Parting Pacific Pottery

Parting Pacific Pottery

This is a simple tale of broken pottery and shattered Settled Science.

The story is so simple it can be understood by children [and Earth Scientists on a good day].

The narrative’s central theme is that ancient humans [and other species] sailed across the oceans [not on ships but] on land masses when the Earth began to inflate [just like a balloon].

The story begins in 1956 when Emilio Estrada discovered the ancient Valdivia Culture in Ecuador.

The Valdivia Culture is one of the oldest settled cultures recorded in the Americas.

It emerged from the earlier Las Vegas culture and thrived on the Santa Elena peninsula near the modern-day town of Valdivia, Ecuador between 3500 BC and 1800 BC.

The Valdivia culture was discovered in 1956 by the Ecuadorian archeologist Emilio Estrada.

The Valdivia lived in a community that built its houses in a circle or oval around a central plaza and were sedentary people that lived off farming and fishing, though occasionally they went hunting for deer.

From the remains that have been found, it has been determined that Valdivians cultivated maize, kidney beans, squash, cassava, chili peppers and cotton plants, the latter of which was used to make clothing.

Valdivian pottery initially was rough and practical, but it became splendid, delicate and large over time.

They generally used red and gray colors; and the polished dark red pottery is characteristic of the Valdivia period.

In their ceramics and stone works, the Valdivia culture shows a progression from the most simple to much more complicated works.

The trademark Valdivia piece is the “Venus” of Valdivia: feminine ceramic figures.

The “Venus” of Valdivia likely represented actual people, as each figurine is individual and unique, as can be seen by the hairstyles.

They were made joining two rolls of clay, leaving the lower portion separated as legs and making the body and head from the top portion.

The arms were usually very short, and in most cases were bent towards the chest, holding the breasts or under the chin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdivia_culture

Valdivia Culture

These discoveries came to the attention of the Smithsonian Institution and via this connection Emilio Estrada initiated the academic recognition of the Valdivia Culture with the enthusiastic assistance of Betty Meggers and her husband Cliff Evans.

Betty Jane Meggers (December 5, 1921 – July 2, 2012) was an American archaeologist best known for her work conducted in association with her husband, Cliff Evans, in South America.

Meggers made many important contributions to the field of archaeology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Meggers

Early Formative Period of Coastal Ecuador

Early Formative Period of Coastal Ecuador: The Valdivia and Machalilla Phases
Betty J. Meggers, Clifford Evans and Emilio Estrada
234 pages, Vol. 1, 115 figures, 196 plates, 30
1965 (Date of Issue: 20 December 1965)
Vol. 1, Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology
http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/Anthropology/sc_RecordSingle.cfm?filename=SCtA-0001&CFID=16241102&CFTOKEN=22089688

Emilio Estrada also discovered that Jomon pottery from Japan displayed “many of the techniques and motifs of decoration” incorporated into the Valdivia pottery he had unearthed in Ecuador.

“During late 1960, Estrada undertook a large excavation at Valdivia, which provided a much bigger sample of pottery from the earliest levels.

The following spring, he wrote us a letter with a novel suggestion.

He had encountered a report on the Jomon pottery of Japan and observed that many of the techniques and motifs of decoration were similar to those of Valdivia.

Having been taught in graduate school that transpacific contacts were irrelevant to explaining the origins of New World traits, we reacted with skepticism.

When we examined his sources, however, we found to our surprise that the similarities were closer and more numerous than anything we had been able to find within the Americas.

Following the rules traditionally employed by archeologists for establishing affiliations made it necessary to infer that Jomon and Valdivia were related.

This implied a transpacific contact about the beginning of the third millennium B.C.

Did Japanese Fishermen Discover America 5,000 Years Ago?
Pseudoscience – 19 May 2013 – Brad Lepper
Ohio History Connection Archaeology Blog

Based on comparison of archeological remains and pottery styles (specifically, the similarity between the Valdivian pottery and the ancient Jōmon culture on the island of Kyūshū, Japan) Estrada, along with the American archaeologist Betty Meggers suggested in the 1960s that a relationship between the people of Ecuador and the people of Japan existed in ancient times.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdivia_culture

She contended that Japanese Middle Jomon pottery was similar to ceramics from the Valdivia site in Ecuador – both dating between 2000 and 3000 B.C.

The Life Cycle of an Idea: Transpacific Voyages and American Archaeology – R E Daggett
http://www.stcroixarchaeology.org/files/Transpacific_Voyages_-_Daggett.pdf

The Jōmon period is the time in Prehistoric Japan from about 12,000 BC and in some cases cited as early as 14,500 BC to about 300 BC, when Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture which reached a considerable degree of sedentism and cultural complexity.

The name “cord-marked” was first applied by the American scholar Edward S. Morse who discovered shards of pottery in 1877 and subsequently translated it into Japanese as jōmon.

The pottery style characteristic of the first phases of Jōmon culture was decorated by impressing cords into the surface of wet clay.

This pottery, dated to around 16,000 years ago (14,000 BC), is perhaps the oldest in the world (pottery nearly as old has been found in southern China, the Russian Far East, and Korea).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%8Dmon_culture

Kyushu

The similarities between the Jomon and Valdivia pottery are quite remarkable.

Comparison of Jomon and Valdivia Phase pottery sherds

Early Formative Period of Coastal Ecuador: The Valdivia and Machalilla Phases
Betty J. Meggers, Clifford Evans and Emilio Estrada
234 pages, Vol. 1, 115 figures, 196 plates, 30
1965 (Date of Issue: 20 December 1965)
Vol. 1, Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology
http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/Anthropology/sc_RecordSingle.cfm?filename=SCtA-0001&CFID=16241102&CFTOKEN=22089688

Among the specific decorative traits and rim treatments shared by Jomon and Valdivia pottery are the following:

1. Broad-line incision
2. Excision
3. Red slip
4. Finger grooving
5. Shell stamping
6. Combing
7. Cord impression
8. Rocker stamping
9. Folded-over rim
10. Short spout

Did Japanese Fishermen Discover America 5,000 Years Ago?
Pseudoscience – 19 May 2013 – Brad Lepper
Ohio History Connection Archaeology Blog

The similarities between the Valdivia “Venus”, the Chorrera “Venus” and the Jomon “Venus” suggest the connections are far more extensive than original envisaged by Emilio Estrada.

Trademark Venus

The Chorrera culture or Chorrera tradition is a Late Formative indigenous culture that flourished between 1300 BCE and 300 BCE in Ecuador.

Chorrera culture was one of the most widespread cultures in pre-Columbian Ecuador, spanning the Pacific lowlands to the Andean highlands, and even into southern Colombia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorrera_culture

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Chorrera_art

Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, the Research Director of the Sainsbury Institute will give a lecture alongside Professor Kobayashi Tatsuo and Professor Tsuji Nobuo at the world famous Miho Museum.

The lectures will be in association with the exhibition ‘Dogū, a Cosmos: Ancient Clay Figurines’, which runs from 1 September to 9 December 2012.

It features many important examples of dogū from all over Japan, including National Treasure-designated Jōmon Venus and the earliest dogū found in Shiga Prefecture.

Lecture at Miho Museum – 21 October 2012
Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures
http://sainsbury-institute.org/news-events/lecture-at-miho-museum/

The trademark Valdivia piece is the “Venus” of Valdivia: feminine ceramic figures.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdivia_culture

Venus Valdivia - Parque Lineal del Salado - Guayaquil

Unsurprisingly, there might also a Japanese connection with the Zuni people of New Mexico.

Zuni Pottery

Alaskan anthropologist Nancy Yaw Davis claims that the Zuni people of New Mexico exhibit linguistic and cultural similarities to the Japanese.

The Zuni language is a linguistic isolate, and Davis contends that the culture appears to differ from that of the surrounding natives in terms of blood type, endemic disease, and religion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Columbian_trans-oceanic_contact_theories

Archaeology suggests that the Zuni have been farmers in their present location for 3,000 to 4,000 years.

Irrigation agriculture in riverine environments in Zuni began about 3,000 years ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuni_people

Needless to say these connections are “controversial” [on many levels].

Probably her best-known contribution was her controversial assertion of a pre-historic relationship between the peoples of North-Western South America and of Japan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Meggers

Firstly, this connection between Japan and Ecuador highlights the inherent problems associated with the mainstream application of radiocarbon dating and their simple acceptance of cultural lacunae [spanning many hundreds of years] that are embedded in their eras of consistent culture.

Jomon Timeline

These problems stem from the wilful imposition of a global calibration curve that totally ignores the latitudinal, temporal and source material variations in the carbon-13 to carbon-14 ratio.

Jomon Calibration
New Archaeology Through Carbon Dating
Kenichi Kobayashi – Associate Professor of Archaeology,
Faculty of Letters, Chuo University
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/adv/chuo/dy/research/20100610.html

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/category/radiocarbon-dating/

Secondly, it highlights the degree to which the archaeological narrative can be skewed by personal differences in techniques and/or interpretations [aka subjective assessments].

There are essentially two alternative explanations for the similarities.

Either the two traditions developed independently and the similarities are entirely coincidental, or one gave rise to the other through the direct transfer of knowledge via transpacific contact.

Did Japanese Fishermen Discover America 5,000 Years Ago?
Pseudoscience – 19 May 2013 – Brad Lepper
Ohio History Connection Archaeology Blog

Thirdly, it highlights the degree to which the archaeological narrative can be skewed by a belief in Settled Science and/or Settled History.

This is well illustrated by the protracted [and very detailed] debate [that has echoed down through the decades] regarding ancient Jomon people traversing the equator and the Pacific Ocean in hollowed out tree trunks.

The Late Jomon Period and Final Jomon Period (2000 – 300 B.C.E.)
The remains of logboats from the Late Jomon period greatly increase in number.
Jomon Log Boat
Ancient Ships of Japan – Hiroaki Miyashita – August 2006
Texas A&M University
http://nautarch.tamu.edu/pdf-files/Miyashita-MA2006.pdf

In October 1813, the junk Tokujo Maru left Tokyo, returning to Toba after delivering the shogun’s annual tribute.

The nor’westers swept it out to sea and it drifted for 530 days, passing within a mile of California when offshore winds blew it out to sea.

Eleven of the fourteen men aboard perished.

Then, 470 miles off Mexico, an American brig hailed the hulk and rescued the three survivors.

Borne on a Black Current – Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano
Smithsonian.com
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/borne-on-a-black-current-31467673/

Pacific Currents

However, as science has progressed it has uncovered more support for this transoceanic connection.

Vadivia Children

Since then, it has been discovered that people living in the area, and in southwest Japan yet uncovered, both have a low rate of a virus not known in other populations, HTLV-1.
….
Recently, geneticists have published evidence from haplogroup studies that support the theory of Japanese-Valdivian contact.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdivia_culture

The knowledge about HTLV-1 epidemiology is limited.

The high prevalence is detected in Japan where more than 10% of the population are infected.

It is also high among the Inuit of Northern Canada, in Japan, northeastern Iran, Peru, the Pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador, the Caribbean, and in Africa.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTLV1

Numerous studies of human populations in Europe and Asia have revealed a concordance between their extant genetic structure and the prevailing regional pattern of geography and language.

For native South Americans, however, such evidence has been lacking so far.

Therefore, we examined the relationship between Y-chromosomal genotype on the one hand, and male geographic origin and linguistic affiliation on the other, in the largest study of South American natives to date in terms of sampled individuals and populations.

A total of 1,011 individuals, representing 50 tribal populations from 81 settlements, were genotyped for up to 17 short tandem repeat (STR) markers and 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs), the latter resolving phylogenetic lineages Q and C.

Virtually no structure became apparent for the extant Y-chromosomal genetic variation of South American males that could sensibly be related to their inter-tribal geographic and linguistic relationships.

This continent-wide decoupling is consistent with a rapid peopling of the continent followed by long periods of isolation in small groups.

Furthermore, for the first time, we identified a distinct geographical cluster of Y-SNP lineages C-M217 (C3*) in South America.

Such haplotypes are virtually absent from North and Central America, but occur at high frequency in Asia.

Together with the locally confined Y-STR autocorrelation observed in our study as a whole, the available data therefore suggest a late introduction of C3* into South America no more than 6,000 years ago, perhaps via coastal or trans-Pacific routes.

Moreover, we identified a cluster of Native American founding lineages of Y chromosomes, called C-M217 (C3*), within a restricted area of Ecuador in North-Western South America.

The same haplogroup occurs at high frequency in Central, East, and North East Asia, but is virtually absent from North (except Alaska) and Central America.

Continent-Wide Decoupling of Y-Chromosomal Genetic Variation from Language and Geography in Native South Americans
Lutz Roewer, Michael Nothnagel, Leonor Gusmão, Veronica Gomes, Miguel González, Daniel Corach, Andrea Sala, Evguenia Alechine, Teresinha Palha, Ney Santos, Andrea Ribeiro-dos-Santos, Maria Geppert, Sascha Willuweit, Marion Nagy, Sarah Zweynert, Miriam Baeta, Carolina Núñez, Begoña Martínez-Jarreta, Fabricio González-Andrade,
Elizeu Fagundes de Carvalho, Dayse Aparecida da Silva, Juan José Builes, Daniel Turbón,
Ana Maria Lopez Parra, Eduardo Arroyo-Pardo, Ulises Toscanini, Lisbeth Borjas, Claudia Barletta, Elizabeth Ewart, Sidney Santos, Michael Krawczak
PLOS Genetics – 11 April 2013
http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1003460

Therefore, in conclusion, the independent observer is left to decide whether:

a) An ancient culture travelled across the Pacific Ocean in hollowed out log boats
or
b) An ancient culture was separated when the Earth inflated and created the Pacific ocean
or
c) These ancient cultural similarities are purely coincidental.

The History Channel seems to promote the log boat option via the scenic coastal route.

The reader, as always, is free to draw their own [independent] conclusions.

FOOTNOTE
Anyone unfamiliar with whiplash mechanics might find the Aperschnalzen videos on YouTube educational [provided your spouse/employer/friends/colleagues are understanding].

Aperschnalzen

Aperschnalzen (Austro-Bavarian Apaschnoizn) is an old tradition of competitive whipcracking revived in the first half of the 20th century in Bavaria and Salzburg.

The word “aper” means “area free of snow” in the Bavarian language.

The Aperschnalzen involves the rhythmic snapping and cracking of a whip up to 4 m in length (called “Goassl” in Austro-Bavarian) and takes place at the end of January and early February.

It is performed in small groups (“Passen” in Bavarian) of 7, 9 or 11 members each.

It has been thought that this tradition had a pagan meaning of “driving the winter away” by whipcracking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperschnalzen

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4 Responses to Parting Pacific Pottery

  1. Tim Flannery wrote a book “The Future Eaters” which I received as a Christmas present decades ago; I read it over two days. The book was a present from my ‘green’ sibling who believed I should benefit from this textual instruction in environmentalist good manners and protocols.

    Flannery recounted the fact of the existence of a Peruvian fishing-bat existing in New Zealand. His explanation for this anomalous wildlife in New Zealand was that the bats flew westwards from Peru to finally settle in New Zealand.

    Flying against the trade winds, Not forming any bat colonies on islands between New Zealand and Peru, and miraculously migrated from Peru westwards as breeding pairs unless these Peruvian fishing-bats have alternative means by which to breed; inbreeding doesn’t seem an issue either.

    And looking at the oceanic gyres island hopping via ships doesn’t seem an option either since this route would take our Peruvian Fishing-bats to Alaska, Japan, the Phillipines etc to ultimately New Zealand.

    Obviously, or according to the Flannery Feery, our migrating Peruvian Fushing-Butts (How you pronounce fishing bats in Kiwese) were a hardy bunch not needing water or sleep along their journey to New Zealand from Peru.

    This is rather unsettling science methinks.

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