Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stuff around the net

I wrote about the chanting of the Pasyon and Easter in the Philippines but it got too long so I moved it to BNN...


 Lost worlds links to an article on the Taino traders. the "mayan" links in Georgia may have been via these traders, who lived in Venezuela and shipped goods around the Mediterranean.

Smithsonian has more on the Taino.

they are rewriting the history of South America, but a lot of the history is tainted by fuzzy age ideas (like the second link) or the Black legend, as in the last link.

The Penn Museum has a couple lectures on the Maya, and BBC has a series on the lost kingdoms of South America.

but my take is always from below: the stories of these "great civilizations", be it the Maya or the Egyptians,  often ignore that it meant to ordinary folks:

 the conquerers killed a lot of people, and these great civilizations built all those nice monuments by keeping serfs and workers who didn't have much say in the matter. The dirty little secret of the Conquistadors is that the local people helped them get rid of the big shots (and replaced the devil they knew with the devil they didn't know).

And a lot of the new age love of the peaceful Mayan (or Minoan or place favorite ancient kingdom of goodness and light in the blank): a lot of this is "projection". Newer archeology shows the Mayans were pretty bloody to their neighbors and didn't especially protect the environment..
the book 1491 and other modern archeology studies of pre colombus Americas point out that it was not a pristine wilderness, but one shaped by locals.

Now there is a podcast from Australia saying that the aborigenes did the same thing there.
Big Ideas explores the myth that pre-European settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness. It's a landscape actively shaped by fire. Historian Bill Gammage explains how to reread not only the land itself, but also maps, place names and historic documents. He is in conversation with Radio National’s Kate Evans.


Egypt goes kaput. Spengler pointed this out awhile back, but now TPMBarnett is noticing the problem.

for later reading;
how to be a lady in the 21st century.

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