Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Recent survival of the Elephant in the Americas

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 26, 2015

Ceramics from Santarém

Elephants were supposed to have disappeared from the America about 10,000 years ago as the Ice Ages waned. This date is another of those “consensus” scientific facts that no one dares challenge if he or she wishes to get published or win research grants. Although this subject remains “closed off” in normal scientific intercourse, there remain tantalizing hints that elephants roamed the Americas until very recently – perhaps even a few hundred years ago!

The following snippets are culled from two articles written by G. Carter, Texas A&M, now emeritus, but always heretical:

  1. Numerous folk memories of the elephamt were retained by American Indians.
  2. A mastadon was killed, cooked, and eaten by humans in Ecuador circa 1500 BC.
  3. Indians told Thomas Jefferson that elephants could still be seen in the region of the Great Lakes.
  4. In Florida, a cache of extinct animals, including elephants, was carbon-dated at 2000 BP.
  5. Elephant heads are prominent in art and sculpture from Mexico, Central American, and northern South America.

(Carter, George F.; “A Note on the Elephant in America,” and “The Mammoth in American Epigraphy,” Epigraphic Society, Occasional Publications, 18:90 and 18:213, 1989.)

Reference. The evidence for the recent survival of the mammoth is presented in BMD10 in our catalog: Biological Anomalies: Mammals II. Details here.

Brazilian art

The creation of art in the geographic area now known as Brazil begins with the earliest records of its human habitation. The original inhabitants of the land, pre-Columbian Indian peoples, produced various forms of art; specific cultures like the Marajoara left sophisticated painted pottery.

This area was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century and given the modern name of Brazil. Brazilian art is most commonly used as an umbrella term for art created in this region post Portuguese colonization.

The oldest known art in Brazil is the cave paintings in Serra da Capivara National Park in the state of Piauí, dating back to c. 13,000 BC. More recent examples have been found in Minas Gerais and Goiás, showing geometric patterns and animal forms.

One of the most sophisticated kinds of Pre-Columbian artifact found in Brazil is the sophisticated Marajoara pottery (c. 800–1400 AD), from cultures flourishing on Marajó Island and around the region of Santarém, decorated with painting and complex human and animal reliefs.

Statuettes and cult objects, such as the small carved-stone amulets called muiraquitãs, also belong to these cultures. The Mina and Periperi cultures, from Maranhão and Bahia, produced interesting though simpler pottery and statuettes. In the beginning of the 21st century, the ancient Indian traditions of body painting, pottery, cult statuettes, and feather art are still being cultivated by the remaining Indian peoples.

Santarém Culture

East of the Andes there was an elaborate late prehistoric culture, known to historians through its pottery, called the incised and punctate horizon. (In archaeology, a “horizon” is an area in which roughly contemporary and clearly similar artifacts have been found, defining the geographical limits of a culture or complex of related cultures. “Incised and punctuate” refers to decorative characteristics of some pottery.)

Santarém culture, whose dates are roughly 1000 to 1550 ce, in the Brazilian lower Amazon near the city of Santarém, is the most elaborate culture of the horizon, although whether it was at the center of the horizon is not certain because there are few radiocarbon dates available.

The Santarém culture was developed in the Amazon basin. Its inhabitants were organised in small family nucleuses and were settled on the flood banks of the river or in the rocky shelters. In terms of food, it is worth highlighting their consumption of fish, tortoises and shells. With regard to their religious life the cult to the ancestors should be mentioned, as well as the custom of incinerating their dead and consuming the ashes.

The ceramic of Santarém is one of the oldest in America (Pre-Colombian Amazonia dates back to about 5500 BC). The ceramic productions of this area are defined as tapajoense or tapajoara (Portuguese).

Initially, the shapes of the recipients were simply and rarely decorated. Given that they were not baked they were very fragile. Subsequently, worth highlighting were the elongated cups from which protruded appendices in the form of animals and mythical beings.

The Amazon clay is in general red due to the high amount of iron oxide. The decreasing or anti-plastics are substances that are mixed with the clay to give it more elasticity and to avoid it breaking during baking. They usually used stones, the remains of broken ceramic, minerals in dust, crushed bones of animals, coal, ash and even excrement.

American Elephant Myths

The ancient cultures of the Amazon

Recent Survival Of The Elephant In The Americas

Gone But Not Forgotten: Bring Back North American Elephants

The Bizarre Plan To Reintroduce Elephants & Lions To North America

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