Subject:      Re: Amerindian navigators and Eurocentrism in scholarship
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1997/09/26
Message-ID:   <60ggrj$b35$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology,sci.anthropology,,

In article <> you wrote:
: Yuri Kuchinsky <[22]> wrote:
: > Ross Clark ([23] wrote:
: >
: > : Yuri, It's one thing to believe in South American voyaging to the
: > : Galapagos;
: >
: > No need to believe anything here, Ross, the archaeological evidence for
: > this is indisputable.........(long snip)

: Indisputable ? For the sake of curiosity, I would like what is this
: archaeological evidence, with sound dating of course.

Yes, of course, Jean.

: I have read (Galapagos, A Natural History by M.H. Jackson, Calgary
: Press) that the first use of Galapagos islands was probably by pirates,
: starting from the 16th century.

Which edition of this are you using? Is it the 1959 edition? In this case
your information is obsolete.

For your attention:

[begin quote:]

Subject:      Re: The Past and the Posts
From:         [24] (Hans kristian Ruud)
Date:         1997/09/21
Message-Id:   <6036k9$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology,alt.archaeology,sci.archaeology.mesoamerican

In article , Jeff
rey L Baker <[18][25]jbaker@U.Arizona.EDU> writes:
#On 17 Sep 1997, Hans kristian Ruud wrote:
#> How about the Galapagos? What is the current status of pre-Columbian
#> remains?
#There aren't any.

Thats funny, I have before me the Norwegian translation of the lecture
"Archaeology in the Galapagos Islands", held by Thor Heyerdahl at the 10th
Pacific Conference at the University of Honolulu, Hawaii, 21 Aug to 6 Sep,

Some excerpts from the paper:

Observers from the 16th to the 19th century, who were acquainted with
guara-steered balsa rafts, were of the opinion the the natives of Peru
would have been able to reach Galapagos. There also were reports about
balsa rafts having been seen at Galapagos. The confidence in this vessel
disappeared, along with the vessel itself at the turn of the last century. 

In 1953, I organized an arceological expedition to Galapagos. E.K. Reed
and Arne Skjolsvold accompanied the expedition as archeologists. Reed
were then, as he is now (1961), chief archeologist for the American
National Parks. Skjolsvold is now (1961) a professor at Oldsaksamlingen
at the University of Oslo; he was then (1953) chief archeologist at the
Stavanger museum.

Four precolumbian sites were found on three different islands. The largest
were situated on the plateau over James Bay on the island Santiago, where
we found eight separate campsites.

Another prehistoric site was found in 1954 by the americans J.C. Couffer
and C. Hall, near Cabo Colorado at Santa Cruz.

On the sites there were found 1961 ceramic shards of indian make, coming
from at least 131 different pots. Of these, 44 were identified as known
types from Ecuador and North Peru, and further 13 could probably be
identified with types from the same area. Of the last 74 pots, 67 could
not be identified, due to the sparseness of characteristics of the shards. 
7 could not be identified, in spite of evident characteristics of the
shards (belonging to a type which has not been found anywhere else). 

At some of the sites, only Peruvian shards were found, at others there
were both Peruvian and Ecuadorian finds. The ceramic types identified with
the north coast of Peru were studied and identified by the archaeologists
C. Evans and B.J. Meggers from the Smithsonian. 

The material was presented in its entirety by Skjolsvold and myself (Thor
Heyerdahl) in "Memoir no. 12, Society for American Archaeology.

It is clearly evident that the pattern reflects a number of repeated
visits, rather than a permanent precense, or we would have found thicker
deposits and more uniform ceramic. 

Conclusion: The use of Galapagos, probably as an outpost for fishing, is
not an European invention, but the continuation of an old tradition, which
seemingly dates back to the Tiahuanaco period in the peruvian archeologic


So far Heyerdahl.

Now this lecture is 36 years old.

From the general attitude on this newsgroup, I had expected to get some
pointers to references disputing this material, with titles maybe like:

"Insufficient evidence for pre-Columbian presence in the Galapagos", or
"Alternative Interpretation of the Archeological material from Santiago,

Or, more in tune with the current discussion level at sci.archaeology,
maybe something like:

"My God, what have these guys been smoking?" or "Archaeologists in need of
mental therapy" or possibly "Heyerdahl and his cronies steps in it again" 

The answer "There aren't any" is definitely not what I had expected.

[end quote]


Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
     -=-         | is always Paradise: so say the most ancient
 in Toronto      | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
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