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Americas, as seen from a Carolingian point of view, likely would have sprung from this move West that the Vikings performed by the very end of the Carolingian era. Some Arabic sources, further, albeit not endorsed by mainstream historians, might hint too to some contact with Americas by Arab explorers as other islands might have existed in the Atlantic Ocean and discovered too

The Viking Odyssey

Iceland had likely been discovered by Irish monks about 800 A.D., which were St. Columba's culdees who were fleeing the Northmen. Iceland then was populated, during the 9th and 10th century by immigrants coming from Scandinavia, along with their Irish or Scottish, Celtic slaves. Flesh, skin, and tusks of walrus might have been a reason for Northmen to settle in. Those large marine mammals were a very important ressource: the tusks became to be used for churches' decoration while the walrus' skin was to make boats' ropes. By the 13th century A.D. walrus eventually were wipped off the island. It's likely that the Vikings considered they were the discoverers of the island as it's likely, on the other hand, that those seas had been already explored by Irish monks aboard their 'curraghs', those ships made of hides on a skeleton of osier. It might even that they went down to Greenland and perhaps Americas. The inhabitants of Iceland --who by 870 A.D., were farmers and traders-- came to found, in 930, a local parliament, the 'Althing', like a way of government between free men and the island didn't have any king before 1262! The parliament was remarkably held in a place where the fault in the North Atlantic Ocean is found, dividing Europe and the -still unknown- Americas, a remarkable feat. The Vikings also were skilled blacksmiths and the Northmen's ships needed numerous nails to work, or to be repaired. Such a societal environment however was conducive to blood-feuds, with the laws enforced by the people only. For those long-haul journeys, the Vikings were not using their drakkars, but their 'knarrs' instead, which were the cargo ships they were using during their raids. About 960, Thorvald Asvaldsson, who was fleeing Norway for cause of 'some killings', settled in Iceland. 20 years later -as we are near the end of the Carolingian times- his son, Eric -or Eric the Red- was forced in turn to leave Iceland on account of crimes. A century before that -about, precisely, the beginning of the 10th century, Gunnbjörn Ulfsson, a Norwegian, as he was journeying from Norway to Iceland, had his boat blown to the West, leading him to see small islands along the Greelandic coast. Gunnbjörn and his crew didn't land however, as they reported their sighting and had the islands named the 'Gunnbjörn islands.' An Icelander, Snaebjörn Galti had endeavoured -to no avail- to settle in those regions. That's why Eric the Red and his proponents, in 982, took to the West. After this 500 miles journey, they eventually reached what's today is Greenland, that vast continent of ice and fjords. As they managed to sail beyond the southern tip of there, they found a location prone to a human settlement, and they kept exploring the coasts. After the 3-year ban over, they sailed back to Iceland, where they told of their discoveries. They boasted the new land under the name of 'green land' as Icelanders eventually decided to leave again with Eric to settle in the new found land! Arriving there in 985, two colonies were founded on the West coast, proving to be the only really life-prone locations in the vast island. At the time of their arrival, Greenland was uninhabited since about 650 years as the last Paleo-Eskimo cultures had disappeared around the year 200 A.D. The conditions were rough in Greenland as the Icelanders, during summer, were sailing North in search for additional meat and other stuff supplies taken from seals and whales

That's not last however! In 985 or 986 -we are just 1 year before the end of the Carolingian era- Bjarni Herjölfsson, a merchant, sailed from Iceland to Greenland to visit his father who lately had migrated there. Just like Gunnbjörn Ulfsson had, Bjarni Herjölfsson was blown off course, West. Looking for his way to Greenland, his and his crew just saw a low-lying hills, forested coast. And just like before, they did not try to land. They saw other coasts, and they eventually reached Greenland, as they told their story there, then in Norway. No one, at the time, seems to have shown interest. Eric the Red, meanwhile had established himself like the chieftain of Greenland. And, about 997, it was the son of Eric the Red, Leif Ericson -who had been born in 980- who, as he came back from a stay in Norway and brought Christianity to Greenland, bought the ship of Bjarni Herjölfsson and took to search those new lands. Albeit were are now, in 997, well after the Carolingian era, it seems of interest however to know what occurred! During a first journey, Leif really saw, West, new lands. It was in late summer and as he didn't want to winter there, he sailed back to Greenland. He had saw however that those new coasts were rich in timber, as timber was a rare stuff in Greenland. Hence, in the year 1000 A.D., Leif Ericson started a new expedition. He first discovered what the termed the 'Halluland' -likely the Baffin land, a coast with flat rocks. Sailing along the coast, he found the 'Markland', a flat land, with white sand beaches and forests -the Labrador likely. At last, they got into another place, filled with salmons and with white sands too, where the climate was mild, the winter tempered, and with a lot of meadows. As they wintered there and that a man of Leif found grapewines, they called the place the 'Vinland'. Two settlements were put up there, as it was the purpose of this second journey! The Anse aux Meadows, in Newfoundland, is a ascertained settlement of Northmen in North America. But, during the following year, harsh conflicts with inhabitants of those new lands, who had shown up, led to that Ericson abandoned the idea of settling there. Another attempt, about 1010, failed for about the same reasons. It looks like, however, that the people of Greenland, made the journey, each year, to the 'Markland', for timber, until the 14th century, as possible other journeys occurred too to Labrador and Vinland. Archeological researches, in the 1950's and the 1960's brought to that the remainings of a Viking village were found at the northern tip of Newfoundland, at the 'Anse aux Meadows". L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland, a Viking base camp was dated between 989 and 1020 A.D., with three Viking halls and a assortment of huts for weaving, ironworking, and ship repair. Viking seafarers and Native American hunters might have traded iron against walrus ivory or Arctic furs. All those stories provided material for fine sagas, those oral stories of the story of the Vikings in Scandinavia, Germany and in Iceland. Hence that, during the Carolingian ear, Iceland could have been well known, along with the late discoveries of the Greenland and the American coasts. Especially as Leif Ericson seems to have been in charged in christening Greenland and that, through this way, the news might have circulated. Of interest, the Icelandic Saga Database site looks like a good reference to old norse sagas, those narratives likely originating by the 13th and 14th centuries A.D. and perhaps originally a oral tradition of storytelling

The Case for the Possible Contacts to Americas by Arab Sailors and Other Discoveries

Aside the Viking saga, some Arabic sources are considered like reporting that some sailors from al-Andalus -Spain under Islamic rule- might have reached Americas too. According to the book 'Muruj adh-dhahab wa maadin aljawhar' ('The meadows of gold and quarries of jewels') by the Muslim historian and geographer Ali al-Masudi (871-957), a Muslim navigator named Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad, originating from Cordoba, Spain, have sailed from Delba (Palos), in 889, and, after crossing the Atlantic (or 'the ocean of fogs'), reached a territory called 'Ard Majhoola' ('the unknown territory') and returned from there with fabulous treasures. The same author states that other sailors sailed too on the Atlantic Ocean, some perishing and some returning back safely. Another crossing might have happened too in the year 999 AD. Arabs, who were sailing unto the Arabian Sea and along the African coasts, or journeys at sea which were performed in sight of land, or never longer than about 860 nautical miles, might have reached Canaries Islands since Spain indeed first, and then using trade winds the Cabo Verde Islands. Thence, should they have dared to cross in only one step, they might have reached northeastern South America. Arabic merchants would have settled in the Americas starting from the Caribbeans. Such travels would have been allowed by Arabic science which already conceived a spherical Earth. The Arabic world would also have been at the origin of other journeys to Americas as, that time, they would have started from the kingdom of Mandingos in Western Africa. They would have reached the Amazon's mouth by about 1312 A.D.

It is likely that Phenicians as soon as before the Christian era, had ventured out into the Atlantic Ocean and they reached to the Sargasso Sea, whence the myth of Atlantis might have originated too. Phenicians, on a other hand, also were journeying up to the island of Thule, or Iceland. Then came St. Columba's Culdees hermits, from Scotland, who fled the Northmen by 860 A.D. to settle into Iceland as the Vikings soon came there afterwards. It is also likely that those Christian hermits kept fleeing then into Greenland and then maybe also into North America. Close to the Vinland area, the Culdees would have ruled over the Skraelings, that Amerindian or Eskimo aborigenal people. That land was named by Vikings like 'Huitramannaland' ('the land of white men'), 'Escotitland' ('land of Scots'), 'Albania' ('Scotland'), or 'Irland it Mikla' ('Great Ireland'). Exilees, or Vikings having endured a wreck also turned chieftains in those regions which, eventually, came known to Arabs too, by about 1120 A.D. St. Brandon, on a other hand, was a Irish missionary and saint in the 6th century A.D. as he landed on a flat island where no trees grew, after a 40-day journey, a perfumed one and where grapes were large like apples. St. Brandon even would have reached to Northern America, according to some. From the Vinland Map, a map from the year 1440, which was likely drawn from an original one dating back to the 13th century and deemed maybe not a forgery by the Royan Danish Academy of Fine Arts, one can spot that at the time they knew the Vinland still as well as islands large and small located off the coasts of western France and southwestern Spain. A right attribution of the islands seen on the map might that the Desiderate Insule -usually considered the Azores- be the Madeira Islands indeed as the St Brandon's large islands the Azores instead -albeit larger than their size. The Fortunate Islands, generally, are the Canary Islands. Some think that those islands termed of St Brandon on the map are representing the Sargasso Sea, which is located more West still, that entanglement of algae and floating timber and its feeble depth could let think of islands. As far as Americas are concerned, at last, it is also likely that western coasts be explored by Chinese sailors by the 15th century A.D.

Of interest too that later, on a map dating back to the time of Christopher Colombus, one could find, South of the Azores and West of Madeira, at a right angle of both islands, a island which was called 'Antilia'. That island, according to what was recalled at the time, would have been discovered -and populated- in the year 734 A.D. when an archbishop of Oporto, Portugal, along with 6 bishops and a group of Christian people, fled the advance of the Arabs in Spain. They would have journeyed to the island aboard a boat, bringing cattle, merchandise and luggages with them. Antilia still would have been seen in 1414 A.D. It's that story which gave birth to the legend of the 'Seven Golden Cities of Cíbola', which legend motivated the Spanish conquistadors into their conquest of the New World. As they had landed on the island, each of the six bishops thus had a prosperous city built. That eventually allowed to the legend that golden cities existed beyond the Atlantic Ocean. On those maps of the Atlantic Ocean of the time of Colombus, one also can see that the St. Brandon islands -as they are figured large enough, being about 1/8th in size the size of the Cipango Island (which did figure Taiwan at the time)- are to be found definitely more South -and West of the Canaries Islands (and South of them). A possibility might be it being current northeastern Brazil. Of note at last is that 37–34 million years ago, primates were able to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to South America by rafting on vegetation

Americas At the Time the Vikings Led Their Expeditions, or the Arabs Possibly Sailed There

It's now well established that the Americas were populated by Asian, nomad people who migrated from Siberia to the western hemisphere at the times when the Behring Strait was a land bridge, following big game animal herds. Ainous of Japan might have been part of migrations which reached to Americas. Subsistence behaviors on the American side of the Bering Strait might have been beyond the idea that earliest North America settlers as nomadic big-game hunters, with residential structures or burials. Such a migration occurred about 17,000 years ago, with South America reached at 14,000 years ago and the tip of it 3,000 years later, hinting to a swift move. Deepest genetic link is seen between Upper Paleolithic Siberians and First Americans. Ancient Native Americans experienced frequent genetic contact with populations of northeast Asia (NEA) ancestry. A ancient Beringian population and ancestors of other Native Americans descended from a single founding population that initially split from East Asians around 36,000 years ago. Ancient Beringians branched off around 20,000 years as northern and southern Native American branches, to which all other Native Americans belong, diverged around 16,000 years ago and that probably occurred South of the North American ice sheets. At about 11,500 years, some of the northern Native American populations received gene flow from a Siberian population most closely related to Koryaks, but not Palaeo-Eskimos, Inuits nor Kets. Native American gene flow into Inuits was through northern Native American groups only on a other hand. The motion eastwards, in North America, from the Rockies' foothills, occurred about 10,000 years ago as Paleoindians in South America settled at extreme elevations in the Andes mountains as soon as by 12,000 to 12,400 years ago, even before genetic mutations that helped them survive better in low oxygen. It might, on the other hand, that some maritime crossings either North of South occurred too adding some -much earlier, or contemporary- populations which lasted, or was exterminated by later movements. Inuits -that is Eskimo-Aleut peoples, as far as they are concerned, arrived much later, around the 5th or 6th century A.D. moving across the sea-ice from Siberia to Canada and expanding from there down until Greenland, where they settled by 1300 A.D. The Na-Dené people, which settled in Alaska and western Canada likely arrived between 8,000 to 6,000 years ago only. Some of them might have moved down into the American Southwest. New World Arctic, generally, was the last region of the Americas to be populated by humans around 4000 years B.C., by a migration separate from the one that gave rise to other Native American populations, including Athabascan speakers. That flow was made of different cultural units including the Early Paleo-Eskimos (Pre-Dorset/Saqqaq), originating in Siberia, the Late Paleo-Eskimos (Early Dorset, Middle Dorset, and Late Dorset), and the Thule cultures. The Saqqaq and Dorset people largely lived in genetic isolation after entering the New World. The Neo-Eskimo Thule people (ancestors of modern-day Inuits, likely originating like the iberian Birnirk people, 6th to 7th century A.D.) came to replace the Paleo-Eskimos by 1300 A.D. only. The related extinct, Native American Sadlermiut people came from the Hudson Bay region (15th to 19th century CE) and Dorset remnants. Gene flow between Paleo-Eskimos and ancestors of Inuit occurred at least 4000 years ago. Alaska traded items with East Asian civilizations about 1,000 A.D.

The first 'culture' of the Americas was the Clovis one, a hunter one, remains of which were found dating from about 13,500 years ago in New-Mexico, near Clovis. It is likely, on a other hand, that a culture preceded it by some 2,500 years or less. Evidence in 2012 is mounting that a 13,500 year-old American culture, or the 'Western Stem People,' might have also existed at that time, on the U.S. West Coast, in Oregon. The human groups of the Americas kept evolving into more complex civilizations. The hunter-gatherers settled into semi-agricultural communities about 6000 B.C. as the nomadic style of life kept on, however, until the 18th century! Shells plaid a symbolic role with those ancient peoples, or color white symbolically important like the color of life. This led to a myriad of tribes, as far as northern America is concerned, living various styles of life, like semi-nomadic hunters-gatherers or sedentary and agricultural peoples. In southwestern current USA, a baby boom among Native Americans started some 1,500 years ago likely due to the generalization of corn consumption about 500 A.D. (corn had come to be grown in the area since 2000 B.C.). Despite a mid-1100's drought, that birth rate stayed high until 1280, when inhabitants eventually fled within a 30-year span. There were still 200 tribes, counting a total of 1 million Indians when the Europeans discovered the continent. The tribes, further, endured a process of regionalization during the millenia B.C. Some large chiefdom structures, or advanced, state-level societies existed too, the most knwon is the Mississippian culture, along the Mississippi River, emerging about 1,000 A.D. and building large earthen mounds as the Mississipi, on a other hand, endured flood-free period between 600 and 1,200 A.D. A city to the Late Woodland Indians around 700 AD turned larger than London by 1250. Pre-agricultural, earthworks Hopewell culture was the dominant culture in midwestern and eastern North America from about 0 to 900 A.D. with the solstices important religious marks to them. By the time of the arrival of Europeans, southeastern peoples of the 'Five-Nations' of Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws and Seminoles), and the southwestern ones -the Pueblos, Zunis and Hopis, were sedentary farmers. North, the Algonquins and the Iroquois northeast, and the Indians of British Columbia, were hunters and fishermen as the Navajos and the Apaches in the southwest were nomadic herdsmen. The most important group of Indians however kept being the Siouans which constituted the peoples of the Plains, hunting buffalos as their lifestyle was influencing their neighbours. Those had transitioned to the horses which had been introduced in the Americas by the Spaniards. Large groups of Amerindian people, North and South, based upon such or such plant or such wild animal to establish their culture

Mesoamerica, as far as it is concerned, became a place of more complex civilizations, with the first one being the Olmecs (1400-400 B.C) and being the progenitor to later civilizations in the area. Civilization, in Mesoamerica, was linked to the transition, by the 5th millenium B.C., to a agriculture based upon maize. Mesoamerican isthm since the 1st century B.C. was part of a vast trade network (gold, other products) which stretched from Mexico, North down to Peru, South. As they were skilled sailors, Caribs were ruling over the Atlantic coast plains and eased trade with South America. The civilizations of Teothihuacan (current Mexico) and of the Maya (Yucatan, and southeast of it) existed at the Carolingian times. Crocodiles were widely associated with Mesoamerican calendars and held an important role in creation myths. Teothihuacan had a lasting -150-950 A.D.- influence in the region. Teotihuacán is meaning 'the place where men become gods' in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, who likely found the ruins of the deserted city sometime in the 1300s, centuries after its abandonment, and concluded that a powerful ancestor culture of theirs must have once existed. As the city lied in a basin at the southernmost edge of the Mexican Plateau, the landmass forming the spine of modern-day Mexico, the climate there is mild as streams and rivers make the place ideal for farming and raising livestock. Adverse climate conditions however, like low rainfall and high altitude, made crops of maize and beans difficult. Fermented agave sap, or pulque, was a complement under several aspects as that diet was still extant under the Aztecs. Teotihuacán itself was likely settled as early as 400 B.C., but it was only around A.D. 100, an era of robust population growth and increased urbanization in Mesoamerica, that the metropolis as we know it, with its wide boulevards and monumental pyramids, was built. Some historians have theorized that its founders were refugees driven North by the eruption of a volcano. Others have speculated that they were Totonacs, a tribe from the East. Whatever the case, the Teotihuacanos, proved themselves skilled urban planners. They rerouted the San Juan River directly under the Avenue of the Dead, and set about constructing the pyramids that would form the city’s core: the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, the even larger 147-foot-tall Temple of the Moon and the bulky, sky-obscuring 213-foot-tall Temple of the Sun. The city’s architects arranged the major monuments on a North-South axis, with the so-called 'Avenue of the Dead' linking the largest structure, the Temple of the Sun, with the Ciudadela -meaning, the 'Citadel'- the southeasterly courtyard that housed the Temple of the Plumed Serpent. The Citadel was able to hold tens of thousands of the city’s residents during public ceremonies. As many as 200,000 people lived in the area of Teotihuacán, in some 2,000 structures not unlike apartment complexes in concentric circles around the city center. The overall structure grid of the city likely matched the movement of the Sun, which was said born there, and generally might be a representation of the aqueous genesis according to Teotihuacanos. Recent evidence suggests that the religion practiced in these pyramids bore a resemblance to the religion practiced in the contemporaneous Mayan cities of Tikal and El Mirador, hundreds of miles southeast, like the worshiping of celestial objects, the veneration of a plumed serpent and the frequent occurrence of a jaguar as a deity and protector of men. The rituals in the city involved sacrifices of people and animals. Between 150 and 300 A.D., Teotihuacán grew rapidly like a agricultural society, raising things in the middle of shallow lakes and swampland and keeping chickens and turkeys, as they also built heavily trafficked trade routes to obsidian quarries in Pachuca and cacao groves near the Gulf of Mexico. Cotton came in from the Pacific Coast as ceramics from Veracruz. By A.D. 400, Teotihuacán had become the most powerful and influential city in the region as peoples came to live from Mayan and Zapotec neighborhoods, a kind of first major melting pots in the Western Hemisphere. The decline came with periodic regime change in the ruling class and clashes with other local city-states, culminating in a fire by 550 A.D. Teotihuacán was eventually abandoned in 750 A.D. and his inhabitants were absorbed by neighbouring civilizations, or returning to that they originally belonged. The quasi-hieroglyphic written language of Teotihuacán has not been cracked as historians do not know fully the details of the civilization's life and visions. A newly discovered tunnel in the city might be instrumental in more knowledge by the 2010'. One does not know still whether the city was ruled by a all-powerful and violent king, like the Mayas, or a council of elite as, at the difference of what is seen by the Mayas, no figure of rulers have been discovered on the Teothihuacan buildings. In the valley of Oaxaca, the Zapotecs were found as they are considered the founders of several aspects of the civilizational elements among the people of Central America like cities-states, 20-basis computation, rebus, or calendar. Their historical center was Monte Albán and their civilization started beginning by 500 B.C. Zapotecs then endured the influence of Mayas as their golden age occurred between 250 and 700 A.D. Their society turned theocratic, the city of Mitla was founded as the dynasty of the Zaachilas settled in Téozpotlan. The decline of the Zapotecs began by 700 A.D. as they abandoned the Monte Albán site maybe for reason of resource exhaustion or of autonomy of the cities which constituted the Zapotec world. Zapotecs then, by about 1000 A.D. entered conflict with the Mixtecs which themselves had been pushed by the Toltecs and Chichimecs. A Zapotec king was still extant when Spaniards conquered the Americas. Mixtecs, who called themselves the 'rain country people,' began take upon the Zapotecs in the Oaxaca Basin as they also influenced the other people of Central America. Their calendar and cultural techniques were similar to that of Aztecs. South of their territory, they were part of the declining Mayan civilization as their apogee occurred between the 9th and 16th centuries A.D. Their craft in metal and stone remained unequaled as they were also skilled in jewelry. Mitla was their capital city. Mixtecs keep a aborigenous people of Mesoamerica nowadays with the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, or Puebla, a cultural area known like 'La Mixteca.' The Mayas consisted into a group of city-states lying in a area South of the Yucatan peninsula, with the Mayan empire encompassing southern Mexico and northern Central America, including the countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. Mayas excelled at agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar-making and mathematics, and left behind a amazing amount of large architecture and symbolic artwork. The early Maya scripture might have been born by the Olmecs, the predecessors to Mayas, by about 100 B.C. Maya story parts into Preclassic (2000 B.C.-250 A.D.), Classic (250-900 A.D.), and Post-classic (900-1500 A.D.). Recent studies by early 2018 have shown that the area of Tikal was up to four times larger than previously known or that the Mayan royal dynasty known as the Snake Kings ruled over an area stretching from Mexico and Belize to Guatemala, having conquered Tikal in 562. The Classic Snake dynasty built the closest thing to a Mayan empire. The discovery was made possible by the researchers removing the tree canopy from aerial images of the landscape. The area of Tikal likely was inhabited by 7-11 millions of people during the Late Classical Period (650 to 800 AD), with roads linking cities between them or chanels to optimize agricultural yields. The area was originally wetlands. These lords of Kaanul then extended from their capital in Dzibanche to the North of current Guatemala, on the lowlands of southeast Mesoamerica but, after two centuries, that Kingdom of the Serpent eventually was defeated by the lords of Tikal, its enemies of ever. The Mayan civilization had indeed a population estimated at 10-15 million. The Maya civilization produced spectacular science, math, calendars, archaeology and cultural elements beginning in 2000 B.C. The height of the Mayan empire, known as the Classic period, reached from approximately A.D. 250 to at least A.D. 900. That civilization made the topmost innovations in mathematics (with a base-20 system), astronomy and writing (250-900 A.D.). Palenque was a relatively important western Maya capital in the Early Classic period of that civilization, about the 5th century A.D. One of the most famed ruler in Palenque, K'inich Janaab' Pakal I, or Pacal the Great, who acceded the throne at the age of 12 by 615 A.D. would have ruled 68 years. The Mayan world eventually structured itself about two main city-states, Calakmul and Tikal. Tikal was inhabited by 60,000 people. Pyramids, ball courts, plazas and other structures characteristic of Mayans. Still 3 million Mayas still exist nowadays as they are speaking their language (that is used by archeologists to better understand ancient Mayan texts). The Mayan creation story is known like the 'Popol Vuh', among which hero twins, Hunaphu and Xbalanque, in their initiatic quest, commit suicide because they came to be confronted to one the trials, which they could not solve. Once risen from the dead in a river, they are swimming into the underworld to retrieve the decapitated head of their father. They eventually turned the Sun and the Moon. A tortoise was symbolizing the Earth as located at the center of the Universe. The quetzal, a strikingly colored (green and red) bird, was Mayas' mythical bird. It loses its feathers every year (the male bird, the name of which means 'large green feather,' has its feathers reaching twice the size of the bird's body during the mating season. The female unlike the male, does not have a long tail nor feathers). Mayans raised many quetzals captured far away, in aviaries. The Mayan civilization was strongly associated with mountains as the Mayan politics was filled with agricultural metaphores. The Mayan scribs were powerful people -as such a importance is found back too into the Mayan cosmogony- as they wore jaguar's hides and were organized into workshops, each developing and transmitting its particular style. The Mayan alphabet today is deciphered to about 90 percent as it is a mixed, glyphico-syllabic one. Some characters are glyphs, representing one word as others are syllabs, representing one sound. A same word thus may be rendered through one glyph only, or through a combination of several syllabs. Several glyphs further for a same word, or several syllabs for a same sound are allowed as the Mayan alphabet is made of about 800 glyphs and syllabic signs. Mayan books, the 'codex' (plural, 'codices') had been written unto 24-foot long barks of a figue-tree which they folded like a accordeon, as Spaniards had them burnt, except three of them, as they considered those books of the Devil. The early Mayan rulers was interred as ritual dancers as the Mayan rulership, generally had the Mayan Sun god like a emblem. During the full expansion of the Maya civilization, rulers had almost obsessively long stone inscriptions written about former stages of it, like, for example, about Palenque's history. Mayans were long considered a peaceful and agricultural people which had advanced astronomical knowledges. Scholars now know that war indeed plaid a important and ritualistic role with kings and noblemen having like their function to make war, the main purpose of which was to take prisoners (albeit the Classic Maya period (250 to 900 AD) was believed noted for prosperity and sophistication and the apex of their civilization, with lesser violence except rituals, violence could have existed also by that time). Mayan kings were god-kings with a shamanic function. They entered contact with spirits during the conjunction of planets; they entered contact with cosmos and gods through -preferentially human- blood poured unto sacred paper. Their names were of the kind 'He Who Stands Up the Offering of the Eagle,' or 'Red Spark Claw.' Mayan queens could also be of a higher rank than their king-husband and ruling, like the case of seventh-century warrior queen Lady K'abel, bearing the title 'Kaloomte' or 'Supreme Warrior'. She belonged to the imperial house of the Snake King. Mayan kings' relatively luxurious lifestyle however gave them premature osteoporosis, visible in their thinning bones as their teeth were barely worn from eating soft, decadent food their whole lives such as tamales and sipping a chocolate and honey drink popular among the elites. Head shaping was used among Mayas, and it featured specific styles. People during the Classic period (250–900 A.D.) along the coast of current Veracruz had a vertical, pear-shaped style, those in the lowlands had a sloping, tubular style, and those along the coast of the Caribbean Sea had wide, flat heads. Over time, that latter shape became popular, and dominated the late Classic period. Head shaping for the Mayas matched their idea that babies were not yet human and at risk of losing their essence through a few points in their skulls. Through head shaping, Maya kept the essence in. Head shaping was made through plank devices as the practice might also have like a aim to make children et ressemble to the god of the maize. Mayas left behind many books and stone inscriptions regarding the stories of their gods and the history of their divine kings and queens. Mayan spirits dwelled in the underground as, through a kind of tree, the fromager, they got higher up to become stars. Astronomical knowledge was useful to farming but they were also linked to warfare. Venus was the goddess of war as wars were decided function of conjunctions between planets. Mayan temples' steps are at the number of 365 as prisoners were thrown off from the top. Mayans generally practiced human sacrifices on a large scale. A skilled person fast cut the chest open, pulled the ribs apart and exposed the heart while the victim was still alive, and the heart would come out by itself and would be jumping. Prisoners were submitted to the technique albeit they had been beheaded, and the heart keeping pumping. Sometimes that went the other way around, and the heart feeded to its owner! A third procedure might create a tranquil pool of blood in a victim’s chest cavity that looks almost like a lake. For Mayas, the method of sacrifice was incredibly important as a victim became a sort of pretender god -- a glimpse of the divine in human form. During the Post-Classic period (950 to 1539 A.D.) the Maya people practised a great deal of human sacrifice and body processing, including creating racks of skulls called tzompantlis as they ornating the temples' stairs, and they were cutting off human skins to wear over the body. Some scientists, on the other hand, think that such sacrifices were few in numbers. Cities featured astronomical observatories as agricultural almanachs were elaborated. Conjunctions between Venus and the Moon were watched upon as the concept of the planets' orbit was known. Astronomy likely was driven by religion and astronomers enjoyed a high social standing. Recent finds are showing that some royal scribes worked in a separate room where they used walls like blackboard to keep track of astronomical records and the Mayan calendar. Astronomical tables from the Maya are still extent as some calendars are based upon Moon phases (which is linked to the idea that Moon was alternately overseen by varied deities by intervals) and allowed to foresee phases of our satellite in relation with astrology, rituals, the rainy season, crops yields or going into a war. Power of the priests and the king depending also upon feeding their people. Astronomers also performed calculations which combined observations of the motions of Mars, Venus and the Moon along with numbers related to the Sun. It is also possible that long time calendar predictions might have been the fact of astronomers which extended their calculation for their own pleasure far beyond the real needs of society. Mayans were arguably the most advanced civilization in the Americas as apt to very accurate predictions in terms of the position of Moon and planets for centuries ahead. Mayans thought that their civilization originated by August 13th, 3114 B.C. Mayas had several calendars, each with a different count. The ritual cycle was 260 days long, which might have been the time of the corn crop or the one of human pregnancy. A 365-day calendar likely representend the average life expectancy at the time. The long-count calendar served to king to create a legacy, as it was broken into 400-year segments called baktuns and at the number of 13, a sacred number. Accurate astronomical knowledge of the Mayans had allowed to the construction, in Chichen Itza, a sacred place in the North of the Yucatan peninsula, a temple -the famed 'El Castillo,' a monumental stairway of which, at sunset and sunrise during the spring and autumn equinoxes, was projecting a shadow of a gigantic snake as the plumed snake's head had been sculpted at the bottom of it. That was symbolizing the coming of the snake from above -the sky- and it descending into the subterranean world. In the Classic period, between A.D. 300 and 1000, Mayan civilizations had no special interest in Venus. But, in the post-Classic period, a feathered serpent named Kukulkan and tied to Venus emerged as a dominant figure, bringing to more attention to the movement of planets. The Mayans called Venus, Quetzalcoatl, and--or Kukulkan, and Venus the brother of Sun as together, they went into the underworld and battle with enemies of mankind like pestilence, disease and war, likely due to the views of Venus like a evening, or morning star following the Sun into the night. Centuries of astronomical data were kept in codex. Astronomical interest by the 10th century also was because little inaccuracies in the Mayan calendar had been noticed as the calendar could be made accurate through the observation of Venus. A astronomer in the well-known Dresden Codex made his observations of Venus from the Chichen Itza El Caracol shell-shaped observatory. Mayas had not reached metallurgy as their tools were made of obsidian. The ball games were popular among Mayas as they played on a narrow court using a hard latex ball, between two opposing teams having to pass the ball by using their hips, elbows and knees only. The losing team was sometimes sacrificed at the end. Ceremonial ball courts which were located close to the Mayan temples also had a ritual significance. The ball was also sent through a stone ring set in a wall. Such ball courts, generally, also featured astronomical representation with slits in the walls letting the Sun at some patterns during the equinoxes or the winter solstice. The ball played likely was a symbol for Sun's journey in the sky. One had long thought that the fall of the Mayas occurred due to a period of dryness which might have been itself due to troubles with the Earth's electromagnetic field. More recent studies seem to show that the Mayan decline occurred by the 8th and 9th centuries A.D. when the 'Sixth Sky Queen,' a self-proclaimed sovereign in one of the Mayan cities triggered a cycle of violence between the city-states. That likely was worsened through weather conditions, question of agricultural output or of surpopulation. Recent studies, in 2012, have found that only slight changes in rainfall eventually triggered the Mayan decline, with decreases occurring episodically for periods as long as a decade at a time and globally at a amount of only 25 to 40 percent in annual rainfall. That however was large enough for evaporation of water storage become dominant over storage possibilities. Data suggest that the main cause was a decrease in summer storm activity as summer was the main season for cultivation and replenishment of storage systems and no rivers exist in the Yucatan lowlands. The Mayan civilization had become reliant on regular rainfall supplies (preference for a maize-centric diet among ancient Maya's upper class may have made the population more vulnerable to climatic stress and contributed to the decline a maize cultivation needs water. A diverse diet of elites and people might have help Mayans survive a prolonged drought between 300-100 B.C.) Then, even a rather subtle change was enough to yield troubles, with a rapid repetition of multiyear droughts. That likely was mediated through societal unrest or diseases or both. That period of conflicts began when that queen attacked the cities of Calakmul and Tikal as one may, finally, consider that the Mayan civilization imploded. Mayan lowlands, which include much of Yucatan Peninsula, were significantly more likely to recover than higher-lying areas as a additional explanation could also consist into that abandoned territories would have been considered turned chaotic and haunted places, and any re-settlement there was at best done with great care and ritual. Many kingly lineages warring against each other also might have another cause of decline. That fall initiated a period of miscellaneous centers which eventually survived in the Yucatan peninsula. The Puuc region, in northwestern Yucatan, a fertile area albeit without water, became one of the Mayan refuges (of about 150 cities) as the southern, lowlands' sites were on their decline. Mayas there constructed numerous underground citerns, or 'chultunes.' The role of climate change in the rise and fall of Mayan civilization (300 to 1000 A.D.) was recently summarized by scientists like that anomalously high rainfall favored unprecedented population expansion and the proliferation of political centers between 440 and 660 A.D. This was followed by a drying trend between 660 and 1000 A.D. that triggered the balkanization of polities, increased warfare, and the asynchronous disintegration of polities, followed by population collapse in the context of a second, extended drought between 1020 and 1100 A.D. which is the time of Mayas' relocation in Chichen Itza. The Mayan people at Chichen Itza were the Itzaes. Monsoons then skipped over the Yucatan Peninsula. Of note that a 650-year period of frequent droughts plagued also the area about Mexico City highlands, from about A.D. 500 to about A.D. 1150 as part of a period of droughts that lasted from about 200 B.C. until A.D. 1300. A other view is that two major collapses affected the Mayans, one about the 2nd century A.D., the other the 9th and that each collapse constituted indeed of 'waves of collapse,' like war and political instability followed by a major collapse during which cities were abandoned. The city of Caracol, with 100,000 inhabitants by 650 A.D., benefited of the Mayan wars, specially those between Tikal and Calakmul. The color red was a fundamental one among the Mayas as their pyramids completely painted in that color. Human sacrifices also occurred in the 'canotes,' those stony, circular wells, and submarine caves, found in the Yucatan peninsula. Caves generally for Mayas, were believed to be gods' guts as jaguars were believed to get into or out from the underworld. Canotes were very sacred locations and a whole subterranean architecture existed, of which sanctuaries. Canotes most likely were devoted to the god of rain with his 4 children as sacrifices of young boys increased when Mayan civilization was plagued with drought. Some canotes, as part of the underworld, also represented figures and symbolic paths from the twins' myth in the Popol Vuh. The canotes interestingly had been formed by the burning rock ejecta coming from the asteroid impactor which hit in the region as it had been at the origin of the dinosaurs' demise, 70 million years ago. Ancient Mayan depictions of a sea monster named 'Sipak' -- then known also to Aztecs like 'Cipactli' -- (which translates to "Spiny One") to the Aztecs -- might have been inspired by fossil remains of the extinct shark species Carcharodon megalodon -- a creature living 2.6 million years ago -- the giant teeth of which were used in sacred offerings. According to some Mayan creation myths, Sipak was killed as its carcass served to form land as other Mayan gods are also depicted with a single giant tooth. The Mayan word for sharks further was also adopted by several Mayan kings and queens, like Yax Ehb Xook ('First Step Shark'). With oceans defining the boundaries to their lands, the sea was the limits of the Mayan world, home to deities and energies. Despite it had no metallurgy or wheel technology the Maya civilization fairly advanced agricultural and construction technology. Much of this construction was made only by women, as men of the Maya civilization believed that females were responsible for the creation of new things. About a darker aspect of the Mayan civilization, Mayas practiced cannibalism from victims raided upon other tribes. The custom was taken back by the Aztecs

In Southern America at last, similar processes of development towards mastering agriculture occurred, with, like in Mesoamerica, a number of tribes certainly much less that that in North America. Generally, southernmost peoples of South America kept being fishermen, hunters or hunters-gatherers. Those of the Tropics and the eastern part of the continent were farming upon burnt areas of land with the Tupi-Guaranis in southern Brazil, the Arawaks about the Amazon River and the Caribs in the North. 'Caribs,' a possible cannibalistic South American tribe invaded the Greater Antilles in 800 A.D., as Caribbean's earliest settlers originally themselves came from the Bahamas and Hispaniola. As one thought that pre-Colombian human settlements in eastern Amazonia and near some riverbanks in central Amazonia were dense and increasing bio-diversity, recent studies however found that human impact was quite limited, especially in western Amazonia. The diversity of plants and animals in the Amazon basin thus is due to a natural evolution instead. A sedentary agriculture, on the other hand, had managed to develop in the Andean regions since the 2nd millenium B.C. and based upon the maize. The compartimentation of the mountains did not allow for large unification processes. The civilizations existing at the Carolingian times were: the Chibchas, about Colombia -and challenged at that time by the Caribs migrating from the Lesser Antilles. The Arawaks were in the region too, as the Chibchas were the people to the 'El Dorado', that priest who submerged himself, covered with gold dust, in the middle of a lake. Recent studies are showing that the people of the El Dorado might have founded a powerful civilization in the bassin of the Amazone River, at the border of the current Bolivia, by between 200 and 1200 A.D. Between 800 and 1000 A.D. Peru underwent important changes with populations, agriculture and social classes differentation increasing, bringing violence. The Caral was a very ancient -with pyramids- people in Peru as Caral, their capital city, is the oldest known city of Americas, dating back to about ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Their civilization was a peaceful, agriculture-focused one albeit performing human sacrifices sometimes. The area of Peru then became unified under the Chavin civilization, which worshiped a jaguar or puma, until 400 B.C. That civilisation mostly consisted of a religious center attracting and submitting surrounding people via artefacts imitating gods inside a architectural ensemble. Chavin priests, who wore beasts' teeth and paws, were making use of mescalin and other psychedelic drugs to enter the world of their gods, as they initiated envoys of peoples of the area to turn more priests. Such submitted people also brought other drugs with them. Chavin priests at the occasion practized human sacrifices and cannibalism. After the decline of Chavin, the region was occupied by the Paracas (700-400 B.C.), a people of the textile industry and the Nazcas (200 B.C.-600 A.D.), a people mostly known for its geoglyphs. Those Nazca Lines were discovered in the 1920s by a Peruvian archaeologist as the drawings date back to between 200 B.C. and A.D. 500 by brushing away the dark surface layer of the desert. They are figuring depictions of animals, geometric designs or labyrinths. Some have suggested that Nazca lines were a alien landing runway, a calendar, a irrigation system or large-scale weaving structures. Figures were drawn over a significant period of time. A recent study thinks that some labyrinths might have been paths intended for spirits or gods. It is the Paraca culture which likely invented the concept of rock lines in the area, like locations of not permanently settled places of worship or merchant fairs. The Moche (100 A.D.-700 A.D.), at last, a people of pyramides, human sacrifices, female great-priest and routes with messengers on foot, were in their declining phase as that people was also famed for its ceramics. Another pre-Colombian culture, the Chimus, which existed since 900 A.D, succeeding the Moche culture and later conquered by the Incas, practiced sacrifices of children, likely to appease the El Nino phenomenon, and they showed signs of being killed during wet weather. The Wari's vast empire (600 A.D.-1100 A.D.), a warlike and expansionist one, spanned then across most of Peru. Huari was the capital city, in the Andes mountains, one of the world's greatest cities at the time, populated with 40,000 people. They practiced human sacrifices, when burrying their nobility, for example as they knew gold and silver jewelry, bronze axes or cocoa. Some tombs were deviced like a mausoleum, or pantheon where all the Wari nobles of a region were buried. Waris also were a agricultural people who improved crops through a system of terraces and irrigation canals. From 700 to 1375 AD. The Sicán or Lambayeque culture in northern Peru occurred with a peak 900-1100, worshiping the 'Lord of Sican,' seven to eight such figures representing the heavenly power on Earth, described as wearing masks with winged eyes and pointed ears. That culture was believed to feature a executioner in charge of human sacrifice. 1000-year-old Peruvian mummies might have been contaminated with tuberculosis (TB) by seals as ancient Americans, generally, were infected with TB from eating mastodon, bison, and other large mammals like seals as the TB in the Western Hemisphere likely is older than that and came with humans crossing the Bering Strait by land. Civilizations of Peru's coast, generally, were subject to the weather system of 'El Niño', working on a 2 to 7-year cycle and bringing two-year periods of flood. El Niño brought the end of the Moche and Sicácan cultures. In the current province of Amazonas, Peru, the Chachapoyas were dwelling between 800 and 1500 A.D. Their name was meaning the 'clouds' warriors,' as they were a warlike people with shamans of the sierras and jungles North of the Central Cordillera. They were also a people of builders, with typical round, thatch-roofed buildings. Their main fortress, Kuélap, in the valley of Rio Utcubamba was one of the most impressive fortresses of the Pre-Colombian era with a 67-meter high wall and hundreds of houses and temples. Mummies covered with clay and laid down in natural, or carved niches -which were called 'Purumachus'- were their funeral mode. The Tiwanakan and other peoples were in Bolivia. The Empire of Tiwanaku around the Titicaca Lake became between 600 and 1100 A.D., the first main political ensemble in the Andes. The Aymara peoples settled into current Bolivia by about 1500 B.C. as it founded the civilization of Tiwanaku in the West of the country. A apogee was reached between 600 and 800 A.D. as Tiwanaku became a important regional power in the southern Andes. The city itself might have had in the million of inhabitants as the civilization of Tiwanaku, beginning by about 400 A.D. expanded its reaches to many other cultures in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Its power relied upon colonies, trade and state cults as that eventually turned into a empire between 600 and 700 A.D. Elites based upon the food surplus and llama herds they controlled, the llama allowing to carry goods. Tiwanaku came to its end since 950 A.D. due to a severe climate change under the form of a major drought in the Titicaca Basin. The decrease in rainfall shortcut the food supplies to the capital city and the elite regime. Tiwanaku self kept the last place viable place for food production due to the resiliency of the raised field method of agriculture as that eventually also was no match to the weather vagaries. Tiwanaku thus disappeared around 1000 A.D. and the area remained uninhabited for centuries thereafter. The Andes, generally, first were influenced by the Mesoamerican-minded Chavin civilization which lied on the nowadays coast of Peru before localized, coastal civilizations appeared since 300 B.C. Like, for example, the Mochicas which practized frescoes, realistic sculptures, human sacrifices through a fall from cliffs, bitter fruit juice-prepared crude fish, reed ships -similar to those of the Titicaca Lake as adapted to maritime conditions instead- which could have served to a link between South American and the Pacific islands, like demonstrated through the Kon-Tiki expedition. Their specifically prepared crude fish, further, could hint to some link with the Pacific as lemon juice-prepared crude fish also is to be found in that area. Civilizations which existed in the area of the Inca empire since 2000 B.C. shared the same iconography, cosmogony and technology! Those people of South America might have had contacts with Polynesia across the South Pacific Ocean. The Polynesian sailors during their move West across the Pacific ocean, likely reached southern America and maybe also southern California

The Vikings, as far as they are concerned, should their discoveries have been know in the Carolingian heartland, just met two kinds of indigenous people. One in Vinland, people mounted on canoes of hides, which they had to fight and they called 'Skraeling'; one they saw they had only one foot, as they met Skraeling again in Markland -a family- the two children of who they captured and baptized, taking them back in Greenland. Such people might have been part of the so-called 'Dorset culture' people, those people which lived along the Arctic coasts of North America before the arrival of the Inuits. They might have been too the Innuq, of the Labrador, or the Beothuks --along with the Mikmaks-- of Newfoundland -the latter being Algonqians, this large, linguistic and cultural group of native Indians in the North-northeastern North America

Website Manager: G. Guichard, site Learning and Knowledge In the Carolingian Times / Erudition et savoir à l'époque carolingienne, Page Editor: G. Guichard. last edited: 8/31/2018. contact us at
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