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Question Regarding Wheels In Prehistoric Americas.


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So far they seem to have only found the wheel on children's toys (last I heard, anyway.) in the Americas. I'm wondering, how did the ancients transport the stone used to construct cities like Chichen Itza? Did they roll them on logs in the same way it is thought the stone circles like Stonehenge in Europe were constructed?

The logs would function not so much as wheels but as rollers, however, still round and, you know, roll-y. Is that what was used, or was there some other method of transportation?

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Okay, I was just funnin' you with that one. Actually, the pyramids and other stone structures in Central America are quite small and light. The stones are volcanic in origin, like pumice. Pumice is so light that it can float. So a couple ancient people could have just sawed off a good-sized chunk of the mountain and carried a couple stones each, one under each arm. It took about a month to build a pyramid, but the things are so drafty that they were not practical dwellings.

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Okay, I was funnin' you with that one, too.

Well, you know those NASCAR lines or whatever they are called? The figures of varmints and stuff that you can only see from the air. Well, those are actually navigation aids for hot air balloons. The rocks were transported by giant hot air balloons from the mountains. The NASCAR lines (or whatever they are called) just pointed the direction to the nearest town. A lot of crazy people thought those NASCAR lines were actually runways for ancient astronauts, but in fact the lines are too small for that purpose (unless they were very tiny ancient astronauts).

Anyway, those Maya and Aztecs and what-all knew something about hot air. How else did they ever allow some wacky priest to pick people at random and cut their living hearts out on stone altars? So they simply harnessed some of that hot air to build pyramids.

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Or maybe they were just drunk at the time and couldn't remember how they did it. Woke up one morning after a night of mushrooms and their favorite beverages -- and there they were. Pyramids all over the place. They probably blamed it on escaping Nephites. You know those Nephites, always getting Lamanites drunk and playing practical jokes on them.

Eh, looks like I need rest. Mods: please ban me before I post again!

Okay, you're banned. Take the rest of the day off. -- Mods

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Has anyone see the film on the guy in Florida who was able to cut and move large stones by himself. He built a large castle like structure and no one has figured out how he did it. This was several decades ago.

Wish I could remember more.

Found it

http://www.coralcastle.com/

+++++++++++

What makes Ed’s work remarkable is the fact that he was just over 5 feet tall and weighed only 100 pounds. The coral that he worked on was sometimes 4,000 feet thick. Incredibly, he cut and moved huge coral blocks using only hand tools. He had acquired some skills working in lumber camps and came from a family of stone masons in Latvia. He drew on this knowledge and strength to cut and move these blocks.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

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Eh, poor Cjcampbell. Almost had me going with the "Pumice Theory". I was like, ".....that sounds kinda plausible....oh....you're just funnin' me...."

I'm not a Mayan archaeologist, but my guess is rollers. Trees are plentiful, so it makes sense.

Yeah, that was kind of my thinking as well. Who cares if there was no wheel, if they had rollers instead? I can't appreciate a real difference there.

Does anyone know for sure?

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So far they seem to have only found the wheel on children's toys (last I heard, anyway.) in the Americas. I'm wondering, how did the ancients transport the stone used to construct cities like Chichen Itza? Did they roll them on logs in the same way it is thought the stone circles like Stonehenge in Europe were constructed?

The logs would function not so much as wheels but as rollers, however, still round and, you know, roll-y. Is that what was used, or was there some other method of transportation?

The wheeled figurines are not toys, but they are small. The best current theory is that they are funerary objects. There are quite a few of them and indicate a functional knowledge of not only the wheel but the wheel and axle. However, there is still no indication of any beast of burden other than humans, and no current evidence of large wheeled conveyances.

Rollers is a popular probability, but I don't know if there is firm evidence for it. There have been experiments for raft transport of some of the large stones, but that doesn't account for the land movement. Several of the Olmec carved thrones show ropes, so ropes appear to have been used to pull the stones - again probably over rollers.

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Eh, poor Cjcampbell. Almost had me going with the "Pumice Theory". I was like, ".....that sounds kinda plausible....oh....you're just funnin' me...."

Yeah, that was kind of my thinking as well. Who cares if there was no wheel, if they had rollers instead? I can't appreciate a real difference there.

Does anyone know for sure?

He was on a roll....cough...cough...sorry

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Or maybe they were just drunk at the time and couldn't remember how they did it. Woke up one morning after a night of mushrooms and their favorite beverages -- and there they were. Pyramids all over the place. They probably blamed it on escaping Nephites. You know those Nephites, always getting Lamanites drunk and playing practical jokes on them.

Eh, looks like I need rest. Mods: please ban me before I post again!

Okay, you're banned. Take the rest of the day off. -- Mods

Geez this happened to me a couple of times in my youth.

Except for the pyramid part and the stuff about Nephites and Lamanites.

Oh and yes, I am a victim of self inflicted dain bramage.

Strange that I should admit this to you on my post# of 666 :P

but whose counting anyways.

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The wheeled figurines are not toys, but they are small. The best current theory is that they are funerary objects. There are quite a few of them and indicate a functional knowledge of not only the wheel but the wheel and axle. However, there is still no indication of any beast of burden other than humans, and no current evidence of large wheeled conveyances.

Rollers is a popular probability, but I don't know if there is firm evidence for it. There have been experiments for raft transport of some of the large stones, but that doesn't account for the land movement. Several of the Olmec carved thrones show ropes, so ropes appear to have been used to pull the stones - again probably over rollers.

Brant,

Are you aware that similar wheeled items have been found in the Middle East and that they were in funerary settlings? BAR had a picture page on them several years ago. I've always thought that was a pretty good evidence of diffusion.

I saw a PBS special on the pyramids where poeple tried to use log rollers to move heavy stones. It didn't work because the logs and the ground weren't perfect. The logs got stuck and they also got crushed because the load would end up unevenly distributed on the logs.

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Brant,

Are you aware that similar wheeled items have been found in the Middle East and that they were in funerary settlings? BAR had a picture page on them several years ago. I've always thought that was a pretty good evidence of diffusion.

I saw a PBS special on the pyramids where poeple tried to use log rollers to move heavy stones. It didn't work because the logs and the ground weren't perfect. The logs got stuck and they also got crushed because the load would end up unevenly distributed on the logs.

Yes, I have seen the information on the Old World. Of course, most Mesoamericanists don't want to look outside of the New World for any interpretive information <grin>.

As for how things are moved - those darn primitive people knew something about it - and are pretty much keeping it to themselves.

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Wheels or rollers would never have worked. There were no roads usable by wheels and the terrain was too uneven. The Aztec and Mayan pyramids were all built close to water. Perhaps they moved the stones by barge and skids. It would have required enormous numbers of people.

The Maya civilization co-existed with that of both of Jaredites and Nephites, if it was not identical with one or both of these civilizations outright. The thing to remember about the Nephites is that for most of their history they were a very wicked people, constantly engaging in wars with their neighbors and among themselves. The large pyramids and temples were probably built to intimidate the righteous, not give them places of worship.

The Maya had wheels, as did the other civilizations of Central America, but they do not appear to have used them for transportation. It may be that wheels were once used in war and were considered so terrible that they were all destroyed, along with any record that they ever existed. Later Mayan kings would also have defaced or removed any references to Nephite history in order to legitimatize their own line.

The fact is, there was a great civilization in the area which rose, built huge walled cities, and collapsed in pretty much the same way and at the same time as described by the Book of Mormon. By the time the Spanish arrived, all they found was primitive peoples living in the jungle amid the ruins.

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The Maya civilization co-existed with that of both of Jaredites and Nephites, if it was not identical with one or both of these civilizations outright.

What I find confusing is, for that to be true, these people would have been well-versed in writing Reformed Egyptian in, but instead use an entirely new set of hieroglyphs for all of their monuments. Why the disparity?

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What I find confusing is, for that to be true, these people would have been well-versed in writing Reformed Egyptian in, but instead use an entirely new set of hieroglyphs for all of their monuments. Why the disparity?

The region had multiple writing systems. The Olmec appear to have had one, but we lack much evidence for the early stages. The epi-Olmec (according to Justeson and Kauffman) loaned some glyphs to the Maya - which they borrowed for the phonetic meaning but not the original meaning of the word represented. Other cultures had other scripts.

There is no reason to suppose that the Nephite writing system was widespread. None of the others were. The Olmec was adopted because it was high-status - which would not have been the case for the Nephite system.

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