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TWEChevy Archives - The Wonders Expedition™ - @Archeoastronomy

March 5, 2021

What’s Your Excuse?!?!

While we’ve been working on Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012 Meme book and the other projects for the Wonders Expedition, I’ve gotten some never-before-heard of reasons why people have to delay talking to us. I long to be able to experience some of these same reasons.

Two of the most amazing have been–“I am currently in the Peruvian Amazon and now, an equally great one: “I’m in Krakow, Poland with hit and miss Internet.”

Don’t those two responses make you feel like you’re missing out on life, even just a little? This is just the sort of adventure I seek. And I hope this post inspires you as well….

Krakow (Poland) Barbakan

Krakow (Poland) Barbakan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Ancient pueblo builders of Chaco Canyon

What doors open remain after words filled with blame curse those who came?

Ancient pueblo builders….

When plowing through ruins in one of the fire ravaged puddles of Utah archeologist found bones of dismembered and apparently stewed people in he rubble. Marks on the bones similar to knives removing flesh seems to call cannibalism into question.

What surprises researchers most in the ravaged structure is the neatly deposited human fecal matter on what was the residents hearth.

Within he DNA of the visitors excrement are tale-tale signs of partially digested human flesh.

A story once relayed to me by a native American relative of mine calls into our memories the shared fears of witchcraft and those who practice dark arts.

While listening to my relative I hear of a powerfully witch – commonly called a Skin walker by southwestern American natives- who kept villages around his small rock and adobe house in fear.

So great was the fear that a few villages fearing hey had angered the Skin Walker when water ran lower than normal and foods were rat infested, moved.

After some years passed another skin walker arrived promising to rid the area of the evil skin walker, but the people would pay a stiff price if She failed.

The pueblo residents were called on to attack and kill the skin walker. Burn his home and utterly destroy every vessel in or around his home. Once they had finished, the new skin walker then ordered a great fire made with timbers from dead skin walkers home. Upon this fire a great stewing pot filled with the Urine of all the villagers was set to boil.

Within that pot are placed the rendered remains of the dead skin walker. Cooking the cannibalistic stew for days the remaining skin walker chanted and sang to send the dead skin walkers spirit back into the underworld.

When the last chant ended, she scooped out bowl after bowl of the broth feeding it to each of the villagers.

Eating the last of the reeking meaty broth herself she then danced through the ruins until she stood on the hearth. At that point with everyone watching she flipped up her skirt revealing her a hermaphrodite nature, then promptly defecated on the hearth…and with great laughter changed into the old skin-walker they’d just killed and eaten.

Aware that the villagers had been tricked they rekindled the flames for the skin walkers home and returned to their village. Torching their own Kivas, the dedicated in the meeting rooms of heir three-hundred room pueblo and left with only the close on their backs. All pottery, and tools broken and scattered, nothing taken with them.

To take anything from their doomed village would have allowed the skin walker to find them in their future home.

The moral, she said,  you never now how bad it can be till you make a devils deal for another chance at life, only to loose everything you have…

What door will you open in your world and what spirit will you welcome? Will your future reflect your past or be a celebration of he lessons now well learned.
@archeoastronomy @roadmonkeyone

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Building An Interactive Book on the iPad

We are in the process of converting Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya book to an interactive book for the iPad with the intended date of release coming in June 2012.  It’s been a very involved process but one we are learning so much from.

Larisa Lovelady of Birmingham, first tackled the massive task of editing the copy of the book, looking for updates and ways to approach taking something that’s been produced in a traditional form and transferring it into something much more alive and different with interactive charts, graphs and 3D animations.  Shawn Hartley of Omaha did the first transferring of the copy once edited into the iBooks Author software.  Last weekend, CEO & Founder Donny Claxton and Photographer Jamaal Jackson went to Memphis for the 72nd Annual Society for American Archaeology meeting where video snippets were shot of 12 world-renowned Mayanists who will appear in the book, including Dr. Anthony Aveni of Colgate, Dr. John B. Carlson, the director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy, Dr. Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology, in Gainesville, FL, and Dr. John Hoopes of the University of Kansas among others.

Sample draft page of 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya

We now are neck-deep in doing the transfer layout, building the graphic animations and the compressing of nearly 11 hours of amazing insightful video down to hopefully about an hour’s worth to include in this one-of-a-kind new version of books.

This version of a book isn’t going to change how students around the world learn, it’s going to change the tools they use to learn.  And we  are so excited to be on the cusp of this incredibly big step.

Our hats are off to Dr. Van Stone and the other scholars we met with last weekend.  They get this.  While other scholars sat in sessions debating the future of archaeological publishing–basically a word document, a pdf and maybe some form of an e-Book reader, our scholars were sitting in front of our cameras giving perspectives generations will be able to read about and view for generations to come about the 2012 Meme.


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Society for American Archaeology Wrap Up–2012 iBook Video Is In The Can!

As they say in the business, “it’s in the can”–this weekend we shot a ton of video for Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya interactive book for the iPad, including the top names in Maya studies in American archaeology.  It was the most amazing weekend I’ve had in a long time and an experience we are going to be able to share with people around the globe in short order.

I’m tired after the 7.5-hour drive back from Memphis today so I’m just going to let the video do the talking for this post.

We did almost a dozen interviews with some amazingly smart people this weekend, including Dr. Van Stone, Dr. Anthony Aveni, Dr. John Carlson, Dr. John Hoopes, Dr. Susan Milbrath and the list goes on and on.  I’m so excited.  Now for some careful editing and some more production on Dr. Van Stone’s book.   But even more important, some rest.


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Archaeoastronomy or Cultural Astronomy? Which Term Do You Use?

By Donny Claxton

It’s my second full day at the Society for American Archaeology meeting here in Memphis and wow, did I ever learn a lot today. Regrettably, I wasn’t able to attend a single session or paper reading.  The day was spent filming video interviews of Dr. Anthony Aveni, Dr. John Carlson, Dr. Susan Milbrath and a host of other scholars from around the country who specialize in Maya studies. It is because of their studies, each knows a fascinating amount of information about the Maya and any doomsday predictions for Dec. 21, 2012.

Dr. Anothony Aveni SAA meeting 2011

Today, there also were discussions with Dr. Aveni and Dr. Carlson about using the term “Cultural Astronomy” as opposed to “Archaeoastronomy.”

(I want to straighten one thing up here while I can.  We use the Twitter name @Archeoastronomy–without the A behind the H, in part because Twitter would only allow enough characters to spell it that way.  I also realized today that I’ve been spelling Archeology without the A behind the H, too, which apparently is accepted by the dictionary, but AP Style book says to include the A, so from hence forward on the site, so shall be the policy.)

The discussion with Dr. Aveni went along the lines that the term “Archaeoastronmy” has been tarnished by crack pots who have come along and jumped on the term and taken it in weird directions.  This is me saying this, not Dr. Aveni, but the people from the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens show come to mind.

Dr. Aveni did say that even though that even the likes of Eric Van Daniken haven’t been entirely bad for the field because even with his wild psuedo-scientific claims, he’s generated an interest in the field that has brought actual scholars into its arena of study.  His point was that there are many scholars in the world today who would never have studied  archaeoastronomy if they hadn’t seen the wild claims of Lord Pakal’s sarcophagus cover allegedly being a depiction of him sitting in a space capsule and then went in search for the actual facts surrounding it.

Dr. John Carlson

I had really been looking forward to getting to know Dr. Carlson.  He reminds me of my maternal grandfather and is one of the kindest and smartest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of having a deep, and informative conversation with.

Dr. Tony Aveni

In meeting Carlson and Aveni, today really became a fascinating and incredible day to me personally.  I bought Dr. Aveni’s 2012 book, The End of Time–The Maya Mystery of 2012 and got it autographed.

I had some great one-on-one conversations wtih Dr. Carlson and if I could spend the next several years in conversations learning from these two geniuses, I’d still be starving for more knowledge. As Dr. Aveni talked on camera today, he would rattle off a citation of someone’s work from a 1978 paper and the reference being on page X, and it saying ABC and then he’d go right on to another, almost like a Sunday morning preacher citing chapters in the Bible.  It was truly amazing and inspiring.

Dr. John Carlson

Dr. Mark Van Stone

We made a lot of progress today on the development of Dr. Mark Van Stone’s first interactive book for the iPad on the 2012 meme.

I really cannot wait for this iBook to hit the market because with the interviews we’ve conducted over the past 24 hours to include in this first-of-its kind book, there literally will be no other resource like it available as we draw closer to Dec. 21, 2012.

And as I now call it a day, I’m going to bed with some incredible new knowledge, perspectives and comfort in having made some wonderful new friends.

It’s a rare occasion to have the chance to sit down with an expert in a field of study.  Today I’ve had the chance to interview two men who created their own field of study–Archaeoastronomy.  When was the last time you did that?  I bet the chances are slim it ever happens again in my life.

Archaeoastronomy v. Cultural Astronomy

So, which term do you use?  Have the likes of Van Daniken, David Childress and Giorgio Tsoukalos  tainted the word Archaeastronomy too much for your own tastes?


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On Meeting Doctors John Hoopes, Anthony Aveni, John Carlson and more

For the past seven months or so I’ve been on a pretty hefty diet of learning everything I can about the field of Archaeoastronomy–which includes the astronomic alignment in the development of wonders sites all around the world–and in my studies, I’ve read many a times the names of doctors John Hoopes, Anthony Aveni, John Carlson and a host of other scholars who have spent the past 40 or so years of their lives doing what I’ve only been doing for a half year.  Today, through meetings of the Society for American Archaeology here in Memphis, TN, I got to meet these guys and get on a first-name basis with them, not to mention to exchange findings and hear some of their incredible stories.

In the morning we are slated to interview Dr. Aveni, clearly one of the best-known archaeoastronomers in the world. He’s as friendly as he can be and when I called him, “Sir,’ today, he told me not to call him that!  My later-life upbringing in the Southeast gave me a habit I cannot break.  Plus Aveni deserves it.  He’s quite brilliant.

Dr. Mark Van Stone writes Maya glyphs on SAA name tags

As Dr. Mark Van Stone told me last night, Dr. Carlson and Dr. Aveni basically created the field of archeoastronomy. During a late-night meeting with Dr. Carlson last night I revealed to Dr. Carlson that we are using @Archeoastronomy (We left out the A behind the H because it wouldn’t all fit on Twitter) as our username on Twitter.  He smiled and said, “That’s okay.  I don’t use anything like Twitter.”  In about 1977 or 1978, Dr. Carlson launched Archaeoastronomy Magazine, which still is published today.

I also had the pleasure today of spending a lot of time talking to Dr. Hoopes from Kansas University.  Dr. Hoopes also has done considerable study in archaeoastronomy and we had several laughs tonight also talking about the Ancient Aliens TV show and the characters who are on it.  But the conversations with Dr. Hoopes also were quite detailed and amazing.  We talked at length about how each society throughout time has struggled to find and provide answers to the mysteries of life and how there’s always seemed to be some sort of shaman,  sorcerer, or fantastic story teller along the way to help use what most would describe as nonsense to provide answers.  We talked about how science is meant to be neutral, and where a myth goes on to help try to deal with some sort of moral story or application in a society.

More on that another time.

The night topped off with dinner with Dr. Van Stone, Dr. Hoopes, our photographer Jamaal Jackson, Ivan from Slavonia and Cheyenne, a special lady from northern California who builds medical clinics for the poor and only looks to archeology as a hobby.  During dinner, Dr. Van Stone started drawing Maya glyphs on each person’s name tag.  So tomorrow, we’ll have the only ones out of the 2,500 people here in Memphis who have name tags that even the Maya from 800 years ago could read.  Now how cool is that?


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Meeting Dr. Van Stone at the Society for American Archaeology Meeting

Early this afternoon, photographer Jamal Jackson and I arrived in Memphis, TN from our drive from Dallas, TX.  We had some great conversations about how to approach video that’s going to be added to Dr. Mark Van Stones interactive book for the iPad on 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  From Jamal I learned the term of “intentional” interviews and video.  In other words, don’t do like this lead and get straight to the point.

Tonight at 9 p.m. I got a call from Dr. Van Stone who had just landed at Memphis International.  Not having actually met him in person, I jumped at the chance to take the 2012 Buick on loan to us from GM of Texas to the airport to pick him up and take him to the Memphis Marriott Downtown where the Society for American Archaeology is holding its annual meeting.

TWE Sunset on the Mississippi River

We are here in part to shoot a series of video clips for his upcoming book and to gain some great insight into the world of American archeaologists.  Already I’ve been awed at the intelligence of the people here.  And I am impressed with how friendly the people who I have met are.

There’s a video loading to YouTube that will be added to this post when it completes loading.  But the hotel we’re in has horrible upload speeds and so it’s going to take till the morning to do what should take 10 minutes at the most anywhere else on the planet.  For safety reasons, once we’re gone, I’ll say where we are so you will know if you ever need to stay in Memphis, to at least take this point into consideration.  We do have a nice clean room that’s not at the convention site and actually, about 1/4 of the price of a room there per night….

Okay, gotta get some rest.  Big day tomorrow.


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Tweet a Pic of Our Buick Enclave in Memphis for the Society for American Archaeology Meeting

Tweet a pic of our 2012 Buick Enclave for a chance to win prizes!

Here’s an example of being in the right place at the right time with a smartphone that can tweet a photo of our 2012 Buick Enclave, courtesy of @GMTexas.  If you see us on the road between Dallas and Memphis, take a photo of the car and then tweet it with the hashtag #TWEChevy, you’ll have the chance to win some cool prizes for participating.

We are using the car as a loaner through the generosity of GM and the social media team who graciously support the work of bloggers and those active in social media.  So far, since December,  @GMTexas has provided us a Traverse, an Equinox and now and Enclave to visit Poverty Point, Louisiana for the December Solstice expedition, the visit by Allen Manning to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico to study the Anasazi Indians and other Native Americans in the area, and now, we’re headed to the Society for American Archaeology meeting in Memphis.


We are excited to be headed to Memphis courtesy of support from a couple of incredible sponsors who made the trip possible.  While in Memphis, we will be doing a series of interviews for our upcoming release of Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya interactive book for the iPad.  This book is going to be the only book like it on the market, complete with video interviews with Dr. Van Stone, one the world’s most renowned Mayanists.

While in Memphis, we also want to talk to as many archeologists as possible who are interested in converting their written works over to Interactive Books for the iPad.  If you want to talk while you’re also in town, please let us know by sending a Tweet to our Twitter account–@Archeoastronomy or by sending a contact inquiry through the site.

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Writings Of The Anasazi Mysteries Left Behind

By Allen Manning

One door’s between fallen floors.  Leaves of past pages turning quickly with few words of explanation. Each step gingerly taken to avoid awakening time’s dusty demons.

I find new questions with fewer answers.

Anasazi Ruins By Allen Manning

Yet onward into tumbling walls hearing ancient voices from the walls call.

“Come to now, see yesterday, help us resell what had till now been forgotten.  The stories laid between the stones.  The hopes wound around beams now on earth prone, there between the ruble where one people roamed, remain the dreams our ancestors once called home.

Not your ancestors you say!

Look in the faces of those who remain and tel me you cannot see someone you know or knew.

Look at the buildings and see what a thousand homes still carry, walls with images long ago captured, not unlike yours; black and white to colors etched.

Where do you go after building great cities of stone and mud?

From where did you come and in what language did you direct each wall’s construction?

Are you still listening, still asking or waiting for a new tongue your story to repeat.

From what navel came your civilization’s birth and into what abyss have you gone?

Civilization marches on.  What name will it carry in our children’s songs?

What name shall we call you brothers, sisters, long gone?

What name?

Setting up interviews with a noted expert in the Chaco people’s world, based right here in Dallas at SMU.  More soon….




Anasazi Ruins By Allen Manning

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History’s Cry–Questions about the Anasazi Indians in Chaco Canyon

By Allen Manning

Captured images of long gone hours working righteously in unison for a common goal now revealing only a structures heart. Bereft of souls upon which each stone was cast lay rubble and sand mixed clays.

Once where children played, animals grazed as people lived out their days, now lizards lounge above snake-infested grounds in empty homes no laughter there abounds.

Anasazi Ruins by Allen Manning

Come see where waters once flowed. Between hovel and home here now only dust clouds fill what once were window sills.

Why build the first Las Vegas of the west to leave these once golden cities of the past to times gamble? Perched between shallow cliffs each covered in golden splatter now only reverberate with tourist chatter. Come listen in dawns early rise the calls of civilizations first American fall. Destined for such are we who build cities of steel to follow those who marked the earth in stone.

Where did they go, when they roamed far a foot, wheeled upon great roads? Are in each who here gather some great part of them that still matters? Or, long gone from our present as from our tomorrow. Will we one day them follow? Or will we they recall and learn the secretes of the Anasazi Doom. @roadmonkeyone

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