View Full Version : US Torching of Alexandria?
09-01-01, 09:19 AM
What are the latest developments regarding Kenniwick Man? I refer to the ongoing legal battles raging across the USA regarding the rights of archeological science and the supposed burial sites of "ancient americans". In 1996 a skull and some bones where found in the Columbia River and the local tribes cried that this was one of "their" ancestors and that his burial rights are to be observed. Testing on a micro fragment showed this man, a "european" to be 9000 years old! Scientists were forbidden to carry out any further testing and the bones were seized and locked away in a US Army stronghold; as the land was leased by the Dept of US Army Engineers. The Army also covered the site on the pretext that erosion by the river was causing the banks to give way in spite of a law stating that they could not! This law was proceeding through its due process, but the US Army had been told dont fill the site in - they did anyway. The wishes of the indian population however misguided, were carried out without legal considerations by the Army to such an extent that indians were allowed to handle the bones, whilst scientists were not, and they have now contaminated the bones with their religious burnings etc to such an extent that these bones are now seriously contaminated. The Army even allowed the indians, also against the law, to remove a bone from the site ostensively for burial! Therefore I can only assume that the law is one sided, blind and totally apathetic to the wishes of the common man. If these bones are indeed european as has been proved, then (1) The indians have no claim to them and (2) the American indian was not necessarily the first to populate the America's - or is that why they are so determined to keep the truth covered up? History and Archeology is about finding out about our past - not about modern day bureaucracy and misty religious beliefs. As a result of the Army action on the banks of the Columbia River, vital evidence is being crushed to nothing by the weight of the "fill" that has covered the remains. This has been described as being akin to the torching of Alexandria - the complete and total loss of knowledge of such scientific interest - forever! The US Government and its military Forces have torched the archeology of the USA - possibly forever; as US Museums are being emptied of important information about the planet's past. And I thought that the UK had gone too far with its political correctness - a phrase I do not condone nor support.........:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
10-13-01, 08:55 PM
I think that it is a bit ironic how Americans(or soon to be Americans) came to North America, vanquished the indians with military force(and yes, biological weapons) and then, a couple of centuries later became sensitive to native American culture and their burial traditions after plundering the resources the native Americans held sacred. Could we (Americans) possibly be any more insulting?
Why does everybody act like it's only the Americans that do such things and everybody else just wants to get along in a warm, fuzzy little world? Alexandria comes to mind. Can't blame the Yanks for that one. The sacking of Rome? Wasn't the Yanks, either. The Norman invasion which wiped out the original civilization that was on that cozy little island? Hmm...let me check my notes...nope, no Yanks there either. Get off of it. Every civilization has sacked somebody else at one time. Stop pointing fingers and start working on a solution to the sack-or-be-sacked mindset of the human race.
10-13-01, 11:46 PM
I dont blame the USA for everything, but the Native American or Indian or whatever it is currently "pc" to call them certainly was not the fault of Rome, Athens or anywhere else. That was the fault of the "american" settler. I used Alexandria as an analogy.:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
I just get tired of hearing everybody talk about the evil white American settler as though nobody else ever subjugated anybody else, like it was an American invention or something. America wasn't the first, nor was it the last. What do they call the natives in South Africa or Australia?
Regarding 9000 year old bones, I think destroying them would probably be for the best, given that neither side seems willing to subject them to an impartial test. The Indians want to claim them as theirs just so they can validate what they already believe, that they were here (in America) first. Those of European heritage want to prove that they are European so they can either justify the actions of the European "settlers" or else maybe just shut the indians up. The indians will not accept any findings that prove they are European, the Europeans will not accept any findings that prove they are indian. Kinda pointless to cause all that strife over a sack of bones, isn't it?
Of course, I'm not saying that such information isn't important. I just don't think it's worth the price. If there were Europeans here before the indians, there will be other evidence. You couldn't base it all off one dead person as to whether or not there were European settlers. Destroying the bones would be a loss to academia, but perhaps it would drive home the point that we need to put our petty egos aside in order to increase the pool of knowledge of who we are and where we come from.
10-15-01, 02:33 AM
Actually I think that any information on the possible settlement of the American continent by any race other than the Native American is very important as it is now generally accepted that the Vikings settled on the North American continent well before Columbus. If archeology brings to light the possibility of a "european race" prior to the Indians - then it should be followed up. As to Australia and South Africa, not too sure what your aiming at there? South Africa, before the "white man", was not settled, it was migrating tribes who seasonally went there. After the white man "discovered" South Africa, the native nomadic people "moved in" in search of whatever the white man had to offer, in a manner of speaking; now of course, they have taken over. Back to the American issue, I can understand the Indian reluctance to allow anything scientific being done on these bones - it would throw their culture into turmoil as they believe THEY were the first and it forms a major part of their cultural existence. So, naturally, it had to be squashed at source.:rolleyes:
In my referencing South Africa and Australia, I was referring to the stereotyping Americans as the big bad guy who first gave the indigenous peoples derogatoroy names then became politically correct a couple of centuries later. The impression I keep getting is that only Americans do this. Given the international nature of this board, I get a little hot under the collar when my nation is singled out as this big land of hypocrisy when everybody else is just as guilty of the very things they keep shaming America for. They forget that we learned our military tactics from Prussia, our politics from Rome, and our economics from England. I apologize for my misconceptions if no stereotyping was intended.
But back to the subject of archaeology, how many indian burial grounds are going to be tiptoed around as "sacred"? A much-needed freeway was tied up for years because of "sacred burial grounds". Funny, they weren't even paid attention to by the local tribe until the idea of the freeway was proposed and started upon. The all of a sudden there was this outpouring of concern for their "sacred ancestors". The freeway eventually went through, right over the burial ground. It was deemed by archaeologists as having no significant archaeological value and had even been used as a dump by the tribe for centuries. Huh. Some "sacred" burial ground.
I believe that the proper course for the bones would have been to actually have them studied by an impartial third party, like maybe a group from the Orient without any stake in the matter, just as I believe the shroud of Turin should be studied by atheists, or at least by non-Christians. Same with the Dead Sea Scrolls. We need to put our egos aside for the good of mankind. (My tirade about stereotyping Americans notwithstanding.) :)
10-16-01, 01:53 AM
Well put and agreed! I also agree with your point about "sacred" burial grounds - pc gone mad and shamefully, for the ancestors, not always as true as we would be led to believe. In the case of this particular skeleton, it wasnt even in a burial ground "sacred" or otherwise but just happened to be embedded in the banks of a river that some indian or other had a claim to. The fact that it was 9000 years older than most indian skeletons found seems to have left the indian nation nonplussed and the government bending over backwards to be "pc" with these people. The mere suggestion that the indians were not number one seems to have caused all this........:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
12-04-01, 12:34 PM
Gosh, I'm sorry I came across this excellent thread so late. I thoroughly enjoyed the posts by Red Devil and Oxygen!
Before I contribute to this thread, I'd better disclose my own background; Human, male, nearly genetically identical to the American Indian, the Englishman, and the Californianůsave the very few Germanic genes in the mix, resulting in my light skin and blue eyes.
Strangely, the PC culture of today treats my ancestors as though they appeared out of a test tube in the 17th century, lacking the rich spiritual heritage claimed by the native peoples. In fact, no arbitrary group has a valid claim that their ancestors had a more "spiritual", or "natural" way of life than did mine. My direct ancestors performed elaborate ceremonies, they drew odd depictions of animals in caves, they hunted some animals to extinction, stole land and women, freely murdering each other in the process: A behavioral history nearly identical to that of ancestral Native Americans.
A book titled; The Origins Of Virtue, by the superb British author, Matthew Ridley, challenges the modern myth of the noble savage. Our genetic heritage (ala Richard Dawkins), as well as our responses to the common problems of survival, have predisposed us to share patterns of moral behavior. These general patterns have been observed in the primates, indigenous peoples, as well as men of European descent.
For example, Ridley reports that where geographically possible, the American Plains Indians routinely drove entire herds of bison over cliffs. They did so with a prior knowledge that it would be possible to butcher only the few which landed on the top of the heap. The rest were left to rot. How does this practice square with PC image of the Native American as environmentally benign? The film Dances With Wolves comes to mind. In a scene from this film, the Indians are depicted as confused as they watched Europeans slaughter an entire herd of bison, while making use of only a small proportion of the massacre. My point is that both tall cliffs and guns may produce an equal morbidity among a herd of bison. It's true that the bison was driven to near extinction soon after the arrival of Europeans on the Plains. However, Ridley also reports that in the Americas, the great mammoth was driven to extinction shortly after the arrival of the indigenous peoples from Asia.
Remember also, that the American Indian did not discover war as a response to the European invader. Indian tribes routinely made war upon their neighbor. Theft of land and women was common. Violence was as much a way of their life as it was in Europe.
The vast tangled history of human conquest and thievery is by now, impossible to sort out, save for the very most recent cases (Bosnia, etc.). Imagine the problem should I return my "own" land to the local Abernaki Indians. I would then return to Germany and inform Juergen and Brigetta that I'm back to reclaim their land, that which my ancestors left behind. Moreover, the Abernaki's likely stole "my" land from another tribe. How might I decide which tribe has a proper moral claim to the land? Look where such ancient historical claims of ownership have gotten the Israeli's and the Palestinians!
The current PC bias wrongly concludes that my ancestors were morally and spiritually inferior to those of the indigenous peoples. Isn't it shameful to teach a child of European descent, that his or her ancestors were somehow unique among humans in their immoral behavior? In fact, there was not a single crime or act of virtue that my European ancestors did not commit. Roughly the same may be said of the ancestors of all human cultures. It is absolutely false to believe that; "Some (ancestral) pigs are more equal than others"!
Genetic and cultural diversity notwithstanding: I find it sad that today's PC culture stresses diversity above brotherhood. My own investigations point instead to our singular human origin and eventual common destiny. I feel a shame for the near universal human atrocities of the past, as I feel pride for our past glories.
As I consider the topic of ancestral bones, I feel again like a kid sitting at Mass, trying not to sniggle as Sister Dellarosa glares at me in disapproval. The Indian community wants us to share their solemn view that these thousand year old bits of calcium are uniquely sacred. As much as I'd like to accommodate them out of respect for their beliefs, I can't bring myself to do it.
The elements that make up my body have been recycled many times from other life, very likely other human life. The common limestone I put on my garden contains the bones of past life. I was thinking of this idea some days ago as I shoveled snow. Every shovel full of snow contains water molecules which have passed though nearly every distant ancestor of both yours and mine, back to Lucy, our common mother, and beyond. The simple statistical verification of this idea appears in a number of secondary school chemistry and physics books. I found this same question on the web, given as a first problem (the answer is given as well) of a chemistry test;
They consider the probability of how many molecules of your next breath were contained in the dying breath of Julius Caesar rather than water molecules of snow, but the idea is the same.
You literally can't shake a stick on this planet without pointing at the abundant remains of past life. With this understanding, everything is sacred! Perhaps I should complain to the Indians of my indignation at their disrespect to my ancestors, whose bodily constituents reside in the water they pour into the radiator of their pickup trucks, or the carbon which makes up their tires? It would be arbitrary to accept their claim that some bits of calcium are uniquely sacred, while not accepting my claim that the water or carbon molecules are equally sacred. Never mind that they base their belief on myth, while I base mine on science.
My own "less than scientific" belief is that human remains are merely compost. Or stated more respectfully; Raw material for future life. If my belief steps on your belief, then we need to sit down and work it out. But no group has the right to claim an advantage over my beliefs, or a more advanced "sprituality" because they dance about wearing feathers and a loincloth. The US government should be ashamed of itself for cowering to such intimidation by a few of its citizens. (Wow, that ought to ruffle some feathers!)
We have a duty to treat other's beliefs with a measure of respect, but not at the cost of our own reason. If a man tells me I may not swim in his sacred lake, I expect we might strike a reasonable (such a loaded word!) compromise in which I would agree to treat the lake with respect, but I'd still swim in it. Otherwise, a man might one day appear to inform me that my dwelling upon this, his sacred planet, constitutes an act of desecration.
12-04-01, 08:10 PM
Thank you for a really interesting post ortho. Yes, I am afraid, thanks to Discovery tv and some research, that my beliefs in the status of the "Native American" has gone down the pan so to speak. They were not the nature loving people we are led to believe and the mention of "driving herds of bison over cliffs" I have also seen in my research too. They seemed to have done it for the hell of it! They waged war on each other with alarming regularity, and the "unscupulous" white settler also used this to his advantage; getting rid of "troublesome" tribes by spreading the "manure" to other tribes. NOT that this exonerates the settlers at all, they also used to hunt, kill and torture the indian for "sport" and regularly did away with whole villages for "saturday afternoon" fun. Soldier Blue, the movie, was reasonably close to the truth. Those sabres were used on women in very very alarming and sadistically cruel ways, its a wonder they are not extinct now - need I say more?
12-19-01, 10:02 PM
By refering to them as 'Indians' you would be talking about people from the country of India. Even Native American is sort of an incorrect name, since the 'Natives' have many tribes (I.e. Sioux, Iroqouis, Mohawk etc.) and each of these nations is technically its own culture. TO be totally politically correct you would have to call a man/woman of his tribe a 'Sioux' or 'Mohawk'.
Oh well.....just adding that in......Oh and BTW when did this event happen?
12-20-01, 02:01 AM
I am not Politically correct, I will never be politically correct. A spade is a spade and evermore shall be so. "pc" is for the socialist tendency amongst politically incorrect misguided idiots. :rolleyes:
02-15-02, 06:28 PM
There are a two things you didn't take into consideration:
1. Native Americans were caucasians that migrated to the North America 25,000 years ago(when there was still a land between Alaska and Asia). So technically, Europeans and Native Americans are kin.
2. Even if those bones were proved to be European, and were 9000 years old, Native Americans arrived in North America 16,000 years before that European was buried.
Just so you know, people of Germanic origin are a "native people" somewhere. Everyone is. Or no one is. Those we like to call native Americans aren't; they simply got there earlier. Those we like to call native Australians aren't; they, too, simply got there earlier. Every landmass supporting humans saw rape, theft, trade, war, and genocide long before Europeans settled the Americas and various parts of Africa and Asia and Australia just a few centuries ago. Entire tribes were wiped out by their close neighbours. The same happened in Europe too. It happened everywhere. Slavery also existed in much of the world before the recent European expansion.
Orthogonal: Very nicely stated, all of it.
The reason the supposedly native Americans are called "Indians" is because people sailed west from Europe hoping to find a direct ocean route around to India, for easier trading. Pretty much the first land they found was the West Indies, which were named that because it was thought they were indeed the westernmost part of the Indian area. The people found throughout the new lands were thus Indians.
JoeBlow: Native Americans were NOT Caucasians who migrated over to the Americas. They were north-east Asians.
The value of those bones is that we humans are homo-SAPIENS. We like to learn. It is our nature to learn. This applies not only to science, to creating groovy stuff for the future, but to understanding the past. Those bones are a part of it. Or perhaps we should simply ignore the physical universe and teach Creationism... I don't think so.
02-15-02, 08:10 PM
Actually Joe; as stated in the program as I saw it - an eminent american archaeologist states and strongly contested by the " native american" that - "this skeleton was in situ LONG before the "indians" came here!". Natrually the Indians will contest it vehemently - it tosses their "native american" tag right out of the window! :rolleyes: Can YOU prove who was there first - I can't!
02-16-02, 06:45 PM
"JoeBlow: Native Americans were NOT Caucasians who migrated over to the Americas. They were north-east Asians"
And what race were north-east Asians 24,000 years ago? It used to be believed that the were Oriental until some scientists found some old mumified remains of Caucasians in China. So are the Native Americans decendents of Caucasians or Orientals? Maybe both. And isn't Siberia in north-east Asia?
Native Americans are technically not a race in itself, but rather a cousin of the Caucasian or Oriental races. Native American characteristics are so different than their cousin races, that they would have had to seperate from those other races over 9000 years ago. In other words, it is far more likely that Native Americans arrived in North America about 25,000 years ago than if they came less than 9000 years ago.
just to add a bit to this, a little bit lol
It is widely thought (these days) that there was never a land bridge from modern day alaska to modern day siberia. And that the history of people on the north american continent goes back well beyond what is currently taught. Apparently there is no real evidence to support the land bridge theory, and it seems to have been just a best guess theory to begin with.
I wish I could find the article I read all of this in, it may have been a webisode at exn.ca .
The main player in the article was Kenniwick man, and how different from "native" americans he/she was/is. And the age of the bones points (obviously) to others being here before what we currently consider "native" americans.....and no doubt, if I may, people here long BEFORE that.
I think that the current "native" tribes are eager to get thier hands on these bones and bury them, because they are fearful of what real testing on the bones may prove, that they were indeed not the native peoples of that landmass, and that who knows, maybe thier ansestors stole and pileged the land from another group alltogether (thats just an idea....who knows).
Anyways, it'll be interesting to see hwo this all plays out, and how all of the politics in the issue steer things.
02-17-02, 11:48 AM
Quote: I think that the current "native" tribes are eager to get thier hands on these bones and bury them, because they are fearful of what real testing on the bones may prove, that they were indeed not the native peoples of that landmass, and that who knows, maybe thier ansestors stole and pileged the land from another group alltogether (thats just an idea....who knows). Unquote"
Precisely - thanks for that, people tend to lose the gist of the thread after so many pages. And I did start this thread quite a long time ago now..... and the US Army, interring these bones on a court order actually allowed "natives" to remove them BEFORE testing could be carried out CONTRARY to a Court order. But the same Army would not let scientists in!! Were they scared of upsetting the "ethnics" - science blinded by the blindfold of alleged religious beliefs!