An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

Latest News

  • NEWS DECEMBER 2022

    NEWS DECEMBER 2022

    Atlantipedia will be wound down in 2023. After nearly twenty years compiling Atlantipedia on my own, and as I am now approaching my 80th birthday, I have decided to cut back on the time I dedicate to developing this website. An orderly conclusion rather than an enforced one is always preferable before the Grim Reaper […]Read More »
  • Joining The Dots

    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »
Search

Recent Updates

Archive 3316

By LEONARDO VINTIÑI

???????????????????????????

There is an ancient culture that flourished in Mesoamerica

around 1100 A.D. still baffling historians—the

mysterious Olmecs. Their religious rituals are far from

completely understood, but so too are their origins. How

did this culture that appeared seemingly overnight go on

to exhibit such an enormous influence on the rest of the

region?

According to several authors, including Mike Xu,

professor of Chinese studies at the University of Central

Oklahoma, the Olmecs are descendants of ancient Chinese.

The evidence? The Olmec culture began around

1100 A.D., some years after the fall of China’s Shang dynasty

(1766 to 1122 B.C.). According to ancient chronicles

of that era, when the Zhou were invading and plundering

the Shang, records state that the son of the emperor

brought 25,000 adepts toward the “eastern ocean.” According

to Mike Xu, these were the first Olmec people.

At that time in history, China’s ocean fleet was the

most advanced of the day. Some historians propose that

these Chinese travelers could have arrived on the American

coast thanks to the “black current.” Known as Kuro

Shiwo or “current of death” in Japanese, this Pacific current

would have been capable of navigating an ancient

Chinese sailor to the Americas. In his article for the sailing

magazine 48 Degrees North, “Are We Living in the

Land of Fusang?” Hewitt R. Jackson writes that there is

evidence of similar pre-Columbian Chinese sea voyages

that have already been confirmed:

“Probably the best documented account that has been

studied is that of Hwui Chan (Hoei Shin). He was a “chamen”

or mendicant priest who had made his way from

Afghanistan among the first of the Buddhist missionaries

to reach China. This was a period of great expansion

for Buddhism and extraordinary journeys by land

and sea were common for the “cha-men.” Hwui Chan

sailed to the Americas some five hundred years before

Leif Erickson and a thousand before Columbus. His description

of the land he visited seems to indicate that he

passed by California and settled in Mexico. After a stay

of forty years he returned to China in 499 A.D. and related

the story of his labors and travels to Wu Ti, the Emperor.

The story of Fusang was at that time well known

in China. This eventually has been recognized and accepted

by western scholars, but for some reason it has

fallen out of fashion in our history and literature within

the past century.”

While the black current explains the journey, ancient

Olmec artifacts give the theory further substance. The

written language found on the Olmecs’ jars, pottery,

and statues reveals what could be the actual influence

of Chinese culture. Professor Xu points out that various

words found on these decorative objects match exactly

with those used in Shang China: Sun, Mountain, Artist,

Water, Rain, Sacrifice, Health, Plants, Wealth, and Earth.

In fact, the majority of the 146 characters used by the Olmecs

are exactly the same as primitive Chinese writing.

When Xu showed the Olmec artifacts to university students

involved in analyzing primitive Chinese culture,

they actually believed it was ancient Chinese script.

While most Mesoamerican scholars do not accept

Xu’s theory—critics have labeled him “the most dangerous

person in Mesoamerican research”—it nevertheless

offers insights about the mysterious Olmecs that more

accepted theories cannot reach.

In her letter to Science Magazine in 2005, Betty J.

Meggers of the National Museum of Natural History at

the Smithsonian Institution criticizes most Mesoamerican

scholars’ failure to acknowledge Xu’s comparisons:

“The invention of writing revolutionized Chinese society

by facilitating communication among speakers of 60 mutually

unintelligible languages and resulted in increased

commercial interaction and social integration. The rapid

diffusion of Olmec iconography and associated cultural

elaboration suggests it had the same impact across multilingual

Mesoamerica. The demise of the Shang Empire

circa 1500 B.C.E. coincides with the emergence of Olmec

civilization. Rather than speculate in a vacuum on the intangible

character of Olmec society, it would seem profitable

to compare the archaeological remains with the detailed

record of the impact of writing on the development

of Chinese civilization. What do we have to lose?”