Van Sertima marshals the literary and pictorial evidence and shows its Early America Revisited is a vigorous defense and amplification of Ivan Van Sertima’s. Early America Revisited has 41 ratings and 0 reviews. Early America Revisited is a vigorous defense and amplification of Ivan Van Sertima’s. Early America Revisited is a vigorous defense and amplification of Ivan Van Sertima’s classic work, They Came Before Columbus. The book makes a carefully.

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Log In Sign Up. Ortiz de Montellano Source: Latin American Antiquity, Vol. She subsequently argues that tin, or tin-bronze ingots, along with other artifacts and technological know- how, were disseminated out of West Mexico, perhaps via Aztec and Tarascan tribute and marketing systems.

These traditions exhibit artifact choices and technology quite similar to those from West Mexico.

Early America Revisited: 1st (First) Edition by Ivan Van Sertima

It was the tin bronze alloy—often lost-wax cast—which best suited the design of artifacts like sertimz and tweezers as they spread across Mesoamerica. The book concludes by placing the choices made in the adoption and development of metallurgy in their social, cultural and political contexts.

At the time of metallurgy’s appearance the major urban center Teotihuacan had just collapsed. Metal arrived, wondrous and exotic, from abroad. There was a fundamental belief that metal was both sacred sertim animate, that it was “divine, indestructible, and powerful” p.

This, in Hosier’s opinion, drove the choices and resulted in the exceptional elaboration of sounds and colors of artifacts both sacred and elite.

Priests and other high status individuals who wore these bells revisite tweezers reflected power and were at one with the sacred domain which these artifacts helped create. The Sounds and Colors of Power is a thoroughly read- able, well-designed and -illustrated book that can be read by scholars regardless of their regional focus.

It is of spe- cial interest to scholars of the Americas, to those interested in how technologies develop, and in particular to those interested in what Hosier has termed “technology as a cul- tural expression” p.

We have in this volume an anthro- pology of technology of what might be termed—In the Old World—a “metallurgical province.

African-American Studies: Early America Revisited by Ivan Van Sertima (1998, Paperback)

The result is a fascinating study of the role of cultural choice in technological change. Reviews Early America Revisited. Trans- action, New York, Ortiz de Montellano, Austin, Texas. It was writ- ten in response to the first extensive critiques of his thesis Haslip-Viera, Ortiz de Montellano, and Barbour, Current Anthropology Van Ser- tima originally proposed that an expedition commanded by Nubians with a mixed crew, including Phoenicians, contacted the Olmecs about B.

He submitted that these Nubians were the models for the colossal Olmec heads, provided impetus to the build- ing of pyramids, introduced a number of technological innovations mummification, weaving, the symbolic use of purple Murex dye, and lost wax metallurgy, among oth- ersand influenced many customs, rituals, and the calen- dar. Van Sertima also argued that other “black African” expeditions came afterwards.


The present volume adds very little that is new. The biggest alteration is a change in the date and nature of the initial contact with the Olmecs. The change in date was necessitated by Ann Cyphers’s radiocarbon dating of an Olmec colossal head, in an undisturbed context, to B. Although Van Sertima does not acknowledge the dilemma in this book, the new date poses the question of how Egyptians could have taught the Olmecs how to build pyramids, for pyramids had not been erected in Egypt for years.

The new contact date also requires van Sertima to argue pp. The popular but erroneous view that the Olmec cen- ters appeared suddenly has led to claims of contact and significant influence by Phoenicians, Irish, Shang Chi- nese, Polynesians, Mande speakers, aliens, and Egyptians, among others.

Early America Revisited

Van Sertima has been one of the most suc- cessful proponents. His ideas are widely held among African Americans and are disseminated by important Afrocentric authors such as Molefi Kete Asante and Maulana Karenga. Van Sertima has done no original research on the Olmecs or Mesoamerica but relies pri- marily on secondary and tertiary sources, many of them antiquated, obsolete, and outdated.

His prime sources such as Leo Wiener Africa and the Discovery of America, and Donald Mackenzie Myths of Pre- Columbian America, were written before the dis- covery of radiocarbon dating, or of Matthew Stirling’s identification of the first Olmec sites.

As long ago asWiercinski’s methodology was described as grossly obsolete, fallacious, and based on circular reasoning by Stanley Garn, Theo- dosius Dobzhanski, and Jean Hiernaux among others Wiercinski, Current Anthropology 3: The only quote from Stir- ling comes from an article in National Geographic, and a quote from Alfonso Medellm Zenil does not exist in the work cited.

Van Sertima uncritically accepts “evidence” of diffu- sion from any source, and cites a number of hyperdiffu- sionists ranging from Constantine Rafinesque to R.

They include Barry Fell, who can find ancient writing in any set of scratches, and the staple of diffusionists, Thor Heyerdahl. Claims of Egyptian influ- ence on South America pp. Hapgood, after many ad hoc corrections and the use of five different scales, proposed that this map was too accurate and detailed to have been made in the sixteenth century, and had been based on maps produced by a superior extinct civilization.

Hapgood’s interpretation of the map is so flexible that, besides Van Sertima, it can be used to support claims of visitors from outer space Erich von Dannikenthe exis- tence of Atlantis Graham Hancock, Adrian Flem-Ath, Charles Berlitzthe existence of a worldwide pre-Ice Age disappeared civilization Charles Hapgood, Graham Han- cock”scientific creationism” Donald Chittickand the vaporings of Immanuel Velikovsky Charles Ginenthal.

Draw- ing an analogy with the myth that Napoleon’s army shot off the nose of the Sphinx because it was too negroid, van Sertima claims that an American archaeological team exca- vating La Venta, mutilated stela 3 to make the nose of the individual look more aquiline.


The book cries out for a strong editor who would cut down on the many repetitions, tighten a disjointed orga- nization, eliminate typos, provide accurate and complete citations for a number of unreferenced or unattributed quotes, claims, and illustrations, and produce an index. In summary, true believers in Afrocentric diffusionism will welcome this book. Other readers, with any critical rigor, will declare the case “not proven.

University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Reviewed by Patrick V. Kirch, University of California, Berkeley. This book puts the lie to some recently expressed opin- ions that the category of “chiefdom” reflects the concep- tual baggage of an outmoded neo evolutionary anthropological paradigm.

The outcome of a sym- posium at the 47th International Congress of American- ists, Chiefdoms and Chieftaincy in the Americas self-consciously incorporates ethnohistoric and archaeo- logical perspectives in a dialogue across subdisciplines.

As Neil Whitehead recounts in his foreword, the partici- pants sought to move beyond long-standing definitional questions, to address the “dynamics of chieftaincy,” thus reflecting the wider debate in anthropology regarding “structure and agency” p. That some contributions are more successful in this overarching aim than others is per- haps to be expected, especially since the constraints of lim- ited ethnohistoric or archaeological evidence often restrict one’s ability to interpret or understand rapid or subtle changes in societies now long extinct.

Key concepts in this effort to move beyond static char- acterizations are those encapsulated by the terms chieftain and chieftaincy. In her theoretical Introduction to the vol- ume, editor Redmond defines the former as “an aspiring leader or big man,” while the latter is classified as a “sit- uational hierarchy sertia from time to time among non- hierarchical, uncentralized tribal societies” p. In short, the chieftaincy is an emergent, but often unstable, “proto form” of the chiefdom. In making such distinctions, the contributors to the volume thus reserve the latter term for social formations in which leadership has become decid- edly hereditary, with longer-term continuity.

While this effort to distinguish between emergent and mature forms of chiefly societies is certainly important, one does won- der whether introducing the term “chieftain” as a synonym for the already well-established “big man” is really much of an advance.

Redmond herself uses “chieftain” and “big man” interchangeably, and seems to prefer the former only because it “is not culture bound in the way that the Melane- sian big man is,” and because it is “gender neutral” p.

But the term “big women” is already in sertimx literature as well, and if the outcome is simply to be that those who. Remember eary on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Click here to sign up. Help Center Find new research papers in: