Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Earliest Americans-Valdivia

Much has been written about the first or parent civilization in Mesoamerica referred to as the Olmec, and their designation by Mesoamericansts as the Jaredite people; however, few, if any at BYU, FARMS, Neal A. Maxwell Institute, and other Theorists working on the location of the Land of Promise and the Jaredite/Nephtie homelands ever look to the older civilizations of the Americas, those found much further south.
Santa Elena Peninsula (red arrow), just north and west of the Bay of Guayaquil in Ecuador 
    In 1527, Francisco Pizarro discovered what is now the Santa Elena Peninsula, landing upon the beaches of Ballenita and gave it the name in honor of the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, Empress St. Helena. Before Pizarro landed and named this jutting peninsula, it was called Sumpa, a word in the Chimu language meaning “tip” or “nail” because of the point that sticks out all alone into the Pacific. In this area, the first evidence of an actual “culture” was found in what is now known as Ecuador—and referred to by archaeologists as the oldest civilization in all of the Americas.
First discovered in 1956 by Ecuadorian archaeologist Emillio Estrada, and later by the Smithsonian Institution archaeologists Betty Meggers and her husband Clifford Evans (left). This culture was mainly situated at the mouth of the Valdivia river valley, immediately adjacent to seashore and estuary habitats located on the peninsula, point Elena being the furthest point west that juts out into the Pacific Ocean west (and north) of the Bay of Guayaquil.
The Valdivia culture produced pottery and ceramics unique to them in all of the Americas and are the oldest representational images in the Western Hemisphere. The more their skill developed, the more precise their ceramics became
    The Valdivia pottery is the oldest in America and is now displayed in the Museo de La Plata in Argentina. This Ecuadorian culture had a long and steady period of development in this area—what is referred to as the Land Northward in the scriptural record. In addition, this development coincided with a constant increase in population.
It is interesting that the very spot where the first culture in South America is claimed to have begun is the exact same spot that the Jaredite barges would have landed moving up the west coast of South America. Moving up the Humbolt (Peruvian) Current in an uncontrolled drift voyage carried along on wind-driven currents (not sails) up the west coast of South America, the barges would have been deposited somewhere along the 80-mile shoreline of the peninsula that blocked any further northern movement.
The Valdivian culture developed first in the area of Santa Elena, the Point Elena being the furthest point west in Ecuador that juts out into the Pacific Ocean where the cool currents carom into the long shoreline. Sailing ships “driven forth before the wind” would have been forced outward before this area and into the South Pacific Gyre, but currents bring floating debris, flostsam and even dead whales onto the shoreline of the peninsula, the obvious and perfect landing place for the Jaredite barges
    Referred to as the Valdivia by archaeologists, the culture or civilization thrived on the coast of Ecuador as it moved inland, away from the estuaries and mangrove swamps, and up into the slightly higher elevations covered in tropical, deciduous woodlands and narrow gallery forests. They lived in communities with homes built in a circle around the outside of a central plaza and were a sedentary people that lived off herding, farming and fishing though they occasionally hunted game. From remains that have been found, it has been determined that the Valdivians cultivated corn, kidney beans, squash, cassava, hot peppers and cotton plants, the latter they used to make clothes. Valdivian pottery over time became large and intricate, using red and gray colors (Artifacts on display at the Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santa ([UEES], a the private university in Guayaquil, Ecuador) .
    Their ceramics and stone works show a progression from simple to more complicated works, and is considered remarkably well crafted for its time, comparable to much later art.
It is of interest that the complexity of the Valdivian ceramic art have no apparent New World antecedents. While numerous archaeologists have tried to make a match with Jōmon (Kyushu, Japan) ceramics of an earlier period, claiming Japanese fishermen were blown off course up along the Kuroshio (Black Stream) Current and across the northern Pacific and down the American coast, in their hurry to make such a connection they fail to realize that any wind-blown or current driven course such as that would simply follow the Kuroshio Extension where the Ekman Transport of the North Pacific Gyre would take them back westward no further south than northern Baja California, toward Japan north of the Equatorial counter-current, never reaching as far south as South America, let alone Ecuador, because of the major nongeostrophic portion of the flow in the central and northern gyres.
    What no one ever seems to understand is that the same people that came to Ecuador as the Jaredites, originated in the same location (Mesopotamia) as those of Noah’s family that went eastward into China and eventually Japan.
It might be of interest to know that these first settlers in the Americas left records in stone called “Cosmograms” (left), a term referring to ideograms related to space—a pictographic writing system and the first in America, is about the inherent relationship between the stars and Earth. Many of these cosmograms with anthropomorphic characteristics or geometric engravings have been unearthed at this ancient site and appear to be a pictographic writing system—the first in the Americas. Pieces of broken cosmograms and other artifacts show symbols that were later used throughout South and Central America, all of which can be traced back to these Valdivian renderings (a collection of which is housed in a private museum in Quito).
Comparing certain Valdivian cosmograms (many collected over the years by artist and sculpture Estuardo Maldonado [left] in his Quito Museum) with the primitive divinatory calendar used throughout Mesoamerica until recently, where the dotted bands were recorded in pictograms related to this 260-day ceremonial calendar, it becomes apparent that the origins of the divinatory calendar seem likely to have been with the Valdivians, not those of Mesoamerica. Roots of many other American myths, legends, songs, and derived religions probably also had the same common ancestry as the Valdivians, who seem to have come from the Caucuses—the hills just north of the Jaredite homeland in Mesopotamia between the Black Sea and the Caspian that would have been developed by cousins to the Jaredites.

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