Subject: Amerindian navigators From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Yuri Kuchinsky) Date: 1997/07/14 Message-ID: <email@example.com> Newsgroups: sci.archaeology,sci.archaeology.mesoamerican Greetings, I have posted here already a quote from Williams indicating how badly is he uninformed about the great navigational achievements of ancient S. Americans. Here it is again: [begin quote:] from Stephen Williams, FANTASTIC ARCHAEOLOGY, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991. "It is much more likely that the Polynesians with their proven maritime prowess once went to S. America and returned with the sw. potato than that some essentially landlocked Andean cultures, with only minimal coastal fish harvesting to their credit, were the founders of a dynasty on Easter Island... [contra Heyerdahl]" (p. 233) [end quote] Landlocked? Landlocked, indeed! I think it is certain scholars' perceptions that seem to be "locked" in this case... And further I wrote: [begin quote] If only Williams bothered to read the early historical accounts of the Spanish invaders to see that the Incas, although based in the highlands, controlled a huge maritime trading network run by their allies, the Chincha, on the coast! Williams needs some remedial learning here in a hurry... When Pizarro arrived on the coast in 1532, all that was still in evidence, although one needs to note that that amazing maritime civilization of Chincha collapsed very quickly after the Spanish influence was firmly established. [end quote] And later, Bernard Ortiz de Montellano questioned the veracity of this information, thereby also indicating his lack of familiarity with this important area. No wonder he's still insisting against all odds that sw. potato was not brought over to Polynesia by ancient mariners... There's nothing wrong in not knowing something. All of us have gaps in our education in different areas. But later Bernard started to attack Heyerdahl who was the first among modern historians to try to rescue this area from obscurity. And this is hardly an attitude that is conducive to learning new things, I should say... In any case, here's Bernard: firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: : I would like for you to post the original : Spanish contemporaneous sources or articles by recognized authorities on : the Inca to support these claims. A popular book by Heyerdahl is not : sufficient-- after all we are not talking of his own personal : experiences here, but of his scholarship and research-- which I have : shown to be completely unreliable in my area of expertise. Bernard Ortiz : de Montellano Heyerdahl is only one author of PYRAMIDS OF TUCUME, 1995. This is a scholarly volume with all the necessary refs. In it, Heyerdahl focuses on Peru, and omits Ecuador that has a more ancient ocean sailing raft tradition. In this book, Heyerdahl writes: "It has for too long been assumed that all Peruvians in pre-Columbian times had neither the vessels nor daring to take them further than inshore fishing in the crudest of craft. This misconception stemmed from the dearth of information concerning daily life along the coast prior to the Inca period. Only in the last 30 years have archaeologists turned their attention to a great number of coastal sites where they have found that communities in the pre-Inca period based their economy to a great extent on fishing and maritime trade." (p. 15) Further, Heyerdahl writes that the Europeans were mostly after gold, and that "... The conquered coastal peoples, from whom the wealthy Incas had forcibly acquired most of their wealth, left only a slight impression on the newcomers from Europe and their chroniclers. The little information the chroniclers did record of their first meeting with Peruvians along the coast is therefore of great importance." (p. 15) The sources that Heyerdahl is using for his analysis of early Amerindian navigation are as follows: Samanos (1844 : 196); Estete (1992 ); Prescott (1847), and a few others. I'm not sure how serious Bernard really is about wishing to learn about all this. Of course if he's really interested, and not simply trying to sidetrack this whole conversation, or if someone else is interested, I can provide more information. I'm a little hesitant to point people again and again to MAN ACROSS THE SEA. But what can I do if this is a very valuable source for this and many other related matters... So few people seem to have read this, it seems... There's plenty about S. American navigation there. Meanwhile, for the really serious scholar, the best single source for this seems to be: Edwards, Clinton R., ABORIGINAL WATERCRAFT ON THE PACIFIC COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA, 1965, Univ. of California Press. This whole volume is a detailed and very competent study that, it seems, very few people are aware of. Best regards, Yuri. Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- http://www.io.org/~yuku It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith _________________________________________________________________Click here to go one level up in the directory.