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Re: America's Stonehenge 2
At 22:29 05/08/99 -0400, Rory Sinclair wrote:
>After applauding your very spirited support of the notion that aboriginals
>get short shrift in the "European-based" histories which can be summarised
>"Smart white guy teaches silly savages how to walk, talk, fish and build
>decent housing" -- I must now take issue with intemperate remarks on Pohl.
>Somewhat speculative, yes! Not as specultative as others such as say
>Michael Bradley (I would not recommend him to you as you might pop a cork)
>but he is hardly an idiot and others of your profession and your sister
>profession of historians such as Barbara Crawford, know that he has done
>some very good work. So my advice would be to ease up pardner and enjoy
>the ride. You don't have to buy it all and please keep up your good work!
>From: darwin ramsey <email@example.com>
>To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
>Date: Thursday, August 05, 1999 9:09 AM
>Subject: Re: America's Stonehenge 2
>>Maybe it is too many years in academia but I think Pohl is an idiot. I
>>read his works and am seriously unimpressed with his science. I am not
>>saying that some trade may have been going on, however, it is going to take
>>a great deal more than a site that has been sacked through the years to fit
>>someone's ideal history to convince me.
>>As to the artifacts from Latin America. We (the archaeological community
>>the US) know that the cross-country migration of the ice age was not the
>>first. Early people migrated along the western coast all the way into
>>America. We have early dates there. In fact, that was the first place the
>>pre-12,000 years ago date was discovered. However, here in South Carolina
>>we now have uncovered evidence of a pre-12,000 occupation.
>>There are huge sites throughout the Mid-West and the Mississippi River
>>Valley that make this site (Stonehenge 2) look ridiculous. We are talking
>>about mounds that are hundreds of feet high and cover acres. There are
>>detailed astronomical calendars. In the Southwest there are the pueblos
>>the Nez Perez (sp?) graphics on the desert floor that cover huge expanses
>>land. Cahokia covered several miles and approximately 4,000 people lived
>>there during its height. Moundville is also about that large (2,500 to
>>3,000 residents). The rulers in these places had subject areas that
>>extended for miles in all directions. They had complicated alliances and
>>trade groups. They produced complicated weapons and beautiful artwork.
>>They were a very sophisticated people. They had to disband because their
>>population outgrew the resources. Once the population dispersed they
>>their glory and their cities fell to dust. People moved around and often
>>groups that occupied the areas later had nothing to do with the original
>>city at all. They could not explain these huge sites to the Europeans and
>>so the ethnocentric Europeans assumed that the aboriginal population didn't
>>build these sites.
>>My point is, there is lots of evidence for Indians to have constructed this
>>site and NONE for Europeans, Mynoans, Egyptians, etc. Remember, European
>>descendants wrote that description including the reference to 'Baal.' I am
>>unimpressed. I write copy like that but we try to avoid words that most
>>people won't understand or taht will confuse the audience. I work with
>>museums and interpretive centers. I know too well what goes on behind the
>>scenes to take such a reference on face value.
>>Please, I know about archaeology. I have spent the last 14 years doing
>>archaeology and getting paid for it. It is a different perspective that
>>doing volunteer work. Volunteer work is a great deal more fun. I have to
>>have references for everything I do. If it is a "new" discovery I need a
>>great deal of evidence to support my claim. One piece of copy on an
>>interpretive display doesn't make it. I am not politically correct by any
>>stretch of the imagination. However, many years of research support my
>>claim that the aboriginal residents of the US have been treated as second
>>class citizens because they were "too stupid and primitive" to build
>>anything like this.
>>I just don't believe that Europeans had to rush over here and build this
>>structure. I think the people who were already here had the knowledge and
>>technology to do so just like the British Isles aboriginal population had
>>_The cultural diffusion between the Old World and the New World has been
going on for thousands of years and it is academic myopia of the worst kind
(the kind that has
kept us in everlasting ignorance) to suggest that the pyramids, for
example, of Central
America and those of Egypt were development independently. Ditto the
hireoglyphics of the Micmacs which so closely resemble those of Egypt and,
as the Egyptians had ceased using them 2,000 years ago, it means that they
were 'transferred' to (what is now) North Anerica) before Jesus was born.
One of your correspondents justifies his/her opinion by saying that he/she
for giving advice on archaeology etc. In this statement he/she is being
with his/her own petard BECAUSE every worthwhile discovery in the field of
archaeology has invariably been made by the enthusiastic amateur. Pohl's
on the Greenland settlements are a clear case in point. Tutankhamun's tomb is
yet another example of private enterprise rather than academic investigation.
By and large academics are blinkered by the strict parameters of their own
Few are brave enough to step outside the expected and the accepted view
and, because of this, we are kept in everlasting ignorance about such
things as America's
Stonehenge and the myriad of other megalithic structures which dot the
The mind is like a parachute. It only works when it is open. It behoves us
all to keep an open mind - particularly on matters historical which have
invariably been distoted by Church and State alike. (The Norse sagas -
far from being fables - are amongst the most accurate historical documents
we possess even if they were handed own orally for hundreds of years before
being committed to the written word in the early 14th Century. Oral tradition
is invariably accurate0.
Socrates said: "The more I know, the less I realise I know until I have now
reached the conclusion that I know nothing" to which we should all say Amen.
After all, the realisation of ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.
And my only certainty?
When I go to my grave, I shall still be ignorant about the many many things
I would love to have known about.
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