This is the third installment of what was to be a three part blog on the Assyrians in the Americas, but next week I will add a fourth on the controversial Fuente Magna bowl–an artifact that may well be a forgery, but is still worth considering just in case…..
So onto something more certain, the Gallery of Dancers.
The Gallery of Dancers at Monte Albán
The Monte Albán historical site located in Oaxaca, southern Mexico is reported to be of Zapotec origin dating about 300 BCE to as late as 1000 CE. But the valley has been inhabited from as early as 8000 BCE, the beginning of what is termed the Archaic period that ended 2000 BCE.
Within the Monte Albán historical site of pyramids, ball courts, and palaces is a curious area known as the Gallery of Dancers:
CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikipedia: –
What you see here are reproductions of the originals from that Gallery. But note the negroid features on the second relief. Many are like that. It is the third relief I wish to talk about here. Note the beard:
Here is another bearded one. This one is an original, so also note the aged look to the stone. Indeed, the reproductions were done because the originals had weathered and aged to the point of being lost.
© Philip Baird/www.anthroarcheart.org
I am wondering–is that a panther foot on him and what does that signify? But back to the subject–Assyrians.
Compare the hand positions on the Monte Albán Dancers to the bearded Apkallu, Guardians of Assyrian palaces:
CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikipedia – Own work
So rather than tortured individuals as some historians state, is it possible that these “Dancers” are really Guardian figures, assuming tortured faces to ward off evil?
And as to the dating, it is done by examination of the organic materials present at a site, materials that indicate habitation, not origination. As suggested from the evidence of aging, these reliefs could be from an earlier period, even 4000 years ago dating it to the time of the Assyrian cuneiform tablets found in the United States.
Indeed, cuneiform can be found on the controversial Fuente Magna Bowl which was discovered at Lake Titicaca. The bowl may date to 3000 to 3500 years ago. (But this is the subject for our next blog.)
Mayan math and astronomy
I looked for other evidence of Assyrians in South to Central America and was not disappointed. Although alone the following could be evidence of independent invention or more likely in my opinion, evidence of a common ancestral heritage in some long forgotten past. I am talking about similarities between the Mayan astrology and mathematics and that of the Assyrians and Babylonians.
According to Constance Irwin (1963), both these groups used the zero and had an ability to use infinitely large numbers, something not shared with other cultures in the Americas.
Irwin (1963) also reports the Mayans tracked Venus–perhaps not so surprising until you realize that Venus was once thought to be two stars, Lucifer and Hesperus. This is because Venus travels below the horizon and is hidden for part of its annual journey. Yet, this was known by the Mayans and by those in Mesopotamia including the Assyrians, Babylonians and Phoenicians.
Searching further, I found this information in the Sino-Platonic Papers: Scientific Evidence of Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages.
Pineapples originated in Brazil yet they seem to show up all over the world including islands in the Pacific, in Indian temples, and in Assyria. Indeed, fossilized pineapples have been reported in Switzerland. To quote the Sino-Platonic Papers:
Layard (1849) and Rawlinson both describe stone carvings at Nineveh that show food served at a banquet, one of which both writers list as representing a pineapple. Rawlinson stated: “The representation is so exact that I can scarcely doubt the pineapple being intended.” Layard also doubted that the Assyrians knew the fruit, but “the leaves sprouting from the top proved that it was not the cone of a pine tree or fir.”
I was unable to find a picture of pineapples at Assyrian banquets. The Sino-Platonic paper does have one photo of a pineapple at a temple cave in Udaiguri, India. It is dated to the 5th century CE. It is thought the east Indians received the pineapple by way of Assyrian and other middle eastern explorers.
Information found in this blog is from:
Irwin, Constance (1963). Fair Gods and Stone Faces: Ancient Seafarers and the New World’s Most Intriguing Riddle. New York: St Martin’s Press.
Sorenson, John L. and Johannessen, Carl L. (2004). Sino-Platonic Papers: Scientific Evidence of Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages. From: Victor H. Mair, Editor, Sino-Platonic Papers, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations University of Pennsylvania. retrieved 3/16 from: http://www.sino-platonic.org
These are the references within the Sino-Platonic Papers:
Collins, J. L. 1948. “Pineapples in ancient America,” The Scientific Monthly 67: 372-7. (Published also, with slight modifications, as University of Hawaii Pineapple Research Institute, Miscellaneous Paper No. 46, 1951.)
Layard, Austen H. 1849. Nineveh and its Remains. 2 vols. London.