For a very long time, I thought the Fuente Magna Bowl was a hoax. Why? Well, if you brought a good artifact to the local archeologists and they gave you good money for it, would you be tempted to make a few fakes to sell? For instance, I think it has been pretty well established that some of what is known as the Crespi Collection is real from some cache found in the mountains, and that some of it is fake. So I always wonder about such things.
But, having looked into it again for this blog, I think the Fuente Magna is real–not a fake. There are several reasons why.
While the discovery near Lake Titicaca about 75-80 km from the city of La Paz, Bolivia was accidentally uncovered by a worker on the property. Other artifacts have been discovered in the area. Archeologists learned of the discovery in about 1958. It would appear that the person(s) who found the bowl did not try to make money from it.
The script is obscure:
The script on the bowl is Proto-Sumerian, identical (according the Dr. Winters who deciphered it) to one used by the Proto-Elamites. This dates the bowl to about 2000-3000 BCE. (That makes it older than the Chief Joseph Tablet and other artifact mentioned in previous blogs.) Furthermore, there is no evidence anyone initially involved with this bowl would have known this particular script.
Here is a picture of the script:
The translation works:
This is the translation done by Dr. Clyde A. Winters. It is about purity and an oracle.
Right side of bowl:
“(1) Girls take an oath to act justly (this) place. (2) (This is) a favorable oracle of the people. (3) Send forth a just divine decree. (4) The charm (the Fuente Magna) (is) full of Good. (5) The (Goddess) Nia is pure. (6) Take an oath (to her). (7) The Diviner. (8) The divine decree of Nia (is) , (9) to surround the people with Goodness/Gladness. (10) Value the people’s oracle. (11) The soul (to), (12) appear as a witness to the [Good that comes from faith in the Goddess Nia before] all mankind.”
Left side of bowl:
” (1) Make a libation (this) place for water (seminal fluid?) and seek virtue. (2a) (This is) a great amulet/charm, (2b) (this) place of the people is a phenomenal area of the deity [Nia’s] power. (3) The soul (or breath of life). (4) Much incense, (5) to justly, (6) make the pure libation. (7) Capture the pure libation (/or Appear (here) as a witness to the pure libation). (8) Divine good in this phenomenal proximity of the deity’s power.”
Was this an area of Goddess worship? It would seem so. Here is a picture of another side of the bowl.
Compare it to the Sheela Na Gig from Ireland. This one is probably 12th century, but it seems to be an archetypal image.
According to Wikipedia:
“The Proto-Elamite period ends with the establishment of the Awan dynasty. The earliest known historical figure connected with Elam is the king Enmebaragesi of Kish (c. 2650 BC?), who subdued it, according to the Sumerian king list.” (Emphasis mine.)
That is reason enough in my mind for a group of intrepid colonists to leave Elam and establish a new home somewhere far away, like America.
There is a similar site nearby:
The Pokotia Monolith is also located close to Tiwanaku in Bolivia. It is quite clearly a site where the men worshiped.
The text on this monument looks different. It is Proto-Sumerian but not Proto-Elamite. (Same region, but 1000 years earlier.)
Compare the script on the monolith to writing on this clay tablet dated about 4500BCE:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-writing (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
This is the translation of the Pokotia Monolith. Like the Fuente Magna bowl it refers to an Oracle and speaks to character. This translation also seems to have been done by Dr. Clyde A Winters:
” The oracle Putaki conducts man to truth. (This) esteemed (and) precious oracle to sprout esteem, (now) witness (its) escape”.
“Proclaim the establishment of character. The strong father (Putaki) to send forth the devination. Strong wisdom (in this) phenomenal area of the deity’s power. Capture the speech (of the oracle) . (The oracle is ) very strong to benefit (and) nourish the sprouting (of) character. Tell human being(s) (the oracle’s) benefit. The oracle to open (up) much (benefit for all).”
“The divine decree to become visible and glisten (from the oracle’s own) mouth. Open up the divination. Agitate the oracle (to) send forth (now) wisdom and character. Open (the oracle) to distribute the divine decree (for all it is) lawful and righteous Good. Send forth the sustenance of the pure oracle. Stand upright (Oh oracle) to appear as a witness speaking purity. The oracle (of Putaki) to open (up and) send forth gladness and character”.
” The ideal norm (is the) oracle (of Putaki). (This) oracle is (in) a phenomenal area of the deity’s power”. Distribute to all humanity (the divine decree). Snare a portion (of the) pure voice. (The oracle to) send forth gladness. Agitate the mouth (of the oracle), to send forth the divination. The diviner speaks good.”
But are the bowl and monolith related?
The subject of both artifacts relates to an oracle and that is something worth saving from invaders bent on subduing the established culture, I am sure.
It is possible the 6.5 foot tall monolith was brought over much later than 4500 BCE (the date it may have been carved)–maybe even with the Elamites and the Magna Fuente bowl. Unfortunately we do not have the ability to test such a theory–so it remains a mystery.