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History Archives - The Wonders Expedition™ - @Archeoastronomy

June 5, 2020

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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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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In Search of the Anasazi and the Cities of Cibola (Gold)

Studying the Anasazi with Allen Manning

North of the main settlements of Chaco Canyon Aztec National Ruins Park holds as many questions as answers. Here alongside cold, fast-flowing waters, Anasazi built a great Kiva and several smaller kivas situated about their five-story-high multi-room complex. Structures that for the most part have stood up to time’s ravages almost didn’t survive the looters.

These doors are taller and wider than most found throughout theses ruins. Looters cut through the three-foot-thick walls as they dug out rooms along the western side of the complex in search of treasures.

Pottery, tools and some artifacts long since taken by the looters rest in private collections and a few museums. As far as archeologist can tell no cache of gold passed out of these doors in the hands of looters.

Doorways of the Anasazi with Allen Manning

In 1542 when Spanish explorer Vasquez de Coronado set out through the region in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola (Gold) he returned without either gold or the cities’ locations.  By the time his men snaked their way through the Chocoan region the inhabitants of this and all the other Anasazi cites had been gone several hundred years.

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Aztec Ruins in the Four Corners Region

Aztec Ruins

Sifting through more material, hearing jaded reports on theories with little support. Yet still the reporter in me continues to dig for answers to a 1500 year old mystery buried in outlying ruins.

#TWEChevy March 14 2012 Near Aztec National Park

Where have they gone and why?  Seeing the faces plowing along numbered paths peering into collapsing rooms I see the ancients.  Small statuesque woman with deep brown complexion smiling as I look into her eyes. Yes they are here still, still in each of us. Why here, why did they leave are we soon to follow their fate?

Aztec ruins reflects similar building to Chaco Canyon, with like eras of rebuilding stretched over miles along the San Juan River.

Thirteen major pueblos criss cross the Chaco Canyon region while other areas hold one apartment development supported by hundreds of smaller remote homesteads.

Many theories fill visitors with confusion. Can one answer fill in every void? Look to our own communities and see if one answer fills in every question.

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Jemez Springs and Discoveries in Anasazi Country

Today in a small corner of New Mexico I found an archeologist who repeated my own thoughts on things pulled from these sacred grounds.

Jemez State Monument by Allen Manning

Twenty-two known Pueblo nations stand watch over hundreds of diggers rifling through shared histories, ruins and more. Many unwilling to share the paths to the present. But for a few, who are willing to explain, years of misunderstandings come crashing down instead of the walls raised from the ground. Each explanation of a simple artifacts as they are found sheds light and perceptions changed abound.

Sharing thoughts of a seasoned Chaco Canyon digger I heard of the needs shared by the Puebloeans as each grain from their past is swept away. Respect for the dead, understanding for the living and hopes for the future. More of this conversation and more to soon be introduced.

My time here in this pass is short, as the wealth holds out, the voices I need for learning busy seeking next year’s funding.

Oh and not every unknown artifact was some sort of religious piece. How many items in your own home are religious in nature….

In the morning my first visit to Chaco Canyon….

 

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Ancient Aliens 2012 Show–What would the Mayans say?

Update 9:02 p.m. CST: Well, the second show tonight has started and the summation is this: WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE in 2012.  We have heard from Dr. Mark Van Stone’s representatives and will be talking with him after he’s had a chance to see tonight’s shows.  LOL, and we just saw he’s in the show.  How cool is that?

 

UPDATE: We now are 24 minutes into the first show and wow, this isn’t as far-fetching as we thought it was going to be.  In fact, they’ve pulled out some pretty cool stuff.  The 3D statue of the Mayan king, Pakal, was pretty cool. 

And what is it with David Childress?  He’s not said, “Extra Terrestrials!” at the end of a sound byte yet!  He’s not even said it at all! 

And the bumpers with Giorgio Tsoukalos is going to inspire a hair fashion phenom, we can just feel it.

It’s about an hour until the new 2012 Ancient Aliens season begins on H2 and the show is about 2012 and the Mayan “predictions.”

We have a feeling going in to this new series that this will be an hour of great exaggerations of fact and the taking of liberties with editorial license.

Premise for a Young Adult Drinking Game

For instance, every time author David Childress is on and finishes a soundbyte that ends with the words, “Extra terrestrials,” then everyone in the room should have to take a drink.

Every time the announcer says the words, “ancient astronaut theorists,” then everyone in the room should have to take a drink.

Every time Giorgio A. Tsoukalos @Tsoukalos  appears needing to do something about that tan and his hair, well, you know.

2012

There are plenty of good sources to counter the nonsense that’s being stirred up about 2012 and what the Mayans did or did not suggest might happen this December 21, 2102.

One learned professor who has spent his career studying the Mayans, Dr. Mark Van Stone, and who we’ve followed says that on that day, it’s a Friday, he’s going to get up and go to the office and grade papers. 

The book sells for $8.95 electronically and we’ve been going through it.  It paints a much different picture than the one Tsoukalos, Childress et al are sharing through H2.

Okay, it’s almost time for the show.

Just for the fun of it, “EXTRA TERRESTRIALS!”  Okay, drink.  It’s going to take one or two or more to get through the show without an eye roll or more….

If you were a Mayan watching tonight’s show, our guess is you’d say, “Where in the world did they come up with that?!”

 

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