Thursday, August 8, 2013


Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.  Write Book Title in Search Block



We've asked that question before in our series of blog posts originally titled "SPACE AS AN OCEAN " Which is being worked into an E-book in our MARITIME LITERATURE SECTION under the title of PROTOCOLS. Columbus went to his grave believing that he had visited regions of the Orient. After centuries of being taught that the "New World" was sparsely populated and then mostly by late stone age peoples of little sophistication save for the Aztec, Inca, and Maya many North and South Americans find it hard to believe that Columbus could have mistaken the Americas for the sophisticated and technologically and culturally advanced Orient. But if you read the logs of Columbus, especially his first three voyages he didn't view the people he met as savages but rather as peasants. After the third voyage which helped establish a permanent base of operations on what he was sure were offshore islands close to the Asian mainland he voyaged farther west and encountered the Coast of Mexico. We described in our SPACE AS AN OCEAN SERIES what he encountered like this:

 The Mayan coast lands were long and Columbus must have suspected that he was coasting along a mainland. He could not know how narrow parts of that mainland were or the great Pacific Ocean, an ocean that his world dimensions had no room for, was beyond the distantly glimpsed mountains to the west. But what was of far more significance was that Columbus now encountered a coast with coast wise trading vessels the size of galleys that he was familiar with in his own Mediterranean world. He encountered a coast with ports, some of which had breakwaters, officials, and signal beacons. The vessels were huge canoes with shelters amidships of tightly woven palm leaves. The canoes had large crews and significant weather protected cargo capacities. They were in the charge of well dressed merchants who often had their families along. These trading, coastal large canoes were engaged in regular and organized trade. The ports had official buildings of impressive size made of stone and displayed a strange but advanced architecture. Columbus had come face to face with what could be described as the Mayan Merchant Marine.
 Columbus first encountered the Mayan coast wise traders in 1502 near what is now referred to as the Bay Islands of Honduras. In hi slog he noted:

   "There arrived a canoe full of Indians , as long as a galley and eight feet wide. It was loaded with merchandise from the west, almost certainly from the land of Yucatan"

 Columbus described a thatched palm shelter midships in the craft sheltering women and children as well as merchandise from both rain and sea. The women and children seemed to be family of the presiding merchants. The crew consisted of nearly twenty five men. Trade goods consisted of high quality cotton cloth of intricate design and many colors, flint bladed tools and weapons, swords carved of very hard wood and a variety of food items. This first encounter was not untypical of a variety of craft that Columbus would observe on his fourth voyage, in fact this particular canoe was a bit on the modest size. Some historical accounts describe Mayan vessels capable of carrying forty to fifty people plus large amounts of trade goods. Most Mayan traders followed the coast line using natural features, shrines and towers as short range aids to navigation. However some Mayan navigators ventured offshore. The Mayans had reached and colonized such offshore islands as Cozumel, the Belize Cays and Bay Islands by 600 to 900 AD.

 As the Mayan culture evolved some seaside villages developed into real ports of call and trading centers. One such example was the town of Cerros on Chetumal Bay in what is now northern Belize. This town was located at the confluence of the mouths of the New and Hondo rivers. The port connected the coastal and offshore island trade with the inland regions of the Mayan empire reachable by the two rivers. The Mayan maritime trade made use of many natural harbors but also made artificial improvements where needed. On the northern coast of Yucatan on the island of Cerritos the ruins of docks, piers, and a 1,000 foot seawall can be found. The maritime trade infrastructure of the Maya spread across the whole coastline of Mexico to what is now called Panama and extended inland at every navigable river. Between 900 and 1520 AD this Meso American maritime trade flourished and became sort of international in scope involving not only the seafaring Mayans but also seafaring Aztecs and other peoples. By the time of first contact much of this trade had come to be controlled by wealthy nobles tied to each other through marriage and formal alliances and dominating the economies of these widely spaced coastal communities. This system collapsed shortly after the Spanish conquest and has been largely forgotten. But this was the system that Columbus saw on his fourth voyage. On that voyage he saw people of apparently Asiatic racial stock and of a high order of civilization engaged in an extensive and organized maritime trade from real port cities. Why would he think he was anywhere else but Asia?

 We are learning in our our research for PROTOCOLS that the latest archaeological evidence supports that Central America was not the only region of the Americas containing highly organized, densely populated complex civilizations. Indeed the latest findings indicate that North America had some extensive, complex, and densely populated empires before Columbus. If you read the book 1491 NEW REVELATIONS OF THE AMERICAS BEFORE COLUMBUS by Charles G Mann it is rather clear that many "Indian" societies trailed Europe in only steel making, firearms, and seafaring and actually there was extensive coastal and trans Caribbean seafaring. These original American societies actually exceeded Europe in urban organization, and sanitation, city planning, calendar  computation, and were the equal in "soft metal work" such as with gold and silver. They may have exceeded Europe in medical knowledge but still were a long way from the "germ theory" and unable to save themselves from the onslaught of European disease. They may well have surpassed European societies in argiculture horticulture, irrigation, and forestry. We are going to be a while reorganizing our thoughts on the Americas before Columbus. 

  You may want to click on this book cover icon to obtain a copy of 1491 or to pull the ISBN numbers to obtain a library loan. The book describes in detail the latest composite picture of the Americas before "first contact " which in fact was not first contact at all but simply the last one before the hemisphere was literally invaded by European powers, particularly Southern and Central European powers. Earlier Norse contacts had not produced the deadly infectious diseases that the Colombian and post Colombian visitors did. Neither had Pacific Coast Contacts with Polynesian and Chinese peoples. For a comprehensive look at the evidence of extensive Chinese contacts including "colonies" left behind and intermarried with the peoples of the Mexican West Coast try :
  Click on the book cover icon for point of purchase or ISBN numbers for a library loan.  "On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to "proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas." When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed."  

 Again we invite our readers to revisit Space As An Ocean 's conversion into the E book PROTOCOLS in our MARITIME LITERATURE SECTION: click on this link to go instantly to the appropriate section then scroll down until images of the Space Shuttle and a Replica of one of Colombus's caravels appears. If you have visited our work in progress of late you may not have seen much in the way of changes. There is a lot of research before we write so here in the blog sphere we like to share some of that research with you. We still believe strongly as we did when we published SPACE AS AN OCEAN there is much to be learned from Colombian contact and age of European ocean exploration that directly applies to manned space exploration, and we could avoid many tragic mistakes by not repeating what the Europeans and "Indians" did. But before we can learn from that long ago "first contact" we have to acquire a more accurate historical perspective. Virtually everything that those ancient mariners who are working on this project were taught about pre-Colombian America in college was inaccurate, grossly so. That's one reason why this is no over night project. We highly recommend these two books to help any layman obtain a clearer picture of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus.

No comments:

Post a Comment