haven't considered the subject closer is given by Kehoe (1998), "After mid-century, any archaeologist worried about money or career avoided looking at pre-Columbian contacts across sal****er [p. 193]." It appears that acknowledging that pre-Columbian contacts occurred was not academically acceptable. Kehoe (1998) also gives examples of several researchers whose work has been academically marginalized because it supported these views (e.g. Stephen Jett, Carl Johannessen, Gordon Ekholm, Paul Tolstoy, and George Carter).

Surprising at it may seem, evidence for early ocean voyages to America from the Old World is not lacking - nor is it negligibly verifiable. Within the last two years, two periodicals, focusing on these contacts have been established. The first, entitled Pre-Columbiana, is edited by Stephen C. Jett, Professor of Clothings and Textiles at the University of California, Davis; the second is entitled Migration and Diffusion and is edited by Professor Christine Pellek in Vienna, Italy. There is certainly quite a bit of spurious reports of early contacts from the Old World, however, a general disregard for all of the evidence is, anymore, itself evidence of academic negligence, as these two periodicals indicate.

A bibliography of these early contacts is given by John Sorensen (1998) in the first issue of Pre-Columbiana. It is a good example of the kinds of evidence being uncovered by legitimate researchers and institutions. The bibliography is itself a condensation of a two-volume work of these publications and includes titles such as: The world's oldest ship? (showing evidence for a pre-Columbian ship in America) published in Archaeology; Peruvian fabrics (showing very strong similarities between Peru and Asia) published in Anthropological papers of the American Museum of Natural History; Robbing native American cultures: Van Sertima's Afrocentricity and the Olmecs (showing evidence for connections between Africa and the Olmecs of Middle America) published in Current Anthropology; Possible Indonesian or Southeast Asian Influences in New World textile industries (showing at least three textile-related inventions that appear in both Indonesia and the New World) published in Indonesian Textiles; and, Genes may link Ancient Eurasians, Native Americans, published in Science.

And the list goes on and on - some evidence being better than others - but as a whole it seems pretty much irrefutable. Claims to the contrary seem to be made by individuals with a vested interest in the isolationist position. The evidence, pro and con, when evaluated objectively, would seem without question, to favor the diffusionist position (which claims that pre-Columbian contacts took place).

Considerations

The initial reaction to the findings of Balabanova et. al. were highly critical. These criticisms were not based on a known failing in the authors' research methodology, rather they were attempts to cast doubt on an implication of the research - that cocaine and nicotine were brought to Egypt from the New World before Columbus. This conclusion is not acceptable to conservative investigators of the past. In fact it suggests a deep-rooted aversion to what Balabanova suggested might mean an unraveling of aspects of history contrary to basic reconstructions. This aversion, according to Kehoe (1998) stems from the conviction that Indians were primitive savages destined to be overcome by the civilized world - that the acme of evolutionary success resided in the conquering race itself. "Childlike savages could never have voyaged across oceans."

Balabanova's findings bring yet other evidence forward that humanity is not so easily pinioned into the pre-conceived notions of primitive and advanced - even as this might be related to the presumed technology of earlier times. The quest for discovery - to find new worlds - is not just a modern selective advantage of our species. Perhaps it is the defining characteristic.

Literature Cited:

Balababova, S., F. Parsche, and W. Pirsig. 1992. First identification of drugs in Egyptian mummies. Naturwissenschaften 79:358.

Bisset, N.G. and M.H. Zenk. 1993. Responding to 'First identification of drugs in Egyptian mummies'. Naturwissenschaften 80:244-245.

Bjorn, L.O. 1993. Responding to 'First identification of drugs in Egyptian mummies'. Naturwissenschaften 80:244.

Cartwell, L.W. et. al. 1991. Cocaine metabolites in pre-Columbian mummy hair. Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association 84:11-12.

Discovery Information. 1997. Curse of the Cocaine Mummies. Thirty-six page transcript of program viewed on US national TV in January 1997 and July 1999.

Kehoe, A.B. 1998. The Land of Prehistory, A Critical History of American Archaeology. Routledge, New York and London. 266 pp.

McIntosh, N.D.P. 1993. Responding to 'First identification of drugs in Egyptian mummies'. Naturwissenschaften 80:245-246.

McPhillips, M. et. al. 1998. Hair analysis, new laboratory ability to test for substance use. British Journal of Psychiatry 173: 287-290.

Nerlich, A.G. et. al. 1995. Extensive pulmonary haemorrhage in an Egyptian mummy. Virchows Archiv 127:423-429.

Parsche, F. 1993. Reply to "Responding to 'First identification of drugs in Egyptian mummies'". Naturwissenschaften 80:245-246.

Parsche, F. and A. Nerlich. 1995. Presence of drugs in different tissues of an Egyptian mummy. Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry 352:380-384.

Sachs, H. and P. Kintz. 1998. Testing for drugs in hair, critical review of chromatographic procedures since 1992. Journal of Chromatography (B) 713:147-161.

Schafer, T. 1993. Responding to 'First identification of drugs in Egyptian mummies'. Naturwissenschaften 80:243-244.

Sorenson, J.L. 1998. Bibliographia Pre-Columbiana. Pre-Columbiana 1(1&2):143-154.

Wilhelm, M. 1996. Hair analysis in environmental medicine. Zentralblatt fur Hygeine und Umweltmedizin 198: 485-501

source: http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/Entomology/c...2000/wells.html

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The problem is that we think of cocaine in its refined form - a powder. Of course the native americans of the period we are discussing would not have been able to refine the coca and would have simply chewed the leaves , much as they do today.

Had the coca leaves been imported into ancient egypt there would have remained some evidence of their presence most likely in the form of dried leaves. Nothing has ever been found in the hundreds of sarcophagai opened.

You may find the following interesting: American Drugs in Egyptian Mummies:

A Review of the Evidence

The suggestion of nicotine contamination from cigarette smoke is eliminated by the use of solvents and/or acids in the cleaning process - methods used by Balabanova et. al. and all other researchers that have documented drugs in mummies.

Since the initial work of Balabanova et. al., other studies have revealed the same drugs (cocaine, nicotine, and hashish) in Egyptian mummies, confirming the original results. Nerlich et. al. (1995), in a study evaluating the tissue pathology of an Egyptian mummy dating from approximately 950 B.C., found the compounds in several of the mummy's organs. They found the highest amounts of nicotine and cocaine in the mummy's stomach, and the hashish traces primarily in the lungs. These findings were again identified using both radioimmunoassay and GSMS techniques. Very similar results were again found in yet another study by Parsche and Nerlich (1995). Again, the findings were obtained using the immunological and chromatographic techniques.

You make a good point about the coca leaves. I do find these tidbits from the review of evidence pretty fascinating though. I realize that this theory seems highly unlikely from the perspective of our known history, but there are just too many strange occurrences that warrant furthur investigation.

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You could go to Oaxaca Mexico....to a site called Monte Alban....they have a sculpture of Cleopatra.

Those ruins date to the time of the Egyptians.....

Why nothing to the Romans then? Or the Greeks? They had already conquered Egypt and Cleopatra was of Greek descent.

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Hello! I am brand spankin' new here and I hope that someone will find this topic as interesting as I do. I recently came across a few websites that claimed there is evidence of Egyptians and possibly other ancient civilizations having visited and traded with ancient south and central americans. Does anyone know of any physical evidence of this? The only connection I was able to come up with (and this will sound strange to some) is the odd physical similarities between the native canines of egypt and south and central america. Specifically the Pharaoh hound and the Peruvian Inca Orchid dog. I recently noticed this similarity while at a dog breed info site. Here are the links: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/pharaohhound.htm http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/peruvianincaorchid.htm

I couldn't find any information whatsoever on this so I was hoping some of you could take a look and tell me what you think. Also if anyone else has any other supporting evidence outside of my "dog theory" I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks!

Their is a book called "Mitakuye Oyasin" (We are all related) by Dr. A.C. Ross. It has alot of good theries about all that and Atlantis and stuff...................

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Harte,

SNIP

Where are you getting this information from? Who has "shown" that those mummies, all of them, were at these soirees? And I find ithard to believe that Zahi Hawass would let any researchers go around testing every single mummy for cocaine.

You were right to call me on that. It was only the cocaine mummies that this had been shown for.

You might want to come to the realization that the vast majority of mummies from Egypt aren't in Egypt at all today, hence Hawass has absolutely no say whatsoever in what sort of treatment they receive. Your conspiracy theory leanings aside.

Also, yes, it's foolish of me to make these statements without supporting links or whatever. If you've read many of my posts here and elsewhere, you'll know I usually provide at least some evidence for what I say. Sorry, but here at U-M I no longer feel obligated to. Note the decided lack of supporting evidence in the OP in this thread, if you need to know why. I'm not going to be the only one around here that's doing this sort of stuff right. It's too much work to carry the load for a group of people unwilling to provide the same service.

From what I know, they have not tested every single mummy and come to the conclusion that all of them have been contaminated.

The only Old World mummies showing positive traces of cocaine come from the King Ludwig collection now at the Munich Museum.

And what does this show about anthropologists? are they a bunch of cocaine addicts or something? how are they contaminating these mummies? makes them look bad doesn't it? I can understand the nicotine but not the cocaine.

Did you not read what I said about Mummia, and mummy-unwrapping parties that rich Europeans used to have? These people were not anthropologists by any stretch of the imagination. Not that that matters. Many well respected people were cocaine addicts back then. Or haven't you ever read the Sherlock Holmes series?

SNIP

Schafer (1993) argues that, "the detection of pharmacologically active substances in mummified material never proves their use prior to death." He argues that such compounds could have been introduced as part of the mummification process. The suggestion is that (especially) nicotine could have been introduced around the mummy (and subsequently absorbed into its tissue) as an insecticide (being used as a preservative) within relatively modern times. A similar criticism was raised by Bjorn (1993) who wondered if nicotine might have been absorbed by the mummies from cigarette smoke in the museums where the mummies have been preserved. According to Schafer, the only way to show that the compounds were taken into the bodies while they were alive would be to find different concentrations at different distances from the scalp - a procedure not undertaken by the authors.

My emphasis.

This theory I've read extensively on as well (as extensively as anyone can, that is.) It provides an excellent explanation for why nicotine might be found in some mummies but not others from the same era. Nicotine-containing insecticide sprays were used in some of these museums. The nicotine prevented infestation of the artifacts by insects.

SNIP

The major reason for the initial criticisms to Balabanova's work is the disbelief in pre-Columbian transoceanic contacts. Egyptologist John Baines (Discovery, 1997) went so far as to state, "The idea that the Egyptians should have traveled to America is overall absurd…and I also don't know anyone who spends time doing research in these areas, because they're not perceived to be areas that have any real meaning for the subjects." Another interpretation on why researchers haven't considered the subject closer is given by Kehoe (1998), "After mid-century, any archaeologist worried about money or career avoided looking at pre-Columbian contacts across sal****er [p. 193]." It appears that acknowledging that pre-Columbian contacts occurred was not academically acceptable. Kehoe (1998) also gives examples of several researchers whose work has been academically marginalized because it supported these views (e.g. Stephen Jett, Carl Johannessen, Gordon Ekholm, Paul Tolstoy, and George Carter).

My emphasis.

The above bolded statements are inserted in this "analysis" in an unfair manner. First of all, though I'm sure that John Baines went on to state the excellent reasosn that Egyptian travels to America is an absurd idea, this information is not provided here. Secondly, the old conspiracy theory is being trotted out here by Kehoe. He knows very well that there are a great many anthropologists working on exactly this sort pre-Columbian contact. He is himself one of them! The real problem here is, there is just absolutely no evidence whatsoever for these kinds of contacts. None. Yet.

Look, the only reason we know what plants were used in mummification is because the Egyptians told us, on many occasions, in writings they left behind. That is, we can tell what chemicals remain present in a mummy, but we can't easily ascertain their source since the source material has often not been included in the tomb or has decomposed. The Egyptians left no "medicines" in their tombs, why would they? They believed the body wouldn't need any medications after death. So, like their embalming ingredients, what we know of their medications we know from their writings as well. There's just no mention of any plant, not know to us today as indigenous to that area, in any of the info they've left us. And they left us a gigantic record of their medicants.

Surprising at it may seem, evidence for early ocean voyages to America from the Old World is not lacking - nor is it negligibly verifiable. Within the last two years, two periodicals, focusing on these contacts have been established. The first, entitled Pre-Columbiana, is edited by Stephen C. Jett, Professor of Clothings and Textiles at the University of California, Davis; the second is entitled Migration and Diffusion and is edited by Professor Christine Pellek in Vienna, Italy. There is certainly quite a bit of spurious reports of early contacts from the Old World, however, a general disregard for all of the evidence is, anymore, itself evidence of academic negligence, as these two periodicals indicate.

Hmmm. Then what happened to Kehoe's "...any archaeologist worried about money or career avoided looking at pre-Columbian contacts..."?

A bibliography of these early contacts is given by John Sorensen (1998) in the first issue of Pre-Columbiana. It is a good example of the kinds of evidence being uncovered by legitimate researchers and institutions. The bibliography is itself a condensation of a two-volume work of these publications and includes titles such as: The world's oldest ship? (showing evidence for a pre-Columbian ship in America) published in Archaeology

I seem to remember reading that article. As I recall, it wasn't about old world - new world contact. It was about the oldest ship ever found. The ship was found off the coast of England, nowhere near America. Like Rezna, I might well ask you fantazum, where are you getting this (faulty) information?

Here's the article:

World's Oldest Ship?- Archaeology Publication

Anyway, it's long been known that there were boats in use by new world inhabitants. In fact, the mainstream theory of how the new world became inhabited involves Asians skirting the west coast of N. America in boats.

Peruvian fabrics (showing very strong similarities between Peru and Asia) published in Anthropological papers of the American Museum of Natural History; Robbing native American cultures: Van Sertima's Afrocentricity and the Olmecs (showing evidence for connections between Africa and the Olmecs of Middle America) published in Current Anthropology; Possible Indonesian or Southeast Asian Influences in New World textile industries (showing at least three textile-related inventions that appear in both Indonesia and the New World) published in Indonesian Textiles; and, Genes may link Ancient Eurasians, Native Americans, published in Science.

Well, of course genes may link these two peoples. As far as I'm aware, nobody has suggested that humans evolved seperately but simultaneously in the new and old worlds. The mainstream theory states that Native Americans are descended from people migrating from Asia, why wouldn't these genes indicate it?

And the list goes on and on - some evidence being better than others - but as a whole it seems pretty much irrefutable. Claims to the contrary seem to be made by individuals with a vested interest in the isolationist position. The evidence, pro and con, when evaluated objectively, would seem without question, to favor the diffusionist position (which claims that pre-Columbian contacts took place).

This last statement is the most ridiculous thing so far. The "evidence" (there is actually none,) certainly doesn't "favor the duffusionist position" and is absolutely not "pretty much irrefutable."

Also, the statement before that, about "vested interest..." applies much more to the proponents of diffusionism that to the opponents. The author here makes automatically suspect anyone at all, however well-respected, well-credentialed or well-experienced, that dares to question the thinking that diffusionism has been scientifically established. That's about the weakest pseudo argument you'll ever see - pre-empt the people that know what they're talking about before they can repond to your ignorance.

I need to add that the skeptics of diffusionism, such as myself, are not automatically "isolationists" by any means. I'm a skeptic. I require a reason to believe a thing before I'll accept it as fact. There just are no reasons at all (that I'm aware of) to accept diffusionism as fact. I'm certainly willing to entertain the idea, which I presume an isolationist would not be willing to do.

The initial reaction to the findings of Balabanova et. al. were highly critical. These criticisms were not based on a known failing in the authors' research methodology, rather they were attempts to cast doubt on an implication of the research - that cocaine and nicotine were brought to Egypt from the New World before Columbus. This conclusion is not acceptable to conservative investigators of the past. In fact it suggests a deep-rooted aversion to what Balabanova suggested might mean an unraveling of aspects of history contrary to basic reconstructions. This aversion, according to Kehoe (1998) stems from the conviction that Indians were primitive savages destined to be overcome by the civilized world - that the acme of evolutionary success resided in the conquering race itself. "Childlike savages could never have voyaged across oceans."

I spoke too soon. The bolded portion above is even more ridiculous than the previous one. Please, the theory itself goes that the Egyptians sailed to the New World, not that the American Indians sailed to Egypt.

Anyway, thanks for quoting actual information at least Fantazum. Also, I'd like to note that many of the papers cited in that report can be found through Google Scholar. Some of them are even free to download as .pdfs. You'll need Adobe Acrobat to read them.

Harte

Edited by Harte

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Just wanted to comment on Harte's supposed debunking of Monte Alban. That still does not rule out the possibility of an Egyptian expedition to the location. The crew might have mixed in with the original population, to a degree, and very quickly. That there is no hieroglyphics or anything there, does not prove anything. I'm not trying to offend you, or claim that the Egyptians definitely were there, but that you did not offer proof, only evidence.

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You make a good point about the coca leaves. I do find these tidbits from the review of evidence pretty fascinating though. I realize that this theory seems highly unlikely from the perspective of our known history, but there are just too many strange occurrences that warrant furthur investigation.

yes I agree with you. There are a great many unanswered questions that remain to be answered about both ancient egyptian and ancient american culture. There are without doubt a great many similarities between ancient egyptian and american culture and it is possible that there could have been contact between the two.

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You were right to call me on that. It was only the cocaine mummies that this had been shown for.

You might want to come to the realization that the vast majority of mummies from Egypt aren't in Egypt at all today, hence Hawass has absolutely no say whatsoever in what sort of treatment they receive. Your conspiracy theory leanings aside.

Also, yes, it's foolish of me to make these statements without supporting links or whatever. If you've read many of my posts here and elsewhere, you'll know I usually provide at least some evidence for what I say. Sorry, but here at U-M I no longer feel obligated to. Note the decided lack of supporting evidence in the OP in this thread, if you need to know why. I'm not going to be the only one around here that's doing this sort of stuff right. It's too much work to carry the load for a group of people unwilling to provide the same service.

The only Old World mummies showing positive traces of cocaine come from the King Ludwig collection now at the Munich Museum.

Did you not read what I said about Mummia, and mummy-unwrapping parties that rich Europeans used to have? These people were not anthropologists by any stretch of the imagination. Not that that matters. Many well respected people were cocaine addicts back then. Or haven't you ever read the Sherlock Holmes series?

My emphasis.

This theory I've read extensively on as well (as extensively as anyone can, that is.) It provides an excellent explanation for why nicotine might be found in some mummies but not others from the same era. Nicotine-containing insecticide sprays were used in some of these museums. The nicotine prevented infestation of the artifacts by insects.

My emphasis.

The above bolded statements are inserted in this "analysis" in an unfair manner. First of all, though I'm sure that John Baines went on to state the excellent reasosn that Egyptian travels to America is an absurd idea, this information is not provided here. Secondly, the old conspiracy theory is being trotted out here by Kehoe. He knows very well that there are a great many anthropologists working on exactly this sort pre-Columbian contact. He is himself one of them! The real problem here is, there is just absolutely no evidence whatsoever for these kinds of contacts. None. Yet.

Look, the only reason we know what plants were used in mummification is because the Egyptians told us, on many occasions, in writings they left behind. That is, we can tell what chemicals remain present in a mummy, but we can't easily ascertain their source since the source material has often not been included in the tomb or has decomposed. The Egyptians left no "medicines" in their tombs, why would they? They believed the body wouldn't need any medications after death. So, like their embalming ingredients, what we know of their medications we know from their writings as well. There's just no mention of any plant, not know to us today as indigenous to that area, in any of the info they've left us. And they left us a gigantic record of their medicants.

Hmmm. Then what happened to Kehoe's "...any archaeologist worried about money or career avoided looking at pre-Columbian contacts..."?

I seem to remember reading that article. As I recall, it wasn't about old world - new world contact. It was about the oldest ship ever found. The ship was found off the coast of England, nowhere near America. Like Rezna, I might well ask you fantazum, where are you getting this (faulty) information?

Here's the article:

World's Oldest Ship?- Archaeology Publication

Anyway, it's long been known that there were boats in use by new world inhabitants. In fact, the mainstream theory of how the new world became inhabited involves Asians skirting the west coast of N. America in boats.

Well, of course genes may link these two peoples. As far as I'm aware, nobody has suggested that humans evolved seperately but simultaneously in the new and old worlds. The mainstream theory states that Native Americans are descended from people migrating from Asia, why wouldn't these genes indicate it?

This last statement is the most ridiculous thing so far. The "evidence" (there is actually none,) certainly doesn't "favor the duffusionist position" and is absolutely not "pretty much irrefutable."

Also, the statement before that, about "vested interest..." applies much more to the proponents of diffusionism that to the opponents. The author here makes automatically suspect anyone at all, however well-respected, well-credentialed or well-experienced, that dares to question the thinking that diffusionism has been scientifically established. That's about the weakest pseudo argument you'll ever see - pre-empt the people that know what they're talking about before they can repond to your ignorance.

I need to add that the skeptics of diffusionism, such as myself, are not automatically "isolationists" by any means. I'm a skeptic. I require a reason to believe a thing before I'll accept it as fact. There just are no reasons at all (that I'm aware of) to accept diffusionism as fact. I'm certainly willing to entertain the idea, which I presume an isolationist would not be willing to do.

I spoke too soon. The bolded portion above is even more ridiculous than the previous one. Please, the theory itself goes that the Egyptians sailed to the New World, not that the American Indians sailed to Egypt.

Anyway, thanks for quoting actual information at least Fantazum. Also, I'd like to note that many of the papers cited in that report can be found through Google Scholar. Some of them are even free to download as .pdfs. You'll need Adobe Acrobat to read them.

Harte

Firstly hart, this forum is entitled "unexplained mysteries" and its intended purpose is for people to express opinions on mysteries and a mystery by definition is something for which there is no evidence. So stop demanding that the members of this forum present evidence as it contradicts the purpose of the forum unless of course it is either your mission to destroy this forum by frightening away contributors or a means with which to stroke your own ego at the expense of others; either way your efforts would be better appreciated in a different forum that is dedicated to established science.

Secondly; I posted in an article from the web "for the interest" of the forum. It did not reflect my own opinion.

Thirdly: it is entirely feasible for either the ancient egyptians or americans to have constructed vessels large and strong enough to have sailed the Atlantic. Both cultures shared a remarkable engineering ability and were more than capable of constructing such ships. One only needs to look at the ships built by the egyptians that took them on voyages to places like Ethiopia and further. The egyptians built ships capable of carrying blocks of stone weighing hundreds of tons so they must have developed an understanding of displacement, stability and hull architecture as they used the same ships many times.

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Firstly hart, this forum is entitled "unexplained mysteries" and its intended purpose is for people to express opinions on mysteries and a mystery by definition is something for which there is no evidence. So stop demanding that the members of this forum present evidence as it contradicts the purpose of the forum unless of course it is either your mission to destroy this forum by frightening away contributors or a means with which to stroke your own ego at the expense of others; either way your efforts would be better appreciated in a different forum that is dedicated to established science.

Secondly; I posted in an article from the web "for the interest" of the forum. It did not reflect my own opinion.

Thirdly: it is entirely feasible for either the ancient egyptians or americans to have constructed vessels large and strong enough to have sailed the Atlantic. Both cultures shared a remarkable engineering ability and were more than capable of constructing such ships. One only needs to look at the ships built by the egyptians that took them on voyages to places like Ethiopia and further. The egyptians built ships capable of carrying blocks of stone weighing hundreds of tons so they must have developed an understanding of displacement, stability and hull architecture as they used the same ships many times.

Doctor Who once said the most enlightening thing -- "There's nothing inexplicable, only unexplained."

A mystery is something with an unexplained cause -- not an unexplainable cause. Frequently there are mysteries which can be solved, but have not been so, because evidence has been mis- or not understood. Not becasue it simply doesn't exist. To suggest all mysteries -- or even some -- exist or cannot be solved without evidence is to turn them into a faith-based religion. Some people -- myself included -- appreciate and value ratiocination and approve of using sources and provable evidence to answer questions. Why should we have to suffer your enforced mysticism? And for the past several centuries much of human progress (and the majority of the progress our race has made in toto) has depended on the application of scientific method; there is a value in inculcating it in everyone.

And while I can't speak for Harte, I have no problem with Wild Theories as such, as long as they are identified as such, but I do have a problem with people invoking gods and aliens and lost civilsations for no reason and when simpler, more rational answers can be given, simply because people want to further ridiculous ideas. Or because they lack the gonads to just say "I don't know."

And it's funny -- in another thread I reminded someone that just because we are in love with our own technology doesn't mean the ancient Egyptians didn't have their own skills, but here I find myself doing almost the opposite. The only real evidence we have that Egyptian-style boats could have made it to the New World are Thor Heyerdahls's Ra rafts -- and the one made by Egyptians failed the crossing. And while they may have had the ability to build a sea-worthy craft, it doesn't mean they had the skills -- open-sea navigation, desalination, food storage, etc -- to actually make the crossing.

--Jaylemurph

Edited by jaylemurph

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