diffusion and the amazing Amazonian pottery

Yuri Kuchinsky (yuku@io.org)
20 Aug 1996 19:33:02 GMT

[ Article crossposted from alt.mythology,alt.archaeology,sci.archaeology ]
[ Author was John W. Hoopes ]
[ Posted on Sun, 18 Aug 1996 22:14:23 -0500 ]

Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

*edited for brevity*

> In fact, more than that emerges from [Roosevelt's] work. Perhaps what she
> documents is something that is close to scandalous. As it turns out,
> the existence of early Amazonian pottery was known to some
> specialists already for more than 20 years, and yet, this work, one
> perhaps can say, was _swept under the rug_ for reasons and in
> circumstances that are not yet entirely clear.
> Briefly, as early as 1975, some materials from the Amazon have been
> excavated _and tested_ (by the Smithsonian) using radiocarbon
> methods. 13 dates were obtained, all very early. (The records in the
> Smithsonian are available.) And then...
> These potential revolutionary dates were consigned to
> obscurity without explanation. (Roosevelt, op. cit. p.
> 119)


> So here we go. This truly revolutionary and very important data has
> been gathering dust, while people theorised about the origins of the
> civilization in the Americas in the dark. Strange indeed!

Thanks, Yuri, for drawing attention to a truly problematic issue. The
story of the Smithsonian dates is one that has not yet been fully
discussed in an open forum. You should know that a South American
archaeologist has already raised objections to some of Roosevelt's
interpretations, and there is reason to think that that *some* of the
dates she claims as having been associated with early pottery (the ones
from Barambina, in Guyana) may not, in fact, have been so. However, I
have seen Roosevelt's photocopies of radiocarbon lab records and it is
clear that there were several dates that simply were never reported in
the literature. Why they were not--and the effects this had on two
decades of interpretation--is indeed a serious matter. I urge anyone
interested to read Roosevelt's article in question. It will make for an
interesting discussion if participants are informed.

The controversy stirred up by Anna Roosevelt is particularly interesting
given her new discoveries of non-Clovis Paleoindian material (with LOTS
of radiocarbon dates) from the site of Pedra Pintada, also in Brazil.

John W. Hoopes, Associate Professor
Dept. of Anthropology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045
Office: (913) 864-4103 Fax: (913) 864-5224
hoopes@ukans.edu http://falcon.cc.ukans.edu/~hoopes/hoopes.htm

#% Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto %#
-- a webpage like any other... http://www.io.org/~yuku --

Students achieving Oneness will move on to Twoness === W. Allen