Cascajal Block and Symbols
In September 2006, Science Magazine published a paper entitled “Oldest Writing In the New World”. The item of note in the article and most widely reported was that the block showed what appeared to be a sample of the oldest writing ever found in the Americas. As this discovery took place in a location where William Niven had unearthed artifacts and relics in the early 20th century and some of these items were subsequently used as evidence by James Churchward of ancient civilizations – then this new discovery might have some bearing on my research.
The questions I want answered are:
1. How close were the discoveries by Niven to the Cascajal Block?
2. Does this ancient script have similar characters to the symbols discussed in the books by James Churchward ?
3. Does this new discovery prove, disprove, or have no bearing on the theories of James Churchward ?
In answering questions about William Niven and his digs in Mexico – I turned to the biography of William Niven entitled: “Buried Cities, Forgotten Gods.”[Wicks and Harrison; Texas Tech University Press]
In the 1890s, Niven excavated ruins in Guerrero and brought out statues and artifacts. In 1910, Niven unearthed tablets in Placero del Oro and conducted surveys over two thousand square miles in the Valley of Mexico. He finally confined his excavations to an area north of Mexico City. His fifteen years of work brought many beautiful relics and artifacts to light. Niven’s discoveries were not all without controversy, but no evidence was ever produced implicating Niven. According to James Churchward’s own words – the tablets he based his theories on were from the Valley of Mexico, so the artifacts from his digs in Guerrero are outside the sphere of this discussion.
Niven’s Tablet #1584
It is true that the 1926 ‘Lost Continent of Mu, Motherland of Man’ had an entire chapter entitled “Niven’s Buried Cities,” but James’ first contact with Niven was after the publication of the first book (September 19, 1927.) Their relationship, as determined from correspondence, is covered in “Buried Cities, Forgotten Gods.” In 1928, Niven sent rubbings of some 2500 tablets from the Valley of Mexico to James. These were translated by James and found their way into the 1931 “Lost Continent of Mu” and the 1931, “Children of Mu.” I have seen references to these rubbings having been published, however I am not aware of the location of the original or reproductions thereof. Whether or not James’ interpretation was valid is left to different research, the preceding is background information to help calculate the distance between discoveries.
One location cited in the Mexico Valley was Atzcapotzalco (19.4889N 99.1836W.) The Cascajal Block was found in Cascajal, Veracruz-Llave (17.9500N 95.1167W). Using an online latitude/longitude calculator (http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~cvm/latlongdist.html) and would place them 286.9 statute miles apart.
Link to Google Search for Maps of Mexico.
In answering question #2, I perused the 1926 Lost Continent of Mu, Motherland of Man, a 1969 reprint of the 1931 Lost Continent of Mu, a 1988 reprint of the 1959 printing of Children of Mu (originally published in 1931,) and the 1988 reprint of the 1960 printing of the Sacred Symbols of Mu (originally published in 1933.)
I could find no direct matches between the symbols on the Cascajal Block and any symbol in the aforementioned books. I looked at the symbols contained in the creation myth, I looked at the tables of primitive symbols and hieratic characters and I looked at the depictions of rock carvings.
Cascajal Block Symbol #53
Lost Continent of Mu (1931) page 53
The closest a symbol came to resembling a symbol in James Churchward’s books is #3[& 16, 45, 53, 59.] The symbol at the top is referenced in numerous places as “Lands of the West” (Lost Continent of Mu, Motherland of Man page 53). The oblong shape beneath is not part of Churchward’s theories. Michael Everson, on his website analysis of the Cascajal Block (http://www.evertype.com/gram/olmec.html) identifies the symbol as a pineapple, which is as good an explanation given the other symbols on the tablet.
Given that 28 (or 30 as interpretated by Michael Everson) unique symbols found on the Cascajal Block only one remotely resembles a symbol from an ancient civilization, then I would have to answer that there is no correlation between the symbols on the Cascajal Block and symbols discussed by James Churchward.
Does this discovery prove, disprove or have no bearing on the theories of James Churchward ?
Having no matches between the Cascajal Block symbols and those found in James Churchward’s works does not prove or disprove anything, nor does the distances between where the objects were found. It might be said that the age of the artifacts could be different and that could account for the differences. Unfortunately, the Cascajal Block has no bearing on proving or disproving the theories of James Churchward, but still is an object to be studied in the hopes that one day, its secrets will be revealed to the world.
- Stone Pages Archaeo News Printed Coverage
- Stone Pages Archaeo News Audio Coverage
- Archaeology Channel Printed Coverage
- Archaeology Channel Audio Coverage
- NPR Coverage
- LiveScience Coverage
- Research Paper (pdf format)