Archive for Atlantis

West Africans & Navigation

WEST AFRICANS & NAVIGATION

by Harry Bourne

bsooty1@aol.com

 

CANOES & NAVIGATION: Oliphantes to Ogowe

 

This is to be seen as a companion piece for “East Africans & Navigation” that in turn is one of a series of papers discussing aspects of whether Africans ever went to sea or were too much in terror of it to do so. Ivan Van Sertima (They Came Before Columbus 1976) wrote against the latter opinion when saying Africans were not the “boatless” people they are frequently described as. As many of the other negatives of voyaging around African shores are listed in “East Africans & Navigation”, there is little point in repeating this here.

Otherwise we begin here with the dugout-canoe. Such canoes were scarce relative to other types over most of east Africa. They originate the Before Common Era (= BCE) were still around in Common Era days to be reported by the unknown author of the Periplus Maris Erythraei (= PME). An addition to this 1st c. CE reference would be those that James Hornell (Mariner’s Mirror 1948) thought were exampled in Egypt by scenes in the tomb of Queen Tiye. Long journeys by canoes are put forward as having taken the Polynesian ancestors of the Maoris to New Zealand. More canoe-borne migrants are those from the part of east Africa that is now called Tanganyika getting to Fiji according to Fijian tradition cited on the Balson Holdings site (online).

There is general opinion groups going under the several labels of Khoikhoi, Khwe, San, Khoisan, Queyna, Bushmen, Capoids plus umpteen others did not use boats. More of the same comes with a contributor to the New Advent Encyclopaedia confidently saying the Khwe did not fish. Contrary views are not helped by the faults of “Bushman’s Art” by Erik Holm (1987) being pointed out by John Parkington in the South African journal called “The Digging Stick” (1988). These faults are such that Holm’s book has been withdrawn by the publisher.

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Poverty Point, The Manufacturing of Copper Oxhides for the Atlantic Copper Trade

Bronze Age Town & Gulf Ports on the Copper Trail

Open-fire manufacturing of Copper Oxhides

(NE Louisiana, & Mississippi c.2000-700 BC)

 

J.S. Wakefield, jayswakefield@yahoo.com

 

Photos coming soon, apologies from AA staff.

 

Summary

The “Late Archaic” Poverty Point earthworks in Louisiana are the earliest and largest monuments in prehistoric North America. The site that remains covers a square mile, features six concentric segmented semi-circular walls, surrounded by six large mounds. The site is shown to be a prehistoric town, and a manufacturing and trading center which was a part of the worldwide megalithic culture. The site design reveals encoded latitudes of transatlantic sailing routes, and evidence of multicultural involvement in the manufacturing of copper oxhide ingots.

 

Introduction & Dating

The Poverty Point complex is a Louisiana State Commemorative Area, open to the public, and has been a National Historical Landmark since 1962. Collectors have been picking up artifacts since the 1870’s, but it was not recognized as such a huge site until the ring pattern was recognized in a 1938 aerial photograph (Fig.2, right). The American Museum of Natural History dug at the site in 1942/3 and 1955, and showed “how large and unusual [the site] was” (Ref.1). Today, there is a road built through the rings, and 15,000 visitors a year pass through the site’s museum. Some of the illustrations used in this article are from the book (The Ancient Mounds of Poverty Point, Place of the Rings) and website of John L. Gibson, previously employed as the site archaeologist, who devoted his career to the study of Poverty Point.

 

The site is located in the northeastern corner of Louisiana, northwest of Vicksburg, Mississippi at 33°N (Fig.1). Poverty Point is built on Maçon Ridge, a plateau 90 miles long, and five miles wide, in the swampy floodplains of the Mississippi River. Gibson reports 38 radiocarbon dates, all between 2278 BC (2470-2040) and 650 BC, with most between 1500 and 1300 BC. Gibson says that while the land and waters were biologically rich, the richest asset was the location. “This was one of the few places in the entire Mississippi valley where a departing pirogue could have been paddled without portages”(Refs.1,2).

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