PBS: Chachapoya of Peru Are Probably Carthaginians and Celts Who Fled from Rome in 146 BCE
Holy crap! PBS has become America Unearthed. In an episode of the PBS series Secrets of the Dead running on local PBS stations this week and available online for streaming, the venerable public broadcasting channel asserts that blonde-haired, blue-eyed Celts and also some incidental Carthaginians discovered the Americas in Antiquity. (The blue eyes don’t make the show but show up on the show’s web page.) “Carthage’s Lost Warriors” was produced by ZDF, a German television production company associated with the long-running series Terra-X, which traffics in all manner of fringe theories, and the large number of dubbed German interviews testifies to the recycling of a German program. Archaeologist K. Krist Hurst called the show “baloney.”
The show opens with a “Celtic-style bronze axed” found “deep in the Amazon” and the narrator, Jay O. Sanders, asks if—heaven help us!—the Chachapoya are truly the blond, Caucasian descendants of prehistoric superhero warriors (martial prowess specified explicitly) who crossed the Atlantic at some unspecified date to penetrate the continent with their manly thrusts until they fertilized Peru with the glory of Old World culture.
The program is based on the work of the show’s chief expert, Hans Giffhorn, a professor emeritus of cultural studies at the Universities of Göttingen and Hildesheim and documentary filmmaker. Griffhorn’s dissertation on aesthetics outlined his belief that science is dogmatic and rigid and excludes evidence and theories that fail to conform to paradigms, and that a lack of cross-disciplinary interaction has led to erroneous findings and conclusions.
Griffhorn wrote a German book, still untranslated, on his belief that the Chachapoya are white Europeans in 2013.He believes that the Carthaginians did not “simply vanish” after the Carthaginians were defeated by the Romans in 146 BCE, and he refuses to believe Roman accounts that the city’s population was enslaved or killed under Scipio Aemilianus. He wants to know where they went. To find the Carthaginians—and here he is looking for just one boatload—he starts at the Balearic Islands, where Carthage found its fiercest soldiers. Giffhorn feels that the Carthaginians were not enslaved in their entirety, so for him it is only logical that they fled to Kuelap, the Chachapoya fortress in Peru. He believes that in the western Mediterranean the Carthaginian exiles teamed up with Celtic people from Iberia to escape the Romans, who were also taking over the Carthaginian territories of what is today Spain.
Celtic prowess combined with Carthaginian sailing skills to cross the Atlantic.
Griffhorn believes the Diodorus Siculus proves that the Carthaginians reached the Americas. Diodorus (Library of History 5.19-20) first describes an island, not a continent, “over against Libya”—meaning off the African coast—and states that it contains stately towns and fruitful plains when the Phoenicians discovered it:
The Phoenicians therefore, upon the account before related, having found out the coasts beyond the pillars, and sailing along by the shore of Africa, were on a sudden driven by a furious storm afar off into the main ocean; and after they had lain under this violent tempest for many days, they at length arrived at this island; and so, coming to the knowledge of the nature and pleasantness of this isle, they caused it to be known to everyone; and therefore the Tyrrhenians, when they were masters at sea, designed to send a colony thither; but the Carthaginians opposed them, both fearing lest most of their own citizens should be allured through the goodness of the island to settle there, and likewise intending to keep it as a place of refuge for themselves, in case of any sudden and unexpected blasts of fortune, which might tend to the utter ruin of their government: for, being then potent at sea, they doubted not but they could easily transport themselves and their families into that island unknown to the conquerors. (trans. G. Booth)
He, of course, leaves out the information Diodorus—and, crucially, pseudo-Aristotle three centuries earlier, unacknowledged here—gave about the location of this mysterious island, which regular readers will of course remember quite well from when these same texts were used by Harry Hubbard to claim ancient knowledge of North America, and also from America Unearthed, when Mark McMenamin used the same text from Diodorus to claim that the Phoenicians, not the Carthaginians, discovered America.
Pseudo-Aristotle (De mirabilis auscultationibus 84) writes that:
In the sea outside the Pillars of Hercules they say that an island was discovered by the Carthaginians, desolate, having wood of every kind, and navigable rivers, and admirable for its fruits besides, but distant several days’ voyage from them. But, when the Carthaginians often came to this island because of its fertility, and some even dwelt there, the magistrates of the Carthaginians gave notice that they would punish with death those who should sail to it, and destroyed all the inhabitants, lest they should spread a report about it, or a large number might gather together to the island in their time, get possession of the authority, and destroy the prosperity of the Carthaginians. (trans. Launcelot D. Dowdall)
This land was in frequent contact with Carthage before 300 BCE—not a one-time chance encounter in 146 BCE—and was only a few days’ sail from the Pillars. Brazil is about ninety days’ sail from the Pillars, according to the show’s own estimate. It’s a bit of a difference between three months and a few days.
Griffhorn suggests from such texts that the Carthaginians had had secret communication with Brazil but kept it secret. This seems rather odd considering that the Carthaginians put up in the public square a commemoration of the voyage of Hanno to central Africa, where he saw chimpanzees. Surely they would have kept that secret, too, had that been their typical practice, as Griffhorn suggests.
At this point, the Carthaginians virtually vanish from the show because they were needed solely to give the Celts something they lack—ships—for Griffhorn’s real thesis, that the Celts are the ancestors of the Chachapoya and once reigned over South America.
The program tries to make the case that a boat could have crossed to Brazil using the ocean currents. Griffhorn places the discovery of Brazil by the Carthaginians and Celts at “1500 years before Columbus,” which would be about 10 BCE, long after the fall of Carthage. This makes no sense since Diodorus wrote between two and five decades earlier and pseudo-Aristotle three centuries before that—and both claimed the story reported much older events.
Griffhorn believes that the Carthaginian boat pilots traded with local cannibals (with what?) to survive, and Griffhorn believes that four symbols on the ancient petroglyphs on the rock of Ingá in Brazil aren’t just coincidentally close to geometrical shapes used in Celtiberian alphabets but are actual Celtic letters. Apparently the Carthaginian merchants were the merchant class serving the Celtic warrior elite.
Based on no evidence whatsoever, Griffhorn suggests that the Carthaginians and Celts on this voyage of discovery sailed up the Amazon. “No account exists, and we can only imagine” what they did, the narrator says, substituting early Spanish and Portuguese accounts to give an idea of what the Carthaginians “would have” seen and done. So, to recap: Everyone admits that no evidence exists, but they will nevertheless reconstruct an entire adventure based on analogies.
The narrator suggests that brightly-colored vases with geometric patterns made by the Marajoara culture of Brazil are “reminiscent” of Greek vases from the Classical period, decorated with Celtic spirals. This is a subjective judgment, and to my eyes the pots look nothing like the form of actual Greek vases, nor do the decorations bear more than a superficial resemblance to Old World patterns—no more so than any other Native geometric art. Geometric shapes tend to be the same everywhere. The trouble is that the Marajoara culture flourished after 800 CE, far too late to have anything to do with Mediterranean Greek vases from 1,000 years earlier.
We return to the metal axe from the opening that the show calls Celtic. It has no provenance, and was purchased from a merchant who said he found it in the jungle. The metal part of the axe is copper-zinc bronze, meaning that it was from the Old World, but the handle was made of Paraguayan wood. According to tests that the show says were run on the axe, the wood is 1500 years old. The most parsimonious explanation is that a Spanish, Portuguese, or African object was added to a sacred and ancient handle during the Contact period, but instead the show wants us to believe that Celts from 146 BCE dropped it en route to Peru where it was reused in 500 CE.
This brings us to the Chachapoya, and the show demands to know how mere Native people could possibly have learned how to build buildings, particularly round ones, without European help. Prof. Warren Church explains that the Chachapoya were quite able to build their own buildings, of which none date earlier than 500 CE. Griffhorn, however, sees the round buildings as unique in America and therefore of obviously Carthaginian extraction—700 years or more after the fact! He points to a carving of a face on a temple wall and says this is reminiscent of Celtic beheadings, as though no one else on earth ever drew faces or beheaded enemies. He also cites trepanation among the Celts and Chachapoya as another “connection.” Michael Schultz, a paleopathologist, makes an astonishing claim: that “Hippocratic accounts” from 500 BCE describe Chachapoyan trepanation! This is entirely untrue, and I have no idea where he got the idea that the Chachapoya were discussed in Greek literature.
Griffhorn believes that Spanish fortresses that are round must be connected to the Chachapoya’s round houses, even though this is about all they share in common. The show picks out painted images of shamans with antlers in both the Amazon and among the Celts and decides this must be a connection—even though, unacknowledged here, art from Mohenjo-Daro shows the same thing, as, in fact, does shamanic art everywhere, going back to the Stone Age.
This is really going nowhere fast.
Schultz returns again to assert that pre-Contact Chachapoya mummies suffered from tuberculosis, a disease previously thought only to have come with the Spanish. This “new” fact, however, has been known since 2002, and the presence of tuberculosis in the pre-Columbian Americas has been known since 1994—it’s been found beyond just the Chachapoya—but Griffhorn takes this as a revelation that the Carthaginians brought “Classical” tuberculosis (whatever that means—he seems to think the disease was different in Antiquity) with them in 146 BCE, where it lay dormant for a thousand years. Archaeologists suggest that the disease arose from llamas, who are known to carry the bovine form of tuberculosis—or even from the Polynesians who reached South America before Columbus.
Next, various Chachapoyan traits are compared to Spanish, Majorcan, and other cultures from various time periods, as though the Chachapoyans simply adopted one trait from each of the ark of cross-cultural European outcasts from multiple time periods who sailed up the Amazon to meet them.
The show points to the fair-skinned, blonde-haired Chachapoyan descendants as evidence that that some Chachapoyans are “distinctive” from the “dark haired” and “brown-skinned” Natives, and we hear what Cieza de Leon had to say about this, though the paraphrase offered by Warren Church sounds to me like he’s running together bits and pieces from both Cieza de Leon and from Pedro Pizarro, who famously wrote:
The Indian women of the Guancas and Chachapoyas and Cañares were the common women, most of them being beautiful. The rest of the womanhood of this kingdom were thick, neither beautiful nor ugly, but of medium good-looks. The people of this kingdom of Peru were white, swarthy in colour, and among them the Lords and Ladies were whiter than Spaniards. I saw in this land an Indian woman and a child who would not stand out among white blonds. These people [of the upper class] say that they were the children of the idols. (Relation of the Discoveries etc., trans. Philip Ainsworth Means, p. 430)
By contrast, Cieza de Leon (Chronicle of Peru 1.78) was rather less expansive on the particulars:
These Indians of Chachapoyas are the most fair and good-looking of any that I have seen in the Indies, and their women are so beautiful that many of them were worthy to be wives of the Yncas, or inmates of the temples of the sun. To this day the Indian women of this race are exceedingly beautiful, for they are fair and well formed. They go dressed in woollen cloths, like their husbands, and on their heads they wear a certain fringe, the sign by which they may be known in all parts. After they were subjugated by the Yncas, they received the laws and customs according to which they lived, from them. They adored the sun and other gods, like the rest of the Indians, and resembled them in other customs, such as the burial of their dead and conversing with the devil. (trans. Clements Markham)
Rather than put this down to indigenous genetic diversity (which the show briefly acknowledges as possible), the show suggests that this is due to Old World contact. The Carthaginians not being known to be blondes, I guess this is why Griffhorn proposes Celts, whose presumed red hair he wants to equate with reports of fair hair. German geneticist Manfred Kayser tests some Chachapoya hair and finds that the living individuals have some European ancestry tracing back to the Celtic areas of northern Spain, but at this point—500 years after Contact—it’s not possible to determine when the genes mixed. The homeland of the Celtic people Griffhorn fingers is the same as that of the Spanish who traveled to Peru in the 1500s; the Celts didn’t simply vanish after the Roman conquest of Spain (218 BCE to 19 BCE) but contributed to the gene pool of medieval and modern Spain, though the language and culture died out around the fifth century CE. No ancient Chachapoyan mummies were tested, which is a major omission.
The show concludes that there is no “smoking gun,” only suggestive indications that the Chachapoya are not really Native Americans on the same stripe as the brown ones but owe their culture, their art, their religion, and their very genes to a boatload of Carthaginians and Celts who sailed up the Amazon in 146 BCE and, by dint of their superior European prowess, took over to such an extent that their potent DNA still rules the region 1,868 years later, largely undiluted by the intervening centuries.
I guess this means that they’re all inbred, but the show doesn’t go there.
This was really terrible, and the only significant difference between this show and America Unearthed in terms of quality of evidence and the desire to find hidden white people in the Americas is that this show searched South America rather than North America, and its hero never claimed that there was a conspiracy trying to suppress his work.
4/4/2014 03:41:09 am
yes, Jason, yes...
During the late 1960s, Emilio Estrada from Ecuador and Betty Meggers and Clifford Evans, both Smithsonian archaeologists, suggested, after excavating at Valdivia, Ecuador, that the pottery at Valdivia resembled the techniques and motifs of decoration of the Jomon pottery of Japan. Everyone thought this was unbelievable too UNTIL a genetic study of native South Americans was conducted. It turns out that Asian genes had been introduced into South America sometime after 6,000 ybp at the same time the Jomon culture was active in Japan. The results of the genetic study were published in PLOS Genetics.
12/29/2015 12:23:01 am
My wife is from Chachapoyas. I didn't believe her until we went to meet her family. But they were all blond haired grey eyed people just like her with B blood type. DNA says American Indian....
6/9/2018 03:32:28 am
What a waste of time and space. This rebut is so flat of fact and bias and biased ! ? more than that!, it is very hard to read. It sounds like - Dennis the Mennis , crying that his cookie is to sweet, and throwing it in the road.For centuries White humans have been repulsed that kin had gone all the way over to the Wild land They try to high the real early history, as best they can.
7/15/2018 01:35:13 pm
I think it is totally arrogant to assume that Europeans have a monopoly on morality or that architecture could only be representative of a single concept. I think the assertion that round houses and a geometric patterns could only be fathomed by celts is a classic Eurocentric bias. It interfered with crediting great civilizations as a product of convergent evolution instead of Europeans bestowing their superior skills to less civilized societies. The discovery of the quipu which is a series of string and knots, is revealing its self more and more as the likely archival language system of the Chachapoya. It has little relation to anything remotely European. If these settlements were actually from European settlers why would the go through the trouble of developing a entirely new language system?
11/18/2020 07:38:47 pm
The DNA of the secluded and remote people and descendants of the Chachapoya have turned out to be approx 15% Celtic Northern European. Many kids in this remote area surprise, surprise have light skin, eyes and blonde and even red hair. I know giving ancient people credit for monumental tasks is tough but they were tough. Tougher than us for sure and even though they didn’t have iPhones they were just as intelligent.
11/19/2020 10:31:10 am
12/6/2020 04:48:50 pm
Based on what study? You didn't link it so it sounds like you just make stuff up. But, let's take your claim at face value knowing what is actually true. Peru is a Westernized nation speaking a European language (Spanish) with dozens of indigenous dialects that are also spoken. It is also accepted that a large portion of Peru's population have European ancestry going back 500 years, most notably from the Iberian peninsula. Also, there are no genetics for "Celtic Northern European" so there's another assertion you fail to provide proof of. The modern day people descended from Chachapoyans are also not remote or secluded as they obviously speak the national language and have admixture of Spanish ancestry.
12/3/2020 12:07:45 am
I just watched this on Amazon Prime for the first time. Seeing the PBS label I figured it had some brevity in terms of scientific value, but then within the first 5 minutes I started to sense a tabloid narrative.
4/24/2022 04:50:31 am
If you want to know the truth about my argumentation, I recommend these links:
1/20/2023 10:08:47 am
2/22/2023 03:39:49 pm
RATHER than a horde of Celts or Carthaginians, I would suggest a smaller number, for the simple reason that anytime a superior culture is introduced to one of a lesser nature the new ideas always win out and within a few generations completely overtake the old ways. This small group idea might account for the bull head axe, but it also accounts for the limited impact on Chachapoya technology. The genetics though make it impossible to ignore the fact these people were not like other native groups..
4/4/2014 03:42:55 am
Thanks for reviewing this, I watched it late Wednesday night after NOVA and was surprised by the show. It seemed like a slightly more detailed episode of AU but it was on PBS so I naturally put a little more weight on its arguments. It just seemed this lacked the depth of research that I usually expect from Secrets of the Dead (a show i watch whenever its on). It really is sad when a reputable source of information starts to lean towards the same fringe ideas that fuel H2.
4/4/2014 03:59:04 am
Even though indeed i didst humour Dennis Stanford's
4/4/2014 05:12:59 am
It's always been my understanding that the description "fair" in old texts -- possibly even up to the late 19th and early 20th centuries -- meant "pleasing to the eye" or similar and had very little to do with hair color. Or am I mistaken? And does "swarthy" mean "dark-haired" or "dark-skinned"? The Spaniards and Portuguese and other Mediterranean peoples 500 years ago were in all likelihood mostly brown- or olive-skinned and dark-haired but still considered themselves "white" (if they ever did bother to consider such a thing), yet there were blonds among them as art from the period shows. There are blond-haired blue-eyed people in India today, even in the "darker" south, perhaps a legacy of the Raj but also possibly dating from the Mughul invasions. Blond or red hair is not necessarily a European trait.
4/4/2014 06:42:50 am
Well the Carthaginians did have merchant ships that were not galleys and thus far more capable of ocean travel. Further it appears that Phoenician ships did sail around Africa at the bequest of King Necho of Egypt sailing down the Red sea and around Africa to return to Egypt through the straits of Gibraltar c. 600 B.C.E. So long voyages were engaged in by the Phoenicians.
4/4/2014 10:50:16 am
Thanks for that, Pacal. I quite agree. I understand that even in the Mediterranean, ships tended to stay within sight of land if at all possible. But I believe that Carthaginian merchant ships were also galleys of a kind -- rowers were always essential in the days before Arabian dhows. This meant that there had to be a big crew complement (a double shift of rowers, at least), which needed large stocks of food and water -- hence another reason to stay close to land, as galleys did not have much space to spare. Certainly there would have been no room for sufficient quantities of food and water necessary for a transatlantic voyage.
8/29/2022 12:23:17 pm
These arguments haven't held up to the test of time:
4/5/2014 01:06:10 pm
Carthaginians would have used galleys for their navy, but they also had broader merchant ships that could have sailed the Atlantic. Anything that floats has crossed the oceans, see Guinness Book of Records for astonishing verified crossings.
2/9/2020 04:42:04 pm
Another instance of White European colonialist myth making, and Native American achievement appropriation! The facts are the Carthaginians, Kelts, Romans and all the rest of the usual suspects had no ability to cross the ocean with the boats they had at the time. For the amount of years people have been trying to steal the achievements and civilizations of the Native people of the Americas, they still have no proof. Just a bunch of wishful fantasies. I know the NA monumental architecture, Pyramid temples, art, spear points, even their genetic and identity is appropriated for Europeans and their own nationalistic agendas. While too bad! Native American civilizations arose in situ because they were the only race of people to obtain such high level of civilization on their own in complete isolation. So they didn’t need to borrow from Egyptians, Moors, Chinese, Mesopotamia, Sumeria, or India. They way that The Greeks, Romans, Kelts, Anglo Saxons, The Vikings, ect did. White Euros need to stop coveting what the Native American civilizations achieved on their own. It’s kind of gross when whites feel the need to appropriate something that has to ties to them in anyway whatsoever. I think it’s one of their major flaws in their psyche, knowing that there is two continents that are unequivocally non-European civilizations , knowing they had no influence in the pre-European America’s. A place that is now possessed so thoroughly by European theft , and they have no deep history or ties to the lands they colonized!
4/4/2014 06:53:50 am
Isn't it just amazing what these Celtic / Carthaginian settlers failed to bring over.
4/4/2014 07:51:33 am
No doubt some Carthaginians survived the Roman attack in 146 BC; especially those in the surrounding countryside who weren't in the city when it fell or escaped in the chaos. Why would they go anywhere after that? Plus, if Carthaginians felt the need to flee the Old World when Rome took their city in 146, why not the Corinthians, whose city also fell that year with it's people killed/enslaved? Why not the people of Tyre, who founded Carthage, when Alexander took their city in the 320's?
4/4/2014 07:53:45 am
Isn't it interesting how closely Griffhorn's hypothesis resembles the fall of the Third Reich, with the blond Aryans shooting off in secret for Argentina?
The Other J.
4/11/2014 04:22:30 pm
The Boys from Brazil, and the Lads from Laguna de los Condores.
1/20/2023 10:10:41 am
You're really insinuating that he's a racist Nazi?
4/4/2014 08:16:31 am
Or if you were a Carthaginian who was not in Carthage, why not flee to, say, Leptis Magna or Oea? Phoenician cities that were quite near by, and whose inhabitants were not enslaved? One would assume Carthaginian refugees would want to seek out relatives or friendly business associates, not flee to conquer some distant land.
4/4/2014 01:43:47 pm
Julius Caesar had yet to notice Gaul is divided in three.
4/4/2014 11:04:46 am
The Nazis in Argentina is something I hadn't thought of, but the parallels are clearly there. I wonder how aware Griffhorn is of that.
4/4/2014 02:25:14 pm
4/4/2014 02:47:10 pm
Were he just a decade older, the "Hitler Youth" question is a
4/4/2014 09:20:23 am
Hans Giffhorn has also worked on documentaries for Arte, ZDF, ARD and GTZ
4/4/2014 11:18:41 am
Another clear example of genuine racism and the medias power to spread misinformation.Wait for the racist shits to start using this as "evidence" for "aryans" being here first.Solutrean.kennewick,white hebrews,pleaidian nordic aliens,white ainu,and white gods, another one to add to the long list of attempts to genocide and erase native americans from the history books
4/4/2014 01:05:37 pm
Oh yeah I forgot lost He-boo alien from planet x and red haired giant bigfoot from atlantist/lemuria/5th dimension and on and on and on
1/31/2022 05:36:54 am
Språket hör inte till en vetenskaplig debatt!!!
4/4/2014 11:25:51 am
I sometimes wonder if these people who use media to spread this misinfo propaganda have ties to racist groups including the likes of eugenicist like rushton jensen and those other frauds.I am in no doubt onto this and hope it will be exposed in the near future
4/4/2014 11:36:47 am
This is was deception..pfft typical
4/4/2014 05:08:34 pm
I watched the whole episode and the people they tested and showed are clearly mestizos.It is common to see light-hair-eyes and dark skin siblings in the same family I could also clearly see their amerindian features as well.This is typical in a mixed (amerinndian/european) population like mexicans.And as Kayser even stated they had both mixed ancestry.The lady said she had no direct spanish ancestry but she lived in an indigenous community.I don't but that.How much you bet native north american tribes have some indirect(past) admixture (sub saharan or european)after 500 years interaction ?Just look at the "cherokees".Hardly are there genome studies of modern native americans populations that have not had some interaction with non-amerindians in the last 500 years even if it's just 1-10%.Though there are some tribes who have remain pure and I have seen pics of these tribes that have brown/reddish hair and men with beards.
4/4/2014 11:47:25 am
I posted about this on your blog some time ago.Weird how they don't mention the dna studies done on the actual mummies,which I have cited before, and not the modern descendants of that area that have mixed with the spanish for the last 500 years.This is typical charlatanistic agendas and it's goal is to spread lies.The damage has been already though and that is the goal.
4/4/2014 12:11:36 pm
Is Hans Giffhorn a racist?
4/4/2014 12:57:30 pm
Yes it would make you a genuine racist and fraud like the rest of the pseudo/fake historian clowns.Same old tired racist garbage themes that's been rehashed over and over again.This is clearly an attack on native american history and identity that has continued for the last 500 years. This is tantamount to holocaust denial.
4/4/2014 01:36:15 pm
4/4/2014 02:01:57 pm
I like the one they did on Egypt and the dna comparison they did on the old kingdom era pyramid builders.They compared the pyramid workers dna with the modern egyptians from all over egypt and found they were their direct descendants.It's a 3 part episodes titled "Secrets of the Pharaohs"
4/4/2014 12:10:52 pm
Erik G. Some, especially the larger sort of Phoenician merchant ships had oars and holes for use in rowing. But the main transportation method was sails and the wind. Further as mentioned above some Phoenician ships were entirely wind driven. these merchant ships were usually 60-100 feet in length and had small crews generally 20-40 men or less, In order to stuff has much merchandise on board as possible. It is generally thought that Phoenician merchant ships, especially, the smaller ones without oar holes would have been capable of across ocean travel. But they would have had a very hard time of it and has I mentioned there is no evidence that such a voyage to the New World ever happened.
4/4/2014 01:51:25 pm
The trade winds are tricky, especially if one is the first
Austin Whittall's Blog is informative!!!
4/4/2014 03:12:20 pm
4/4/2014 12:13:53 pm
Sounds like it was fundraising week at pbs. I learned a long time ago just because something is on nor I robs doesn't make it any better than what's on CBS or fox. Monsters and ufos and mysteries are selling now, bps just wants to ride the wave.
Yup. I had the same thought - the indigenous population could have encountered and mixed with Europeans much later than they are hoping to substantiate their ancient Celt theory. Also - seems I have heard of distant cultures evolving similar forms of art, building etc. with no proof of interaction. Weak show.
4/5/2014 01:58:46 am
On the sling thing:
4/5/2014 03:54:19 am
Could be worse, I visited a second hand bookshop today and saw on a high shelf a book entitled "Colony Earth: Are We The Children Of The Gods", from the cover style I'm guessing it dates from the 1970's.
4/5/2014 08:04:17 am
It indeedy is from 1974 and i do feel i sorta must have walked by
its briefly quoted in this online PDF
4/5/2014 08:11:53 am
4/5/2014 02:07:42 pm
Thanks for those reviews, looks like a case of the 'Piper Hypothesis' (SF Author H. Beam Piper used a 'Humans are descended from Martian Colonists' idea in some of his stories in the 1950's) gone mad.
4/5/2014 05:43:35 am
Thank you for writing this article. I was really disappointed/dismayed after watching this episode it was painfully weak and stupid.
Dr. Charles Larsen
4/5/2014 09:40:50 am
Why does this so strongly remind me of the Nazis looking around the world for their mythic version of the Arians?
4/5/2014 12:10:38 pm
It's exactly like the Ahnenerbe.The legacy of that is still alive.
4/5/2014 02:17:16 pm
4/6/2014 10:01:07 am
Scott Wolter Beta or beg-a-thons. What's not to dislike?
4/8/2014 12:04:00 pm
Hi Jason - what is "copper-zinc bronze"? A copper-zinc alloy would be brass wouldn't it? This isn't meant as nit-picking, I'm just puzzled as to what we're actually talking about here.
4/8/2014 12:08:04 pm
It's what the show called it. Copper-zinc is usually called brass, as you note. You'd have to ask PBS/ZDF what they were talking about. I'm sorry I don't have a better answer!
4/9/2014 07:07:41 pm
I believe Bronze Age bronze was typically a copper and tin or arsenic alloy. Not sure about zinc.
7/6/2015 07:58:04 am
There is such a thing as commercial bronze. But this is rather a misnomer for a brass alloy. Nevertheles you find the term.
4/9/2014 06:00:40 am
Dear Mr. Colavito,
4/9/2014 07:59:18 am
Thank you for taking the time to visit my site, though I am dismayed that you assume that I am calling you a Nazi. I am not calling you a racist or a Nazi, but I won't apologize for noting that your theory shares a similar storyline not just to claims for the Nazi flight to Argentina, but also to earlier claims that the same South American groups you attribute to the Celts were the descendants of Viking warriors, etc. It has been a repeated trope in a certain branch of unusual historiography to claim that one group or another of Europeans, escaping cultural or ethnic persecution or eradication, came to America and ruled over the Native peoples. This was true before there were Nazis, and continues to be true long after they have gone, though one of the most famous proponents of the idea was Jacques de Mahieu, the former Nazi collaborator, who supported scientific racism.
4/9/2014 09:24:16 am
Dear Mr. Colavito,
Commander Corwin A. Bell USN (ret.)
9/23/2015 08:44:47 pm
I have forgotten most of my college German, but I have your book and I find the evidence that you presented in it most compelling. I will be writing an essay supporting your theory for "San Diego MENSAN." I would appreciate any updates on evidence concerning your theory, particularly mitochondrial DNA evidence. Regards, Skipper Al
1/31/2022 06:03:05 am
Har samma bakgrund och åsikter!!! Född i efterkrigs Västtyskland, studerat i Göttingen, är objektiv vetenskapshistoriker. De rasistiska och nazistiska kommentarerna är urlöjliga!!!
4/9/2014 09:26:08 am
Dear Mr. Colavito,
4/9/2014 12:45:20 pm
I want to briefly add my observations on the Blog and the posts. Like Dr. Giffhorn, I don't do this often. I also appeared on this PBS special because I earned my doctorate and have spent nearly 25 years conducting archaeology in Chachapoyas. The producer contacted me and I provided counterpoint, especially at the end of the show, pro bono. To me the data demonstrates that Andean peoples living in that region for over 10,000 years are the only peoples responsible for constructing Kuelap, and the many other ancient settlements in the northeastern Peruvian Andes. Dr. Giffhorn and I disagree on the point of possible Carthaginian or Celtic origins of native pre-conquest populations. I worked with his book, although my German is virtually nil before I was interviewed for the show. I also provided more critique on-camera than the producers decided to include in the final edit. In my view, the show was not balanced. It did not do justice to scientific archaeology. After the interview Dr. Giffhorn and I exchanged several lengthy emails and I found him to be a gentleman who does not deserve the racialist commentary posted by some bloggers. Dr. Giffhorn is not a neo-Nazi or a racist. In his book he denounces Nazism and expresses some concern that his ideas will be interpreted as somehow politically biased. Slandering him as a racist is cheap and unbecoming anyone who really wishes to discuss an issue. Furthermore, I don't think that Dr. Giffhorn is obligated to publish his book in English just because PBS decided to broadcast its content in English. I think Dr. Giffhorn would say that the show may not have done justice to HIS ideas, just as it didn't do justice to mine. Regardless, this seems to be the kind of programming that Americans (and other nationals) want now. Not history, but the History Channel. Now PBS is also providing "edu-tainment" and why? Because they are serving a market. If people blogging here want better, or different programming, then they need to write letters to PBS. Many blogs out there are humming because they find Dr. Giffhorn's narrative compelling. Think about this. A shocking number of Americans don't want evolution taught in their schools, and will not accept that current climate changes are driven by human activities. I don't know what predominant nationalities are posting on this blog, but I question the sincerity of my North American countrymen who think that they can pick and choose what scientific discipline is valid and what scientific discipline is not. Archaeologists are scientists, too. We don't just make up shit. We have politicians for that. At my most cynical moments, I question whether Americans have a right to require scientific veracity, or not, on any TV show. You get what you pay for.
4/9/2014 12:59:57 pm
I thank you for your comments, Warren, but I do want to clarify that I am the only "blogger" here. Other people may comment, but their comments are, legally and morally, their own. A few commenters have noted a similarity in structure between
4/9/2014 02:37:50 pm
Coincidentally... a few years back, I was briefly banned
4/9/2014 02:38:56 pm
4/9/2014 03:24:09 pm
I'm afraid, Jason, that you did not understand my commentary. I think the problem stems from your definition of The Blogger, and everyone else as "commentators" who you entice to your Web site with provocative commentary on stuff. This is not a shared definition of blogging which anyone can do on any blog site to reply as well as comment. See: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blog?s=t. But, it does allow you to conduct yourself like the "grown-up in the room." By your definition, this is your blog. So if I make a remark about racist blogs you take this personally while actually I was addressing several people's remarks. Whatever. Your comment about Nazis fleeing to Argentina shows where your mind goes with similar diffusionist theories. You brought the Nazis into the conversation while others did not.... presumably because Dr. Giffhorn is German. You made that remark, not PBS. It was not provoked by anything than your decision to span the centuries to link nationalists fleeing across the Atlantic.No, his narrative of Carthage is not historically linked to the Third Reich or even analogous except that they presumably crossed the same ocean. All diffusionist narratives, and they come from every nation on earth, are based on an inadequate understanding of (in this case) pre-Columbian Native American cultures and their achievements. You can call it racism if you want and say it is akin to a Nazi flight to South America. It's your blog and you are blogger. I don't find the comparison enlightening though it may help you feel that have moral or intellectual high-ground. How or why you chose to compare a real historical event and an alternative (In my opinion unfounded) archaeological narrative I don't know, but this has been a vapid discussion that failed to hit the mark. Thank you for the use of your Blog, sir. If I ever return, I will first ask your permission to post .
4/9/2014 11:54:31 pm
Warren, I have never once heard of anyone considering comments left on a blog post to be blog posts themselves. You're welcome to disagree with me, and you don't need my permission to post here.
4/9/2014 03:10:21 pm
"I don't know what predominant nationalities are posting on this blog, but I question the sincerity of my North American countrymen who think that they can pick and choose what scientific discipline is valid and what scientific discipline is not. Archaeologists are scientists, too. We don't just make up shit. We have politicians for that. At my most cynical moments, I question whether Americans have a right to require scientific veracity, or not, on any TV show. You get what you pay for."
4/9/2014 03:19:12 pm
4/9/2014 03:36:25 pm
I have Irish kin who are Catholics and Protestants!
11/1/2014 09:53:00 am
mr. Dickey, I agree. The Ulster Chronicles, and numerous other recorded oral traditions of the larger "Irish Chronicles" long dismissed as fantastical, state that the ancient Scytho-Irish-Milesians, et al were not only "diffusing" all over the place, largely by sea, but that they were also in Sumer, Turkey, Troy, Palestine, Greece, Thrace, and even Egypt, with Mil marrying the pharaoh's daughter, Scota, and with relatives settling the area that would become Carthage around 1800-1700 B.C. Then they established colonies on the Iberian coast (re: Balearic Islands) before moving onto Eire. Many, many folks can trace their ancestry to these lines. And now genetically! Several family lines, from the Tara dynasty, can trace their R1b1a2 Y-chromosome to Tutankhamen. But, all of this "diffusionist" thinking, and true genetic science, is anathema to the establishment... and to so many folks who have been blogging herein.
4/6/2015 03:18:37 pm
I will make a short response. I think we need to be more open and not to underestimate humans from the past. You did good Hans and Warren. I look forward to your book Hans.
5/19/2015 04:13:47 pm
J.A.D., (J.A. Dickey) I'm also related to Adam Dicky (1760-?) and Janet Cuick Dicky (1670 - ?). I would love to learn more about them. Are you on Ancestry.com?
1/31/2022 06:18:16 am
Så sant - I agree completely!!!
4/9/2014 02:24:14 pm
As an American and a member of the general public, I have
5/31/2014 09:45:10 pm
As an archaeologist, I found the PBS special to be particularly soul-sucking. From the comments here, it's clear that Hans Giffhorn is another up and coming pseudoscientist. They come in all colors: ETs in the Andes, Atlantis, the Lost Tribes of Isreal in the Americas, bigfoot in mythology, etc, etc. Sadly, Warren Church and the other unlucky few who made appearances in the program decided to make no effort to control the scientific message. Why would any scientist in their right mind agree to show up in a documentary of which they have no creative or intellectual input.
6/3/2014 06:40:45 am
I am afraid I have to return to the blog one more time. The risk is too big that amateur readers might think that the proceeding comment is more than just a bluff to attract attention or perhaps get some bonus points for an academic career.
6/4/2014 09:18:27 am
Peudoscience: a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific
9/2/2017 09:12:31 pm
Come on j g give us your name Mr archeologist
6/5/2014 06:05:00 am
I am grateful for this enlightening lecture about the “Sceptics”, and I deeply regret that I ever doubted the infallibility of peer-reviews. Perhaps in return Their Eminences, the peers, could grant the gift of reading to their faithful followers, to understand e.g. what I wrote about the Carthaginians in my comment or how my surname is spelled.
9/12/2014 04:18:43 pm
Right so, dear Prof Giffhorn,
6/5/2014 01:25:25 pm
I suppose it is much easier to change the subject than have to answer any questions and provide evidence. Oh wait, I know "it's all in your book". Right.
6/5/2014 01:57:19 pm
7/9/2014 03:37:21 pm
Thank you Jason for an excellent and well-thought out post on the Chachapoyas PBS program.
9/28/2014 01:43:00 pm
Just to play Devil's advocate, the Celts DID have very capable ocean-going vessels. The Veneti ships were in fact so capable that Julius Caesar attacked them from the land side. The Veneti ships were described as so thick of hull that they were resistant to ramming, so high above the water they commanded even the castles on the Roman galleys, and so maneuverable they were almost impossible to ram in the first place. Caesar made a very graphic example of them. But, the reported superiority of the Veneti ships would guarantee that Veneti could readily have escaped by sea. So, in fact if you want to play with weakly supported hypotheses, then you could also speculate on a fleet of survivors from the Veneti arriving in the New World some time around the late Republic period.No Carthaginians are required.
11/27/2014 11:05:45 am
Of course they were White. White Indians were in America long before Columbus. Even Lewis and Clark wrote of the beautiful White blonde Indians. Read about the true native Americans called Solutreans or Kennewick man. Anti-White politically correct brainwashed Marxists have a hard time excepting reality. That is why White slavery in America is never spoken about. It also explains the White blonde "Gods" tribes spoke of who were simply more advanced White Indians who shared knowledge.
5/30/2017 04:05:11 am
No such thing as Solutrean Natives in America, or white gods. Those are Fairytales low self-esteem white Americans make up so they can feel fuzzy inside, especially since they have no deep roots in America they feel they must make up a history for themselves. Oh, and guess what? Kenniwick Man was Native American, just like the Native Americans always said. You are a immigrant, so get over it and work on your self esteem Someother way. No one here is Anti-White, it's just that you and others like you are anti-Amerindian.
11/27/2014 11:38:44 am
You may be archeologists but not historians, clearly. I would strongly suggest stopping the Nazi and German bashing, regurgitating the victors propaganda version of Nazi ideology and research WWII revisionist history. Actually listen to a Hitler speech or read about National Socialism before using the predictable Nazi card. Racist is shouted by those losing or avoiding a debate. So because a Nazi spoke of this idea there can be no fact in it? Does sound like a sound scientific approach to me.
11/27/2014 11:48:48 am
That's right because history involving Whites should only portray Whites as savage racist beasts who are indigenous to no where and who didn't bring the world anything good, who only committed genocide! But hide the fact that Chachapoyas who were White were genocided. Downplay all European achievements otherwise it's "White supremacy" and "racist."
11/28/2014 08:15:47 am
So many inocrrect concepts! Who ever said that the Scytho-Phoenician-Cannanite-Carthaginians and colleagues were "European," and what does any of that have to do with "white supremacy?" Because they may have originated from somewhere around the Caucasus? The R1b chromosome traveled to Europe beginning sometime before 2,300 B.C.E. Has anyone here ever submitted to the National Geographic genetic test program? Studied the DNA routes? So many keep saying let's be "scientific." As for the Chachapoya gene testing, that's really been an in-house cover-up in my opinion. Not only are those results kept quiet, with no talk of the "X-gene" found (BYU), but even when a mummy is tested, if it looks "white," it must be "Inca," not Chachapoya. Before 1985 almost all academicians, and "peer-reviewed" publications, even insisted that there never were any real Chachapoyas! They were simply a "myth." After Savoy proved them wrong, by finding their cities, mummies, inscriptions, ceramic designs, descendants, the academic answer was, "Well, perhaps there was a 'confederation' of folks... but not 'white' people." Even the Chacha still living know better (Various locales.). These indigenous survivors must also be racists. Geesh! Time will tell - for sure!
11/29/2014 06:03:59 pm
Well, accounts tell of beautiful fair skinned, light hair (blonde and reddish blonde) and light eyed (blue and green) people in Peru. Those are Nordic features. It is extremely rare to find it in non-Europeans and those who do have those features, usually have some European DNA. Today we see some lighter features in Peru but they are clearly mixed race and could highly likely be decedents of the fair skinned (White) migrants. It makes me think of Quetzalcoatl, Kukulkan, Viracocha, Votan, Gucumatz who are all White Nordic looking "Gods." But could it be just explorers teaching knowledge to more remote tribes? There is a painting from the Inca period that shows Chachapoya women who all have white skin and reddish blonde hair. But the politically correct and socially acceptable response would be to deny that race exists.
5/30/2017 04:13:17 am
Europeans sure as hell ain't indigenous to The Americas, Nor were the Chachapoyas European or white. Also, stop trying to steal the heritage, identity and acheivments of the real indigenous people of the Americas, the Native Americans.
9/24/2015 03:21:08 am
To Skipper Al. How can we get into contact? My mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
9/24/2015 02:49:14 pm
The most recent DNA evidence of local residents in and around Chachapoyas shows that an R1b genomic admixture is present in 22% of 1,000 samples. Those admixtures indicate that they must have formed prior to arrival of the Spanish, as it takes far more time for such complex DNA to evolve. Therefore, there were R1b genes in Chachapoyas in pre-Columbian times, i.e., "Caucasian" origins. This from a study chart posted on the net. Would be nice if all the charts compiled by Woodard and BYU would be released, as well...Sonia Guillen, etc. Also important to understand that in the PBS documentary "Irish" sources were posited, along with Carthaginians and Balearic Islanders. These three groups are dominantly R1b....along with King Tut and that dynasty. So, racism is a bad thing, but not genetic analyses.
9/25/2015 07:58:58 am
Hi Gary - that sounds intersting. I know Sonia since many years, and I also know, that she tends to be a little bit shy with publishing results. Do you know how I can get a quotable document about the R1b results?
10/12/2015 01:20:24 pm
Hans --- I had to go back online and try to locate the several articles, and haplogroup tables I had viewed previously. Several have incredibly been removed - the cover-up continues. However, several are still up!
10/12/2015 02:06:47 pm
Thanks a lot, Gary. Now I´ve got something to read.
To scan through this amount of comments is a major task but it is ultimately not worthwhile as it is not worthwhile to read the whole article that instigated such a discussion. The author is unfortunately biased and utterly uninformed about the earliest contact of South America and the rest of the world. What about the Fuente Magna bowl and other findings and so much more?
12/29/2015 11:53:26 am
Hans - Glad these links on DNA may be of help in further investigations. Florian - Yes, the Fuente Magna with the Sumerian glyphs. etc. go a long way in establishing earlier global contacts in the Americas. One might also look at the documented research of Betty Meggars at the Smithsonian showing that the Jomon were in Ecuador very early on...and, on expeditions, we found Jomon pottery styles among the Chachapoyas (in Gran Vilaya). Then there is the theory that the Argonauts were actually in America, along with the Chinese, and so many others (Mertz). The truth is in ancient times the seas were the highways, around the globe, and people were in communication all over the place! Already, genetic studies are beginning to verify these routes and linkages. There is so much evidence of ancient contacts, highly advanced civilizations and technologies... it is only the tenured academics who seek to disparage what we all know in our subconscious.
Commander Corwin A. Bell, U.S. Navy (ret .)
1/23/2017 02:19:44 pm
I am appalled at the resistance of the archaeological community to any evidence of pre-Colombian contact. Not only is there an unwillingness to review the evidence, but some members of the community resort to ad hominem attacks or, worse, claims of racism -- even Nazism. This reveals a level of dogma stifling genuine research that has not been seen since the Pope locked up Galileo for heresy.
1/24/2017 12:02:38 pm
Dear Mr. Bell,
CDR Corwin A. Bell
1/24/2017 03:01:35 pm
I accidentally unsubscribed from this. Please re-subscribe me.
11/29/2017 10:21:42 pm
"This “new” fact, however, has been known since 2002, and the presence of tuberculosis in the pre-Columbian Americas has been known since 1994—it’s been found beyond just the Chachapoya—but Griffhorn takes this as a revelation that the Carthaginians brought “Classical” tuberculosis (whatever that means—he seems to think the disease was different in Antiquity) with them in 146 BCE, where it lay dormant for a thousand years. Archaeologists suggest that the disease arose from llamas, who are known to carry the bovine form of tuberculosis—or even from the Polynesians who reached South America before Columbus."
1/25/2021 08:41:59 pm
Not only were the Cathaginians but also pre-Carthaginians from the lost continent of Mu.Figure it out!
4/22/2022 09:40:22 am
Gifforn got this all backwards.The Celts are Native Americans that discovered the rest of the whole world and I can prove it.
4/24/2022 05:08:36 am
If you are interested in my argumentation, I recommend these links:
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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