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The Olmecs and the Shang

The idea, that Chinese people crossed the waters to America at the end of the Shang dynasty (also called Yin dynasty sometimes), is actually not a recent one. I found information that dates back to the seventies. In my eyes, there's ample evidence to back this theory.

The Shang dynasty began around 1600 BC and ended, when king Zhou was defeated around 1100 BC by the upcoming Zhou people under their leader Wuwang. The homeland of the Shang was the area west of the Shangdong peninsula at the Yellow Sea, roughly between Beijing and Shanghai.
In order to reach the American shores (assumed they had no powered boats), they needed to pick up an ocean current. Appropriate currents exist at the northern part of the Pacific and they flow from the southern Yellow Sea, past Japan and the Aleutes, right to the coast of western Mexico (and return eventually to the Asian side on a southern route). Since the Olmec civilization started around 1500 BC, the timeframe fits perfectly.

There are some interesting points in correlation to that. Shang artwork is very consistent in appearance. It's so easily recognizable, that even laymen can tell, if a piece is Shang or not. Although the artwork of the succeeding Zhou shows clearly the influence of the Shang up to a point; when for the Zhou the time came, to step aside, it disappeared completely.

One of the best known Shang designs is the taotie.

taotie design

It shows an animal in both front and side views at the same time. Cover the sides and see the front view, then cover one half to see a side view. This drawing explains it very well:

taotie explained

Taotie's look mostly just like this one, but other animals (e.g. owls) are also known. This concept seems to be not unknown to the Americans, as this picture from El Tajin shows:

Taotie-like panel from El Tajin

Here's another interesting "lookalike":
 
This is a jaguar shaman from an Olmec site... ...and this a tiger from the Shang dynasty.
Olmec jaguar shaman Chinese tiger

These watervessels are from Costa Rica:
 
100-1500 AD 1-500 AD
   


I leave it to you, to find the matching Shang vessel...

Some experts on Chinese writing are convinced, that they have found similarities beween the Shang script, used on oracle bones and early Olmec script.

On the following pages, I have put together some more pictures to support all these ideas. Some show striking similarities, others I consider to be rather long shots, even to my own standards. Nevertheless, they are worth showing:

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Questions, answers, corrections? Please email me: konstantin_artz@hotmail.com
This URL: http://kon_artz.tripod.com/cultures/olmshang.htm

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