“To assume that the Aztecs conquered the Mayans is incorrect for multiple reasons. The Aztecs and the Mayan were two distinct cultures of indigenous people.” ref

“The haplogroup frequencies found in Aztecs resemble other present-day Central and Southern Mexican and Central American populations, suggesting a great antiquity to this pattern of regional continuity.” ref

“Proto-Uto-Aztecan is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Uto-Aztecan languages dates to 3,000 BCE or around 5,000 years ago. The homeland of the Numic languages has been placed in Southern California near Death Valley, and the homeland of the proposed Southern Uto-Aztecan group has been placed on the coast of Sonora. A more recent proposal from 2014, by David L. Shaul, presents evidence suggesting contact between Proto-Uto-Aztecan and languages of central California, such as Esselen and the Yokutsan languages. That leads Shaul to suggest that Proto-Uto-Aztecan was spoken in California’s Central Valley area, and it formed part of an ancient Californian linguistic area.” ref

“Native Mexican Y chromosome haplogroups Q-MEH2, Q-M3, Q-Z768, Q-L663, Q-Z780, and Q-PV3; affirmed and suggested multiple population dispersals southward in the Americas via Beringia and connected Native Mexicans with indigenous populations from South-Central Siberia and Canada.” ref

“Comparison of Native Mexican data with those from populations of Asia and North, Central, and South America further reveals connections between Aztlan descendants and South-Central Siberians and indigenous populations from both Canada and South America. These findings affirm the southward colonization route for ancestral Native Americans and support the view that Mesoamerica played a crucial role in the diversification of indigenous Y chromosomes in the Americas.” ref

“Isthmo-Colombians originated in Mesoamerica, spreading to northern South America in prehistoric times, with strong genetic affinities to contemporary Mayan-speakers.” ref

“Mayan populations as a group are highly homogeneous, basically made up of only two autochthonous Y-DNA haplogroups, Q1a2a1a1*-M3 and Q1a2a1*-L54. Similar haplotypes among populations, abundance of singletons and absence of population partitioning within networks among Mayan populations suggest recent population expansion and substantial gene flow within the Mayan dominion, possibly due to the development of agriculture, the establishment of interacting City–State systems, and commerce.” ref

“Genetic variation of the Y chromosome in five Chibchan tribes Q-M3 haplogroup, estimated coalescence times of 3,113 and 13,243 years ago; for the mtDNA-restriction haplotypes the estimated coalescence time was between 7,452 and 9,834 years before present.” ref


Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area that begins in the southern part of North America and extends to the Pacific coast of Central America, thus comprising the lands of central and southern Mexico, all of BelizeGuatemalaEl Salvador, and small parts of HondurasNicaragua, and Costa Rica. As a cultural area, Mesoamerica is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits developed and shared by its indigenous cultures.” ref

The history of human occupation in Mesoamerica is divided into stages or periods. These are known, with slight variation depending on region, as the Paleo-Indian, the Archaic, the Preclassic (or Formative), the Classic, and the Postclassic.” ref 

“Beginning as early as 7000 BCE, the domestication of cacaomaizebeanstomatoavocadovanillasquash, and chili, as well as the turkey and dog, resulted in a transition from paleo-Indian hunter-gatherer tribal groupings to the organization of sedentary agricultural villages. In the subsequent Formative period, agriculture and cultural traits such as a complex mythological and religious tradition, a vigesimal numeric system, a complex calendric system, a tradition of ball playing, and a distinct architectural style, were diffused through the area. Villages began to become socially stratified and develop into chiefdoms, and large ceremonial centers were built, interconnected by a network of trade routes for the exchange of luxury goods, such as obsidianjadecacaocinnabarSpondylus shells, hematite, and ceramics. While Mesoamerican civilization knew of the wheel and basic metallurgy, neither of these became technologically relevant.ref

“In the pre-Columbian era, many indigenous societies flourished in Mesoamerica for more than 3,000 years before the Spanish colonization of the Americas began on Hispaniola in 1493. In world history, Mesoamerica was the site of two historical transformations: (i) primary urban generation, and (ii) the formation of New World cultures from the mixtures of the indigenous Mesoamerican peoples with the European, African, and Asian peoples who were introduced by the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Mesoamerica is one of the six areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently (see cradle of civilization), and the second in the Americas, alongside the Caral–Supe in present-day Peru. Mesoamerica is also one of only five regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed (the others being ancient EgyptIndiaSumer, and China).” ref

“Among the earliest complex civilizations was the Olmec culture, which inhabited the Gulf Coast of Mexico and extended inland and southwards across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Frequent contact and cultural interchange between the early Olmec and other cultures in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Guatemala laid the basis for the Mesoamerican cultural area. All this was facilitated by considerable regional communications in ancient Mesoamerica, especially along the Pacific coast. In the subsequent Preclassic period, complex urban polities began to develop among the Maya, with the rise of centers such as Aguada fénix and Calakmul in Mexico; El Mirador, and Tikal in Guatemala, and the Zapotec at Monte Albán. During this period, the first true Mesoamerican writing systems were developed in the Epi-Olmec and the Zapotec cultures. The Mesoamerican writing tradition reached its height in the Classic Maya logosyllabic script.ref

“In Central Mexico, the city of Teotihuacan ascended at the height of the Classic period; it formed a military and commercial empire whose political influence stretched south into the Maya area and northward. Upon the collapse of Teotihuacán around 600 CE, competition between several important political centers in central Mexico, such as Xochicalco and Cholula, ensued. At this time during the Epi-Classic period, the Nahua peoples began moving south into Mesoamerica from the North, and became politically and culturally dominant in central Mexico, as they displaced speakers of Oto-Manguean languages. During the early post-Classic period, Central Mexico was dominated by the Toltec culture, and Oaxaca by the Mixtec. The lowland Maya area had important centers at Chichén Itzá and Mayapán. Towards the end of the post-Classic period, the Aztecs of Central Mexico built a tributary empire covering most of central Mesoamerica.ref

“The distinct Mesoamerican cultural tradition ended with the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Eurasian diseases such as smallpox and measles, which were endemic among the colonists but new to North America, caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people, resulting in great losses to their societies and cultures. Over the next centuries, Mesoamerican indigenous cultures were gradually subjected to Spanish colonial rule. Aspects of the Mesoamerican cultural heritage still survive among the indigenous peoples who inhabit Mesoamerica. Many continue to speak their ancestral languages and maintain many practices hearkening back to their Mesoamerican roots.ref

“Some of the significant cultural traits defining the Mesoamerican cultural tradition are:

  • Horticulture and plant use: sedentism based on maize agriculture; floating gardens; use of bark paper and agave (see also maguey) for ritual purposes, as a medium for writing, and the use of agave for cooking and clothing; cultivation of cacao; grinding of corn softened with ashes or lime; harpoon-shaped digging stick
  • Clothing and personal articles: lip plugs, mirrors of polished stone, turbans, sandals with heels, textiles adorned with rabbit hair
  • Architecture: construction of stepped pyramids; stucco floors; ball courts with stone rings (see the use of natural rubber and the practice of the ritual Mesoamerican ballgame)
  • Record keeping: use of two different calendars (a 260-day ritual calendar and a 365-day calendar based on the solar year); use of locally developed pictographic and hieroglyphic (logo-syllabic) writing systems; numbers (see also vigesimal (base 20) number system); “century” of fifty-two years; eighteen-month calendar; screen-fold books
  • Commerce: specialized markets, “department store” markets subdivided according to specialty
  • Weapons and warfare: wooden swords with stone chips set into the edges (see macuahuitl), military orders (eagle knights and jaguar knights), clay pellets for blowguns, cotton-pad armor, traveling merchants who act as spies, wars for the purpose of securing sacrificial victims
  • Ritual and myth: the practice of various forms of ritual sacrifice, including human sacrifice and quail sacrifice; paper and rubber as sacrificial offerings; a pantheon of gods or spirits; acrobatic flier dance (see the Danza de los Voladores and the Totonac flier dance; 13 as a ritual number; ritual period of 20 x 13 = 260 days; the mythic concept of one or more afterworlds and the difficult journey in reaching them; good and bad omen days; a religious complex based on a combination of shamanism and natural deities, and a shared system of symbols
  • Language: a linguistic area defined by a number of grammatical traits that have spread through the area by diffusion.ref

South-to-north migration preceded the advent of intensive farming in the Maya region

The genetic prehistory of human populations in Central America is largely unexplored leaving an important gap in our knowledge of the global expansion of humans. We report genome-wide ancient DNA data for a transect of twenty individuals from two Belize rock-shelters dating between 9,600-3,700 calibrated radiocarbon years before present (cal. BP). The oldest individuals (around 9,600-7,300 years ago) descend from an Early Holocene Native American lineage with only distant relatedness to present-day Mesoamericans, including Mayan-speaking populations. After ~5,600 years ago a previously unknown human dispersal from the south made a major demographic impact on the region, contributing more than 50% of the ancestry of all later individuals. This new ancestry derived from a source related to present-day Chibchan speakers living from Costa Rica to Colombia. Its arrival corresponds to the first clear evidence for forest clearing and maize horticulture in what later became the Maya region.” ref

“Previous ancient DNA analyses have indicated that the earliest Central and South Americans, as well as present-day groups from the same regions, descend primarily from the more southerly of two founding Native American genetic lineages. Published early Holocene (9400–7300 years ago) individuals from Belize (N = 3) are consistent in deriving their ancestry from this same large-scale north-to-south movement of people, but they display only distant relatedness to present-day groups in Mexico and Central America, including local Maya-speaking populations. Instead, Maya people today show the greatest affinities to both South Americans and Indigenous Mexicans, suggesting the potential for further episodes of population movement and admixture in this region during the past 7300 years. The genetic history of the region is essential to understand the evolution of cultures, languages, and technologies, including domesticated plant crops that transformed the neotropics.” ref

Paleo-Indian period

“The Mesoamerican Paleo-Indian period precedes the advent of agriculture and is characterized by a nomadic hunting and gathering subsistence strategy. Big-game hunting, similar to that seen in contemporaneous North America, was a large component of the subsistence strategy of the Mesoamerican Paleo-Indian. These sites had obsidian blades and Clovis-style fluted projectile points.” ref

Archaic period

“The Archaic period (8000–2000 BCE) is characterized by the rise of incipient agriculture in Mesoamerica. The initial phases of the Archaic involved the cultivation of wild plants, transitioning into informal domestication and culminating with sedentism and agricultural production by the close of the period. Transformations of natural environments have been a common feature at least since the mid Holocene. Archaic sites include Sipacate in Escuintla, Guatemala, where maize pollen samples date to c. 3500 BCE.” ref

Preclassic/Formative period

“The first complex civilization to develop in Mesoamerica was that of the Olmec, who inhabited the Gulf Coast region of Veracruz throughout the Preclassic period. The main sites of the Olmec include San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes. Specific dates vary, but these sites were occupied from roughly 1200 to 400 BCE. Remains of other early cultures interacting with the Olmec have been found at Takalik Abaj, Izapa, and Teopantecuanitlan, and as far south as in Honduras. Research in the Pacific Lowlands of Chiapas and Guatemala suggest that Izapa and the Monte Alto Culture may have preceded the Olmec. Radiocarbon samples associated with various sculptures found at the Late Preclassic site of Izapa suggest a date of between 1800 and 1500 BCE.” ref

“During the Middle and Late Preclassic period, the Maya civilization developed in the southern Maya highlands and lowlands, and at a few sites in the northern Maya lowlands. The earliest Maya sites coalesced after 1000 BCE, and include Nakbe, El Mirador, and Cerros. Middle to Late Preclassic Maya sites include Kaminaljuyú, Cival, Edzná, Cobá, Lamanai, Komchen, Dzibilchaltun, and San Bartolo, among others. The Preclassic in the central Mexican highlands is represented by such sites as Tlapacoya, Tlatilco, and Cuicuilco. These sites were eventually superseded by Teotihuacán, an important Classic-era site that eventually dominated economic and interaction spheres throughout Mesoamerica. The settlement of Teotihuacan is dated to the later portion of the Late Preclassic, or roughly 50 CE.” ref

“In the Valley of Oaxaca, San José Mogote represents one of the oldest permanent agricultural villages in the area, and one of the first to use pottery. During the Early and Middle Preclassic, the site developed some of the earliest examples of defensive palisades, ceremonial structures, the use of adobe, and hieroglyphic writing. Also of importance, the site was one of the first to demonstrate inherited status, signifying a radical shift in socio-cultural and political structure. San José Mogote was eventually overtaken by Monte Albán, the subsequent capital of the Zapotec empire, during the Late Preclassic. The Preclassic in western Mexico, in the states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacán also known as the Occidente, is poorly understood. This period is best represented by the thousands of figurines recovered by looters and ascribed to the “shaft tomb tradition.” ref

Classic period

The Classic period is marked by the rise and dominance of several polities. The traditional distinction between the Early and Late Classic is marked by their changing fortune and their ability to maintain regional primacy. Of paramount importance are Teotihuacán in central Mexico and Tikal in Guatemala; the Early Classic’s temporal limits generally correlate to the main periods of these sites. Monte Albán in Oaxaca is another Classic-period polity that expanded and flourished during this period, but the Zapotec capital exerted less interregional influence than the other two sites.” ref

“During the Early Classic, Teotihuacan participated in and perhaps dominated a far-reaching macro-regional interaction network. Architectural and artifact styles (talud-tablero, tripod slab-footed ceramic vessels) epitomized at Teotihuacan were mimicked and adopted at many distant settlements. Pachuca obsidian, whose trade and distribution is argued to have been economically controlled by Teotihuacan, is found throughout Mesoamerica.” ref

“Tikal came to dominate much of the southern Maya lowlands politically, economically, and militarily during the Early Classic. An exchange network centered at Tikal distributed a variety of goods and commodities throughout southeast Mesoamerica, such as obsidian imported from central Mexico (e.g., Pachuca) and highland Guatemala (e.g., El Chayal, which was predominantly used by the Maya during the Early Classic), and jade from the Motagua valley in Guatemala. Tikal was often in conflict with other polities in the Petén Basin, as well as with others outside of it, including Uaxactun, Caracol, Dos Pilas, Naranjo, and Calakmul. Towards the end of the Early Classic, this conflict lead to Tikal’s military defeat at the hands of Caracol in 562, and a period commonly known as the Tikal Hiatus.” ref

“The Late Classic period (beginning c. 600 CE until 909 CE) is characterized as a period of interregional competition and factionalization among the numerous regional polities in the Maya area. This largely resulted from the decrease in Tikal’s socio-political and economic power at the beginning of the period. It was therefore during this time that other sites rose to regional prominence and were able to exert greater interregional influence, including Caracol, CopánPalenque, and Calakmul (which was allied with Caracol and may have assisted in the defeat of Tikal), and Dos Pilas Aguateca and Cancuén in the Petexbatún region of Guatemala. Around 710, Tikal arose again and started to build strong alliances and defeat its worst enemies. In the Maya area, the Late Classic ended with the so-called “Maya collapse“, a transitional period coupling the general depopulation of the southern lowlands and development and florescence of centers in the northern lowlands.” ref

“Generally applied to the Maya area, the Terminal Classic roughly spans the time between c. 800/850 and c. 1000 AD. Overall, it generally correlates with the rise to prominence of Puuc settlements in the northern Maya lowlands, so named after the hills where they are mainly found. Puuc settlements are specifically associated with a unique architectural style (the “Puuc architectural style”) that represents a technological departure from previous construction techniques. Major Puuc sites include Uxmal, Sayil, Labna, Kabah, and Oxkintok. While generally concentrated within the area in and around the Puuc hills, the style has been documented as far away as at Chichen Itza to the east and Edzna to the south.” ref

“Chichén Itzá was originally thought to have been a Postclassic site in the northern Maya lowlands. Research over the past few decades has established that it was first settled during the Early/Late Classic transition but rose to prominence during the Terminal Classic and Early Postclassic. During its apogee, this widely known site economically and politically dominated the northern lowlands. Its participation in the circum-peninsular exchange route, possible through its port site of Isla Cerritos, allowed Chichén Itzá to remain highly connected to areas such as central Mexico and Central America. The apparent “Mexicanization” of architecture at Chichén Itzá led past researchers to believe that Chichén Itzá existed under the control of a Toltec empire. Chronological data refutes this early interpretation, and it is now known that Chichén Itzá predated the Toltec; Mexican architectural styles are now used as an indicator of strong economic and ideological ties between the two regions.” ref

Postclassic period

“The Postclassic (beginning 900–1000 CE, depending on area) is, like the Late Classic, characterized by the cyclical crystallization and fragmentation of various polities. The main Maya centers were located in the northern lowlands. Following Chichén Itzá, whose political structure collapsed during the Early Postclassic, Mayapán rose to prominence during the Middle Postclassic and dominated the north for c. 200 years. After Mayapán’s fragmentation, the political structure in the northern lowlands revolved around large towns or city-states, such as Oxkutzcab and Ti’ho (Mérida, Yucatán), that competed with one another.” ref

Toniná, in the Chiapas highlands, and Kaminaljuyú in the central Guatemala highlands, were important southern highland Maya centers. The latter site, Kaminaljuyú, is one of the longest occupied sites in Mesoamerica and was continuously inhabited from c. 800 BCE to around 1200 CE. Other important highland Maya groups include the K’iche’ of Utatlán, the Mam in Zaculeu, the Poqomam in Mixco Viejo, and the Kaqchikel at Iximche in the Guatemalan highlands. The Pipil resided in El Salvador, the Nicarao were in western Nicaragua and northwestern Costa Rica, and the Ch’orti’ were in eastern Guatemala and northwestern Honduras.” ref

“In central Mexico, the early portion of the Postclassic correlates with the rise of the Toltec and an empire based at their capital, Tula (also known as Tollan). Cholula, initially an important Early Classic center contemporaneous with Teotihuacan, maintained its political structure (it did not collapse) and continued to function as a regionally important center during the Postclassic. The latter portion of the Postclassic is generally associated with the rise of the Mexica and the Aztec Empire. One of the more commonly known cultural groups in Mesoamerica, the Aztec politically dominated nearly all of central Mexico, the Gulf Coast, Mexico’s southern Pacific Coast (Chiapas and into Guatemala), Oaxaca, and Guerrero.” ref

“The Tarascans (also known as the P’urhépecha) were located in Michoacán and Guerrero. With their capital at Tzintzuntzan, the Tarascan state was one of the few to actively and continuously resist Aztec domination during the Late Postclassic. Other important Postclassic cultures in Mesoamerica include the Totonac along the eastern coast (in the modern-day states of Veracruz, Puebla, and Hidalgo). The Huastec resided north of the Totonac, mainly in the modern-day states of Tamaulipas and northern Veracruz. The Mixtec and Zapotec cultures, centered at Mitla and Zaachila respectively, inhabited Oaxaca.” ref

“The Postclassic ends with the arrival of the Spanish and their subsequent conquest of the Aztecs between 1519 and 1521. Many other cultural groups did not acquiesce until later. For example, Maya groups in the Petén area, including the Itza at Tayasal and the Kowoj at Zacpeten, remained independent until 1697. Some Mesoamerican cultures never achieved dominant status or left impressive archaeological remains but are nevertheless noteworthy. These include the Otomi, Mixe–Zoque groups (which may or may not have been related to the Olmecs), the northern Uto-Aztecan groups, often referred to as the Chichimeca, that include the Cora and Huichol, the Chontales, the Huaves, and the Pipil, Xincan and Lencan peoples of Central America.” ref

Periods in North American Prehistory

Lithic stage: before 8500 BCE

Archaic period: 8000 BC– 1000 BCE

Formative stage: 1000 BCE– CE 500

Woodland period1000 BCE– CE 1000

Classic stage: CE 500–1200

Post-Classic stage: after CE 1200

Lithic stage: before 8500 BCE

“The Lithic stage was the earliest period of human occupation in the Americas, as post-glacial hunter-gatherers spread through the Americas. The stage derived its name from the first appearance of Lithic flaked stone tools. The term Paleo-Indian is an alternative, generally indicating much the same period. This stage was conceived as embracing two major categories of stone technology: (1) unspecialized and largely unformulated core and flake industries, with percussion the dominant and perhaps only technique employed, and (2) industries exhibiting more advanced “blade” techniques of stoneworking, with specialized fluted or unfluted lanceolate points the most characteristic artifact types. Throughout South America, there are stone tool traditions of the lithic stage, such as the “fluted fishtail”, that reflect localized adaptations to the diverse habitats of the continent. In North America, the time encompasses the Paleo-Indian period, which subsequently is divided into more specific time terms, such as Early Lithic stage or Early Paleo-Indians, and Middle Paleo-Indians or Middle Lithic stage. Examples include the Clovis culture and Folsom tradition groups.” ref

Archaic period: 8000 BC– 1000 BCE

“The Archaic stage is characterized by subsistence economies supported through the exploitation of nutsseeds, and shellfish. As its ending is defined by the adoption of sedentary farming, this date can vary significantly across the Americas. The use of textiles, fired pottery, and start of the gradual replacement of hunter gatherer lifestyles with agriculture and domesticated animals would all be factors. End dates vary, but are around 5,000 to 3,000 BCE in many areas. The Archaic stage is the most widely used term for the succeeding stage, but in the periodization of pre-Columbian Peru, the Cotton Pre-Ceramic may be used. As in the Norte Chico civilization, cultivated cotton seems to have been very important in economic and power relations, from around 3,200 BCE.” refref

Early Archaic

  • 8000 BCE: The last glacial period ends, causing sea levels to rise and flood the Beringia land bridge, closing the primary migration route from Siberia.
  • 8000 BCE: Sufficient rain falls on the American Southwest to support many large mammal species – mammoth, mastodon, and a bison species – that soon go extinct.
  • 8000 BCE: Hunters in the American Southwest use the atlatl.
  • 7500 BCE: Early basketry.
  • 7560—7370 BCE: Kennewick Man dies along the shore of the Columbia River in Washington State, leaving one of the most complete early Native American skeletons.
  • 7000 BCE: Northeastern peoples depend increasingly on deer, nuts, and wild grains as the climate warms.
  • 7000 BCE: Native Americans in Lahontan Basin, Nevada mummify their dead to give them honor and respect, evidencing deep concern about their treatment and condition. ref

Middle Archaic

Late Archaic

Haplogroup C-M217

“The haplogroup C-M217 is now found at high frequencies among Central Asian peoples, indigenous Siberians, and some Native peoples of North America. If the paternal lineage C2 (M217 “C-P39”) is correlated with Altaic linguistic affinity, as appears to be the case for Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic languages and common among males of the indigenous North American peoples whose languages belong to the Na-Dené phylum. And Na-Dené connects to the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia into a Dené–Yeniseian in which the Yeniseian languages are thought to have contributed many ubiquitous loanwords to Turkic and Mongolic vocabulary, such as Khan, Khagan, Tarqan, and the word for “god” and “sky”, Tengri. So, seeing similarities in Turkish and languages in the Americas seems reasoned.” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref


“The basal East Eurasians (bEE) are an ancient population that had no divergence among the ancestors of East Asians, Northeast Asians/East Siberian, and Native Americans. NA-ES-NA presents another ancient population that had no split between the ancestors of Northeast Asians/East Siberian and Native Americans.” ref

Schematic of peopling history in Southeast and East Asians, Northeast Asian/East Siberians and Native Americans.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

refref, ref

Ancient North Eurasian (ANE)

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American (AB/ANA)

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG)

Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG)

Western Steppe Herders (WSH) 

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG)

Early European Farmers (EEF)

Jōmon people (Ainu people OF Hokkaido Island) 

Neolithic Iranian farmers (Iran_N) (Iran Neolithic)

Amur Culture (Amur watershed)

Groups partially derived from the Ancient North Eurasians

Eastern Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) is a lineage derived predominantly (75%) from ANE. It is represented by two individuals from Karelia, one of Y-haplogroup R1a-M417, dated c. 8.4 kya, the other of Y-haplogroup J, dated c. 7.2 kya; and one individual from Samara, of Y-haplogroup R1b-P297, dated c. 7.6 kya. This lineage is closely related to the ANE sample from Afontova Gora, dated c. 18 kya. After the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, the Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) and EHG lineages merged in Eastern Europe, accounting for early presence of ANE-derived ancestry in Mesolithic Europe. Evidence suggests that as Ancient North Eurasians migrated West from Eastern Siberia, they absorbed Western Hunter-Gatherers and other West Eurasian populations as well.” ref

Caucasian Hunter-Gatherer (CHG) is represented by the Satsurblia individual dated ~13 kya (from the Satsurblia cave in Georgia), and carried 36% ANE-derived admixture. While the rest of their ancestry is derived from the Dzudzuana cave individual dated ~26 kya, which lacked ANE-admixture, Dzudzuana affinity in the Caucasus decreased with the arrival of ANE at ~13 kya Satsurblia.” ref

Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherer (SHG) is represented by several individuals buried at Motala, Sweden ca. 6000 BC. They were descended from Western Hunter-Gatherers who initially settled Scandinavia from the south, and later populations of EHG who entered Scandinavia from the north through the coast of Norway.” ref

“Iran Neolithic (Iran_N) individuals dated ~8.5 kya carried 50% ANE-derived admixture and 50% Dzudzuana-related admixture, marking them as different from other Near-Eastern and Anatolian Neolithics who didn’t have ANE admixture. Iran Neolithics were later replaced by Iran Chalcolithics, who were a mixture of Iran Neolithic and Near Eastern Levant Neolithic.” ref

Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American are specific archaeogenetic lineages, based on the genome of an infant found at the Upward Sun River site (dubbed USR1), dated to 11,500 years ago. The AB lineage diverged from the Ancestral Native American (ANA) lineage about 20,000 years ago.” ref

“West Siberian Hunter-Gatherer (WSHG) are a specific archaeogenetic lineage, first reported in a genetic study published in Science in September 2019. WSGs were found to be of about 30% EHG ancestry, 50% ANE ancestry, and 20% to 38% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Western Steppe Herders (WSH) is the name given to a distinct ancestral component that represents descent closely related to the Yamnaya culture of the Pontic–Caspian steppe. This ancestry is often referred to as Yamnaya ancestry or Steppe ancestry.” ref

“Late Upper Paeolithic Lake Baikal – Ust’Kyakhta-3 (UKY) 14,050-13,770 BP were mixture of 30% ANE ancestry and 70% East Asian ancestry.” ref

“Lake Baikal Holocene – Baikal Eneolithic (Baikal_EN) and Baikal Early Bronze Age (Baikal_EBA) derived 6.4% to 20.1% ancestry from ANE, while rest of their ancestry was derived from East Asians. Fofonovo_EN near by Lake Baikal were mixture of 12-17% ANE ancestry and 83-87% East Asian ancestry.” ref

Hokkaido Jōmon people specifically refers to the Jōmon period population of Hokkaido in northernmost Japan. Though the Jōmon people themselves descended mainly from East Asian lineages, one study found an affinity between Hokkaido Jōmon with the Northern Eurasian Yana sample (an ANE-related group, related to Mal’ta), and suggest as an explanation the possibility of minor Yana gene flow into the Hokkaido Jōmon population (as well as other possibilities). A more recent study by Cooke et al. 2021, confirmed ANE-related geneflow among the Jōmon people, partially ancestral to the Ainu people. ANE ancestry among Jōmon people is estimated at 21%, however, there is a North to South cline within the Japanese archipelago, with the highest amount of ANE ancestry in Hokkaido and Tohoku.” ref

“By c. 32kya, populations carrying Ancient North Eurasian (ANE)-related ancestry were probably widely distributed across northeast Eurasia. They may have expanded as far as Alaska and the Yukon, but were forced to abandon high latitude regions following the onset of harsher climatic conditions that came with the Last Glacial Maximum.” ref

“In archaeogenetics, the term Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) is the name given to an ancestral component that represents the lineage of the people of the Mal’ta–Buret’ culture (c. 24,000 BP) and populations closely related to them, such as the Upper Paleolithic individuals from Afontova Gora in Siberia. The ANE lineage is defined by association with the “Mal’ta boy” (MA-1), the remains of an individual who lived during the Last Glacial Maximum, 24,000 years ago in central Siberia, discovered in the 1920s. Together with the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site samples, and Afontova Gora individuals, they are collectively referred to as ‘Ancient North Siberians’. The Ancient North Eurasians represent a distinct cluster of genetic diversity within the larger Eurasian gene pool, forming an early Siberian variation of modern humans. It is suggested that the ANE ancestry found among modern human populations was largely contributed from a population linked to Afontova Gora (AG-3), rather than Malta (MA-1) or Yana.” ref

“Populations genetically similar to MA-1 and Afontova Gora were an important genetic contributor to Native Americans, Europeans, Ancient Central Asians, South Asians, and some East Asian groups, in order of significance. Lazaridis et al. (2016:10) note “a cline of ANE ancestry across the east-west extent of Eurasia”. A 2016 study found that the global maximum of ANE ancestry occurs in modern-day Kets, Mansi, Native Americans, and Selkups. Around 20,000 to 25,000 years ago, a branch of Ancient North Eurasian people mixed with Ancient East Asians, which led to the emergence of Ancestral Native American, Ancient Beringian, and Ancient Paleo-Siberian populations. It is unknown exactly where this population admixture took place, and two opposing theories have put forth different migratory scenarios that united the Ancient North Eurasians with ancient East Asian populations.” ref

“ANE ancestry has spread throughout Eurasia and the Americas in various migrations since the Upper Paleolithic, and more than half of the world’s population today derives between 5 and 42% of their genomes from the Ancient North Eurasians. Significant ANE ancestry can be found in Native Americans, as well as in regions of northern Europe, South Asia, Central Asia, and Siberia. It has been suggested that their mythology may have featured narratives shared by both Indo-European and some Native American cultures, such as the existence of a metaphysical world tree and a fable in which a dog guards the path to the afterlife.” ref

“According to Jennifer Raff, the Ancient North Eurasian population mixed with a daughter population of ancient East Asians, who they encountered around 25,000 years ago, which lead to the emergence of Native American ancestral populations. However, the exact location where the admixture took place is unknown, and the migratory movements that united the two populations are a matter of debate. One theory supposes that Ancient North Eurasians migrated south to East Asia, or Southern Siberia, where they would have encountered and mixed with ancient East Asians. Genetic evidence from Lake Baikal in Mongolia supports this area as the location where the admixture took place.” ref

“However, a third theory, the “Beringian standstill hypothesis”, suggests that East Asians instead migrated north to Northeastern Siberia, where they mixed with ANE, and later diverged in Beringia, where distinct Native American lineages formed. This theory is supported by maternal and nuclear DNA evidence. According to Grebenyuk, after 20,000 BP, a branch of Ancient East Asians migrated to Northeastern Siberia, and mixed with descendants of the ANE, leading to the emergence of Ancient Paleo-Siberian and Native American populations in Extreme Northeastern Asia. However, the Beringian standstill hypothesis is not supported by paternal DNA evidence, which may reflect different population histories for paternal and maternal lineages in Native Americans, which is not uncommon and has been observed in other populations.” ref

“The descendants of admixture between ANE and ancient East Asians include Ancient Beringian/Ancestral Native American, which are specific archaeogenetic lineages, based on the genome of an infant found at the Upward Sun River site (dubbed USR1), dated to 11,500 years ago. The AB and the Ancestral Native American (ANA) lineage formed about 25,000 years ago, and subsequently diverged from each other, with the AB staying in the Beringian region, while the Ancestral Native Americans populated the Americas. The ANE genetic contribution to late-Paeolithic Ancestral Native Americans (USR1 specimen, dated to 11,500 BP in Alaska, and Clovis specimen, dated to 12,600 BP in Montana) is estimated at around 36.8%. There are also the Ancient Paleo-Siberians, populations represented by the Late Upper Paeolithic Lake Baikal Ust’Kyakhta-3 (UKY) 14,050-13,770 BP. They carried 30% ANE ancestry and 70% East Asian ancestry.” ref

“The ancient Bronze-age-steppe Yamnaya and Afanasevo cultures were found to have a significant ANE component at c. 50%. According to Moreno-Mayar et al. 2018 between 14% and 38% of Native American ancestry may originate from gene flow from the Mal’ta–Buret’ (ANE) population. This difference is caused by the penetration of posterior “Neo-Siberian” migrations into the Americas, with the lowest percentages of ANE ancestry found in Inuit and Alaskan Natives, as these groups are the result of migrations into the Americas roughly 5,000 years ago. Estimates for ANE ancestry among first wave Native Americans show higher percentages, such as 42% for those belonging to the Andean region in South America. The other gene flow in Native Americans (the remainder of their ancestry) was of an East Asian-related origin, specifically diverged from other East Asians c. 30,000 years ago. Gene sequencing of another south-central Siberian people (Afontova Gora-2) dating to approximately 17,000 years ago, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures to that of Mal’ta boy-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum.” ref

“Genomic studies also indicate that the ANE component was brought to Western Europe by people related to the Yamnaya culture, long after the Paleolithic. It is reported in modern-day Europeans (10%–20%). Earlier ANE ancestry is found in European hunter-gatherer populations through Paleolithic interactions with Eastern European Hunter-Gatherers, which resulted in populations such as Scandinavian Hunter-Gatherers. Western Hunter-Gatherers of the Villabruna cluster also carried the Y-haplogroup R1b, derived from the Ancient North Eurasian haplogroup R*, indicating “an early link between Europe and the western edge of the Steppe Belt of Eurasia.” A deer tooth pendant impregnated with the genetic material of an ANE woman was found in the Denisova Cave, and dated to circa 24,700 years before present. She is closely related to Mal’ta and Afontova Gora specimens, found further east.” ref

“An early Neolithic Central Asian specimen (Tutkaul1) from Tajikistan was found to be primarily derived from Ancient North Eurasians with some additional Neolithic Iranian-related inputs. The sample is closely related to Afontova Gora 3 (AG3) and Mal’ta 1, as well as to the West Siberian hunter-gatherers (Tyumen and Sosnoviy). While the sample also displays affinity for Eastern hunter-gatherers (EHGs), AG3 was found to be closer to EHGs than Tutkaul1, who instead may be a good proxy for ANE-related ancestry among ancient populations from the Iran and the Turan region. The Ancient Tianyuan Man and modern East/Southeast Asian populations were found to lack Upper Paleolithic Western Eurasian or ANE-related admixture, suggesting “resistance of those groups to the incoming UP population movements”, or alternatively a subsequent reexpansion from a genetically East Asian-like population reservoir.” ref


Haplogroup migrations related to the Ancient North Eurasians: I added stuff to this map to help explain.


“Worldwide distribution of haplogroup Q-M242. The blue star is the original place of haplogroup Q-M242, around Central Asia and Siberia. The brown number one is Russian sample location in the Krasnoyarsk Region. The brown number two is Chinese sample location in Gansu province. The brown number three is Chinese sample location in Zhejiang province. The red arrows are the expansion routes of haplogroup Q-M242. The purple words show the locations of subclades of haplogroup Q used in this study.” ref

“Q-M242 is the predominant Y-DNA haplogroup among Native Americans and several peoples of Central Asia and Northern SiberiaHaplogroup Q-M242 is one of the two branches of P-P226 (M45), the other being R-M207. Q-M242 is believed to have arisen around the Altai Mountains area (or South Central Siberia), approximately 17,000 to 31,700 years ago.” ref

“Several branches of haplogroup Q-M242 have been predominant pre-Columbian male lineages in indigenous peoples of the Americas. Most of them are descendants of the major founding groups who migrated from Asia into the Americas by crossing the Bering Strait. These small groups of founders must have included men from the Q-M346, Q-L54, Q-Z780, and Q-M3 lineages. In North America, two other Q-lineages also have been found. These are Q-P89.1 (under Q-MEH2) and Q-NWT01. They may have not been from the Beringia Crossings but instead come from later immigrants who traveled along the shoreline of Far East Asia and then the Americas using boats.” ref

“It is unclear whether the current frequency of Q-M242 lineages represents their frequency at the time of immigration or is the result of the shifts in a small founder population over time. Regardless, Q-M242 came to dominate the paternal lineages in the Americas. In the indigenous people of North America, Q-M242 is found in Na-Dené speakers at an average rate of 68%. The highest frequency is 92.3% in Navajo, followed by 78.1% in Apache, 87% in SC Apache, and about 80% in North American Eskimo (Inuit, Yupik)–Aleut populations. (Q-M3 occupies 46% among Q in North America).” ref

“On the other hand, a 4000-year-old Saqqaq individual belonging to Q1a-MEH2* has been found in Greenland. Surprisingly, he turned out to be genetically more closely related to Far East Siberians such as Koryaks and Chukchi people rather than Native Americans.  Today, the frequency of Q runs at 53.7% (122/227: 70 Q-NWT01, 52 Q-M3) in Greenland, showing the highest in east Sermersooq at 82% and the lowest in Qeqqata at 30%. Haplogroup Q-M242 has been found in approximately 94% of Indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica and South America.” ref

“The frequencies of Q among the whole male population of each country reach as follows:

  • 61% in Bolivia.
  • 51% in Guatemala,
  • 40.1% (159/397) to 50% in Peru
  • 37.6% in Ecuador,
  • 37.3% (181/485) in Mexico (30.8% (203/659) among the specifically Mestizo segment)
  • 31.2% (50/160) in El Salvador,
  • 15.3% (37/242) to 21.8% (89/408) in Panama,
  • 16.1% in Colombia,
  • 15.2% (25/165) in Nicaragua,
  • 9.7% (20/206) in Chile,
  • 5.3% (13/246 in 8 provinces in northeastern, central, southern regions) to 23.4% (181/775 in 8 provinces in central-west, central, northwest regions) in Argentina,
  • 5% in Costa Rica,
  • 3.95% in Brazil, and so on.” ref

My speculations of shamanism are its dispersals, after 24,000 to 4,000 years ago, seem to center on Lake Baikal and related areas. To me, the hotspot of Shamanism goes from west of Lake Baikal in the “Altai Mountains” also encompassing “Lake Baikal” and includes the “Amur Region/Watershed” east of Lake Baikal as the main location Shamanism seems to have radiated out from. 

Shamanism Among the Peoples of the North: Uralic, Transeurasian, Dené–Yeniseian, Chukotko-Kamchatkan, and Eskaleut languages

I think shaman beliefs came into the Americas from North Asia from 24,000 to 1,000 years ago. I think these peoples brought into the Americas a kind/several kinds of Shamanism-totemism with heavy animism.

Timing of the arrival of indigenous haplogroups in Mesoamerica

“Coalescent times (time to more recent common ancestor [in years] [TMRCAs]) were estimated for haplogroups Q-MEH2, Q-M3, and Q-L54 using ρ-statistics and Bayesian analysis. The results presented in Table 3 correspond to the average of three generation times (18, 20, and 25 years). In general, the TMRCA estimates for Q-M3 and Q-L54 suggested their simultaneous arrival in Mesoamerica, consistent with previous coalescent estimates for these lineages (). Nonetheless, subtle differences in the TMRCAs were found among the populations. Using Bayesian methods, the TMRCA for Q-M3 ranged between 17,823 years ago (Nahuas) and more than 24,000 years ago (Éza’r and Tepehuas), whereas the TMRCA for Q-L54 ranged from 17,505 years ago (Totonacas) to 23,788 years ago (Nahuas). These data support the diversification of these lineages soon after their arrival in Mexico and Mesoamerica. The TMRCA for Q-MEH2 was 9,699 years ago, suggesting a more recent arrival in a separate migration, although the sample size for this lineage was quite small.” ref

“Paleo-Natives reached the region known today as Mesoamerica around 10,000–16,000 years ago. These original settlers were hunter-gatherers surviving on wild animals, collecting wild plants, shellfish, and possibly fishing. Within the traditional Mayan region, a number of settlements have been found at Los Tapiales in the Quiche Basin in the highlands of Guatemala dating to 10,000–11,000 years ago. About 8000 years ago, it is thought that these people started selecting plants that provided for subsistence. It is thought that these efforts eventually led to the in situ development of agriculture and the domestication of animals. An agrarian mode of existence combined with the domestication of animals provided surplus food for communal consumption during lean times and ushered a new era of centralized governance, population growth, and creativity. Proto or Archaic Mayans were first detected in what we know today as Petén, Central Guatemala about 4000 years ago. The region of Petén is considered the birthplace of Mayan civilization. The Ceibal, in the Pasión region of Petén, represents the earliest known Mayan sedentary community discovered thus far, dating back to about 3000 years ago.” ref

Of the indigenous haplogroups seen in Native Mexicans, Q-M3 was the most prominent (79.4%), followed by Q-L54 (18.3%) and then Q-MEH2 (2.3%) (Figure 1). The Ceibal location corresponds roughly to the collection area of our Q’eqchi population. Increasingly complex City–States such as Nakbe appeared during the subsequent Pre-Classic Period, also in the region of Petén. The City–State system incited rivalries and warfare in the quest for control over trade routes between the lowlands and the highlands. At the start of the Classic period (around 1800 years ago), the Mayan empire had become a complex and dynamic entity, undergoing a series of population expansions and contractions. The Classic Period also experienced an intensification of trade and commerce among Mayan City–States and other civilizations including the Aztecs. Undoubtedly, these cultural and demographic events impacted the genetic makeup of Mayans throughout their empire.” ref

“Throughout their suzerainty, individual City–States emerged and flourished just to be dramatically abandoned centuries later while others were established de novo nearby. Regional soil exhaustion, ecological collapse, drought, overpopulation, and/or epidemics are frequently cited as reasons for the downfall of specific settlements and eventually the entire Empire. The contemporary Mayans share several cultural traits including mythology, science, art, architecture, and language, oral as well as written. This cultural homogeneity among Mayan groups is likely the result of the extensive trade and communication routes that permeated the Mayan territory from its beginning. The current classification employed to discriminate among Mayan groups is primarily based on degrees of linguistic similarities.” ref

“Despite the many cultural communalities among Mayan groups, little is known about the genetic diversity of distinct Mayan populations. Specifically, minimal information exists on the genetic constitution of Mayan populations and their relationships to non-Mayan Mesoamerican groups. What little is known suffers from limited scope and population coverage within the Mayan territory as well as fragmentary data encompassing few and different marker systems making direct comparisons difficult. In the present study, we comprehensibly assess, for the first time, the paternal genetic profiles of a number of key populations representing the main geographical regions of the traditional Mayan domain.” ref 

“Q-M3 haplotypes in Native Mexicans using 14 Y-STRs showed connections with those of different indigenous North American groups (Figure S4; Table S9). These included the Inuvialuit (Hñähñús, Nahuas-SLP, and Totonacas), Tlingit (Hñähñús, Nahuas-HGO, Nahuas-SLP, and Totonacas), and Gwich’in (Hñähñús, Nahuas-SLP, and Popolocas). A number of these North American haplotypes appeared on a single branch extending from the left side of the network. On the other side, a separate cluster (shown in inset) included Tlicho, Tlingit, Gwich’in, and one Hñähñús haplotype and branch extending from it included Gwich’in, Tlingit, Totonaca, and Nahua haplotypes.” ref

“Alaska’s indigenous Tlingit people are descendants of the first humans to settle in northwest America more than 10,000 years ago, DNA study reveals. The researchers looked at genetic data from Shuká Káa (Tlingit for ‘Man Before Us’), an ancient individual whose remains – found in a cave in southeastern Alaska – date to about 10,300 years ago. They also analyzed the genomes of three more people from the nearby British Columbia coast in Canada, whose remains date back between 6,075 and 1,750 years ago. ‘Interestingly, the mitochondrial type that Shuká Káa belonged to was also observed from another ancient skeleton dated to about 6,000 years ago but seems to have disappeared after that.” ref

“Researchers also compared Native Mexican haplotypes with those from the Greenland Inuits () and Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories (, ) using 17 Y-STR haplotypes. Most Inuit and Inuvialuit haplotypes clustered together with a single Nahua haplotype (Figure S5; Table S9). One other Inuit Q-M3 haplotype appeared on a branch with Native Mexican haplotypes. The position of the Inuit haplotypes suggested a possible ancestor-descendant relationship with those of Native Mexicans, although the former may possess SNPs not present in the latter.” ref

“Researchers further analyzed the genetic relationships between Native Mexican populations and indigenous groups from Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama) using RST values from 14 Y-STR haplotypes belonging to Q-M3. Through this analysis, we observed some similarities among these populations (Figure S6; Table S10). Populations in regions close to Mexico (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua) were more genetically similar, whereas those from Panama differed from nearly all Native Mexican groups. This finding contrasts with previous studies, where certain Chibchan-Panamanian haplotypes were similar to ones appearing in the Nahuas and Hñähñús, suggesting possible Uto-Aztecan and Oto-Manguean gene flow to the Panama region ().” ref

“Researchers also evaluated the genetic relationships between indigenous South American and Native Mexican populations using 14 Y-STRs from Q-M3 (Figure S7; Table S11). In the resulting MDS plot, the South American populations were generally similar to Native Mexicans, although appearing around the periphery of the main cluster of Mexican populations. When mapping known SNPs in South American Q-M3 haplotypes onto these populations, we observed that the Q-SA04, Q-SA05, and Q-Z5915 sublineages were confined to South American populations, as previously seen (). The Q-SA04 sublineage seems to have a recent origin, whereas the Z5915 SNP along with other markers may help to differentiate Y-chromosomes in South American populations ().” ref

“The apparent connection between Bolivian and Peruvian populations may be due to a shared apomorphy, which has diverged recently in indigenous South Americans. However, Bolivians with Q-CTS11357 haplotypes clustered among Native Mexicans. This was not wholly surprising, as Q-CTS11357 haplotypes have recently been documented in Mexican populations (). Thus, it is likely that some Native Mexican men having Q-M3 Y chromosomes belong to this sublineage.” ref

“Unlike that for Q-M3, the Q-L54 network exhibited a slightly simpler topology, with a number of long branches (Figure 6). Hñähñú and Nahua haplotypes were scattered across the network reflecting their great diversity, an assessment also supported by the highest Vp and the mean pairwise differences values in these groups (Table 1). A similar distribution was previously noted in Mexican and some Central American populations () (Figure S8; Table S9). Totonacan haplotypes grouped into a single subbranch and also showed the lowest Vp values (Table 1). Again, remarkably, almost none of these Y-STR haplotypes were shared between the study and comparative populations. Furthermore, the Q-PV3 sublineage within Q-L54 was quite divergent from the other haplotypes in the network, suggesting it might represent another founding lineage in the Americas (Figure 6).” ref

“Researchers evaluated the genetic relationship of Q-L54 haplotypes present in Native Mexican and other comparative populations using 14 Y-STR haplotypes. We noted that Native Mexicans showed considerable similarity to other Mesoamerican and South American populations () (Figure S9; Tables S9 and S12). By contrast, the Gwich’in, Altai-kizhi, and Tuvans were distinct from all New World populations. A network analysis of Q-L54 haplotypes defined by 15 Y-STRs in Native Mexican and comparative populations revealed substructure within this haplogroup (Figure S10A; Table S9). Altai-kizhi and Tuvan haplotypes formed a central cluster in the network that contained one Tepehua sample, whereas all indigenous Canadian haplotypes appeared in a separate branch containing one Nahua haplotype. The remaining Native Mexican haplotypes were widely dispersed along other branches.” ref

“Researchers further explored the relationship between Native Mexicans and South American populations using 15 Y-STR haplotype data from Q-L54. The resulting MDS plot showed genetic affinities between these populations through the Q-CTS1780 sublineage (Figure S10B; Tables S9 and S13), which is closely related to the Q-Z780 sublineage. Both Q-CTS1780 and Q-Z780 define the sub-haplogroup Q1b1a2 (). Their dissimilarity with Colombian populations was possibly related to the ancient differentiation of Q-L54 haplotypes in the Isthmo-Colombian region, as reported previously () and evident by the presence of the Q-SA02 and Q-SA03 sublineages (). In both the Q-M3 and in Q-L54 networks, the comparative populations shared few haplotypes, a finding mirroring the great Y chromosome diversity of the Native Mexican populations.” ref

Postglacial genomes from foragers across Northern Eurasia reveal prehistoric

mobility associated with the spread of the Uralic and Yeniseian languages


“The North Eurasian forest and forest-steppe zones have sustained millennia of sociocultural connections among northern peoples. We present genome-wide ancient DNA data for 181 individuals from this region spanning the Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age. We find that Early to Mid-Holocene hunter-gatherer populations from across the southern forest and forest-steppes of Northern Eurasia can be characterized by a continuous gradient of ancestry that remained stable for millennia, ranging from fully West Eurasian in the Baltic region to fully East Asian in the Transbaikal region. In contrast, cotemporaneous groups in far Northeast Siberia were genetically distinct, retaining high levels of continuity from a population that was the primary source of ancestry for Native Americans. By the mid-Holocene, admixture between this early Northeastern Siberian population and groups from Inland East Asia and the Amur River Basin produced two distinctive populations in eastern Siberia that played an important role in the genetic formation of later people. Ancestry from the first population, Cis-Baikal Late Neolithic-Bronze Age (Cisbaikal_LNBA), is found substantially only among Yeniseian-speaking groups and those known to have admixed with them. Ancestry from the second, Yakutian Late Neolithic-Bronze Age (Yakutia_LNBA), is strongly associated with present-day Uralic speakers. We show how Yakutia_LNBA ancestry spread from an east Siberian origin ~4.5kya, along with subclades of Y-chromosome haplogroup N occurring at high frequencies among present-day Uralic speakers, into Western and Central Siberia in communities associated with Seima-Turbino metallurgy: a suite of advanced bronze casting techniques that spread explosively across an enormous region of Northern Eurasia ~4.0kya. However, the ancestry of the 16 Seima-Turbino-period individuals–the first reported from sites with this metallurgy–was otherwise extraordinarily diverse, with partial descent from Indo-Iranian-speaking pastoralists and multiple hunter-gatherer populations from widely separated regions of Eurasia. Our results provide support for theories suggesting that early Uralic speakers at the beginning of their westward dispersal where involved in the expansion of Seima-Turbino metallurgical traditions, and suggests that both cultural transmission and migration were important in the spread of Seima-Turbino material culture.” ref


“Males carrying C-M130 are believed to have migrated to the Americas some 6,000-8,000 years ago, and was carried by Na-Dené-speaking peoples into the northwest Pacific coast of North America.” ref 

Dené–Yeniseian languages? (I think similar to the Sami or Ainu peoples, Dené–Yeniseian peoples who migrated related to beliefs that were likely “paganistic” Shamanism, with heavy totemism themes)

“Dené–Yeniseian is a proposed language family consisting of the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia and the Na-Dené languages of northwestern North America. Reception among experts has been somewhat favorable; thus, Dené–Yeniseian has been called “the first demonstration of a genealogical link between Old World and New World language families that meets the standards of traditional comparativehistorical linguistics,” besides the Eskimo–Aleut languages spoken in far eastern Siberia and North America.” ref

“Na-Dene (/ˌnɑːdɪˈneɪ/; also Nadene, Na-Dené, Athabaskan–Eyak–Tlingit, Tlina–Dene) is a family of Native American languages that includes at least the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit languages. Haida was formerly included, but is now considered doubtful. By far the most widely spoken Na-Dene language today is Navajo. In February 2008, a proposal connecting Na-Dene (excluding Haida) to the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia into a Dené–Yeniseian family was published and well-received by a number of linguists. It was proposed in a 2014 paper that the Na-Dene languages of North America and the Yeniseian languages of Siberia had a common origin in a language spoken in Beringia, between the two continents.” ref

“Proto-Algic is the proto-language from which the Algic languages (Wiyot language *of Humboldt BayCalifornia*Yurok language *of Del Norte County and Humboldt County on the far north coast of California*, and Proto-Algonquian) *estimated to have been spoken around 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, usually divided into three subgroups: Eastern Algonquian *of the Atlantic coast of North America from Canada to North Carolina*, which is a genetic subgroup, and Central Algonquian *Eastern Great Lakes*, and Plains Algonquian are descended. Proto-Algic is estimated to have been spoken about 7,000 years ago somewhere in the American Northwest, possibly around the Columbia Plateau of WashingtonOregon, and IdahoSergei Nikolaev has argued in two papers for a systematic relationship between the Nivkh language of Sakhalin *the largest island of Russia north of the Japanese archipelago*, and the Amur river basin *of the Russian Far East and Northeastern China*, and the Algic languages, and a secondary relationship between these two together and the Wakashan languages.*of British Columbia around and on Vancouver Island, and in the northwestern corner of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state*.” refrefref

Genetics Reveal Movements of Ancient Siberians

“DNA reveals the previously unknown degree of mixture between Japan, North America, and the Eurasian mainland. Ancient DNA preserved in the icy climate of Siberia has revealed new insights about how ancient humans migrated five to seven thousand years ago.” ref

“In a study published recently in Current Biology, the researchers examined the DNA from 10 different ancient humans, which is quite a lot considering most of them date from 5,500 to 7,500 years old. These remains came from three locations in Siberia — the Altai Mountains, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Russian Far East.” ref

Altai Mountains meetings and Shamanism?

“Researchers were surprised to discover a previously unknown population with mixed genetics in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia. At some point during the last Ice Age, a group of ancient north Eurasians mixed with a population from northeastern Siberia. The corresponding mixture is one that researchers haven’t seen before, the head researcher explained. It’s also not clear where these two groups first met and intermingled since the people were mostly nomadic at the time. It’s possible they met in the region where the remains are found, though, which may have provided a good passage between mountains to the north and the desert to the south. “It’s a perfect meeting point for groups, geographically speaking,” the head researcher explained.” ref

“Five of the Altai Mountains remains — all males — had very similar DNA, despite dating from different times between 7,500 and 5,500 years ago. But the sixth male, which dates to about 6,500 years ago, comes from farther east. The DNA shows this, but so does the archaeological context. The individual was buried with rich burial goods and a costume that the head researcher explained could indicate some sort of shamanism. Moreover, the head researcher explained it’s unclear whether this man is representative of a larger migration between the Altai Mountains and people farther east. But it shows that a degree of movement was occurring between different people at the time.” ref

Japanese Connection?

“Nest, one of the analyzed individuals was found in the Russian Far East. This male isn’t that remarkable at first glance, for the DNA resembles that of other similarly aged people that have been previously analyzed. Or at least three-quarters of the DNA is similar. The other quarter of this man’s genome appears to be Japanese. This discovery is surprising. This man dates back to about 7,000 years ago, but Japan was settled much earlier — possibly 30,000 years ago. This means that people from Japan were traveling back to the mainland and mixing with other humans there. “These hunter-gatherers were also able to cross bodies of water and interact among each other,” the head researcher explained. Overall, these results show how fluid ancient people were in Eurasia and even North America. “These foraging communities were in close contact with each other, they were highly mobile with each other and were admixing,” the head researcher also explained. “We are really talking about large-distance mobility.” ref

Crossing the water to and from the Americas?

“Two males and one female from Kamchatka lived relatively recently — only 500 years ago. The reason it’s interesting is that researchers haven’t previously published any ancient genome information from this region. All three of the remains the head researcher and his colleagues analyzed contained small portions of ancestry from Indigenous Americans. The presence of these markers suggests that Indigenous Americans were also crossing back to Russia prior to the period these individuals were alive. “This probably happened over a long period of time,” the head researcher explained. While researchers had previously known there was gene flow back and forth across the Bering Sea — perhaps for 5,000 years — this finding stretches that area of gene flow further south into the Kamchatka Peninsula.” ref

Here are other supporting articles:

Pic ref

Ancient Women Found in a Russian Cave Turn Out to Be Closely Related to The Modern Population https://www.sciencealert.com/ancient-women-found-in-a-russian-cave-turn-out-to-be-closely-related-to-the-modern-population


“Ancient genomes have revolutionized our understanding of Holocene prehistory and, particularly, the Neolithic transition in western Eurasia. In contrast, East Asia has so far received little attention, despite representing a core region at which the Neolithic transition took place independently ~3 millennia after its onset in the Near East. We report genome-wide data from two hunter-gatherers from Devil’s Gate, an early Neolithic cave site (dated to ~7.7 thousand years ago) located in East Asia, on the border between Russia and Korea. Both of these individuals are genetically most similar to geographically close modern populations from the Amur Basin, all speaking Tungusic languages, and, in particular, to the Ulchi. The similarity to nearby modern populations and the low levels of additional genetic material in the Ulchi imply a high level of genetic continuity in this region during the Holocene, a pattern that markedly contrasts with that reported for Europe.” ref

“Six of seven individuals whose remains have been recovered from the cave have been DNA tested. Originally, three of the specimens were thought to be adult males, two were thought to be adult females, one was thought to be a sub-adult of about 12-13 years of age, and one was thought to be a juvenile of about 6-7 years of age based on the skeletal morphology of the remains. Results of genetic analysis of the sub-adult individual have not yet been published. However, two specimens, NEO236 (Skull B, DevilsGate2) and NEO235 (Skull G), who had been presumed to be adult males according to a forensic morphological assessment of their remains, were discovered through genetic analysis to actually be females. The juvenile specimen also has been determined to be female through genetic analysis. Three of the specimens (including the only adult male plus NEO235/Skull G and another adult female, labeled as Skull Е, DevilsGate1, or NEO240, who has been genetically determined to be a first-degree relative of NEO235/Skull G) have been assigned to mtDNA haplogroup D4m; a previous genetic analysis of one of these adult female specimens determined her mtDNA haplogroup to be D4. Another three specimens (including the juvenile female, the DevilsGate2 specimen, and another adult female; both the juvenile female and the DevilsGate2 specimen have been determined to be first-degree relatives of the other adult female, and the juvenile female and the DevilsGate2 specimen also have been determined to be second-degree relatives of each other) have been assigned to haplogroup D4; a previous genetic analysis of the DevilsGate2 specimen determined her mtDNA haplogroup to be MThe only specimen from the cave who has been confirmed to be male through genetic analysis has been assigned to Y-DNAhaplogroup C2b-F6273/Y6704/Y6708, equivalent to C2b-L1373, the northern (Central Asian, Siberian, and indigenous American) branch of haplogroup C2-M217. ref

“The haplogroup C-M217 is now found at high frequencies among Central Asian peoples, indigenous Siberians, and some Native peoples of North America. Haplogroup C-M217 is the modal haplogroup among Mongolians and most indigenous populations of the Russian Far East, such as the Buryats, Northern Tungusic peoplesNivkhsKoryaks, and Itelmens. The subclade C-P39 is common among males of the indigenous North American peoples whose languages belong to the Na-Dené phylum. C2b1a1a P39 Canada,USA(Found in several indigenous peoples of North America, including some Na-Dené-,Algonquian-, orSiouan-speaking populations).” ref

“Males carrying C-M130 are believed to have migrated to the Americas some 6,000-8,000 years ago, and was carried by Na-Dené-speaking peoples into the northwest Pacific coast of North America. The distribution of Haplogroup C-M130 is generally limited to populations of Siberia, parts of East Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Haplogroup C2 (M217) – the most numerous and widely dispersed C lineage – was once believed to have originated in Central Asia, spread from there into Northern Asia and the Americas while other theory it originated from East Asia. C-M217 stretches longitudinally from Central Europe and Turkey, to the Wayuu people of Colombia and Venezuela, and latitudinally from the Athabaskan peoples of Alaska to Vietnam to the Malay Archipelago. The highest frequencies of Haplogroup C-M217 are found among the populations of Mongolia and Far East Russia, where it is the modal haplogroup. Haplogroup C-M217 is the only variety of Haplogroup C-M130 to be found among Native Americans, among whom it reaches its highest frequency in Na-Dené populations.” ref


“High-Resolution SNPs and Microsatellite Haplotypes Point to a Single, Recent Entry of Native American Y Chromosomes into the Americas” https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/21/1/164/1114763

“Phylogenetic analyses of STR variation within haplogroups C and Q traced both lineages to a probable ancestral homeland in the vicinity of the Altai Mountains in Southwest Siberia. Divergence dates between the Altai plus North Asians versus the Native American population system ranged from 10,100 to 17,200 years for all lineages, precluding a very early entry into the Americas. The geographic source of Native American Y chromosomes, shown as a circle that included the following territory: Lake Baikal (eastward to the Trans-Baikal and southward into northern Mongolia), the Lena River headwaters, the Angara and Yenisey river basins, the Altai Mountain foothills, and the region south of the Sayan Mountains (including Tuva and western Mongolia). The Native American sample, included 588 individuals from 18 populations allocated three major Native American language families as follows: 342 Amerind speakers, 186 Na-Dene speakers, and 60 Aleut-Eskimo speakers. Native American linguistic affiliations, C lineage network for Asia and the Americas, noting the position of the C-P39 ancestral node leading to C-P39 has haplotype (15–13–13–29–24–9–11–13–11–11) and was present in 2 Altai. This ancestral node is also connected to a one-step neighbor (DYS19 = 16) below it in the network that was found in 11 Altai. The first node after the C-P39 mutation differs from the ancestral node only at DYS390 (23 versus 24 repeats) and was found in a single Cheyenne individual. The one-step neighbor (DYS393 = 12) to the left of this node leads to a mixed Amerind and Na-Dene lineage, whereas the two-step neighbor (DYS389II = 28; DYS391 = 10) below it leads to an exclusively southwestern Na-Dene branch present in 14 Apache and 1 Navajo. The haplotype for the 2 Wayu (15–13–13–30–25–10–11–13–11–11) exhibited 6 mutational step differences from the C-P39 modal haplotype (15–13–13–28–23–9–11–12–11–11), reflecting its marked divergence from the predominant Native American C-haplogroup. Haplogroup C has a much more patchy distribution, with most of the C-P39 chromosomes in our sample concentrated in the three Na-Dene populations. Both Native American founder haplogroups are present at moderately high frequencies in our sample of 98 southern Altai (Q = 17%; C = 22%); however, it is the STR data that proved to be of critical import for narrowing down the presumptive Asian source region. The ancestral nodes leading to both Q-M3 and C-P39, the two Native American–specific haplogroups, were present in the southern Altai individuals. Although the Kets and Sekups currently inhabit the eastern part of Western Siberia and the Yenisey River Valley, according to Russian ethnographers, their ancient homelands are thought to lie farther south, on the slopes of the Sayan and Altai mountains. Thus, our present data support the hypothesis that the Altai Mountain region is the principal candidate for the geographic source of the founding Native American Y chromosomes. As far as we are aware, only the Altai region possesses all of the major Native American Y chromosome and mtDNA founding haplogroups, thereby making it the best available candidate for the ancestral source region for the Native American population system.” https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/21/1/164/1114763 

“It is believed that the Maya language developed from Proto-Mayan dating from minimum 2,000 BC. It then diffused into several branches known as Yucatecan, Huastecan, Cholan, Qhanjobalan, Mamean and Quechuan. All these Mayan dialects are agglutinative languages and can be shown to pertain to the Asiatic, Altaic language group. Here are some Maya words which are very similar to Turkish. The Maya word is given in bold and the corresponding Turkish word is in red within brackets.” ref 

“Leader:  Ahau (Agha)Ax: Baat (Balta)Servant, Low: Ashac (Uşak, Aşağı)A lot, Strong: Tchac (Çok)Pine tree: Tcha (Çam)Difficult: Tchetun (Çetin)Augment, Climb: Tchich (Çık)Left handed: Tchol (Çolak, Solak)Boulder: Kaa (Kaya), Bird: Kutz (Kuş)Inside: İçil (İçinde)Female: İş (Dişi)Belt: Kaşnak (Kasnak)Day: Kin (Gün)Sun: Kiniş (Güneş)Person: Kişe (Kişi)Old man: Koça (Koca)Slave: Kul (Kul)Mother: Naa (Ana)Be: Ol (Ol)Stay clean: Tamazkal (Temiz-kal)Inundation: Tosh (Taşkın)Hill: Tepek (Tepe)Stone: Tetl (Taş)Gather: Top (Topla)Dust: Toz (Toz)Full: Tul (Tolu, Dolu)Filled: Tulan (Dolgun)Deep: Tup (Dip)Pebble: Tzekel (Çakıl)Scabies: Ueez (Uyuz)Urinate: Uiş (İşe)Reach: Ul (Ulaş)Bore: Uy (Oy)Humid: Yash (Yaş)Green: Yashil (Yeşil)Summer: Yashkin (Yaz-günü).” ref 

These 37 words form a small sample indicating the relationship of the main Maya Yucatec language with Turkish. Since there have been no physical interaction in the last two millennia between Asiatic Turks and Central American Maya, these words cannot be loanwords. They have to stem from a common root language, which I have labeled as the Proto-language.” ref 



Mayans: a Y chromosome perspective


“American Indians had their origins in Asia, and are basically Mongoloid in physical type. The earlier incomers to the new world possessed a series of traits that were relatively ancient and were shared with most cultural groups in the old world. These included the use of fire and the fire drill; the domesticated dog; stone implements of many kinds; the spear thrower, harpoon and simple bow; cardage, netting and basketry; crisis rites and shamanistic beliefs and practices. Important traits lacking in the new world but known in the old world included all the significant domesticated animals, plants and artifacts of the latter, cattle, sheep, the goat, pig, horse, camel and reindeer; wheat, barley and rice; the wheel and the plow; iron; and stringed instruments.” The Native Peoples of Americas migrated from Asia first into North America through the Bering Sea and Alaska. And some of the languages of Native Peoples of Americas corresponding to words “father” and “mother” in Turkish. The ancestors of Turks also lived in Asia all throughout the history. Since, the Proto-Indians and the Proto-Turks lived in the same area in the distant past, they could have been the same people or closely related people and speaking the same language or closely related language. While one group stayed in their motherland, other group left As~ a and went to North America in waves of migrations. Ali languages are dynamic and subject to change in time. Similarly, both the Proto-Turkic and Proto-Indian languages are expected to change throughout ~~ o 000 or more years of separation from each other even if the were the same or similar structured languages at the beginning. In their present form, it would be difficult to find the same language being spoken by both peoples in two widely find the same language being spoken by both peoples in two widely separated continents. However, if the Proto-Indians and the Proto-Turks were the same or closely related people and speaking the same or similar languages, there must stili exist in both groups of languages some living words which also have the same meaning.” https://belleten.gov.tr/tam-metin-pdf/1920/eng

“Andean civilization centering in Peru preceded the Incas by thousands of years and the Inca civilization was built upon and enriched by several pre-existing cultures. The religions of pre-Inca peoples were polytheistic, i.e., believing in many gods, and involved the practice of ancestor worship and included various aspects of magic such as amulets, fertility figurins and apacheta or piles of stones”. It should be noted that there is a definite parallel between this culture associated with pre-Inca civilization in South America and similar culture practiced by ancient Turkish people of Central Asia. The ancient Turks are also known to worship their ancestors and “piles of stones”. In Turkish spoken in Central Asia, there is the word “oba” or “obo” which has several meanings one of which is “piles of stones at a site designated as sacred”. Turkish people have considered such “piles of stones” sacred long before they adapted other modern religions and they have carried out rituals around such “mounds of stones” at certain times of the year. This culture is still being practiced by some Turkish people in various regions of Asia [ 9]. It seems that the practice of worship to “piles of stones” by pre-Inca peoples of Andean civilization is very much the same culture as the Turkish “obo” culture. In addition to the Turkish “obo” culture, we should also note that in Altaic mythology, there is the reference to a culture in which a particular stone was considered as sacred and was worshiped by ancient Turkish people. This magical stone, which was called “Yada Tashi”, was possessed by the Turkish people. They believed that it was due to the magic of this stone that they were always successful in their wars with their neighbors. Whenever they did not posses this magical stone, they would loose their strugles with their neighbors and environment. Misfortunes would befall on them. Here, again we have an ancient Turkish culture which bears resemblance to the worshiping of Inca ancestors to piles of stones.” https://belleten.gov.tr/tam-metin-pdf/1920/eng


“Y DNA projects for C-M217 here, C-P39 here, and the main C project here.  Please note that on the latest version of the ISOGG tree, M217, P44, and Z1453 are now listed as C2, not C3.  In the Messavilla study (1962), fourteen individuals from the Kichwa and Waorani populations of South America were discovered to carry haplogroup C3* (M217).  Most of the individuals within these populations carry variants of expected haplogroup Q, with the balance of 26% of the Kichwa samples and 7.5% of the Waorani samples carrying C3* (M217).  MRCA estimates between the groups are estimated to be between 5.0-6.2 years ago, or years before the present.” ref

In the paper, the authors state that:

“We set out to test whether or not the haplogroup C3* (M217) Y chromosomes found at a mean frequency of 17% in two Ecuadorian populations could have been introduced by migration from East Asia, where this haplogroup is common. We considered recent admixture in the last few generations and, based on an archaeological link between the middle Jōmon culture in Japan and the Valdivia culture in Ecuador, a specific example of ancient admixture between Japan and Ecuador 6 Kya. In a paper, written by Estrada et all, titled “Possible Transpacific Contact on the Cost of Ecuador”, Estrada states that the earliest pottery-producing culture on the coast of Ecuador, the Valdivia culture, shows many striking similarities in decoration and vessel shape to the pottery of eastern Asia. In Japan, resemblances are closest to the Middle Jomon period. Both early Valdivia and Middle Jomon are dated between 2000 and 3000 BCE. A transpacific contact from Asia to Ecuador during this time is postulated.” ref

The conclusions from the 1962 paper states that:

Three different hypotheses to explain the presence of C3* Y chromosomes in Ecuador but not elsewhere in the Americas were tested: recent admixture, ancient admixture ∼6 Kya, or entry as a founder haplogroup 15–20 Kya with subsequent loss by drift elsewhere. We can convincingly exclude the recent admixture model, and find no support for the ancient admixture scenario, although cannot completely exclude it. Overall, our analyses support the hypothesis that C3* (M217) Y chromosomes were present in the “First American” ancestral population, and have been lost by drift from most modern populations except the Ecuadorians.

At the time not having the understanding of C-M217 (C3*) as we have now, the 1962 paper stated that:

“Other than one C3* individual in Alaska, C3* is unknown in the rest of the Native world including all of North American and the balance of Central and South America, but is common and widespread in East Asia.” ref

Some not all Mayan DNA shows C haplogroup. Genetic Overview of the Maya Populations: Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups ref

Native American founding lineages of Y chromosomes, called C-M217 (C3*), within a restricted area of Ecuador in North-Western South America. ref
“Mound Builder people of the Hopewell culture were the descendants of people of the Adena culture (circa 800 BC to AD 1) who were, in turn, descended from the local Archaic cultures (circa 3000-500 BCE). Comparisons between the mtDNA from individuals from the Hopewell site and a database of mtDNA from groups from all over the world, demonstrated that these ancient Native Americans shared close ties with Asia especially, China, Korea, Japan, and Mongolia.” ref
“Monks Mound by the Mississippian culture began about 900–950 CE, in Illinois, United States. Monks Mound roughly the same size at its base as the Great Pyramid of Giza. The perimeter of its base is larger than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. As a platform mound, the earthwork supported a wooden structure on the summit.” ref

“Several studies of the peopling of the Americas have made use of Native American variants. South American C-M217 (or C3), 17 which is defined by marker M21721 and is derived from haplogroup C, which is in turn defined by markers M216 and M130.22 This latter haplogroup is also found among various ethnic groups from northeast Asia, Australasia, and Oceania. The five haplogroup C (C-M130) individuals originated from two Ecuadorian communities, and one from Peru. All five individuals were Quechua speakers (Supplementary Table 4), and displayed also the derived allele for SNP M217; thus, these South American natives belong to the C-M217 lineage, as previously reported.” ref


Human Migration from Asia into Alaska (North America) (11,000 to 6,000 years ago)

“likely relates to the Na-Dene languages described as C-M217/C2/C3/C-M130 DNA lineage”

Archaic period: 8000 BC– 1000 BCE

This C-M217/C2/C3/C-M130 DNA lineage is also in the Mound Builders (some of which are pyramid-like) such as the Adena (800 BCE–100 CE), Hopewell (200 BCE–500 CE), and the Maya civilization with pyramids.

My art and when as well as who may have brought in the new elitism and compulsory authority to the Americas.

“For the Tlingit (branch of the Na-Dené language family), hereditary slavery was practiced extensively until it was outlawed by the United States. Wealth and economic power are important indicators of rank. Scientists suggest that the main ancestor of the Ainu and of the Tlingit can be traced back to Paleolithic groups in Southern Siberia.” ref

Gene flow across linguistic boundaries in Native North American populations

“Geneticists and anthropologists often expect that human language groups and gene pools will share a common structure. It is noted that both language and genes are passed from parents to children, mating tends to be endogamous with respect to linguistic groups, and splits in linguistic communities usually occur with splits in breeding populations. Cavalli-Sforza et al. have reported that genetic trees of major geographic populations correlate well with language families. They argue that a process consisting of population fissions, expansion into new territories, and isolation between ancestral and descendant groups will produced a tree-like structure common to both genes and languages. Linguists agree that population fissions and range expansions play an important role in the generation of linguistic diversity.” ref

“The potential correspondence between gene pools and language groups in Native North American populations is particularly interesting for several reasons. Early investigations of the correspondence between genetic groups and linguistic groups in Native North Americans produced equivocal results. On the one hand, average genetic distances between populations in different language families were greater than average genetic distances between populations within language families. On the other hand, genetic distances were not significantly correlated with glottochronological distances. In the three language families, the average nucleotide diversity within populations is low in Eskimo-Aleut populations and high in Amerind populations. However, nucleotide diversity varies considerably among the populations classified as Na-Dene-speaking. The Alaskan Athabascan and Haida populations, who reside in the North, have low nucleotide diversities, in the range of nucleotide diversities in the Eskimo-Aleut-speaking populations. The Navajo and Apache, who reside in the Southwest, have high nucleotide diversities, in the range of nucleotide diversities in populations classified as Amerind speaking.” ref 

“Several patterns that depart from the tree structure are apparent upon close examination. For example, the GLC expected distances consistently overestimate the realized genetic distances for several populations, including the Navajo, Aleut, and Siberian Yupik populations. This relationship means that these populations are genetically similar to populations with distantly related languages. Similarly, the GLC tree consistently underestimates the genetic distance between three Eskimo populations (Central Yupik, Canadian Inuit, and Inupaiq) and all other populations. First, none of Greenberg’s major language groups (Eskimo-Aleut, Na-Dene, or Amerind) forms a unique cluster. The most exclusive cluster that contains all Eskimo-Aleut populations (defined by branch a) also includes all four Na-Dene-speaking populations and the Amerind-speaking Cheyenne, Bella Coola, and Nuu Chah Nulth populations.” ref

“The most exclusive cluster with all Na-Dene-speaking populations (defined by branch b) also includes six Eskimo-Aleut-speaking populations (Siberian Yupik, Greenland Inuit, Central Yupik, Canadian Inuit, and Inupiaq) and the Amerind-speaking Bella Coola. The most exclusive cluster with all Amerind-speaking populations (defined by branch c) includes the Eskimo-Aleut-speaking Aleuts and the Na-Dene-speaking Navajo. Second, there is a strong North-South geographic pattern to the clustering pattern. An Arctic-Pacific Northwest cluster that includes all Aleut-Eskimo populations, all Na-Dene populations, and the Amerind Nuu Chah Nulth and Bella Coola populations originates on one side of branch a, whereas a more Southern group includes the Pima, Cherokee, Sioux, and Chippewa Amerind-speaking population forms to the other side of branch a. The Southwestern Athabascan-speaking populations, Navajo and Apache, defy the geographic groupings, but this result is consistent with the archaeological record.” ref

“Anthropologists agree that circa anno Domini 1400 the ancestors of Navajos and Apaches migrated from the Mackenzie Basin of Canada to the Southwest region, where they came into contact with Amerind-speaking populations who had been living there for thousands of years. The occurrence of haplogroup A differs markedly between the far Northern and the Southwestern samples. With only few exceptions, mtDNA lineages observed in the northern Na-Dene classified populations (Haida and Alaskan Athabascans) belong to haplogroup A. Haplogroup A is also common in Eskimos and Aleuts. Outside of the far North, the only samples in which haplogroup A appears commonly are the Southwestern Athabascan-speaking populations (Navajo and Apache). mtDNA sequences belonging to haplogroups B and C are frequent primarily in the Amerind-classified populations, including the Bella Coola, and Nuu Chah Nulth populations on the Northwest Coast. The Navajo and Apache are the only Na-Dene-classified populations with substantial frequencies of B- and C-group haplotypes, although haplogroup C is observed in the Haida and Alaskan Athabascan samples.” ref 

I think god beliefs (great spirit/shy father god) came into the Americas from North Asia from 7,000 to 5,000 years ago. I think it likely relates to the Na-Dene languages migrations as all of the Na-Dene languages have “great spirit” beliefs and some have shy father god/creator beliefs as well.

I think Na-Dene speakers brought into the Americas a kind/several kinds of Shamanism-Paganism with Totemism and Animism. Especially a daytime blue sky-god/sun-god but also an earth/moon goddess and bird mythology beliefs. Similar to the Hemudu culture (5500 – 3300 BCE or around 7,500 to 5,300 years ago) from China.

Hemudu’s inhabitants worshiped a sun spirit as well as a fertility spirit. They also enacted shamanistic rituals to the sun and believed in bird totems. A belief in an afterlife and ghosts is thought to have been widespread as well. People were buried with their heads facing east or northeast and most had no burial objects. Infants were buried in urn-casket style burials, while children and adults received earth level burials. They did not have a definite communal burial ground, for the most part, but a clan communal burial ground has been found from the later period. Two groups in separate parts of this burial ground are thought to be two intermarrying clans. There were noticeably more burial goods in this communal burial ground.” ref

“The Great Spirit is the concept of a life force, a supreme being or god, present in many, but not all, indigenous cultures in Canada and the United States. Interpretations of the Great Spirit also vary between cultures. It is known as Wakan Tanka in Lakota, Gitche Manitou in Algonquian, and by other, specific names in a number of First Nations and Native American cultures. According to Lakota activist Russell Means, a more semantically accurate translation of Wakan Tanka is the Great Mystery.” ref

“The Great Spirit has at times been conceptualized as an “anthropomorphic celestial deity,” a god of creation, history, and eternity, who also takes a personal interest in world affairs and might regularly intervene in the lives of human beings. Numerous individuals are held to have been “speakers” for the Great Spirit; persons believed to serve as an earthly mediator responsible for facilitating communication between humans and the supernatural more generally. Such a speaker is generally considered to have an obligation to preserve the spiritual traditions of their respective lineage. The Great Spirit is looked to by spiritual leaders for guidance by individuals as well as communities at large.” ref

“While belief in an entity or entities known as the Great Spirit exists across numerous indigenous American peoples, individual tribes often demonstrate varying degrees of cultural divergence. As such, a variety of stories, parables, fables, and messages exhibiting different, sometimes contradictory themes and plot elements have been attributed to the same figure by otherwise disparate cultures. Wakan Tanka (Wakȟáŋ Tȟáŋka) can be interpreted as the power or the sacredness that resides in everything, resembling some animistic and pantheistic beliefs. This term describes every creature and object as wakan (“holy”) or having aspects that are wakan; tanka corresponds to “great” or “large.” ref

“The Lakota used Wakan Tanka to refer to an organization or group of sacred entities whose ways were considered mysterious and beyond human understanding. It was the elaboration on these beliefs that prompted scholarly debate suggesting that the term “Great Mystery” could be a more accurate translation of such a concept than “Great Spirit”. Activist Russell Means also promoted the translation “Great Mystery” and the view that Lakota spirituality is not originally monotheistic.” ref

“Chief Luther Standing Bear (1868–1939) of the Lakota Nation put it thus:

From Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, there came a great unifying life force that flowed in and through all things – the flowers of the plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals – and was the same force that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred, and were brought together by the same Great Mystery.” ref

Manitou, akin to the Haudenosaunee concept of orenda, is perceived as the spiritual and fundamental life force by Algonquian peoples. It is believed by practitioners to be omnipresent; manifesting in all things, including organisms, the environment, and events both human-induced and otherwise. Manifestations of Manitou are also believed to be dualistic, and such contrasting instances are known as aashaa monetoo (“good spirit”) and otshee monetoo (“bad spirit”) respectively. According to legend, when the world was created, the Great Spirit, Aasha Monetoo, gave the land to the indigenous peoples, the Shawnee in particular.” ref

“The Anishinaabe culture, descended from the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki and Cree, inherited the Great Spirit tradition of their predecessors. Gitche Manitou (also transliterated as Gichi-manidoo) is an Anishinaabe language word typically interpreted as Great Spirit, the Creator of all things and the Giver of Life, and is sometimes translated as the “Great Mystery”. Historically, Anishinaabe people believed in a variety of spirits, whose images were placed near doorways for protection. According to Anishinaabe tradition, Michilimackinac, later named by European settlers as Mackinac Island, in Michigan, was the home of Gitche Manitou, and some Anishinaabeg tribes would make pilgrimages there for rituals devoted to the spirit.” ref

“Other Anishinaabe names for such a figure, incorporated through the process of syncretism, are Gizhe-manidoo (“venerable Manidoo“), Wenizhishid-manidoo (“Fair Manidoo“) and Gichi-ojichaag (“Great Spirit”). While Gichi-manidoo and Gichi-ojichaag both mean “Great Spirit”, Gichi-manidoo carried the idea of the greater spiritual connectivity while Gichi-ojichaag carried the idea of individual soul’s connection to the Gichi-manidoo. Consequently, Christian missionaries often used the term Gichi-ojichaag to refer to the Christian idea of a Holy SpiritThe contemporary belief in the great spirit is generally associated with the Native American Church. The doctrine regarding the great spirit within this modern tradition is quite varied and generally takes on Christian ideas of a monotheistic God alongside animistic conceptions. The number of adherents to these contemporary beliefs in the great spirit are unknown, but it is likely they number over a quarter million people.” ref

“Early European explorers describe individual Native American tribes and even small bands as each having their own religious practices. Theology may be monotheisticpolytheistichenotheisticanimisticshamanisticpantheistic or any combination thereof, among others. Traditional beliefs are usually passed down in the forms of oral histories, stories, allegories, and principles.” ref

“The sun dance is a religious ceremony practiced by a number of Native American and First Nations peoples, primarily those of the Plains Nations. Each tribe that has some type of sun dance ceremony that has their own distinct practices and ceremonial protocols. In many cases, the ceremony is held in private and is not open to the public. Most details of the ceremony are kept from public knowledge out of great respect for, and the desire for protection of, the traditional ways. Many of the ceremonies have features in common, such as specific dances and songs passed down through many generations, the use of traditional drums, the sacred pipe, praying, fasting and, in some cases, the piercing of the skin. In Canada, the Plains Cree call this ceremony the Thirst Dance; the Saulteaux (Plains Ojibwe) call it the Rain Dance; and the Blackfoot (Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani) call it the Medicine Dance. It is also practiced by the Canadian Dakota and Nakoda, and the Dene.” ref

Q-M3 and C-M130/C-M217 Haplogroups

“Haplogroup Q-M3 Possible time of origin 10,000-15,000 years ago, Possible place of origin Beringia: Either East Asia or North America.ref  I think the most likely is in East Asia “Siberia”, coming over with the Na-Dene language family migrations.  

“A 2019 study suggested that Native Americans are the closest living relatives to 10,000-year-old fossils found near the Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia. As a whole, the greatest frequency of the four Native American associated haplogroups occurs in the AltaiBaikal region of southern Siberia. Some subclades of C and D closer to the Native American subclades occur among Mongolian, Amur, Japanese, Korean, and Ainu populations. A subtype “A” has been defined and identified among the Japanese (including Ainu), and among Caribbean and South American isolates. A subtype “B” has been identified in Japan and India. Native Americans in coastal British Columbia were found to have both subtypes A and B. Bone marrow specimens from an Andean mummy about 1500 years old were reported to have shown the presence of the A subtype. The presence of subtypes A and B in the Americas is suggestive of a Native American source population related to the Ainu ancestors, the Jōmon. Nevertheless, some scholars suggest that the ancestors of western North Americans speaking Na-Dene languages made a coastal migration by boat.” ref

“Haplogroup C is one of five mtDNA haplogroups found in the indigenous peoples of the Americas, the others being ABD, and X. The subclades C1b, C1c, C1d, and C4c are found in the first people of the Americas. C1a is found only in Asia.” ref

“Males carrying C-M130/C-M217, also known as C2 (and previously as C3) are believed to have migrated to the Americas some 6,000-8,000 years ago, and was carried by Na-Dené-speaking peoples into the northwest Pacific coast of North America.” ref

The haplogroup C-M217 is now found at high frequencies among Central Asian peoples, indigenous Siberians, and some Native peoples of North America. The oldest sample with C2-M217 is AR19K in the Amur River basin (19,587-19,175 years ago). C2a1-F3447 includes all extant Eurasian members of C2a-L1373, whereas C2a2-BY63635/MPB374 contains extant South American members of C2a-L1373 as well as ancient archaeological specimens from South America and Chertovy Vorota Cave in Primorsky Krai. Haplogroup C-M217 is the modal haplogroup among Mongolians and most indigenous populations of the Russian Far East, such as the Buryats, Northern Tungusic peoplesNivkhsKoryaks, and Itelmens. The subclade C-P39 is common among males of the indigenous North American peoples whose languages belong to the Na-Dené phylum. C2b1a1a P39 Canada, USA (Found in several indigenous peoples of North America, including some Na-Dené-, Algonquian-, or Siouan-speaking populationsref 

Edward Vajda of Western Washington University presented evidence suggesting that the Na-Dene languages (Athabaskan–Eyak–Tlingit) might be related to the Yeniseian (or Yeniseic) languages of Siberia, the only living representative of which is the Ket language.” ref

Haplogroup Q-M3 is one of the Y-Chromosome haplogroups linked to the indigenous peoples of the Americas (over 90% of indigenous people in Meso & South America). Today, such lineages also include other Q-M242 branches (Q-M346Q-L54Q-P89.1Q-NWT01, and Q-Z780), haplogroup C-M130 branches (C-M217 and C-P39), and R-M207, which are almost exclusively found in the North America. Haplogroup Q-M3 is defined by the presence of the (M3) single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Q-M3 occurred on the Q-L54 lineage roughly 10-15 thousand years ago as the migration into the Americas was underway. There is some debate as to on which side of the Bering Strait this mutation occurred, but it definitely happened in the ancestors of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.” ref

Q-M19 M19 This lineage is found among Indigenous South Americans, such as the Ticuna and the Wayuu. Origin: South America approximately 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.” ref

Haplogroup C2 (M217) – the most numerous and widely dispersed C lineage – was once believed to have originated in Central Asia, spread from there into Northern Asia and the Americas while other theory it originated from East Asia. C-M217 stretches longitudinally from Central Europe and Turkey, to the Wayuu people of Colombia and Venezuela, and latitudinally from the Athabaskan peoples of Alaska to Vietnam to the Malay Archipelago. C-P39 (C2b1a1a) is found among several indigenous peoples of North America, including some Na-Dené-, Algonquian– and Siouan-speaking populations.” ref

“The Arctic Small Tool tradition of Alaska and the Canadian Arctic may have originated in East Siberia about 5,000 years ago. This is connected with the ancient Paleo-Eskimo peoples of the Arctic. The Arctic Small Tool tradition source may have been the Syalakh-Bel’kachi-Ymyakhtakh culture sequence of East Siberia, dated to 6,500–2,800 years ago.” ref

Tlingit People

The Tlingit are Alaska Native Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America and are one of two-hundred twenty-nine (229) federally recognized Tribes of Alaska. Their language is the Tlingit language, is spoken by the Tlingit people of Southeast Alaska and Western Canada, and is a branch of the Na-Dene language family. Tlingit has a complex phonological system compared to Indo-European languages such as English or Spanish. A branch of the Na-Dené language family of Alaska and western Canada, the Tlingit language may have split from the closely related Athabaska language five thousand years agoTlingit people today belong to two federally recognized Alaska Native tribes: the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe.” ref, ref, ref

“The Tlingit have a matrilineal kinship system, with children born into the mother’s clan, and property and hereditary roles passing through the mother’s line. Their culture and society developed in the temperate rainforest of the southeast Alaskan coast and the Alexander Archipelago. The Tlingit have maintained a complex hunter-gatherer culture based on semi-sedentary management of fisheries. Hereditary servitude was practiced extensively until it was outlawed by the United States Government. An inland group, known as the Inland Tlingit, inhabits the far northwestern part of the province of British Columbia and the southern Yukon in Canada.” ref

“The Tlingit culture is multifaceted and complex, a characteristic of Northwest Pacific Coast people with access to easily exploited rich resources. In Tlingit culture a heavy emphasis is placed upon family and kinship, and on a rich oratory tradition. Wealth and economic power are important indicators of rank, but so is generosity and proper behavior, all signs of “good breeding” and ties to aristocracy. Art and spirituality are incorporated in nearly all areas of Tlingit culture, with even everyday objects such as spoons and storage boxes decorated and imbued with spiritual power and historical beliefs of the Tlingits.” ref

“Tlingit society is divided into two moieties, the Raven and the Eagle. These in turn are divided into numerous clans, which are subdivided into lineages or house groups. They have a matrilineal kinship system, with descent and inheritance passed through the mother’s line. These groups have heraldic crests, which are displayed on totem poles, canoes, feast dishes, house posts, weavings, jewelry, and other art forms. The Tlingits pass down at.oow(s) or blankets that represented trust. Only a Tlingit can inherit one but they can also pass it down to someone they trust, who becomes responsible for caring for it but does not rightfully own it. Like other Northwest Coast native peoples, the Tlingit did practice hereditary slavery.

“Tlingit thought and belief, although never formally codified, was historically a fairly well-organized philosophical and religious system whose basic axioms shaped the way Tlingit people viewed and interacted with the world around them. Tlingits were traditionally animists, and hunters ritually purified themselves before hunting animals. Shamans, primarily men, cured diseases, influenced weather, aided in hunting, predicted the future, and protected people against witchcraft. A central part of the Tlingit belief system was the belief in reincarnation of both humans and animals.” ref

“Tlingit tribes historically built plank houses made from cedar and today call them clanhouses; these houses were built with a foundation such that they could store their belongings under the floors. It is said that these plank houses had no adhesive, nails, or any other sort of fastening devices. Clan houses were usually square or rectangular in shape and had front facing designs and totem poles to represent to which clan and moiety the makers belonged. Various cultures of indigenous people have continuously occupied the Alaska territory for thousands of years, leading to the Tlingit. Human culture with elements related to the Tlingit originated around 10,000 years ago near the mouths of the Skeena and Nass Rivers.” ref 

“Food is a central part of Tlingit culture, and the land is an abundant provider. Most of the richness of intertidal life found on the beaches of Southeast Alaska can be harvested for food. Though eating off the beach could provide a fairly healthy and varied diet, eating nothing but “beach food” is considered contemptible among the Tlingit and a sign of poverty. Indeed, shamans and their families were required to abstain from all food gathered from the beach, and men might avoid eating beach food before battles or strenuous activities in the belief that it would weaken them spiritually and perhaps physically as well.” ref

“Thus for both spiritual reasons as well as to add some variety to the diet, the Tlingit harvest many other resources for food besides those they easily find outside their front doors. No other food resource receives as much emphasis as salmon; however, seal and game are both close seconds. Halibut, shellfish, and seaweed traditionally provided food in the spring, while late spring and summer bring seal and salmon. Summer is a time for gathering wild and tame berries, such as salmonberry, soap berry, and currants. In fall, sea otters are hunted. Herring and eulachon are also important staples, that can be eaten fresh or dried and stored for later use. Fish provide meat, oil, and eggs. Sea mammals, such as sea lions and sea otters, are used for food and clothing materials. In the forests near their homes, Tlingit hunted deer, bear, mountain goats, and other small mammals.” ref

Clan, Language, and Migration History Has Shaped Genetic Diversity in Haida and Tlingit Populations From Southeast Alaska

The linguistically distinctive Haida and Tlingit tribes of Southeast Alaska are known for their rich material culture, complex social organization, and elaborate ritual practices. However, much less is known about these tribes from a population genetic perspective. For this reason, we analyzed mtDNA and Y-chromosome variation in Haida and Tlingit populations to elucidate several key issues pertaining to the history of this region. These included the genetic relationships of Haida and Tlingit to other indigenous groups in Alaska and Canada; the relationship between linguistic and genetic data for populations assigned to the Na-Dene linguistic family, specifically, the inclusion of Haida with Athapaskan, Eyak, and Tlingit in the language family; the possible influence of matrilineal clan structure on patterns of genetic variation in Haida and Tlingit populations; and the impact of European entry into the region on the genetic diversity of these indigenous communities.” ref

“Analysis indicates that, while sharing a “northern” genetic profile, the Haida and the Tlingit are genetically distinctive from each other. In addition, Tlingit groups themselves differ across their geographic range, in part due to interactions of Tlingit tribes with Athapaskan and Eyak groups to the north. The data also reveal a strong influence of maternal clan identity on mtDNA variation in these groups, as well as the significant influence of non-native males on Y-chromosome diversity. These results yield new details about the histories of the Haida and Tlingit tribes in this region. Southeast Alaska has long been known for its diversity of Native American communities. Prior to European contact, Eyak, Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian tribes lived in coastal and island portions of Southeast Alaska and northern British Columbia (Fig. 1).” ref

“These groups are known for their distinctive totem poles, house carvings, masks and ceremonial garb, and material culture as well as their complex social organization and elaborate potlatches, and are considered to be part of a “Northwest Coast Culture.” However, while this region has been well studied from ethnographic and linguistic perspectives, much less is known about these tribes from a population genetic perspective. The ancestors of the Haida and Tlingit populations probably did not establish themselves in Southeast Alaska until after the end of the last glacial maximum. The earliest Paleoarctic sites, including Chuck Lake and Thorne River, Groundhog Bay in Icy Strait (Chichagof Island), and Hidden Falls on Baranof Island near Sitka, date to 10,000–6,500 years ago and are marked by microblade and cobble stone tools. During this period, the Northwest Coast developed into a distinct culture area.” ref

“Over the next 2,000 years, the culture and social organization associated with Northwest Coast peoples began to emerge. Around 5,000 years ago, the coastal art and aesthetic styles associated with the Northwest Coast began to appear. By 3,000 years ago, the cultures of the Northwest Coast were largely the same as those observed at the time of contact. The indigenous populations living in the region today are the direct cultural, and possibly biological, descendants of these prehistoric Northwest Coast groups. The Tlingit language, recognized as one of the oldest branches of the family, may have split from the Eyak-Athapaskan branch about 5,000 years ago. It is subdivided into Gulf Coast, Northern, Southern, and Inland dialects, which are largely mutually intelligible.” ref

“Sixteen component “tribes” (qwaan) comprise the three coastal subdialect regions. Each of these tribes is centered on a primary village. These are, north to south, the Gulf Coast region with Yakutat and Lituya Bay; the Northern region with Hoonah, Chilkat, Auk, Sitka, Hutsnuwu, Taku, and Sawdum; and the Southern region with Kake, Kuiu, Henya, Klawak, Stikine, Tongass, and Sanya. By contrast, Eyak is essentially an extinct language, historically spoken in the Copper River region of southcentral Alaska. According to linguistic evidence, even current place names surrounding the Gulf of Alaska (including Yakutat) came from Eyak sources. This evidence, and Tlingit oral history, suggests that Eyak was once more widespread in Southeast Alaska than at the time of European contact. Athapaskan is the youngest branch of the AET grouping within Na-Dene. Populations speaking Athapaskan languages now occupy large areas of northern North America, with most living in Alaska and Canada.” ref

“Proto-Athapaskan itself may have originated in the subarctic region of North America some 3,000 years ago. The current distribution of Athapaskan languages in North America likely reflects a series of migrations from this source area within the past 1,000 years. Most researchers also support the “Na-Dene hypothesis,” which asserts a distant “genetic” relationship between AET and Haida languages. According to this model, Haida and AET languages resemble each other because of sharing a common ancestry. However, some have questioned the inclusion of Haida in the Na-Dene linguistic family, viewing it as a linguistic isolate. The Haida language itself is divided into Northern and Southern dialects, with Northern Haida being split into Alaskan (Kaigani) Haida and Masset (North Graham Island) Haida dialects.” ref

“All Northwest Coast groups have some form of an exogamous matrilineal clan system. In these systems, clan status is passed from mothers to their children. Based on this status, individuals have access to specific clan territories for hunting and fishing, and can use clan-specific crests for decorating clothing and dwellings. The clan system is comprised by two moieties or reciprocating descent groups. For the Tlingit and Eyak, clans are grouped into Raven (Yéil) or Eagle/Wolf (Ch’aak’/Gooch) moieties. Traditionally, moiety membership influenced marriage practices, whereby persons belonging to Eagle clans would marry those from Raven clans, and vice versa. Like the Tlingit and Eyak, the Haida are grouped into two moieties, although the clans belonging to the Haida Eagle moiety would belong to the Tlingit Raven moiety. By contrast, the Tsimshian have four phratries instead of two moieties. Thus, all Northwest Coast populations are organized into maternally linked clans, grouped into exogamous units, which influence their social and ritual practices, and probably also their genetic make-up.” ref 

“Tlingit genetic analyses of HLA I and HLA II genes as well as HLA-A, -B, and -DRB1 gene frequencies links the Ainu people of Japan to some Indigenous peoples of the Americas, especially to populations on the Pacific Northwest Coast such as Tlingit. The scientists suggest that the main ancestor of the Ainu and of the Tlingit can be traced back to Paleolithic groups in Southern Siberia.” ref

Genetic Study Establishes Native Ancestors Were in Alaska 3,000 Years Ago

A new genetic study provides evidence that at least some Alaska Natives live in roughly the same location where their ancestors lived 3,000 years ago. While studying what they thought was a bear bone found in a cave on the southeast coast of Alaska, a team led by University at Buffalo evolutionary biologist Charlotte Lindqvist determined that the bone had actually belonged to a young woman. The bone was radiocarbon dated to around 3,000 years ago, and analysis of genetic material extracted from it revealed that the young woman was most closely related to the Tlingit peoples and other tribes that live nearby. A Tlingit group has named the ancient individual Tatóok yík yées sháawat, or Young lady in cave. There is evidence from Tlingit oral history that they were already in the area more than a millennium before the time of the young woman covered in the study. Tlingit narratives include the story of the most recent eruption of Mount Edgecumbe, which suggests their ancestors were in the area 4,500 years ago. To read about excavations in an Alaskan village that have provided evidence of an episode in the local people’s oral tradition, go to “Cultural Revival.” ref

Uto-Aztecan languages is a family of indigenous languages of the Americas, consisting of over thirty languages. Uto-Aztecan languages are found almost entirely in the Western United States and Mexico. The name of the language family was created to show that it includes both the Ute language of Utah and the Nahuan languages (also known as Aztecan) of Mexico. The Uto-Aztecan language family is one of the largest linguistic families in the Americas in terms of number of speakers, number of languages, and geographic extension. The northernmost Uto-Aztecan language is Shoshoni, which is spoken as far north as Salmon, Idaho, while the southernmost is the Pipil language of El Salvador and Nicaragua. Most scholars view the breakup of Proto-Uto-Aztecan as a case of the gradual disintegration of a dialect continuum.” ref

Uto-Aztecan Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”) 

“There are similarities and differences in the religions and cosmologies of the various Uto-Aztecan societies. The one promotes a comparative discussion of cosmological structural systems, and the other attempts to identify one or more motifs which might prove to be evident in Uto-Aztecan mythologies Based on the religion of the Hopi Indians of Arizona, I suggest that one of the most productive motifs is that of gender For the Hopis it is shown that cosmology and gender seem to converge in social and religious statements about gender that include androgynous and duogynous themes Insights from mythology and ritual are then applied to the social ideals and practices of the Hopis.” ref

“Numic is the northernmost branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family that includes Comanche and Shoshoni. It includes seven languages spoken by Native American peoples traditionally living in the Great BasinColorado River basin, Snake River basin, and southern Great Plains.” ref

“The language spoken by the Comanche peopleComanche (Numu tekwapu), is a Numic language of the Uto-Aztecan language group. It is closely related to the language of the Shoshone, from which the Comanche diverged around 1700. Sometimes a man named his child, but mostly the father asked a medicine man (or another man of distinction) to do so.” ref

“Comanche religious practice was very individualistic, with the emphasis being laid on the male vision quest. The quest gave power to individuals but entailed restrictive practices and taboos. There were no priests and few group ceremonies. The Comanche believed in a creator spirit and its counterpart, an evil spirit, and accepted the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon as deities. The religion was animistic with natural objects and animal spirits (except for dogs and horses) having various powers. Medicine men served as intermediaries and helpers with the spirits and also served practically as curers. The Comanche had few ceremonies, but had developed or practiced the Beaver Ceremony and the Eagle Dance. Unlike most of the other Plains tribes, they never accepted the Sun Dance.” ref

“The Aztec religion is a polytheistic and monistic pantheism in which the Nahua concept of teotl was construed as the supreme god Ometeotl, as well as a diverse pantheon of lesser gods and manifestations of nature. The popular religion tended to embrace the mythological and polytheistic aspects, and the Aztec Empire‘s state religion sponsored both the monism of the upper classes and the popular heterodoxies.” ref

“The Aztec Empire officially recognized the most popular cults such that the deity was represented in the central temple precinct of the capital Tenochtitlan. The imperial cult was specifically that of the distinctive warlike patron god of the Mexica Huitzilopochtli. Subjugated peoples were allowed to retain their own religious traditions in conquered provinces so long as they added the imperial god Huitzilopochtli to their local pantheons, while the Empire would often incorporate practices from its new territories into the mainstream religion.” ref

“In common with many other indigenous Mesoamerican civilizations, the Aztecs put great ritual emphasis on calendrics, and scheduled festivals, government ceremonies, and even war around key transition dates in the Aztec calendar. Public ritual practices could involve food, storytelling, and dance, as well as ceremonial warfare, the Mesoamerican ballgame, and human sacrifice. The cosmology of Aztec religion divides the world into thirteen heavens and nine earthly layers or netherworlds. The first heaven overlaps with the first terrestrial layer, so that heaven and the terrestrial layers meet at the surface of the Earth. Each level is associated with a specific set of deities and astronomical objects. The most important celestial entities in Aztec religion are the Sun, the Moon, and the planet Venus (as both “morning star” and “evening star”).” ref

“Many leading deities of the Aztecs are worshiped in the contemporary or present-day world. These deities are known by names such as TlalocQuetzalcoatl, and Tezcatlipoca, who are venerated by different names in multiple cultures and have been throughout the history of Mesoamerica. For the Aztecs, deities of particular importance are the rain god Tlaloc; Huitzilopochtli, patron of the Mexica tribe; Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent and god of wind and learning; and Tezcatlipoca, the shrewd, elusive god of destiny and fortune. Tezcatlipoca was also connected to war and sorcery. Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli were worshipped in shrines at the top of the largest pyramid (Templo Mayor) in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. A third monument in the plaza in front of Templo Mayor was devoted to the wind god, Ehecatl, who was an aspect or form of Quetzalcoatl.” ref

“Religion was part of all levels of Aztec society. On the state level, religion was controlled by the Tlatoani and the high priests governing the main temples in the ceremonial precinct of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. This level involved the large monthly festivals and a number of specific rituals centered around the ruler dynasty and attempted to stabilize both the political and cosmic systems. These rituals were the ones that involved a sacrifice of humans. One of these rituals was the feast of Huey Tozoztli, when the ruler himself ascended Mount Tlaloc and engaged in autosacrifice in order to petition the rains. Throughout society, each level had their own rituals and deities and played their part in the larger rituals of the community.” ref

“Aztec temples were basically offering mounds: solid pyramidal structures crammed with special soils, sacrifices, treasures, and other offerings. Buildings around the base of the pyramid, and sometimes a small chamber under the pyramid, stored ritual items and provided lodgings and staging for priests, dancers, and temple orchestras. The pyramids were buried under a new surface every several years (especially every 52 years—the Aztec century). Thus the pyramid-temples of important deities constantly grew in size.” ref

“In front of every major temple lay a large plaza. This sometimes held important ritual platforms such as the “eagle stone” where some victims were slain. Plazas were where the bulk of worshippers gathered to watch rites and dances performed, to join in the songs and sacrifices (the audience often bled themselves during the rites), and to partake in any festival foods. Nobility sat on tiered seating under awnings around the plaza periphery, and some conducted part of the ceremonies on the temple.” ref

“The Aztec world consisted of three main parts: the earth world on which humans lived (including Tamoanchan, the mythical origin of human beings), an underworld which belonged to the dead (called Mictlan, “place of death”), and the upper plane in the sky. The earth and the underworld were both open for humans to enter, whereas the upper plane in the sky was impenetrable to humans. Existence was envisioned as straddling the two worlds in a cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. Thus as the sun was believed to dwell in the underworld at night to rise reborn in the morning and maize kernels were interred to later sprout anew, the human and divine existence was also envisioned as being cyclical. The upper and nether worlds were both thought to be layered. Mictlan had nine layers which were inhabited by different deities and mythical beings. The sky had thirteen layers, the highest of which was called Omeyocan (“place of duality”) and served as the residence of the progenitor dual god Ometeotl. The lowest layer of the sky was a verdant spring-like place with abundant water called Tlalocan (“the place of Tlaloc”).” ref

“After death, the soul of the Aztec went to one of three places: the sun, Mictlan, or Tlalocan. Souls of fallen warriors and women that died in childbirth would transform into hummingbirds that followed the sun on its journey through the sky. Souls of people who died from less glorious causes would go to Mictlan. Those who drowned would go to Tlalocan. In Aztec cosmology, as in Mesoamerica in general, geographical features such as caves and mountains held symbolic value as places of crossing between the upper and nether worlds. The cardinal directions were symbolically connected to the religious layout of the world as well; each direction was associated with specific colors and gods.” ref

“To the Aztecs, death was instrumental in the perpetuation of creation, and gods and humans alike had the responsibility of sacrificing themselves in order to allow life to continue. This worldview is best described in the myth of the five suns recorded in the Codex Chimalpopoca, which recounts how Quetzalcoatl stole the bones of the previous generation in the underworld and how later the gods created four successive worlds or “suns” for their subjects to live in, all of which were destroyed. Then, by an act of self-sacrifice, one of the gods, Nanahuatzin (“the pimpled one”), caused a fifth and final sun to rise where the first humans, made out of maize dough, could live thanks to his sacrifice. Humans were responsible for the sun’s continued revival. Blood sacrifice in various forms were conducted. Both humans and animals were sacrificed, depending on the god to be placated and the ceremony being conducted, and priests of some gods were sometimes required to provide their own blood through self-mutilation.” ref

“Sacrificial rituals among the Aztecs, and in Mesoamerica in general, must be seen in the context of religious cosmology: sacrifice and death was necessary for the continued existence of the world. Likewise, each part of life had one or more deities associated with it and these had to be paid their dues in order to achieve success. Gods were paid with sacrificial offerings of food, flowers, effigies, and quail. But the larger the effort required of the god, the greater the sacrifice had to be. Blood fed the gods and kept the sun from falling. For some of the most important rites, a priest would offer his own blood by cutting his ears, arms, tongue, thighs, chest, genitals, or offer a human life or a god’s life. The people who were sacrificed came from many segments of society and might have been a war captive, slave, or a member of Aztec society; the sacrifice might also have been man or woman, adult or child, or noble or commoner.” ref

“Cultural God

  • Tezcatlipoca: meaning “smoking mirror”, a Pan-Mesoamerican shaman god, omnipotent universal power
  • Quetzalcoatl: meaning “feathered serpent”, a Pan-Mesoamerican god of life, the wind, and the morning star
  • Tlaloc: a Pan-Mesoamerican god of lightning, rain, water, and thunder
  • Mixcoatl: meaning “cloud serpent”, the tribal god of many of the Nahuapeople such as the Tlaxcalteca, god of war, sacrifice and hunting
  • Huitzilopochtli: meaning “left-handed hummingbird”, the patron god of the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, the sun

Nature gods

  • Metztli: the moon
  • Tlaltecuhtli: meaning “earth lord”, goddess of the Earth
  • Chalchiuhtlicue: meaning “jade her skirt”, goddess of springs
  • Centzon Huitznahua: meaning “the 400 southerners”, gods of the stars
  • Ehecatl: the wind, often conflated with Quetzalcoatl and called “Quetzalcoatl-Ehecatl”

Gods of creation

“Proto-Uto-Aztecan is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Uto-Aztecan languages. Authorities on the history of the language group have usually placed the Proto-Uto-Aztecan homeland in the border region between the United States and Mexico, namely the upland regions of Arizona and New Mexico and the adjacent areas of the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua, roughly corresponding to the Sonoran Desert and the western part of the Chihuahuan Desert. It would have been spoken by Mesolithic foragers in Aridoamerica, about 5,000 years ago.” ref

“Reconstructions of the botanical vocabulary offer clues to the ecological niche inhabited by the Proto-Uto-Aztecans. Fowler placed the center of Proto-Uto-Aztecan in Central Arizona with northern dialects extending into Nevada and the Mojave desert and southern dialects extending south through the Tepiman corridor into Mexico. The homeland of the Numic languages has been placed in Southern California near Death Valley, and the homeland of the proposed Southern Uto-Aztecan group has been placed on the coast of Sonora.” ref

“A contrary proposal suggests the homeland of Proto-Uto-Aztecan to have been much farther to the south; it was published in 2001 by Jane H. Hill, based on her reconstruction of maize-related vocabulary in Proto-Uto-Aztecan. By her theory, the assumed speakers of Proto-Uto-Aztecan were maize cultivators in Mesoamerica, who gradually moved north, bringing maize cultivation with them, during the period of roughly 4,500 to 3,000 years ago. The geographic diffusion of speakers corresponded to the breakup of linguistic unity. The hypothesis has been criticized on several grounds, and it is not generally accepted by Uto-Aztecanists. Using computational phylogenetic methods, Wheeler & Whiteley (2014) also suggest a southern homeland for Proto-Uto-Aztecan in or near the area occupied by historical Cora and some Nahua. Nahuatl forms the most basal clade in Wheeler & Whiteley’s (2014) Uto-Aztecan phylogram.” ref

“A survey of agriculture-related vocabulary by Merrill (2012) found that the agricultural vocabulary can be reconstructed for only Southern Uto-Aztecan. That supports a conclusion that the Proto-Uto-Aztecan speech community did not practice agriculture but adopted it only after entering Mesoamerica from the north. A more recent proposal from 2014, by David L. Shaul, presents evidence suggesting contact between Proto-Uto-Aztecan and languages of central California, such as Esselen and the Yokutsan languages. That leads Shaul to suggest that Proto-Uto-Aztecan was spoken in California’s Central Valley area, and it formed part of an ancient Californian linguistic area.” ref

“Esselen language was the language of the Esselen (or self-designated Huelel) Nation, which aboriginally occupied the mountainous Central Coast of California, immediately south of Monterey. The Esselen are a Native American people belonging to a linguistic group in the hypothetical Hokan language family, who are indigenous to the Santa Lucia Mountains of a region south of the Big Sur River in California. Archaeological and linguistic evidence indicates that the original people’s territory once extended much farther north, into the San Francisco Bay Area, until they were displaced by the entrance of Ohlone people. Breschini and Haversat place the entry of Ohlone speakers into the Monterey area prior to 200 BCE or around 2,200 years ago based on multiple lines of evidence.” ref

Carbon dating of excavated sites places the Esselen in the Big Sur since circa 2,630 BCE or around 4,630 years ago. Recently, however, researchers have obtained a radiocarbon date from coastal Esselen territory in the Big Sur River drainage dated prior to 6,500 years ago (archeological site CA-MNT-88). The Esselen left hand prints on rock faces in a few locations. About 250 have been found in a single rock shelter located a few miles from Tassajara (designated by archeologists as CA-MNT-44). Smaller numbers of handprints have been found in a few caves or rock shelters in the same area and in the next valley to the west.” ref

“The word “Esselen” means “the people” or “the rock people” in their language. The Esselen had a complex and sophisticated spiritual system, based on their connection to the land and the cosmos. They believed in a supreme creator called Kaknu, who was responsible for everything that existed. They also revered various spirits and ancestors who inhabited the natural features of their environment, such as rocks, trees, mountains, springs, and caves. They performed ceremonies and rituals to honor these beings and to ask for their protection and guidance. They also practiced shamanism, which involved entering altered states of consciousness to communicate with the spirit world.” ref

“Yokuts language: Yokuts, formerly known as Mariposa, is an endangered language spoken in the interior of Northern and Central California in and around the San Joaquin Valley by the Yokuts people. Yokuts is a key member in the proposed Penutian language stock. Some linguists consider most relationships within Penutian to be undemonstrated (cf. Campbell 1997). Others consider a genetic relationship between Yokuts, Utian, Maiduan, Wintuan, and a number of Oregon languages to be definite (cf. DeLancey and Golla 1997). Regardless of higher-order disagreement, Callaghan (1997) provides strong evidence uniting Yokuts and the Utian languages as branches of a Yok-Utian language family.” ref

“Yokuts traditional narratives include mythslegends, tales, and oral histories preserved by the Yokuts people of the San Joaquin Valley and southern Sierra Nevada foothills of central California.” ref

“Yokuts believed that shamans had supernatural powers derived from spirit animals they encountered in dreams or vision quests. Shamans helped conduct ceremonies and treated illnesses, cures for which they charged large fees. The Yokuts are a group of indigenous tribes from the San Joaquin Valley in central California. The word Yokuts means simply people; unlike other California natives, the Yokuts were divided into true tribes — possibly as many as 60 — each with its own name, dialect, and territory.” ref

“The traditional narratives of Native California are the folklore and mythology of the native people of California. For many historic nations of California, there is only a fragmentary record of their traditions. Spanish missions in California from the 18th century Christianized many of these traditions, and the remaining groups were mostly assimilated to US culture by the early 20th century. While there are sparse records from the 18th century, most material was collected during the 19th and the early 20th centuries. Ethnolinguistically, most of the native peoples of California can be categorized into three large groups, PenutianHokan and Uto-Aztecan. Of these traditions, one of the best attested and most notable in US mainstream culture is Hopi mythology, the Hopi being a Pueblo people speaking a language of the Uto-Aztecan family.” ref

“Several general traits are recognizable in California’s traditional narratives. These traits are not universally present, but they characterize most of the narratives:

Fluid genres

Folklorists have commonly attempted to distinguish between myths, legends, tales, and histories.

  • Mythsare sacred accounts that are believed by narrators and listeners to be true. They are set in a period at or before the origins of the world as it is known, and they usually contain strong supernatural elements.
  • Legendsare also believed to be true, and they may also contain fantastic elements. However, they are set later in time, after the world had assumed the form in which it was known to traditional cultures.
  • Talesare entertaining stories that narrators and listeners are not required to believe as true.
  • Historiesare narratives of actually witnessed events that have been transmitted, with greater or less embellishment, to subsequent generations.” ref

“In the oral literature of native California, the lines between these genres are typically not at all carefully observed. It is often impossible to classify a narrative definitively as a myth, a legend, a tale, or a history. Cognate versions of the same narrative as told by different narrators may fall within different genres.” ref

Sharing among neighbors

“Many of the narratives are entirely unique, existing in only a single version. However, many others are known in multiple versions that vary but are clearly cognate with one another. The versions may come from different narrators within a single ethnolinguistic group, from different groups within a region of the Californias, or from groups that are scattered across the North American continent and even beyond. Patterns in the relative similarity of shared narratives are almost entirely dictated by the historic-period propinquity of the groups sharing narratives. Few if any patterns reflect preferential sharing among historically dispersed groups that originally shared a common linguistic descent. This suggests ongoing, creative modification of narratives, rather than rigid conservatism.” ref

Weak narrative unity

“Lengthy traditional narratives tend to have an episodic or picaresque character. Their unity comes mainly from the presence of a continuing central character or from a causal sequence of events, rather than from any overall theme, plot, or narrative purpose.” ref

Fluidity in content

“As a consequence of weak narrative unity, the stories often have a composite character. Motifs are rather freely added, dropped, or transferred from one narrative to another.” ref

Moral ambiguity

“In the traditional narratives of native North America, the Western expectation of essentially “good” or “evil” characters or events is generally not met. The same character is likely to act beneficently in one episode but malevolently in the next, according to the accepted norms of behavior or to criteria of general welfare. Many of the early discussions of this literature by outside observers were marred by attempts to characterize a mythic personage as either a beloved benefactor or an evil trickster, when both of these labels might be equally true, or equally false.” ref

Surrealism in time

“The events of traditional narratives are rarely set within realistic chronological frameworks. Time spans measured in years or decades are rarely specified. Characters often are conceived and grow to maturity within miraculously short periods.” ref

Animal – human ambiguity

“The characters in many narratives are known by the names of animals (or, less commonly, by the names of plants or other natural features). Often it is understood that the character is the forebear or prototype of the animal species. Its conversation, actions, and motives are usually human, while its physical characteristics may be either human or animal, and commonly the two are mixed in a biologically inconsistent manner.” ref

Alfred L. Kroeber distinguished three main cultural regions within California. Each of these was seen as having a distinctive pattern in its traditional narratives that set it apart from neighboring regions.

  • The small Northwestregion was focused on the HupaKarok, and Yurok. A creation myth was lacking in this region. Narratives typically related to a race that had preceded the known human beings in the regions. Long stories about the travels and adventures of a culture hero were characteristic.
  • The Centralregion, encompassing most of California, possessed a creation myth that often employed the Earth Diver motif. Kroeber distinguished North Central and South Central divisions within this region, consisting respectively of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys plus the coastal and mountain areas adjacent to them.
  • The Southernregion included Takic– and Yuman-speaking groups. It had a distinctive creation myth but lacked most of the tales common in the Central region, at least to judge from the surviving records.” ref

Anna H. Gayton reexamined Kroeber’s regional divisions. While finding them generally valid, she stressed the gradational character of the transitions between the regions. She also suggested that variability in their links with regions outside of California was a key to understanding internal differences:

  • Links with the Northwest Coastregion of North America permeated Kroeber’s Northwest region within California. These links extended well beyond the Hupa-Karok-Yurok core, as far south as the Pomo and as far east as the Achomawi.
  • Links with the Plateauregion extended throughout northernmost California, from Kroeber’s Northwest region to the Yana and Achomawi in the east.
  • Links with the Great Basinwere pronounced not only east of the Sierra Nevada but also in the western foothills of that range and in upper Sacramento Valley and the Mojave Desert, from the Shasta to the Serrano.
  • Southern California was strongly tied to the Yuman-speaking area of western Arizona.
  • In central California Gayton discerned a relatively discrete nucleus of groups lacking such strong external influences. These included the MiwokYokutsSalinanOhlone, and Patwin.” ref

“Penutian languages: Penutian is a proposed grouping of language families that includes many Native American languages of western North America, predominantly spoken at one time in British ColumbiaWashingtonOregon, and California. Some of the more recently proposed subgroupings of Penutian have been convincingly demonstrated. The Miwokan and the Costanoan languages have been grouped into an Utian language family by Catherine Callaghan. Callaghan has more recently provided evidence supporting a grouping of Utian and Yokutsan into a Yok-Utian family. There also seems to be convincing evidence for the Plateau Penutian grouping (originally named Shahapwailutan by J. N. B. Hewitt and John Wesley Powell in 1894) which would consist of Klamath–ModocMolala, and the Sahaptian languages (Nez Percé and Sahaptin). Consensus was reached at a 1994 workshop on Comparative Penutian at the University of Oregon that the families within the proposed phylum’s California, Oregon, Plateau, and Chinookan clusters would eventually be shown to be genetically related. Subsequently, Marie-Lucie Tarpent reassessed Tsimshianic, a geographically isolated family in northern British Columbia, and concluded that its affiliation within Penutian is also probable. Earlier groupings, such as California Penutian and Takelma–Kalapuyan (“Takelman”) are no longer accepted as valid nodes by many Penutian researchers. However, Plateau Penutian, Coast Oregon Penutian, and Yok-Utian (comprising the Utian and Yokutsan languages) are increasingly supported.” ref

Mesoamerican Language Area

The Mesoamerican language area is a sprachbund containing many of the languages natively spoken in the cultural area of Mesoamerica. This sprachbund is defined by an array of syntactic, lexical and phonological traits as well as a number of ethnolinguistic traits found in the languages of Mesoamerica, which belong to a number of language families, such as Uto-AztecanMayanTotonacanOto-Manguean and Mixe–Zoque languages as well as some language isolates and unclassified languages known to the region.” ref

“Many of the Mesoamerican languages show a particular kind of construction for possession of nominals. The commonly found construction is “his noun1 noun2” meaning “noun2’s noun1” (“his” often is a prefix in this construction). For example, in the Kʼicheʼ language, a Mayan languageu-tzi’ le achih “the man’s dog” literally means “his-dog the man”. The similar construction in Nahuatl would be i:-itskʷin in tɬaːkatɬ.” ref

“Another trait shared by nearly all Mesoamerican languages is relational nouns. Relational nouns are used to express spatial and other relations, much like prepositions in most Indo-European languages but composed of a noun and possessive affixes.

For example in Pipil (Uto-Aztecan):
nu-wa:n “with me” (nu– means “my”)
mu-wa:n “with you” (mu– means “yours”)
i-wa:n “with her” (i– means “his/her/its”)
Or in Mam (Mayan):
n-wits-a “on me” (n– means “my”)
t-wits “on her” (t– means “his/her/its”).” ref

Pied-piping with inversion is a special word order found in wh-questions. It appears to be found in all Mesoamerican languages, but is rare outside Mesoamerica. All the languages of Mesoamerica have vigesimal, or base twenty numeral systems. This system has also spread to some languages just outside the Mesoamerican cultural area. A strong evidence of diffusion throughout Mesoamerica is provided by a number of semantic calques widely found throughout the area. For example, in many Mesoamerican languages the words for specific objects are constructed by compounding two different stems, and in many cases these two stems are semantically identical although linguistically unrelated.” ref

“Among these calques are:

  • leg-head meaning “knee”
  • deer-snake meaning “boa constrictor”
  • stone-ash meaning “limestone”
  • hand-neck meaning “wrist”
  • bird-stone meaning “egg”
  • blood-road meaning “vein”
  • grind-stone meaning “molar”
  • mouth meaning “edge”
  • god-excrement or sun-excrement meaning “precious metal”
  • hand-mother meaning “thumb”
  • water-mountain meaning “town” ref

“Mayan languages form a language family spoken in Mesoamerica, both in the south of Mexico and northern Central America. Mayan languages are spoken by at least six million Maya people, primarily in GuatemalaMexicoBelizeEl Salvador, and Honduras. Modern Mayan languages descend from the Proto-Mayan language, thought to have been spoken at least 5,000 years ago; it has been partially reconstructed using the comparative method. The proto-Mayan language diversified into at least six different branches: the HuastecanQuicheanYucatecanQanjobalanMamean, and Chʼolan–Tzeltalan branches.” ref

“Mayan languages form part of the Mesoamerican language area, an area of linguistic convergence developed throughout millennia of interaction between the peoples of Mesoamerica. All Mayan languages display the basic diagnostic traits of this linguistic area. For example, all use relational nouns instead of prepositions to indicate spatial relationships. They also possess grammatical and typological features that set them apart from other languages of Mesoamerica, such as the use of ergativity in the grammatical treatment of verbs and their subjects and objects, specific inflectional categories on verbs, and a special word class of “positionals” which is typical of all Mayan languages. The Proto-Mayan language is believed to have been spoken in the Cuchumatanes highlands of central Guatemala in an area corresponding roughly to where Qʼanjobalan is spoken today.” ref

“In the Archaic period (before 2000 BCE or around 4,000 years ago), a number of loanwords from Mixe–Zoquean languages seem to have entered the proto-Mayan language. This has led to hypotheses that the early Maya were dominated by speakers of Mixe–Zoquean languages, possibly the Olmec. In the case of the Xincan and Lencan languages, on the other hand, Mayan languages are more often the source than the receiver of loanwords. Mayan language specialists such as Campbell believe this suggests a period of intense contact between Maya and the Lencan and Xinca people, possibly during the Classic period (250–900).” ref

“The Olmecs were the earliest known major Mesoamerican civilization. It has been speculated that the Olmecs derived in part from the neighboring Mokaya or Mixe–Zoque cultures. The Olmecs flourished during Mesoamerica’s formative period, dating roughly from as early as 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE. Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished since about 2500 BCE, but by 1600–1500 BCE, early Olmec culture had emerged, centered on the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán site near the coast in southeast Veracruz. They were the first Mesoamerican civilization and laid many of the foundations for the civilizations that followed.” ref

“Among other “firsts”, the Olmec appeared to practice ritual bloodletting and played the Mesoamerican ballgame, hallmarks of nearly all subsequent Mesoamerican societies. The aspect of the Olmecs most familiar now is their artwork, particularly the colossal heads.  This highly productive environment encouraged a densely concentrated population, which in turn triggered the rise of an elite class. The elite class created the demand for the production of the symbolic and sophisticated luxury artifacts that define Olmec culture. Many of these luxury artifacts were made from materials such as jadeobsidian, and magnetite, which came from distant locations and suggest that early Olmec elites had access to an extensive trading network in Mesoamerica.” ref

“The source of the most valued jade was the Motagua River valley in eastern Guatemala, and Olmec obsidian has been traced to sources in the Guatemala highlands, such as El Chayal and San Martín Jilotepeque, or in Puebla, distances ranging from 200 to 400 km (120–250 miles) away, respectively. La Venta sustained the Olmec cultural traditions with spectacular displays of power and wealth. The Great Pyramid was the largest Mesoamerican structure of its time. Even today, after 2500 years of erosion, it rises 34 m (112 ft) above the naturally flat landscape. Buried deep within La Venta lay opulent, labor-intensive “offerings” – 1000 tons of smooth serpentine blocks, large mosaic pavements, and at least 48 separate votive offerings of polished jade celts, pottery, figurines, and hematite mirrors.” ref

“Curators and scholars refer to “Olmec-style” face masks but, to date, no example has been recovered in an archaeologically controlled Olmec context. They have been recovered from sites of other cultures, including one deliberately deposited in the ceremonial altepetl (precinct) of Tenochtitlan in what is now Mexico City. The mask would presumably have been about 2000 years old when the Aztecs buried it, suggesting such masks were valued and collected as were Roman antiquities in Europe.” ref

“The ‘Olmec-style’ refers to the combination of deep-set eyes, nostrils, and strong, slightly asymmetrical mouth. The “Olmec-style” also very distinctly combines facial features of both humans and jaguars. Olmec arts are strongly tied to the Olmec religion, which prominently featured jaguars. The Olmec people believed that in the distant past a race of werejaguars was made between the union of a jaguar and a woman. One werejaguar quality that can be found is the sharp cleft in the forehead of many supernatural beings in Olmec art. This sharp cleft is associated with the natural indented head of jaguars.” ref

“In addition to their influence with contemporaneous Mesoamerican cultures, as the first civilization in Mesoamerica, the Olmecs are credited, or speculatively credited, with many “firsts”, including the bloodletting and perhaps human sacrifice, writing and epigraphy, and the invention of popcorn, zero and the Mesoamerican calendar, and the Mesoamerican ballgame, as well as perhaps the compass. Some researchers, including artist and art historian Miguel Covarrubias, even postulate that the Olmecs formulated the forerunners of many of the later Mesoamerican deities.” ref

“Mesoamerican ballgame: The Olmec are strong candidates for originating the Mesoamerican ballgame so prevalent among later cultures of the region and used for recreational and religious purposes. A dozen rubber balls dating to 1600 BCE or earlier have been found in El Manatí, a bog 10 km (6 mi) east of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan. These balls predate the earliest ballcourt yet discovered at Paso de la Amada, c. 1400 BCE, although there is no certainty that they were used in the ballgame. Evidence has pushed back the proposed date for Mixe–Zoquean language split of the Mixean and Zoquean languages to a period within the Olmec era. Based on this dating, the architectural and archaeological patterns and the particulars of the vocabulary loaned to other Mesoamerican languages from Mixe–Zoquean, Wichmann now suggests that the Olmecs of San Lorenzo spoke proto-Mixe and the Olmecs of La Venta spoke proto-Zoque.” ref

“Olmec religious activities were performed by a combination of rulers, full-time priests, and shamans. The rulers seem to have been the most important religious figures, with their links to the Olmec deities or supernaturals providing legitimacy for their rule. There is also considerable evidence for shamans in the Olmec archaeological record, particularly in the so-called “transformation figures.” ref

“As Olmec mythology has left no documents comparable to the Popol Vuh from Maya mythology, any exposition of Olmec mythology must be based on interpretations of surviving monumental and portable art (such as the Señor de Las Limas statue at the Xalapa Museum), and comparisons with other Mesoamerican mythologies. Olmec art shows that such deities as Feathered Serpent and a rain supernatural were already in the Mesoamerican pantheon in Olmec times.” ref

Mayan Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“The Maya had a polytheistic religion, which means they worshipped many gods, including Itzam Na (Creator God), Kinich Ahau (Sun God), Ah Puch (one of several death gods), and Buluc Chabtan (War God). They practiced animism, which is the belief that all things, including inanimate objects, had a soul. Since the Maya worshipped so many gods, religious rituals and traditions were frequent and dictated by the calendar the Maya developed. The Maya referred to their practice of feasts and rituals as costumbre. Blood was often part of these Maya rituals, sometimes acquired by human bloodletting and animal or human sacrifice. Maya funerals were ritualistic and involved cremation and burial of the body as well as traditions to free the k’uh. Many Maya rituals involved dancing and elaborate costumes in the hope of getting the attention of a particular god.” ref

“Until the discovery that Maya stelae depicted kings instead of high priests, the Maya priesthood and their preoccupations had been a main scholarly concern. In the course of decades, a concept of royal ʼshamanismʼ, chiefly propounded by Linda Schele and Freidel, came to occupy the forefront instead. Yet, Classic Maya civilization, being highly ritualistic, would have been unthinkable without a developed priesthood. Like other Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican priesthoods, the early Maya priesthood consisted of a hierarchy of professional priests serving as intermediaries between the population and the deities. Their basic skill was the art of reading and writing. The priesthood as a whole was the keeper of knowledge concerning the deities and their cult, including calendrics, astrology, divination, and prophecy. In addition, they were experts in historiography and genealogy. Priests were usually male and could marry.” ref

Priests: In between shamans and kings

“The Maya class of the priests is sometimes thought to have emerged from a pre-existing network of shamans as social complexity grew. The classic Siberian shaman is characterized by his intimate relationship with one or several helper spirits, ‘ecstatic’ voyages into non-human realms, and often operates individually, on behalf of his clients. In 20th-century Maya communities, diviners, and also curers, may show some features of true shamans, particularly vocation through illness or dreamstrance, and communication with a spirit. In reference to these features, they are often loosely called ‘shamans’ by ethnographers. On the other hand, priests are chiefly cultic functionaries operating within a well-defined hierarchy and offering foodsacrifices, and prayers to the deities on behalf of social groups situated on different levels. The Pre-Hispanic religious functionaries described by men like Diego de LandaTomás de Torquemada, and Bartolomé de las Casas were also priests, not shamans.” ref 

“Among the Mayas, priestly functions were often fulfilled by dignitaries who were not professional priests, but this fact cannot be used to argue the nonexistence of a separate priesthood. The Popol Vuh stereotypically describes the first ancestors as “bloodletters and sacrificers” and as the carriers of their deities, a priestly function.  To the Kʼicheʼ kings and highest dignitaries coming after them, the kingship was a sacred institution and the temple service a duty: during certain intervals, they abstained from intercoursefasted, prayed, and burnt offerings, “pleading for the light and the life of their vassals and servants.” Although the text describes the three temples dedicated to the first ancestors’ patron deities and names what appear to be the two high priests of the main deities (the Lords Ah Tohil and Ah Cucumatz), it does not discuss, or even mention, local priests.” ref

“According to some Yucatec sources, too, the rulers and the high nobility carried out priestly tasks. The highest Mayapan nobility, for example, is stated to have served continually in the temples; for the early Choles, no regular priesthood is mentioned, so that one might assume that the chiefs performed the priestly functions themselves. The Yucatec king (or “head chief of a province“), known as the halach uinic (‘true man’), is defined both as a ‘governor‘ and a ‘bishop‘. Without a grounding in esoteric and ritual knowledge, a ruler could apparently not function.” ref

“For the Classic period, the king should probably be considered a sacred, priestly king, perhaps subsuming in his person the priesthood as a whole. The latter idea has been used as an explanation for the seeming lack of references to priests in Classic period texts. The idea of the king representing the priesthood should not be pushed to its limits, however, since due to our lack of knowledge of priestly titles and imperfect understanding of the script, textual references to priests may easily pass unnoticed. The existence of a separate Classic priesthood, at the kingdom‘s court as well as in its towns and villages, is hardly doubtful; its absence would constitute an anomaly among early civilizations.” ref

“Chief among the patron deities of the Classic priests was the upper god, Itzamna, first priest and first writer, still shown officiating in one of the pictures of the Late-Postclassic Madrid Codex. Patron deities of writing and calendrical reckoning were of obvious importance to the priesthood, especially the writers among them, and included a Maya maize god and the Howler Monkey Gods. The Howler Monkey God also personified the day sign, suggesting that he may more specifically have been a patron of diviners.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

California-Peruvian connection

“The Cell study also revealed a surprising connection between ancient people living in California’s Channel Islands and the southern Peruvian Andes at least 4,200 years ago. It appears that these two geographically distant groups have a shared ancestry, the researchers found. It’s unlikely that people living in the Channel Islands actually traveled south to Peru, the researchers said. Rather, it’s possible that these groups’ ancestors sallied forth thousands of years earlier, with some ending up in the Channel Islands and others in South America. But those genes didn’t become common in Peru until much later, around 4,200 years ago, when the population may have exploded, the researchers said. It could be that this ancestry arrived in South America thousands of years before and we simply don’t have earlier individuals showing it,” study co-lead researcher Nathan Nakatsuka, a research assistant in the Reich lab at Harvard Medical School, said in the statement. “There is archaeological evidence that the population in the Central Andes area greatly expanded after around 5,000 years ago. Spreads of particular subgroups during these events may be why we detect this ancestry afterward.” ref

Norte Chico civilization / Caral–Supe civilization

Caral–Supe (also known as Caral and Norte Chico) was a complex pre-Columbian era society that included as many as thirty major population centers in what is now the Caral region of north-central coastal Peru. The civilization flourished between the fourth and second millennia BCE, with the formation of the first city generally dated to around 3500 BCE, at Huaricanga, in the Fortaleza area. It is from 3100 BCE onward that large-scale human settlement and communal construction become clearly apparent, which lasted until a period of decline around 1800 BCE. Since the early 21st century, it has been recognized as the oldest-known civilization in the Americas, and as one of the six sites where civilisation separately originated in the ancient world.” ref

“This civilization flourished along three rivers, the Fortaleza, the Pativilca, and the Supe. These river valleys each have large clusters of sites. Farther south, there are several associated sites along the Huaura River. The alternative name, Caral–Supe, is derived from the city of Caral in the Supe Valley, a large and well-studied Caral–Supe site. Complex society in the Caral–Supe arose a millennium after Sumer in Mesopotamia, was contemporaneous with the Egyptian pyramids, and predated the Mesoamerican Olmec by nearly two millennia.” ref

“In archaeological nomenclature, Caral–Supe is a pre-ceramic culture of the pre-Columbian Late Archaic; it completely lacked ceramics and no evidence of visual art has survived. The most impressive achievement of the civilization was its monumental architecture, including large earthwork platform mounds and sunken circular plazas. Archaeological evidence suggests use of textile technology and, possibly, the worship of common deity symbols, both of which recur in pre-Columbian Andean cultures. Sophisticated government is presumed to have been required to manage the ancient Caral. Questions remain over its organization, particularly the influence of food resources on politics.” ref

“The dating of the Caral–Supe sites has pushed back the estimated beginning date of complex societies in the Peruvian region by more than one thousand years. The Chavín culture, c. 900 BCE, had previously been considered the first civilization of the area. Regularly, it still is cited incorrectly as such in general works.” ref

“The discovery of Caral–Supe has also shifted the focus of research away from the highland areas of the Andes and lowlands adjacent to the mountains (where the Chavín, and later Inca, had their major centers) to the Peruvian littoral, or coastal regions. Caral is located in a north-central area of the coast, approximately 150 to 200 km north of Lima, roughly bounded by the Lurín Valley on the south and the Casma Valley on the north. It comprises four coastal valleys: the Huaura, Supe, Pativilca, and Fortaleza. Known sites are concentrated in the latter three, which share a common coastal plain. The three principal valleys cover only 1,800 km², and research has emphasized the density of the population centers.” ref

“The Peruvian littoral appears an “improbable, even aberrant” candidate for the “pristine” development of civilization, compared to other world centers. It is extremely arid, bounded by two rain shadows (caused by the Andes to the east, and the Pacific trade winds to the west). The region is punctuated by more than 50 rivers that carry Andean snowmelt. The development of widespread irrigation from these water sources is seen as decisive in the emergence of Caral–Supe; since all of the monumental architecture at various sites has been found close to irrigation channels.” ref

“The radiocarbon work of Jonathan Haas et al., found that 10 of 95 samples taken in the Pativilca and Fortaleza areas dated from before 3500 BCE. The oldest, dating from 9210 BCE, provides “limited indication” of human settlement during the Pre-Columbian Early Archaic era. Two dates of 3700 BCE are associated with communal architecture, but are likely to be anomalous. It is from 3200 BCE onward that large-scale human settlement and communal construction are clearly apparent. Mann, in a survey of the literature in 2005, suggests “sometime before 3200 BCE, and possibly before 3500 BCE” as the beginning date of the Caral–Supe formative period. He notes that the earliest date securely associated with a city is 3500 BCE, at Huaricanga, in the Fortaleza area of the north, based on Haas’s dates.” ref

“Haas’s early-third-millennium dates suggest that the development of coastal and inland sites occurred in parallel. But, from 2500 to 2000 BCE, during the period of greatest expansion, the population and development decisively shifted toward the inland sites. All development apparently occurred at large interior sites such as Caral, although they remained dependent on fish and shellfish from the coast. The peak in dates is in keeping with Shady’s dates at Caral, which show habitation from 2627 BCE to 2020 BCE. That coastal and inland sites developed in tandem remains disputed.” ref

“By around 2200 BCE, the influence of Norte Chico civilization spread far along the coast. To the south, it went as far as the Chillon valley, and the site of El Paraiso. To the north, it spread as far as the Santa River valley. c. 1800 BCE, the Caral–Supe civilization began to decline, with more powerful centers appearing to the south and north along the coast, and to the east inside the belt of the Andes. The success of irrigation-based agriculture at Caral–Supe may have contributed to its being eclipsed. Anthropologist Professor Winifred Creamer of Northern Illinois University notes that “when this civilization is in decline, we begin to find extensive canals farther north. People were moving to more fertile ground and taking their knowledge of irrigation with them”. It would be a thousand years before the rise of the next great Peruvian culture, the Chavín.” ref

“Cultural links with the highland areas have been noted by archaeologists. Ruth Shady highlights the links with the Kotosh Religious Tradition:

Numerous architectural features found among the settlements of Supe, including subterranean circular courts, stepped pyramids and sequential platforms, as well as material remains and their cultural implications, excavated at Aspero and the valley sites we are digging (Caral, Chupacigarro, Lurihuasi, Miraya), are shared with other settlements of the area that participated in what is known as the Kotosh Religious Tradition. Most specific among these features include rooms with benches and hearths with subterranean ventilation ducts, wall niches, biconvex beads, and musical flutes.” ref

Research into Caral–Supe continues, with many unsettled questions. Debate is ongoing regarding two related questions: the degree to which the flourishing of the Caral–Supe was based on maritime food resources, and the exact relationship this implies between the coastal and inland sites. A broad outline of the Caral–Supe diet has been suggested. At Caral, the edible domesticated plants noted by Shady are squashbeanslúcumaguava, pacay (Inga feuilleei), and sweet potato. Haas et al. noted the same foods in their survey farther north, while adding avocado and achira. In 2013, good evidence for maize also was documented by Haas et al.” ref

“There was also a significant seafood component at both coastal and inland sites. Shady notes that “animal remains are almost exclusively marine” at Caral, including clams and mussels, and large amounts of anchovies and sardines. That the anchovy fish reached inland is clear, although Haas suggests that “shellfish [which would include clams and mussels], sea mammals, and seaweed do not appear to have been significant portions of the diet in the inland, non-maritime sites.” ref

“The role of seafood in the Caral–Supe diet has aroused debate. Much early fieldwork was conducted in the region of Aspero on the coast, before the full scope and inter-connectedness of the several sites of the civilization were realized. In a 1973 paper, Michael E. Moseley contended that a maritime subsistence (seafood) economy had been the basis of the society and its remarkably early flourishing, a theory later elaborated as a “maritime foundation of Andean civilization” (MFAC). He confirmed a previously observed lack of ceramics at Aspero, and he deduced that “hummocks” on the site constituted the remains of artificial platform mounds.” ref

“This thesis of a maritime foundation was contrary to the general scholarly consensus that the rise of civilization was based on intensive agriculture, particularly of at least one cereal. The production of agricultural surpluses had long been seen as essential in promoting population density and the emergence of complex society. Moseley’s ideas would be debated and challenged (that maritime remains and their caloric contribution were overestimated, for example), but have been treated as plausible as late as 2005, when Mann conducted a summary of the literature.” ref

“Concomitant to the maritime subsistence hypothesis was an implied dominance of sites immediately adjacent to the coast over other centers. This idea was shaken by the realization of the magnitude of Caral, an inland site. Supplemental to a 1997 article by Shady dating Caral, a 2001 Science news article emphasized the dominance of agriculture and also suggested that Caral was the oldest urban center in Peru (and the entire Americas). It rejected the idea that civilization might have begun adjacent to the coast and then moved inland. One archaeologist was quoted as suggesting that “rather than coastal antecedents to monumental inland sites, what we have now are coastal satellite villages to monumental inland sites.” ref

“These assertions were quickly challenged by Sandweiss and Moseley, who observed that Caral, although being the largest and most complex preceramic site, it is not the oldest. They admitted the importance of agriculture to industry and to augment diet, while broadly affirming “the formative role of marine resources in early Andean civilization”. Scholars now agree that the inland sites did have significantly greater populations, and that there were “so many more people along the four rivers than on the shore that they had to have been dominant.” ref

“The remaining question is which of the areas developed first and created a template for subsequent development. Haas rejects suggestions that maritime development at sites immediately adjacent to the coast was initial, pointing to contemporaneous development based on his dating. Moseley remains convinced that coastal Aspero is the oldest site, and that its maritime subsistence served as a basis for the civilization. The use of cotton (of the species Gossypium barbadense) played an important economic role in the relationship between the inland and the coastal settlements in this area of Peru. Nevertheless, scholars are still divided over the exact chronology of these developments.” ref

“Although not edible, cotton was the most important product of irrigation in the Caral–Supe culture, vital to the production of fishing nets (that in turn provided maritime resources) as well as to textiles and textile technology. Haas notes that “control over cotton allows a ruling elite to provide the benefit of cloth for clothing, bags, wraps, and adornment”. He is willing to admit to a mutual dependency dilemma: “The prehistoric residents of the Norte Chico needed the fish resources for their protein and the fishermen needed the cotton to make the nets to catch the fish.” Thus, identifying cotton as a vital resource produced in the inland does not by itself resolve the issue of whether the inland centers were a progenitor for those on the coast, or vice versa. Moseley argues that successful maritime centers would have moved inland to find cotton.” ref

“In a 2018 publication, David G. Beresford-Jones with coauthors have defended Moseley’s (1975) Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization (MFAC) hypothesis. The authors modified and refined the Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization hypothesis of Moseley. Thus, according to them, the MFAC hypothesis now “emerges more persuasive than ever”. It was the potential for increased quantities of food production that the cultivation of cotton allowed that was the key in precipitating revolutionary social change and social complexity, according to the authors. Previous to that, the gathering of bast fibers of wild Asclepias was used for fiber production, which was far less efficient.” ref

“Beresford-Jones and others also offered further support for their theories in 2021. The degree of centralized authority is difficult to ascertain, but architectural construction patterns are indicative, at least in certain places at certain times, of an elite population who wielded considerable power: while some of the monumental architecture was constructed incrementally, other buildings, such as the two main platform mounds at Caral, appear to have been constructed in one or two intense construction phases. As further evidence of centralized control, Haas points to remains of large stone warehouses found at Upaca, on the Pativilca, as emblematic of authorities able to control vital resources such as cotton.” ref

“Haas suggests that the labour mobilization patterns revealed by the archaeological evidence, point to a unique emergence of human government, one of two alongside Sumer (or three, if Mesoamerica is included as a separate case). While in other cases, the idea of government would have been borrowed or copied, in this small group, government was invented. Other archaeologists have rejected such claims as hyperbolic.” ref

“In exploring the basis of possible government, Haas suggests three broad bases of power for early complex societies:

  • economic,
  • ideology, and
  • physical.” ref

“He finds the first two present in ancient Caral–Supe. Economic authority would have rested on the control of cotton, edible plants, and associated trade relationships, with power centered on the inland sites. Haas tentatively suggests that the scope of this economic power base may have extended widely: there are only two confirmed shore sites in the Caral–Supe (Aspero and Bandurria) and possibly two more, but cotton fishing nets and domesticated plants have been found up and down the Peruvian coast. It is possible that the major inland centers of Caral–Supe, were at the center of a broad regional trade network centered on these resources.” ref

“Citing Shady, a 2005 article in Discover magazine suggests a rich and varied trade life: “[Caral] exported its own products and those of Aspero to distant communities in exchange for exotic imports: Spondylus shells from the coast of Ecuador, rich dyes from the Andean highlands, hallucinogenic snuff from the Amazon.” (Given the still limited extent of Caral–Supe research, such claims should be treated circumspectly.) Other reports on Shady’s work indicate Caral traded with communities in the jungle farther inland and, possibly, with people from the mountains.” ref

“Haas postulates that ideological power exercised by leadership was based on apparent access to deities and the supernatural. Evidence regarding Caral–Supe religion is limited: in 2003, an image of the Staff God, a leering figure with a hood and fangs, was found on a gourd that dated to 2250 BCE. The Staff God is a major deity of later Andean cultures, and Winifred Creamer suggests the find points to worship of common symbols of deities. As with much other research at Caral–Supe, the nature and significance of the find has been disputed by other researchers.” ref

“Mann postulates that the act of architectural construction and maintenance at Caral–Supe may have been a spiritual or religious experience: a process of communal exaltation and ceremony. Shady has called Caral “the sacred city” (la ciudad sagrada) and reports that socio-economic and political focus was on the temples, which were periodically remodeled, with major burnt offerings associated with the remodeling.” ref

“Haas notes the absence of any suggestion of physical bases of power, that is, defensive construction, at Caral–Supe. There is no evidence of warfare “of any kind or at any level during the Preceramic Period“. Mutilated bodies, burned buildings, and other tell-tale signs of violence are absent and settlement patterns are completely non-defensive. The evidence of the development of complex government in the absence of warfare contrasts markedly to archaeological theory, which suggests that human beings move away from kin-based groups to larger units resembling “states” for mutual defense of often scarce resources. In Caral–Supe, a vital resource was present: arable land generally, and the cotton crop specifically, but Mann noted that apparently, the move to greater complexity by the culture was not driven by the need for defense or warfare.” ref

“Caral–Supe sites are known for their density of large sites with immense architecture. Haas argues that the density of sites in such a small area is globally unique for a nascent civilization. During the third millennium BCE, Caral–Supe may have been the most densely populated area of the world (excepting, possibly, Northern China). The Supe, Pativilca, Fortaleza, and Huaura River Valleys of Caral–Supe each have several related sites.” ref

“Evidence from the ground-breaking work during 1973 at Aspero, at the mouth of the Supe Valley, suggested a site of approximately 13 hectares (32 acres). Surveying of the midden suggested extensive prehistoric construction activity. Small-scale terracing was noted, along with more sophisticated platform mound masonry. As many as eleven artificial mounds were estimated to exist at the site. Moseley calls these “Corporate Labor Platforms”, given that their size, layout, and construction materials and techniques would have required an organized workforce.” ref

“The survey of the northern rivers found sites between 10 and 100 ha (25 and 247 acres); between one and seven large platform mounds—rectangular, terraced pyramids—were discovered, ranging in size from 3,000 m3 (110,000 cu ft) to more than 100,000 m3 (3,500,000 cu ft). Shady notes that the central zone of Caral, with monumental architecture, covers an area of just greater than 65 hectares (160 acres). Also, six platform mounds, numerous smaller mounds, two sunken circular plazas, and a variety of residential architecture were discovered at this site.” ref

“The monumental architecture was constructed with quarried stone and river cobbles. Using reed “shicra-bags”, some of which have been preserved, laborers would have hauled the material to sites by hand. Roger Atwood of Archaeology magazine describes the process:

Armies of workers would gather a long, durable grass known as shicra in the highlands above the city, tie the grass strands into loosely meshed bags, fill the bags with boulders, and then pack the trenches behind each successive retaining wall of the step pyramids with the stone-filled bags.” ref

“In this way, the people of Norte Chico achieved formidable architectural success. The largest of the platforms mounds at Caral, the Piramide Mayor, measures 160 by 150 m (520 by 490 ft) and rises 18 m (59 ft) high. In its summation of the 2001 Shady paper, the BBC suggests workers would have been “paid or compelled” to work on centralized projects of this sort, with dried anchovies possibly serving as a form of currency. Mann points to “ideology, charisma, and skilfully timed reinforcement” from leaders.” ref

“When compared to the common Eurasian models of the development of civilization, Caral–Supe’s differences are striking. In Caral–Supe, a total lack of ceramics persists across the period. Crops were cooked by roasting. The lack of pottery was accompanied by a lack of archaeologically apparent art. In conversation with Mann, Alvaro Ruiz observes: “In the Norte Chico we see almost no visual arts. No sculpture, no carving or bas-relief, almost no painting or drawing—the interiors are completely bare. What we do see are these huge mounds—and textiles.” ref

“While the absence of ceramics appears anomalous, Mann notes that the presence of textiles is intriguing. Quipu (or khipu), string-based recording devices, have been found at Caral, suggesting a writing, or proto-writing, system at Caral–Supe.  (The discovery was reported by Mann in Science in 2005, but has not been formally published or described by Shady.) The exact use of quipu in this and later Andean cultures has been widely debated. Originally, it was believed to be a simple mnemonic technique used to record numeric information, such as a count of items bought and sold. Evidence has emerged, however, that the quipu also may have recorded logographic information in the same way writing does. Research has focused on the much larger sample of a few hundred quipu dating to Inca times. The Caral–Supe discovery remains singular and undeciphered.” ref

“Other finds at Caral–Supe have proved suggestive. While visual arts appear absent, the people may have played instrumental music: thirty-two flutes, crafted from pelican bone, have been discovered. The oldest known depiction of the Staff God was found in 2003 on some broken gourd fragments in a burial site in the Pativilca River Valley and the gourd was carbon dated to 2250 BCE. While still fragmentary, such archaeological evidence corresponds to the patterns of later Andean civilization and may indicate that Caral–Supe served as a template. Along with the specific finds, Mann highlights

“the primacy of exchange over a wide area, the penchant for collective, festive civic work projects, [and] the high valuation of textiles and textile technology” within Norte Chico as patterns that would recur later in the Peruvian cradle of civilization.” ref

Isthmo-Colombian Area

The Isthmo-Colombian Area is defined as a cultural area encompassing those territories occupied predominantly by speakers of the Chibchan languages at the time of European contact. It includes portions of the Central American isthmus like eastern El Salvador, eastern Honduras, Caribbean NicaraguaCosta RicaPanama, and northern Colombia. It is a portion of what has previously been termed the Intermediate Area, and was defined in a chapter by John W. Hoopes and Oscar Fonseca Z in the 2003 book Gold and Power in Ancient Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia.” ref

“The concept draws upon multidisciplinary perspectives, including linguistic reconstructions by Costa Rican anthropological linguist Adolfo Constenla Umaña and observations on Chibchan genetics by Costa Rican anthropological geneticist Ramiro Barrantes Mesén. It is currently being refined through ongoing studies of the linguisticsgeneticsarchaeologyart historyethnography, and ethnohistory of this part of the Americas. This includes more recent study of the relationships between this area and the Antilles within a Pan-Caribbean framework.” ref

The Isthmo-Colombian Area was and is still home to a wide variety of indigenous peoples. A large number of them were speakers of Chibchan languages. These include (but are not limited to) the Pech, the Rama, the Maleku, the Bribri, the Cabécar, the Guaymí, the Naso, the Kuna, the Kogi, the Motilon, the U’wa, and the Muisca.” ref

“Archaeological knowledge of this area has received relatively little attention compared to its adjoining neighbors to the north and south, despite the fact that scholars such as Max UhleWilliam Henry HolmesC. V. Hartman, and George Grant MacCurdy undertook studies of archaeological sites and collections here over a century ago that were augmented by further research by Samuel Kirkland LothropJohn Alden MasonDoris Zemurray StoneWilliam Duncan StrongGordon Willey, and others in the early 20th century. One of the reasons for the relative lack of attention is the lack of research by locals themselves into the ancestral monuments and architecture characteristic of communities such as those found in the neighboring culture areas of Mesoamerica and the Andes areas, and a long history of Eurocentric perceptions by Western scholars of what represented civilization.” ref

“There are a large number of sites with impressive platform mounds, plazas, paved roads, stone sculpture, and artifacts made from jadegold, and ceramic materials. These include Las MercedesGuayabo de TurrialbaCutrís, and Cubujuquí in Costa Rica and Pueblito (in Tayrona National Natural Park) and Ciudad Perdida in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta of Colombia. Research at sites such as Rivas, Costa Rica helps to document the configurations of large settlements in the centuries prior to the Spanish Conquest. Some of the best-known Isthmo-Colombian sculptures are the stone spheres of Costa Rica. Another area that has provided valuable archaeological information is the Gran Coclé region in Panama, largely coinciding with the modern-day Coclé Province.” ref

Chibchan languages

The Chibchan languages (also ChibchanChibchano) make up a language family indigenous to the Isthmo-Colombian Area, which extends from eastern Honduras to northern Colombia and includes populations of these countries as well as NicaraguaCosta Rica, and Panama. The name is derived from the name of an extinct language called Chibcha or Muysccubun, once spoken by the people who lived on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense of which the city of Bogotá was the southern capital at the time of the Spanish Conquista. However, genetic and linguistic data now indicate that the original heart of Chibchan languages and Chibchan-speaking peoples might not have been in Colombia, but in the area of the Costa RicaPanama border, where the greatest variety of Chibchan languages has been identified.

A larger family called Macro-Chibchan, which would contain the Misumalpan languages, Xinca, and Lenca, was found convincing by Kaufman (1990). The Misumalpan languages (also Misumalpa or Misuluan) are a small family of languages spoken by indigenous peoples on the east coast of Nicaragua and nearby areas.” refref

“Based primarily on evidence from grammatical morphemes, Pache (2018, 2023) suggests a distant relationship with the Macro-Jê languages. Macro-Chibchan is a proposed grouping of the languages of the LencanMisumalpan, and Chibchan families into a single large phylum (macrofamily). ref, ref

Isthmo-Colombian: Intermediate Area?

The Intermediate Area is an archaeological geographical area of the Americas that was defined in its clearest form by Gordon R. Willey in his 1971 book An Introduction to American Archaeology, Vol. 2: South America (Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ). It comprises the geographical region between Mesoamerica to the north and the Central Andes to the south, including portions of Honduras and most of the territory of the republics of NicaraguaCosta RicaPanama and Colombia. As an archaeological concept, the Intermediate Area has always been somewhat poorly defined.” ref

Because it was not home to ancient state societies but was predominated by early chiefdoms at the time of the Spanish conquest, it was sometimes regarded as a kind of cultural backwater that contributed little to the emergence of Pre-Columbian civilization in the New World. However, recent archaeological research has demonstrated that this part of the Americas had some of the earliest agriculture, pottery, and metallurgy in the hemisphere. Given new findings, it is likely to have played a critical role in the transmission of culture both to and between neighboring regions to the north and south. Recently, concepts such as that of the Isthmo-Colombian Area have been offered as an alternative to the Intermediate Area with the intention of creating a neutral term.” ref


The Chibcha, a group of South American natives, occupied the high valleys surrounding the modern cities of Bogotá and Tunja in Colombia before the Spanish conquest. The Chibcha religion was of both state and individual concern. Each political division had its own set of priests. Apparently some kind of hierarchy was recognized and the priests were a professional hereditary class. Priests, who were clearly distinguished from shamans, had as their functions the intercession at public ceremonies for the public good, the dispensing of oracles, and consultation with private individuals. Shamans served the individual more than the state and cured illnesses, interpreted dreams, and foretold the future. The Chibchas had an elaborate pantheon of gods headed by Chiminigagua, the supreme god and creator. In addition to the state temples and idols, many natural habitats were considered to be holy places. Ceremonial practices included offerings, public rites, pilgrimages, and human sacrifice. Human sacrifice was said to be fairly common and was made primarily to the sun.” ref

“We recognize that communities and constellations of practice entail activities that overlap, transcend, and defy categorization within conventional geographic or cultural boundaries. Indigenous peoples of the Americas include more than half a million speakers of indigenous languages. And while identity can sometimes to linked to indigenous languages, indigenous identities are further complicated for indigenous groups whose identities are not strictly tied to language.” – Info from: Pre-Columbian Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador: Toward an Integrated Approach (Dumbarton Oaks Other Titles in Pre-Columbian Studies) by Colin McEwan (Editor), John W. Hoopes (Editor)

“Shellfish was a major source of protein, and shells also became tools and artifacts. In Pre-Colombia art and oral traditions, many animals that were not utilized for food, still feature prominently: birds (Vultures and Eagles), felids (Jaguars, Ocelots, Margays, and others), crocodiles (Crocodiles and Caymans), saurian (Iguanas and basilisks), anurans (Frogs and Toads), rodents (Agoutis and Rabbits), snakes (Pit vipers and Rattlesnakes), and simians (Spider, Howler, Capuchin, and Squirrel monkeys) .” – Info from: Pre-Columbian Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador: Toward an Integrated Approach (Dumbarton Oaks Other Titles in Pre-Columbian Studies) by Colin McEwan (Editor), John W. Hoopes (Editor)  

The early Holocene period (“The Holocene: began approximately 9,700 BCE or 11,650 cal years ago, and corresponds with the rapid proliferation, growth, and impacts of the human species worldwide, including all of its written historytechnological revolutions, development of major civilizations, and overall significant transition towards urban living in the present. ref), saw the first documented use of wild food plants.” – Info from: Pre-Columbian Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador: Toward an Integrated Approach (Dumbarton Oaks Other Titles in Pre-Columbian Studies) by Colin McEwan (Editor), John W. Hoopes (Editor)  

Genetic diversity may have begun in the Late Pleistocene (“between 129,000 to 11,700 years ago ref) as populations crossing the Isthmus (“Isthmus and land bridge are related terms, with isthmus having a broader meaning. A land bridge is an isthmus connecting Earth’s major land masses. ref) dispersing both eastward and south. According to the linguistic and genetic evidence, the Chibchan-speaking populations separated into distinct groups in the Early Holocene and maintained a significant level of identity and cohesion thought the archaeological record.” – Info from: Pre-Columbian Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador: Toward an Integrated Approach (Dumbarton Oaks Other Titles in Pre-Columbian Studies) by Colin McEwan (Editor), John W. Hoopes (Editor)   

“People spoke Chibchan languages throughout the Isthmo-Colombian Area, from eastern Honduras to southern Colombia. There is no reason to characterize Chibchan languages as “South American” than there is to label them “Central American.” Furthermore, what some authors called “Mesoamerican influence” in Colombia may have come from southern Central America instead. New evidence confirms chthonous expansion beginning in the Late Pleistocene of populations, technologies, sociopolitical strategies, interregional interactions, and ideological systems.” – Info from: Pre-Columbian Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador: Toward an Integrated Approach (Dumbarton Oaks Other Titles in Pre-Columbian Studies) by Colin McEwan (Editor), John W. Hoopes (Editor)  

Chibchan Religion (Deities and Shamanism/or “medicine people”)

“The Chibcha religion was of both state and individual concern. Each political division had its own set of priests. Apparently some kind of hierarchy was recognized and the priests were a professional hereditary class. Priests, who were clearly distinguished from shamans, had as their functions the intercession at public ceremonies for the public good, the dispensing of oracles, and consultation with private individuals. Shamans served the individual more than the state and cured illnesses, interpreted dreams, and foretold the future. The Chibchas had an elaborate pantheon of gods headed by Chiminigagua, the supreme god and creator. In addition to the state temples and idols, many natural habitats were considered to be holy places. Ceremonial practices included offerings, public rites, pilgrimages, and human sacrifice.” ref

“Chibcha, South American Indians who at the time of the Spanish conquest occupied the high valleys surrounding the modern cities of Bogotá and Tunja in Colombia. With a population of more than 500,000, they were notable for being more centralized politically than any other South American people outside the Inca empire. Numerous small districts, each with its own chief, had been consolidated through conquest and alliance into two major states and several lesser ones, each headed by a hereditary ruler. Although these states were not very stable, it seems clear that the arrival of the Spanish cut short the development of even larger political units. Their political structure was crushed in the 16th century. In the 18th century their language ceased to be spoken, and the Chibcha became assimilated with the rest of the population.” ref

“Chibcha society was based on an economy featuring intensive agriculture, a variety of crafts, and considerable trade. Weekly markets in the larger villages facilitated the exchange of farm produce, pottery, and cotton cloth; and trade with neighbouring peoples provided the gold that was used extensively for ornaments and offerings. The use of gold was a prerogative of the upper class, who were also carried in litters and shown great deference. Because descent was matrilineal, chiefs and religious leaders were succeeded by their sisters’ sons, although land was inherited patrilineally. Heirs to important offices underwent long periods (6 to 12 years) of fasting and seclusion in preparation for their future duties.” ref

“The religion was dominated by a hereditary but unorganized priesthood that maintained numerous temples and shrines and held elaborate but infrequent public ceremonies. Offerings, especially of gold and cloth, were a prominent part of all religious observances, and on special occasions human sacrifices were made to the Sun.” ref

South America Area

“Although both North and Central America are very diverse areas, South America has a linguistic diversity rivaled by only a few other places in the world with approximately 350 languages still spoken and several hundred more spoken at first contact but now extinct. The situation of language documentation and classification into genetic families is not as advanced as in North America (which is relatively well studied in many areas). As a result, many relationships between languages and language families have not been determined and some of those relationships that have been proposed are on somewhat shaky ground.” ref 

“In many parts of South America, the shaman, a religious specialist who enters into states of ecstasy, holds a prominent place in society. A shaman, it is believed, learns to control the passage of the soul out of and back into the body. According to South American tradition, the shaman not only controls the ecstasy of his or her own soul but also is devoted to the knowledge and care of the souls of others.” ref

“The length of shamanic training varies widely from one South American culture to another. Among the Arecuna and Taulipang, Cariban groups of Venezuela and Brazil, the shamanic novitiate is reported to last from 10 to 20 years. In other traditions, by contrast, knowledge might be transmitted to the novice in relatively brief but intense periods of ecstasy. The knowledge imparted may include the use of different forms of fire (such as ritual fires, sparks struck from special elements, or the light contained in bright crystals), the use of musical instruments, and the mastery of primordial sounds (which are thought to have the power to re-create the bodies of suffering patients or to reorder the seasons to overcome drought or famine), esoteric languages, and sacred songs.” ref

“The education of a shaman usually takes place under the direction of a master. In some traditions the master is an accomplished and practiced human shaman. In other traditions, including those of the Makiritare, the master is a supernatural being. The Makiritare believe that the sacred songs (ademi) were taught to shamans at the beginning of time by sadashe (masters of animals and prototypes of the contemporary animal species), who cut down the tree of life, survived the subsequent flood, cleared the first garden, and celebrated the first new harvest festival. In order to preserve their power, the ademi must be repeated in the exact phonetic pattern in which the sadashe first revealed them.” ref

“The shaman’s rattle is a most sacred instrument in South America, and the Warao (Warrau) of the Orinoco delta in Venezuela believe that the original shaman’s rattle was brought back to earth after the primordial mythic shaman ascended to the heavenly realm to visit the spirit of the south. It is believed that the rattle embodies the sacred forces of the cosmos through its sounds, structural features, contents, and connection to shamanic ecstasy. The rattle’s various parts also symbolize the structures of the world. The handle is the vertical path that rises into the heavenly vault. The heavenly realm is represented by the rattle’s great head-gourd, which contains spirits. Joining the handle to the head represents the joining of male and female elements in the universe, an act of fertilization that gives the sounds of the instrument creative power. Safeguarding the rattle and playing it properly during ritual fulfills the destiny of the human spirit: to sustain the order of existence.” ref

Chibchan Genetics

“Genetic differences between Chibcha and Non-Chibcha speaking tribes based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups from 21 Amerindian tribes from Colombia: Our results showed a high degree of mtDNA diversity and genetic heterogeneity. Frequencies of mtDNA haplogroups A and C were high in the majority of populations studied. The distribution of these four mtDNA haplogroups from Amerindian populations was different in the northern region of the country compared to those in the south. Haplogroup A was more frequently found among Amerindian tribes in northern Colombia, while haplogroup D was more frequent among tribes in the south. Haplogroups A, C and D have clinal tendencies in Colombia and South America in general. Populations belonging to the Chibcha linguistic family of Colombia and other countries nearby showed a strong genetic differentiation from the other populations tested, thus corroborating previous findings. Genetically, the Ingano, Paez and Guambiano populations are more closely related to other groups of south eastern Colombia, as also inferred from other genetic markers and from archeological data. Strong evidence for a correspondence between geographical and linguistic classification was found, and this is consistent with evidence that gene flow and the exchange of customs and knowledge and language elements between groups is facilitated by close proximity.” ref

Genetic Variation of the Y Chromosome (Q-M3 haplogroup) in Chibcha-Speaking Amerindians of Costa Rica and Panama

Genetic variation of the Y chromosome in five Chibchan tribes (Bribri, Cabecar, Guaymi, Huetar, and Teribe) of Costa Rica and Panama was analyzed using six microsatellite loci (DYS19, DYS389A, DYS389B, DYS390, DYS391, and DYS393), the Y-chromosome-specific alphoid system (αh), the Y-chromosome Alu polymorphism (YAP), and a specific pre-Columbian transition (C → T) (M3 marker) in the DYS199 locus that defines the Q-M3 haplogroup. Thirty-nine haplotypes were found, resulting in a haplotype diversity of 0.937. The Huetar were the most diverse tribe, probably because of their high levels of interethnic admixture. A candidate founder Y-chromosome haplotype was identified (15.1% of Chibchan chromosomes), with the following constitution: YAP-, DYS199*T, αh-II, DYS19*13, DYS389A*17, DYS389B*10 y DYS390*24, DYS391*10, and DYS393*13. This haplotype is the same as the one described previously as one of the most frequent founder paternal lineages in native American populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that the between-population variation was smaller than the within-population variation, and the comparison with mtDNA restriction data showed no evidence of differential structuring between maternally and paternally inherited genes in the Chibchan populations. The mismatch-distribution approach indicated estimated coalescence times of the Y chromosomes of the Q-M3 haplogroup of 3,113 and 13,243 years before present; for the mtDNA-restriction haplotypes the estimated coalescence time was between 7,452 and 9,834 years before present. These results are compatible with the suggested time for the origin of the Chibchan group based on archeological, linguistic, and genetic evidence.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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My Speculations are in Comparative Mythologies?

For instance, the mytheme of an ancient belief that is seemingly shared though changed and adapted, a fundamental generic unit of narrative structure seems to be shared a common relation with mountains/ancestors/gods or sacred animals with Sacred Mounds, Mountains, Kurgans, and Pyramids

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

People don’t commonly teach religious history, even that of their own claimed religion. No, rather they teach a limited “pro their religion” history of their religion from a religious perspective favorable to the religion of choice. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Do you truly think “Religious Belief” is only a matter of some personal choice?

Do you not see how coercive one’s world of choice is limited to the obvious hereditary belief, in most religious choices available to the child of religious parents or caregivers? Religion is more commonly like a family, culture, society, etc. available belief that limits the belief choices of the child and that is when “Religious Belief” is not only a matter of some personal choice and when it becomes hereditary faith, not because of the quality of its alleged facts or proposed truths but because everyone else important to the child believes similarly so they do as well simply mimicking authority beliefs handed to them. Because children are raised in religion rather than being presented all possible choices but rather one limited dogmatic brand of “Religious Belief” where children only have a choice of following the belief as instructed, and then personally claim the faith hereditary belief seen in the confirming to the belief they have held themselves all their lives. This is obvious in statements asked and answered by children claiming a faith they barely understand but they do understand that their family believes “this or that” faith, so they feel obligated to believe it too. While I do agree that “Religious Belief” should only be a matter of some personal choice, it rarely is… End Hereditary Religion!

Opposition to Imposed Hereditary Religion

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

We are like believing machines we vacuum up ideas, like Velcro sticks to almost everything. We accumulate beliefs that we allow to negatively influence our lives, often without realizing it. Our willingness must be to alter skewed beliefs that impend our balance or reason, which allows us to achieve new positive thinking and accurate outcomes.

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

To me, Animism starts in Southern Africa, then to West Europe, and becomes Totemism. Another split goes near the Russia and Siberia border becoming Shamanism, which heads into Central Europe meeting up with Totemism, which also had moved there, mixing the two which then heads to Lake Baikal in Siberia. From there this Shamanism-Totemism heads to Turkey where it becomes Paganism.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Not all “Religions” or “Religious Persuasions” have a god(s) but

All can be said to believe in some imaginary beings or imaginary things like spirits, afterlives, etc.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as “sky father” deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a “sky father” god with an “earth mother” goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with “sky” not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.” ref

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


“These ideas are my speculations from the evidence.”

I am still researching the “god‘s origins” all over the world. So you know, it is very complicated but I am smart and willing to look, DEEP, if necessary, which going very deep does seem to be needed here, when trying to actually understand the evolution of gods and goddesses. I am sure of a few things and less sure of others, but even in stuff I am not fully grasping I still am slowly figuring it out, to explain it to others. But as I research more I am understanding things a little better, though I am still working on understanding it all or something close and thus always figuring out more. 

Sky Father/Sky God?

“Egyptian: (Nut) Sky Mother and (Geb) Earth Father” (Egypt is different but similar)

Turkic/Mongolic: (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) Sky Father and (Eje/Gazar Eej) Earth Mother *Transeurasian*

Hawaiian: (Wākea) Sky Father and (Papahānaumoku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

New Zealand/ Māori: (Ranginui) Sky Father and (Papatūānuku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

Proto-Indo-European: (Dyus/Dyus phtr) Sky Father and (Dʰéǵʰōm/Plethwih) Earth Mother

Indo-Aryan: (Dyaus Pita) Sky Father and (Prithvi Mata) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Italic: (Jupiter) Sky Father and (Juno) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Etruscan: (Tinia) Sky Father and (Uni) Sky Mother *Tyrsenian/Italy Pre–Indo-European*

Hellenic/Greek: (Zeus) Sky Father and (Hera) Sky Mother who started as an “Earth Goddess” *Indo-European*

Nordic: (Dagr) Sky Father and (Nótt) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Slavic: (Perun) Sky Father and (Mokosh) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Illyrian: (Deipaturos) Sky Father and (Messapic Damatura’s “earth-mother” maybe) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Albanian: (Zojz) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

Baltic: (Perkūnas) Sky Father and (Saulė) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Germanic: (Týr) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

Colombian-Muisca: (Bochica) Sky Father and (Huythaca) Sky Mother *Chibchan*

Aztec: (Quetzalcoatl) Sky Father and (Xochiquetzal) Sky Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

Incan: (Viracocha) Sky Father and (Mama Runtucaya) Sky Mother *Quechuan*

China: (Tian/Shangdi) Sky Father and (Dì) Earth Mother *Sino-Tibetan*

Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian: (An/Anu) Sky Father and (Ki) Earth Mother

Finnish: (Ukko) Sky Father and (Akka) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

Sami: (Horagalles) Sky Father and (Ravdna) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

Puebloan-Zuni: (Ápoyan Ta’chu) Sky Father and (Áwitelin Tsíta) Earth Mother

Puebloan-Hopi: (Tawa) Sky Father and (Kokyangwuti/Spider Woman/Grandmother) Earth Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

Puebloan-Navajo: (Tsohanoai) Sky Father and (Estsanatlehi) Earth Mother *Na-Dene*



Sky Father/Sky Mother “High Gods” or similar gods/goddesses of the sky more loosely connected, seeming arcane mythology across the earth seen in Siberia, China, Europe, Native Americans/First Nations People and Mesopotamia, etc.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref

Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

“Theists, there has to be a god, as something can not come from nothing.”

Well, thus something (unknown) happened and then there was something. This does not tell us what the something that may have been involved with something coming from nothing. A supposed first cause, thus something (unknown) happened and then there was something is not an open invitation to claim it as known, neither is it justified to call or label such an unknown as anything, especially an unsubstantiated magical thinking belief born of mythology and religious storytelling.

How do they even know if there was nothing as a start outside our universe, could there not be other universes outside our own?
For all, we know there may have always been something past the supposed Big Bang we can’t see beyond, like our universe as one part of a mega system.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szFjxmY7jQA by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu: First City of Power)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King Lugalzagesi and the First Empire)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston: https://damienmarieathope.com/2021/04/cory-johnston-mind-of-a-skeptical-leftist/?v=32aec8db952d  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.” http://anchor.fm/skepticalleft

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist.

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so.

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

To me, animal gods were likely first related to totemism animals around 13,000 to 12,000 years ago or older. Female as goddesses was next to me, 11,000 to 10,000 years ago or so with the emergence of agriculture. Then male gods come about 8,000 to 7,000 years ago with clan wars. Many monotheism-themed religions started in henotheism, emerging out of polytheism/paganism.

“Animism” is needed to begin supernatural thinking.
“Totemism” is needed for supernatural thinking connecting human actions & related to clan/tribe.
“Shamanism” is needed for supernatural thinking to be controllable/changeable by special persons.
Together = Gods/paganism

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: damien.marie.athope@gmail.com

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