discovery of what we now recognize as a product of Olmec culture in his 1869 and 1871 accounts of the colossal head of Hueyapan (Tres Zapotes Monument A) (Fig. 1.1). Melgar also holds the dubious distinction of being the first to claim an African source for the physiognomy of Olmec sculptures, writing, "that which most impressed me was the Ethiopic type which it represents; I reflected that indubitably there had been negroes in this land ..." (1869: 292, translation by author). The rest of Melgar's article, which he reproduced with some modifications in his 1871 work, is a confused defense of this thesis, citing others' interpretations of Chiapanec legends, false cognate words in Hebrew and Chiapanec, and Plato's account of Atlantis.
Melgar's speculations were very much a product of his times. The origins of Native American societies had fascinated European and American intellectuals and armchair enthusiasts for centuries, with Atlanteans, the Lost Tribes of Israel, Scandinavians, Scythians, and Hindus all mentioned as possible founders of New World populations (Willey and Shabloff 1993: 16). In the 1860s, archaeology was not yet a professional discipline in the Americas, and the recording of archaeological data was still in its infancy. Faced with a unique monument, and immersed in the racialist intellectual climate of his time, Melgar can be excused his earnest fancies. Today, however, more than a century of archaeological fieldwork on the Gulf Coast of Mesoamerica has failed to uncover any convincing evidence of ancient transoceanic contacts."-pg.35, Olmec archaeology and early Mesoamerica by Christopher A. Pool β 2007 #olmec #olmecs #mayas #mayas #aztec #aztecs #mexico #veracruz #guatemala #moors #muurs #coppercolored #africanamericansaintafrican #indigenous #indigenouspeople #indigenouspride #native #nativeamerican #nativepride #puebla #southamerica #colombia #9repeatallele