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  1. #16

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    This image from a copper plate of the mound builders at Etowah, Georgia bears more similarity to Aztec artistic styles and preoccupations than anything I've ever seen in the Southwestern US on pottery, rock art, whatever:



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  2. #17

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    Highmountain wrote:
    This image from a copper plate of the mound builders at Etowah, Georgia bears more similarity to Aztec artistic styles and preoccupations than anything I've ever seen in the Southwestern US on pottery, rock art, whatever
    Hmm are we supposed to accept that this is purely coincidental?
    Oroblanco
    Name your own poison. Whatever way you choose to accept or deny it isn't a concern to me. I'm just running it up on the flagpole to see if anyone salutes. Failing that it's entirely possible someone might offer some ideas or information leading somewhere further.

    Jack

  3. #18

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Pyramid similarities

    These folks were building mounds for burials in the eastern US at a time when the ancestors of the Anasazi weren't yet doing pottery or much in the way of shelter. They began building pyramids around the time the southwesterners began building 'big houses'.

    Woodland 1000BC - 1000AD
    Mississippian (800?) 900 - 1550
    Early Mississippian 900 - 1150
    Middle Mississippian 1150 - 1350
    Late Mississippian 1350 -1500

    On the other hand, they were considerably larger in physical stature than the Europeans of the time. That's established by the descriptions from their encounters with early explorers, as well as some of the skeletons excavated during the 1800s from a number of mounds which were described as 'giants' repeatedly in various news reports of the time. So, despite the fact folks of European descent had grown taller they were still smaller than the mound builders by comparison as late as the 1800s.

    If it weren't for that I'd be tempted to jump into believing the homeland of the Aztec's a bit obvious.

    But so far as I'm aware the Aztec wasn't typically larger than the Spaniard.

    Back to the drawing board.
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  4. #19

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    Speaking of pyramid similarities, ever compared the size and/or 'footprint' (area covered) by some of these pyramids? Thank you in advance,
    Oroblanco
    No, I haven't. Have you?

    Jack

  5. #20

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    No, though I did compare the footprint of Egyptian versus Mexican examples and the size similarities are (almost) shocking, considering the official theory of isolation. Pure coincidence that the Great Pyramid in Egypt has virtually the identical footprint (not height though) as the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, as if whenever any group of people are living in isolation, they immediately start to building pyramids. And that idea is not supposed to strike us as ridiculous.
    Oroblanco
    A lot of people who know more about it than I do agree with you. I don't know enough about it to feel comfortable having an opinion.

    The Aztec and Mississippian pyramids appear to me to share more visual similarity than either of them shares with Chichen Itza or Giza.

    J

    Edit: Shouldn't be too difficult for you to get footprint info on the major pyramids in Asia, Africa and the Americas to compare. Probably someone's already done it and has it posted on a blog, or in Wiki.

  6. #21

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    No, though I did compare the footprint of Egyptian versus Mexican examples and the size similarities are (almost) shocking, considering the official theory of isolation. Pure coincidence that the Great Pyramid in Egypt has virtually the identical footprint (not height though) as the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico, as if whenever any group of people are living in isolation, they immediately start to building pyramids. And that idea is not supposed to strike us as ridiculous.
    Oroblanco
    I don't discount what you're suggesting and believe there's a lot of merit to it supported by the kind of reasoning that's often used to draw that conclusion. That particular method of reasoning isn't invalid, in my view.

    On the other hand, seems to me there's a danger of assuming more than is sometimes justified. If I'd never seen a wheel and was going about trying to invent one the end product might well resemble a wheel and lead some future person to conclude I'd been shown how a wheel should look.

    If worldwide pyramids share a similar footprint it might mean they shared a particular body of knowledge and motivation. But it might also mean each discovered independently the limitations of limestone or sandstone construction, compaction strength, durability, lateral stress and so-on.

    I just haven't studied the thing enough to think anything about it one way or another.

    Jack

    Edit: Pyramids notwithstanding, one thing seems to me plenty strong enough to form an opinion about. Etowah as depicted on the copper plate found in a mound in Georgia and the Aztec diety Ehecatl as depicted from Mexico are the same.


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  7. #22

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco
    Sorry for going off on a tangent viz pyramids; it is fashionable among historians to think of all the ancient cultures as being in virtual isolation with no contact or communications outside their adjacent land-areas, while on the other end of the spectrum we have the diffusionist camp who see Egyptians in Mexico building their pyramids, which is also equally ridiculous. What I would sooner support is that the idea of building pyramids got transmitted, not that the Mound-builders are the ancestors of the Aztecs, for instance.

    If the Mound-builders (Hopewell, Mississippian etc) were a single state or a group of city-states (which seems more likely) is it so far-fetched to think that Aztec traders ranging north or Mound-builder traders ranging south might have "discovered" their counterpart? Even a limited level of contact/trade could well allow the transmission of some ideas, like religious ideas for instance, or of an impressive building/structure like a pyramid. The materials used in their respective structures were quite different, being mounds of earth for the Mound-builders, stone, rubble, fill and plaster for Aztecs. Then too, according to the Aztecs own histories, we know that they revered Teotihuacan:

    and admitted that they had not built the place, but had found it abandoned when they arrived in the area. So it is one easy step to say that the Aztecs went to building pyramids and such structures in direct imitation of the previous culture (who the original builders were, no one can say for certain - some propose Toltecs, others the Olmecs etc at any rate it was NOT the Aztecs or Mexica) and further their pantheon of blood-thirsty deities also seem to be adapted to the representations they found in the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan. This is not to say that the Aztecs did not build Tenochtitlan, their capital, but that they do seem to have adopted the architecture and possibly the religion (or an adaptation thereof) of the people of Teotihuacan who preceded them by many centuries.

    This does not prove that the Aztecs were NOT the descendants or step-children of the Mound-builders either, only that we probably should not draw too much conclusions from the obvious similarities between the two cultures. The Mound-builders lasted for some 46 centuries and spread over a vast area, it is not a big leap of logic to propose that some branch or group might have split off and migrated south to Mexico. If we knew more about the religious belief system of the Mound builders, perhaps a better case could be built? Then again, even if the Mound builders' religion were quite different (and I suspect there are significant differences, for instance as far as I know, no one has found any proof of any kind of human sacrifice among the Mound builders) we do have indications that the Aztecs probably adopted the religious belief system already found in central Mexico.

    There is an important feature in the Aztec story of their own origins, which involves them crossing a large body of water to get from their homeland (Aztlan) to their new home (Mexico). If the Aztecs homeland were located in Arizona/Utah/New Mexico/Colorado, what need is there for any crossing of a large body of water to be in their origin-story? A land route would have been the logical and simple way to get from the southwest US to central Mexico. I suppose they could have simply marched SE to the coast and followed the coastline south, but that is not the way it is depicted in their own codices, rather it is a crossing of a body of water - not just following a coastline. I am aware that our mutual amigo Blindbowman has taken the position that this interpretation is incorrect, however I am not convinced of his alternate reading of the pictograms in the codices. Or do we just ignore this particular part of the Aztec history? How do you see this? Thank you in advance,
    Oroblanco
    You make a strong case on the pyramid similarities not having much significance. There's certainly a widespread belief the mound-builders weren't a single cohesive culture, as well.

    I see 800 as being the Aztlan ancester faction of the mound-builders equivalent to around 900 for the southwestern tribes [assuming for the sake of the discussion the ancestors of the Aztec were among the mound-builders]. A time of intensified social organization along with the architectural changes. I'd tend to suspect the faction was centered near the Missouri cave complexes near the Mississippi River, and for reasons I might conjecture about later, westward and maybe northward.

    Some song in one of the codices speaks of a despot the Aztecs were fleeing in their homeland. Maybe that was the motivation that decided them on the migration. So according to their neighbors in Mexico, they began arriving in great numbers from the north about a century before the Spaniards.

    Seems to me there's a body of what's not said there a lot larger than what is. Firstly, 50,000 to 100,000 people then, or now couldn't just pack up and leave to some unknown destination on the spur of the moment. In those days transporting, say 75,000 people across a large body of water to arrive within a decade or half-century of one another would involve an enormous amount of planning, coordination and logistics. More so considering the conditions of the time and the terrain and distances involved. The great body of the people migrating would have to know where they were going in advance. They couldn't live off the countryside like a pack of locusts, they couldn't rely on drinking salt-water if they were at sea, they couldn't rely of having plenty of water available if they were on land, just wandering around willy-nilly looking for eagles attacking snakes.

    One option might be the group that crossed the large body of water was the advanced scouts looking for the eagle/snake scenario. Then, in a complex society that's already made up its mind to go somewhere, they'd have reported back with their findings and the location of the destination.

    That same complex society would probably do more scouting then, finding available routes of travel, reconoitering water and available food supplies, planning how many people each route could supply by foraging and how much could be traded from the locals, how much must be pre-positioned in outposts, and how much could be carried by the travelers.

    The water route would present major problems for all the obvious reasons with the sole advantage being speed of transit. A land route east to west across the lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf bayou country would be out of the question. Anything south of Texarkana probably wasn't among the routes. Some might have come across Arkansas, Oklahoma, and north Texas meandering to cross the Rio Grande between Matamoros westward to Laredo. Some might have followed the Brazos to its headwaters and worked south along the Rio Grande and to the west somewhat beginning somewhere above the Jornada where they might depend on the Mimbres folk to supply some grain if it had been pre-arranged. Some might have gone even further west to encounter Anasazi and Mogollon before turning south.

    It seems to me a migration of that size would only have been successful to the extreme it was by a people sophisticated enough to pull it off. A society accustomed to the difficulties of presiding over a large area with localities sometimes plagued by drought or localized crop failures to be supplied from areas with plenty. These people, if they became the Aztec, were long-term planners, bureaucrats, thinkers and engineers.

    The testimony was in the resulting arrival and domination of the Valley of Mexico. They arrived [or converged on the place] numerous enough to do whatever fighting needed doing in a state of health and mental preparedness sufficient to allow whatever was required. They survived the journey, weren't enslaved, didn't vanish somewhere along the route like poor old Hunter's 500 men when they evacuated Tucson in the face of the Yankee advance to arrive at Mesilla numbering 12 men [those were modern's with far fewer difficulties to overcome].

    This says an awfully lot about them when you consider what was involved.

  8. #23

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,603
    778 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    It seems to me, that no discussion of this topic should be carried on without giving consideration to the astounding history of Peru. Specifically.....Caral.

    What if the pyramids actually started at that location and spread from there, to the rest of the world.

    http://www.philipcoppens.com/caral.html

    Just a thought. Sorry for the interruption.

    Joe Ribaudo

  9. #24

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco

    Also if the Aztecs didn't arrive in central Mexico until the 13th century AD, this only allows a couple of centuries for them to increase in numbers - say six generations; even so a starting group of say 100 families, successfully raising four children per family (probably a low estimate) over six generations could still reach a population of over 1.5 million, barring catastrophic loss. Since we know that the Aztecs were held in a tributary status to other tribes for some time, like the Israelites living in bondage in Egypt, their numbers might have swelled very quickly since they might have been exempt from serving in the military forces.
    Whatever works best for you.

    Jack

  10. #25

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Quote Originally Posted by cactusjumper
    It seems to me, that no discussion of this topic should be carried on without giving consideration to the astounding history of Peru. Specifically.....Caral.

    What if the pyramids actually started at that location and spread from there, to the rest of the world.

    http://www.philipcoppens.com/caral.html

    Just a thought. Sorry for the interruption.

    Joe Ribaudo
    If you care to discuss it I'll be interested in reading it. The "spread from there, to the rest of the world" piece of of your post carries uncomfortable shades of Erik Von Dan and probably can't be accused of being taken seriously among the great majority of pyramid studying academians. But among the Erik Von genre it's taken as pretty much a given.


  11. #26

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Clearing the slate for a sub-sub-sub thread of this thread that assumes

    1] "The Aztec arrived in great numbers from the north" in the time of the grandfathers of the Spanish allied tribes [Bernal Diaz], and,

    2] The copper plate found in the Georgia Etowah mound depicts the Aztec diety Ehecatl and the Mississippian preoccupation with snakes in their religious depictions is significant, rather than coincidental, and,

    3] Some large faction among the mound builders occupied a place in the direct cultural and ancestral heritage of the Aztec,

    I'd be interested in pursuing the idea a bit to see where it leads if anyone shares that interest. I don't mind doing it here, but I'm not married to that approach and can just as easily do it privately or on some other forum.


  12. #27
    mx
    Nov 2004
    Alamos,Sonora,Mexico
    10,671
    1439 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    OHIO: Just placing an Oro Blanco type of reference marker here.

    Don Jose de La Mancha
    "I exist to live, not live to exist"

  13. #28
    Charter Member
    us
    Apr 2007
    God's lap
    X-terra 70 ACE 250
    11,353
    13 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Can I have one of those markers too? lol Guess I got one now!

  14. #29

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Highmountain wrote:

    Quote
    Whatever works best for you.


    Well that is quite an argument, I take it that you don't approve of and/or dislike the idea(s) I posted? It might help if you were to post the theory(ies) you find more acceptable/viable? Thank you in advance,

    Highmountain also wrote: (in response to a post by our amigo Cactusjumper)


    Sorry to have given you the impression I wanted to argue. I lean more to discussing than arguing and more to attempting to discover than attempting to persuade to a particular point of view. I don't have a theory, as I explained here numerous times.

    Highmountain also wrote: (in response to a post by our amigo Cactusjumper)

    Quote
    If you care to discuss it I'll be interested in reading it. The "spread from there, to the rest of the world" piece of of your post carries uncomfortable shades of Erik Von Dan and probably can't be accused of being taken seriously among the great majority of pyramid studying academians. But among the Erik Von genre it's taken as pretty much a given.


    Is it safe for me to assume that you have read the various works of the celebrated author and 'free thinker' Erik von Daniken, and concluded it is nothing to take seriously? I have several questions if this is the case. (I should probably go get my Tinfoil Hat and keep it handy now... )


    I've read Von Daniken and drawn my own conclusions about the facts he's presented, his methods, but generally not about a lot of the underlying premises. I haven't read him in a couple of decades, maybe more. That's probably an indication I don't have a lot of interest in his work or discussing it at any length.

    I'll break off the response here and put the rest on another so's not to get too long with it.

  15. #30

    Mar 2004
    New Mexico
    616
    7 times

    Re: Aztec, Cibola, Zuni, Estevan Quivara and related gold-like conjecture

    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco

    Highmountain also wrote:
    Clearing the slate for a sub-sub-sub thread of this thread that assumes

    1] "The Aztec arrived in great numbers from the north" in the time of the grandfathers of the Spanish allied tribes [Bernal Diaz], and,

    2] The copper plate found in the Georgia Etowah mound depicts the Aztec diety Ehecatl and the Mississippian preoccupation with snakes in their religious depictions is significant, rather than coincidental, and,

    3] Some large faction among the mound builders occupied a place in the direct cultural and ancestral heritage of the Aztec.

    I'd be interested in pursuing the idea a bit to see where it leads if anyone shares that interest. I don't mind doing it here, but I'm not married to that approach and can just as easily do it privately or on some other forum.
    If you would prefer to limit the discussion to this set of precepts, I have zero problems with this approach; there is no need to take it to PM format or to another forum, certainly not on my account.

    So, starting from this set of precepts - if a large faction among the Mound Builders were to separate from the main tribe, what would be the most likely motive? (This is pure speculation on my part - tribes could split over quite trivial matters that seem almost foolish in retrospect) It is a matter of historical record that many Amerindian tribes came about due to a division among the people, which is why there were Plains Apaches versus Mescalero, Chiricahua, etc and Northern and Southern Cheyenne for instance. Since the language of the Aztecs is or was Nahuatl, it is logical that the language of their ancestors must be related to this - and here is our first stumbling block.

    Just looking at a single example (for starters) the Etowah mounds of Georgia, which are accepted as a part of the Mound Builder culture. For a long time the builders were assumed to be Iroquoian-speaking Cherokees, until recently when it has been shown that the builders were Muskogean-speaking Creeks. Nahuatl is a branch of the Uto-Aztecan family, and geographically is largely centered in Mesoamerica. This could be just a red herring too, for we can not prove that the Etowah mounds were built by the same culture of those who built impressive mounds through middle-America beyond all doubt. It is also possible that a group that split off from the main Mound-builders might well have adopted the language in the region they emigrated to, perhaps retaining only a few words of their original tongue. In fact, considering the military-political position of the Aztec tribes on their arrival in central Mexico, (a tributary people, described as "barely ekeing out a precarious existence" for some time) it is not illogical that they might adopt the language of the tribe(s) in power, much as they adopted the architectural style of the earlier Teotihuacanos. We can point to many historical examples where a 'conquered' or tributary people adopted the language of their conquerers over time, just look at how widely Latin spread in the Roman empire for instance.

    Then too, the Etowah mounds are likely of the Mississippian mound-builder culture, which is the only type of Mound Builder which remained in existence during the period when the Aztecs emigrated. (As far as I know) The tribes believed by historians to have Mississippian-culture roots are:

    the Alabama, Apalachee, Caddo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Guale, Hitchiti, Houma, Illinois, Kansa, Miami, Missouri, Mobilian, Natchez, Osage Nation, Quapaw, Seminole, Shawnee, Timucua, Tunica-Biloxi, Yamasee, and Yuchi. (copied from Wiki, I believe it is correct but cannot check it against my own refs - I welcome any corrections and/or additions.)

    All of these are either related or believed to be related linguistically to Muskogean language family. However, as we have touched on already - it is conceivable that the Aztecs adopted the language of the people living in central Mexico over time, much as they appear to have adopted architectural and religious systems. An alternate explanation for the linguistic differences between Aztec ancestors and the Muskogean family is that they were an alien group within the Mississippians to begin with, in fact this idea would "fit" with their emigration and could be one key reason for their motivation to separate and live as far away as possible. If the Aztecs were speaking a different tongue from the "lords" of Aztlan, perhaps living in a subservient political/military position as well, we have a strong motivator for the people to wish for a new homeland. So on to the next issue, which may have a key clue - ceramics.

    A key cultural practice of the Mississippian Mound-builders was their use of aquatic shell tempering agents in hardening their ceramics. If the Aztecs also practiced this in their manufacture of ceramics, it would lend credence to the idea that they are directly related. Of course even if the Aztecs did emulate this practice, it is possible they had simply adopted or copied it from having contact with the Mound-builders. Anyone know what the case is viz Aztec ceramics, whether they also used river and/or marine shells as a hardening agent? Thank you in advance,

    Highmountain, you mentioned that you are "not married" to this set of precepts (1,2, and 3 mentioned above) which I find to be an admirable and open-minded approach to the questions of history. Are there other variations or even completely different alternate ideas you would not mind discussing as well? Again, thank you in advance,

    Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.
    your friend,
    Oroblanco
    Looks as though you've asked a number of quesitons and made a number of conjectures that might bring good responses from some folk out there who know the answers. Thanks.

    I'm making an effort to make sense of where the Aztec might have originated. One possibility I believe exists is the US midwest. At the moment the evidence and reasonings in favor of that and opposed to that origin are still a long way from drawing any conclusion or opinion.

    If you prefer other origins I'll be glad to learn what I can from whatever you might offer about it.

    I've explained here that I haven't an opinion. I still don't, though I'm satisfied some pieces of evidence for it are there. Whatever I come out the other end of this believing is all right by me. There's nothing at stake. When the discussion's over the Aztec will still have their actual origins the same place they were before the talking started.

    The only difference might be someone among us, hopefully me, will have a better understanding of where those origins were located.

 

 
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