Mayan Temple of the Jaguar
In any conquest those to be conquered must be dehumanized. Why? Because by dehumanizing them and making them appear less than human we somehow justify our aggression, our war, our slaughter of our fellow human being. Somehow we don’t feel as guilty or remorseful about such a thing when we dehumanize others, the “enemy.” We’ve seen this time and time again throughout human history and it is the same case when it comes to the conquest of Mesoamerica by the Spanish Conquistadors and priests. Most of the written accounts sent back to the Spanish Crown were grossly exaggerated to say the least. These accounts painted a picture of Mesoamericans and, later, of Native Americans in general as “savage animals” who were somehow badly in need of “religion and civilization.” In many cases, if not most, the Spanish carried out a policy of summary destruction not only of artifacts made by the ancient people of Mesoamerica but any records that they may have had. The entire history of these people was lost and remains so thanks to this conquest! That noted………..
Back in 1951 archaeologist Samuel K. Lothrop made an excursion into Panama and discovered what is known as the Playa Venado site. At this site he unearthed 220 bodies which he theorized had been butchered or buried alive or perhaps decapitated because they were enemies or the remains of a defeated army. And his research at this site has been widely noted since then. But, as it turns out a new study by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute says Lothrop got it ALL WRONG. Smithsonian archaeologists say the site’s human remains, in fact, show no signs of trauma at or near the time of death. Likely this was just a common graveyard, that’s all. Continue Reading
I was saddened to hear a few days ago about the fire at the 200 year old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (9/2/2018). Contained in that building were some of the Andean Mummies which were highly value for research IMO. I find these mummies intriguing to say the least and it saddens me that they will no longer be able to be studied. This museum housed over 20 million artifacts so it was a MAJOR museum for research.
Among the artifacts believed destroyed is the skull known as “Luzia” which was dated at 11.5 kyr and is believed to have been from a Paleoindian woman who was one of the earliest known inhabitants of the Americas. Mummies and artifacts from Egypt were also housed in this museum and now presumed destroyed. It’s currently estimated that only 10% of the artifacts in the museum survived IF that much. Smoke detectors reportedly were not working and the fire suppression system in the building was limited, sadly. I do know that funding for the museum was cut by the Brazilian government not long ago and some are blaming that lack of funding for basically a non-working and inadequate fire suppression system.
Among the “survivors” was a 5.86 ton meteor which is the largest meteor every found in Brazil. It was discovered back in 1784. From what I hear bone fragments have been found in the rubble but they are nothing compared to what this museum once housed. So 200 years of work and research has now gone up in flames and that saddens me to say the least. It always saddens me when artifacts are lost and/or destroyed either by accident or intention. They are all clues to our TRUE history as a species and without them our knowledge and research only slows down and develops voids which we can’t fill in with evidence. Oh we can “fill in the blanks” with a lot of speculation but that’s far different from FACTS. The museum was a popular center for research both for new and seasoned researchers.
I don’t know how far they’ve gotten through the rubble but I’m sure that most of what the museum contained is gone and what is left is likely now pretty useless. We need to protect our heritage and our history all over the world because it IS important! It is all clues to how we as a species came to be as we are today, modern humans. I know many people look at artifacts and think, “Oh they’re just a bunch of old bones” but to researchers like me they are far more than “just old bones.” I want to know where we came from and how we came to be modern humans for certain. I want as many facts as we can possibly gather and I want our theories based on those facts instead of speculation. And I want artifacts protected and not lightly thrown aside because they are our clues to who we are and how we came to be. In my mind there is no such things as “just a bunch of old bones” or “just a piece of old pottery.” We as a species NEED to know and NEED to understand where we came from and how we came to be who and what we are today. All the bones, all the pottery, all the mummies, and all the other artifacts around the world are important and they are the road map to discovery the truth about ourselves as human beings. Without that road map we become lost and our “knowledge” becomes based on false and erroneous assumptions.
BTW I’ve blogged here about Luzia a couple of times which you can find at the following links:
The fire at the museum is a great loss and my heart weeps for such a significant and important loss that we can never recover.
El Chichon Volcano in NW Chiapas, Mexico which is still an active volcano
Many ancient cultures worshiped volcanoes and many believed them to be actual living creatures. Volcanoes have played a big part in human history and one of those places where this was so was in the ancient lands of the Maya. But volcanoes have played another role in human history as well and that role is than of being a cause and in some cases a major cause for large scale cultural changes
Back in February of 2017 a research team released their findings and their study suggested that ancient ash links the El Chichon eruption to a time of significant cultural upheaval in the land of the Maya!
The El Chichon eruption was a major eruption occurring in AD 540 and what is odd is that prior to this El Chichon was a small and insignificant volcano. However, after its eruption it plunged Mayan civilization into a period of darkness and chaos. During this time period the Maya were one of the most sophisticated cultures on Earth but after this eruption the Maya were plunged into a century long “dark age.” All that was sophisticated and remarkable in Mayan civilization was lost.
The Maya had an advanced civilization for the time and most researchers believe they thrived between AD 250-900. They had developed a writing system, precise calendars, mathematics and beautiful cities, pyramids, and temples made of cut stone many of which still stand today. Researching these sites archaeologists began to notice something odd about the Maya in 1938. That’s when an archaeologist noticed that there was a strange gap in the dated Maya monuments! That is, it appeared that for more than 100 years the Maya stopped building new buildings and pyramids and some even abandoned areas they’d long-lived in while others grew more warlike for no apparent reason. Archaeologists were at a loss to explain this although, as always, they had many hypotheses. Earthquakes were suspected or hurricanes while others thought trade routes collapsed. Whatever happened one thing was for sure and that is Mayan society during this gap period showed a degeneration of Mayan society and culture. Continue Reading
A German Mexican (Deutsch Mexikaner in German or Germano Mexicano Or Aleman Mexicano in Spanish) is a Mexican citizen of German descent or origin. Most Germans arrived in Mexico during the mid to late 19th century inspired by the policies of Mexican el Presidente Porfirio Diaz and his liberal policies. German immigrants became merchants, industrialists, and educators. Some went to Mexico to be farmers or find work. Most settled in Mexico City, Veracruz, the Yucatan, and Puebla. During and after the First and Second World Wars significant numbers of Germans also immigrated to Mexico.
Students of the Colegio Aleman Alexander von Humbolt, early 20th century (German School in Mexico)
In Mexico City even today there are some neighborhoods that are clearly German Mexican as reflected in the Germanic styles of some neighborhoods and homes there. German settlements in Mexico go back to when they settled Texas when it was under the rule of Spain. The first permanent German settlement in Texas was in a town called “Industry” in Austin County. After the Mexican-American War of 1848 many Germans left Texas and went deeper into to Mexico as they sided with Mexico during that war.
Entrance to the German section of a cemetery in Mexico City (Panteon Civil de Dolores(
Between 1865-66 about 543 German families were brought from Hamburg in Germany to the Yucatan in Mexico primarily to the villages of Santa Elena and Pustunich. The majority of these Germans were farmers, craftsmen, wheelwright, shoemakers, and cabinet makers. Continue Reading