Re: trans-Pacific contacts

Randal Allison (
29 Aug 1996 16:04:03 GMT (Yuri Kuchinsky) wrote:
>Jeffrey L Baker ( wrote:
>: On 14 Aug 1996, Randal Allison wrote:
>: > >"First and foremost there was casting by the lost-wax (_cire perdue_)
>: > >method, appearing in Colima adn Colombia from -100 onwards, then in full
>: > >flower by +1200 in Peru. This was characteristic also of China..."
>: > >(Needham, TRANS-PACIFIC ECHOES, p. 58)
>: > O.K. Both Needham and Heine-Geldern give examples of similar
>metaluurgical : > processes, as do any number of researchers. But, have
>any done any testing : > of the artifacts to see if they share a common
>source of materials? That : > is, if a group with metal-working
>capabilities did cross the Pacific and : > land in the Americas, then it
>is likely that some of their metal work came : > with them. Just because
>there are some "similarities" in technique doesn't : > mean that they are
>related to a common source. Have there been any tests : > to see if the
>metals content of any of these articles matches similar : > articles from
>the other side of the Pacific?
>: Randall raises a good point here.
>What point?
>How can the Old World and the New World artifacts "share a common source
>of materials"? This is truly beyond me that anyone can consider this

Why? When you travel, do you not take any single item of your possessions
with you?

>If the hypothetical sailors brought any metal artifacts with them, not
>many would have arrived to the New World, and we haven't found them yet
>(not surprisingly). And they would have had no reason at all to melt and
>reforge them. Right?
>Is anyone out there about to claim that those sailors were going to bring
>raw ores with them on their tiny ships? Really!

No, nobody made that claim.

>Some of the arguments some of you people use really make me wonder...

And the arguments and insistence that the indigenous peoples and cultures
of the Americas learned all they know from some other cultures makes me

The fact that any artifacts are found at all is quite remarkable. However,
similarities in production methods do not prove that they were made by the
same people, or that the method of production came from one source, and
spread from there. The only way you can prove conclusively that society
"X" learned there metallurgical or pottery skills from society "Y" is to
find items from society "Y" in society "X's" domain. In this case, you
will have to have a verifiable artifact from some group in the western
Pacific in a region of the Americas before you can state that groups in
the Americas learned their metalworking and pottery skills by way of
trans-Pacific diffusion.

I am not discounting the supposition that metallurgy and pottery making
could have come about as a result of trans-Pacific contact, but until
there is undeniable proof, I will maintain that the similarities between
items in the Americas and other parts of the world are simply

Randal Allison, Ph.D.
---Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative will suffice---