The Question of Boats
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The Question of Boats book
Blanket denial of the possibility of pre-Columbian transoceanic contacts flies in the face of numerous record-making modern crossings, deliberate or drift. Transpacific contacts before Magellan similarly can be ordered by degree of probability. This chapter examines Mesoamerican data on Olmec-period shifts to agricultural societies-data not available to Meggers, Evans, and Estrada in the early 1960s that contradict the earlier picture of a sudden introduction of foreign ways. Since scholars agree that the Eurasian systems were linked-diffused it logically follows that the Mesoamerican systems like them fall into the same linkage. David Kelley inferred from his extensive researches that probably in the second century CE, a learned, brilliant Mayan amalgamated components from four Asian systems into the Mayan calendar system, selecting from the Asian sequences of twenty-eight named lunar mansions to make a twenty-day sequence fitting his existing calendar system. Gordon Ekholm's work on Hindu-Buddhist art motifs and styles resembling Mesoamerican art can complement Kelley's work on calendrics.