Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]
According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]
A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…
Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]
A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland
Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.
The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.
There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.
False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.
55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.
Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…
The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.
Pre-Columbian wheels are a divisive thing. To those living on the American continent it is a given that they did not exist. To those living in the Old World (a ridiculous thing to call Europe, Asia and Africa, but sure there you go) it has not even occurred to most that wheels may not have gained common currency before some Iberians raped and pillaged the locals into a semblance of civilisation.
To most people the wheel is the very paradigm of early invention. It serves as an icon of being civilised, as though we stepped out of our caves and into a brave new, wheeled, world. How many times have we heard something referred to as the greatest invention since the wheel? In tandem with its revered genius, colloquialy we imply great antiquity by saying something is as old as the wheel. It is so intrinsic to us that it is nearly impossible to conceive of a world without wheels.
Is the wheel a prerequisite to building a large and vibrant civilisation? What about civilisations that progessed to great lengths without wheeled assistance?
Worldwide, there are several indigenous peoples and entire civilisations for whom the wheel had little or no relevance. After all, what use is a wheel when crossing snow and ice to hunt seals? What about civilisations that could have benefitted from it but for some reason chose not to?
The idea that Inca and Mayan civilisations did not have wheeled technology is a flawed one. The archaeological record shows this to be untrue. The fascinating part of this is that the wheels they did have were on, what appear to be, carefully crafted children’s toys but seemingly never went beyond this to offer any practical benefits.
These wheeled animals may or may not have toys, in the modern sense, but nonetheless they displayed the possibilities of horizontal wheeled transportation. Here were a people who on a regular basis saw their children playing with exquisite toys and never saw the potential of them. It would be like us sending fighter pilots into the sky untutored on virtual reality simulators, as if these simulators were for kids only.
Of course there may be several reasons for this massive oversight ranging from wheels being protected sacred technology, to the thoroughfares being unsuitable to a lack of ingenuity for the associated technologies (lubrication, animals for pulling the carts, axles etc). It should be borne in mind that this is not the only historical case of technological advances being overlooked. The Inquisition just can’t think of any others right now.
‘Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.’
2 Ne. 12: 7
The Mormons believe they are the descendents of ancient people who populated the American continent before the Indians. To any sane person, then, the mention of chariots on this continent in a pre-Columbian context would ring alarm bells. Not so with the Mormons.
The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies has assured their conscientious followers not to fear and not to to let factual history compromise their holy texts. Where their sacred book talks of chariots it actually means log sledges and when they say horses they actually mean tapirs which would drag these sledges. Therefore the Nephite cavalry in full flight must have been something quite astounding to behold – lumbering beasts loaded down with logs would strike a cold fear into the hearts of anyone.
Anyway, we shouldn’t really pay serious consideration to the concerns of people who follow the writings of a 19th Century fraudster (Joseph Smith Jr made his living by hiring himself out to land-owners to seek buried treasure on their land by looking into an upturned top hat at some ‘seer-stones’).
Prehistory, Colin Renfrew, Phoenix, 2007
The Story of Archaeology, Justin Pollard, Quercus, 2007
In Search of Ancient Mysteries, A & S Landsburg, Corgi, 1974
Tim McGuinness PhD
Museum photography by Justin Kerr
Information on Joseph Smith
This article was posted by Ronan McDonnell on
Friday, August 14th, 2009 at
It is archived in America, Culture, History, Myth and tagged American History, Inca, Maya, Mexico, Olmec, toys, Veracruz, wheels.