Was there an ancient "lost civilization" in Cuba?http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2011/05/was-there-ancient-lost-civilization-in.html#.UR1x35hXxC9
|An earthen pyramid on the western coast of Cuba probably would have looked like this Olmec mound [Credit: VR image by Richard Thornton]|
Beginning around 2,200 BC, indigenous peoples along the South Atlantic Coast and especially around Sapelo Island, GA began creating massive shell rings, which functioned as villages. The rings were abandoned around 1,600 BC. At this time, there was NO pottery or large scale public architecture in Mexico.
Louisiana platform villages
Around 1,600 BC an ethnic group began constructing large villages on raised semi-circular, earthen platforms along tributaries of the Lower Mississippi River. Within these platform villages, they also built ceremonial mounds. A mound built at the Poverty Point, LA village site is one of the largest ever constructed in the United States. The platform villages were long abandoned when the French arrived in the region in the late 1600s AD, so the identity of the Native ethnic groups, who occupied them, is not known.
The rise of the Zoque (Olmec) Civlization
Around 1,600 BC a new culture appeared on the Gulf Coast of the Mexican State of Vera Cruz. It introduced the construction of pyramidal mounds and the technology for making pottery to Mexico. By 1,500 BC the Zoque were building large villages and cultivating plants indigenous to Mexico, in addition to the cultivated plants that are typical of the Caribbean Basin. By 1200 BC the Zoque were building cities with large pyramids and numerous public structures. The Zoque towns and ceremonial centers were abandoned around 600 BC. This is also the same time period that the platform village at Poverty Point, LA was abandoned.
Surviving history of the Zoque preserved in stone, indicates that the Zoque claimed to have arrived on the coast of Mexico from a homeland across the Gulf of Mexico in three giant flotillas of sea-going canoes. This is not an impossible claim because the ancestors of the Polynesians were exploring the Pacific Basin as early as 50,000 BC! In fact, the stone statues and figurines that the Zoque carved describe themselves as looking like the Maori Polynesians of New Zealand. The Yuchi Indians of the Southeastern United States also have a tradition that they paddled to North America from the “home of the sun” in the East.
Archaeologists search for a “missing link”
The Zoque arrived in Mexico carrying many traits of “civilization.” They did not look like the indigenous peoples of central Mexico, but definitely journeyed from somewhere else in the Western Hemisphere. Archaeologists have not determined conclusively their place of origin. Pseudo-archaeologists through the years have published books claiming that the Zoque were from central Africa, Egypt, Phoenicia or even Scandinavia. However, absolutely no archaeological or genetic evidence backs these theories.
It is known that Polynesians did settle in North America at a very early date. Ancient Polynesian skeletons have been confirmed in Mexico; perhaps as old as 40,000 BC. Even North American Indian tribes, such as the Creeks, carry traces of Polynesian DNA. There was probably a Polynesian culture thriving in Baja California when the Spanish first arrived in the 1500s. So for an indigenous ethnic group in Mexico such as the Zoque, having Polynesian features is quite plausible.
Author: Richard Thornton | Source: Examiner/National [May 06, 2011]
[-- the attribution of these early populations as Polynesians is mistaken as there were no actual settlements of Polynesians anywhere near that old: the author should have said "Ancestors of the Polynesians". This would suggest that Thor Heyerdahl's theory about Polynesia being settled by Natives from America could have an element of truth to it, however some of the peoples the author mentions are the same ones that I had suggested could be a mixture of Indians (East Indians) and Indonesians, probably also including Oriental settlers as well. That mixture would just about equal what the Polynesians were thought to have come out of-DD]