Dr. Knorozov (pronounced Koor-rin-noz-koff) died in 1999, he singlehandedly created the Mayan discipline of Pre-Colombian Mayan decipherment, using early modern Franciscan documents accompanying the Conquistadors, namely Fr. Diego de Landa. He is buried in St. Petersburg Russia.
Serving Russia's Red Army, he found an original Mayan manuscript burning in Hitler's infamous book burning rituals. It served his interest in hieroglyphic, non-phonetic alphabets.
PEABODY MUSEUM OF ARCHEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
The Taino Indians were a subgroup of the Arawak people, a language group that spanned from Florida to Venezuela. The Tainos inhabited a small island called Hispaniola in what is now the modern day Dominican Republic. Being a small group that was rather isolated, the Tainos did not come into contact with many other indigenous groups very often, but at times had to fight off the tribes from the main land. These tribes would come to enslave the Tainos, but they were often pushed back and defeated. Other than that occasional invasion, the Tainos lived in peaceful solidarity with little to no outside influence.
The first European explorer to come into contact with the Taino Indians was Christopher Columbus. Taking advantage of their good nature, the explorers (many of whom were convicts) were able to enslave and kill off many Tainos, which greatly reduced the population. The Tainos, however, would not be forced into enslavement without a fight. They had very few aids in their possession, but fashioned thicker and sharper spears than the ones they used for hunting and dipped them in the cyanide that could be extracted from the yucca plant. They even developed an early form of chemical warfare that was developed to counter the swords and armor of the Spanish explorers. They would filled dried gourds with ashes and ground chili peppers, and would proceed to launch them at their enemies. This would create a cloud of "pepper gas," as described by the Europeans, and would allow the Tainos, who were wearing bandanas over their faces to protect themselves from the gas, to slip in and kill troops without being seen or killed. These tactics of chemical and guerrilla warfare were very advanced and demonstrated the Tainos intellectual prowess. Unfortunately, the Tainos were stamped out by the invaders due to their advanced weaponry and were sold into slavery or simply killed.
TAINO INDIANS WEBSITE
The National Museum of the American Indian, NYC
Join the Taíno Music with Irka each Wednesday at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City.
When the Spanish conquistadors landed in Mexico, they were confronted with a civilization that was powerful, sophisticated and characterized by an elite warrior culture. While Cortéz and his followers failed to appreciate many of the subtleties of Aztec culture, they were particularly impressed by their fierce fighting style and unusual weaponry.
According to historian Ross Hassig, the macuahuitl was one of the most iconic Central American traditional weapons, Resembling a flat, wooden paddle studded with pieces of sharp obsidian (volcanic glass), this formidable sword struck fear into the hearts of the Aztecs’ foes.
In 1545, approximately 473 years ago, the Aztec nation crumbled. People began coming down with high fevers and headaches. Shortly after, they began bleeding from the eyes, mouth, and nose. Then, they died.
One of the worst epidemics in human history, a sixteenth-century pestilence that devastated Mexico’s native population, may have been caused by a deadly form of salmonella from Europe, a pair of studies suggest.
The Moche civilization (also known as the Mochica) flourished along the northern coast and valleys of ancient Peru, in particular, in the Chicama and Trujillo Valleys, between 1 CE and 800 CE. The Moche state spread to eventually cover an area from the Huarmey Valley in the south to the Piura Valley in the north, and they even extended their influence as far afield as the Chincha Islands. Moche territory was divided linguistically by two separate but related languages: Muchic (spoken north of the Lambayeque Valley) and Quingan. The two areas also display slightly different artistic and architectural trends and so the Moche state may be better described as a loose confederacy rather than a single, unified entity.
The Moche were contemporary with the Nazca civilization (200 BCE - 600 CE) further down the coast but, thanks to their conquest of surrounding territories, they were able to accumulate the wealth and power necessary to establish themselves as one of the most unique and important early-Andean cultures. The Moche also expressed themselves in art with such a high degree of aesthetics that their naturalistic and vibrant murals, ceramics, and metalwork are amongst the most highly regarded in the Americas.
THE YOUNG VICTIM lies in a shallow grave in a vacant lot strewn with trash. It’s the Friday before Easter here in Huanchaquito, a hamlet on the north coast of Peru.
The throb of dance music, drifting up from seaside cafés a few hundred yards to the west, sounds eerily like a pulsing heart. It’s accompanied by the soft chuf, chuf of shovels as workers clear away broken glass, plastic bottles, and spent shotgun shells to reveal the outline of a tiny burial pit cut into an ancient layer of mud.
Two college students—archaeologists in training, wearing hospital scrubs and masks—splay on their stomachs on either side of the grave and begin digging with trowels.
The first thing to appear is the crest of a child’s skull, topped with a thatch of black hair. Switching from trowels to paintbrushes, the excavators carefully sweep away the loose sand, exposing the rest of the skull and revealing skeletal shoulders poking through a coarse cotton shroud. Eventually the remains of a tiny, golden-furred llama come into view, curled alongside the child.
THE ANCIENT HISTORY ENCYCLOPEDIA- CHIMÚ CIVILIZATION
KHAN ACADEMY- CHIMÚ CULTURE