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Thu Sep 2, 2021, 11:20 AM

Were extinct Pleistocene megafauna harnessed to build the largest Neolithic monuments?

Eric Von danikenís Chariots of the Gods fascinated me as a child, and I witnessed a compelling UFO in my 20ís, but I recognized early the general lack of critical thinking skills in the ancient alien Ďcommunityí. That is a more benign form of the QAnon phenomenon, in my opinion, but still pernicious because it undercuts belief in science. That being said, Iím posting this as an archeology student and asking for a refutation, if you can provide it. Thanks.

I visited Ollantaytambo in Peruís Sacred valley, near Cusco, in 2015. I agree that current archeology cannot explain how the 50-100 ton monoliths at the Temple of the Sun were were moved from one mountain to the top of another.



Without doubt, Ollantaytamboís Wall of the Six Monoliths is one of the most iconic and baffling pieces of Inca architecture yet to be discovered. Standing approximately 36 feet wide and 14 feet high, the wall is one of the great mysteries of the Andes. It consists of 6 massive andesite monoliths, which are curiously divided by small strips, which seem to serve little purpose other than to add a modern riveted steel effect to this ancient wall. The rocks are all masterfully crafted to leave not even a paper-thin crack between them. Archaeologists can only guess that its purpose was to face the winter sun, whilst scientists have only been able to add to the mystery by demonstrating that the stones were dragged 4km from the quarry of Chachiqata on the other side of the 1000ft deep valley and across the Rio Vilcanota. Weighing between 50 and 100 tons a piece, the effort verges on impossible, whilst the reasoning appears to be little more than to dumbfound all that gaze upon them. Littered around the Temple Hill are even larger blocks called the ďTired StonesĒ, named so after the local belief that they were too tired to reach their final destination within the complex. It is believed that this gargantuan building site was intended to become a Temple of the Sun, but work was abandoned for reasons unknown.


https://uncoveredhistory.com/south-america/exploring-the-mysteries-of-the-andes/

Those stones make me wonder if extinct megafauna were used as beasts of burden and, if so, would explain why the largest stones are always the oldest and predate the Inca. Humans domesticated the camel and the elephant many thousands of years ago. No one has established with certainty how far back they were first used. There were several giant species of both in the Andes and we have very little idea about their disposition or behavior. Imagine an animal as or more biddable than a camelóbactrian or dromedaryóor an Indian elephant but twice or three times the size.

There was an enormous span of time, almost 200k years, when humans and these giant mammals coexisted. Itís important to remember that climate change, not human predation, caused the mass extinction. I am confident there were talented people to work out the details if it were possible. (Catbyte posts videos of such people just about every day.)

Probably only a single species, one that was endangered already before humans made contact, or a few select individuals within that species, perhaps orphaned individuals, were suitable.

In the past few years weíve learned that the process for canine domestication started tens of thousands of years prior to the prevailing estimatesódefinitely prior to the end of the Ice Age. Extinction of predators may have preceded that of non-carnivorous species, leaving a dying species a brief window, a few thousand years, with no natural predators, and selection pressures toward docility.

Direct evidence for their limited use would be extremely scarce. There must be at least one grave, though, somewhere, or ceremonial remains of consumption or cremation. The animals would have played too important a role for zero direct evidence to exist. Maybe searching for bones and graves along the most probable routes taken would find it.

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Reply Were extinct Pleistocene megafauna harnessed to build the largest Neolithic monuments? (Original post)
Ponietz Sep 2021 OP
Kali Sep 2021 #1
Ponietz Sep 2021 #2
LineLineReply .
Effete Snob Sep 2021 #4
zuul Sep 2021 #6
LineLineLineReply !
Kali Sep 2021 #7
Effete Snob Sep 2021 #3
Ponietz Sep 2021 #8
zuul Sep 2021 #5
Ponietz Sep 2021 #9
zuul Sep 2021 #10
Ponietz Sep 2021 #11
canetoad Sep 2021 #12
Ponietz Sep 2021 #13
RFCalifornia Oct 2021 #14
Ponietz Sep 2022 #15
EX500rider Oct 2022 #16
Ponietz Oct 2022 #17

Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 11:29 AM

1. this is posted in the right group

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Response to Kali (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 11:45 AM

2. Glad to be in the right cubbyhole

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Response to Kali (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 12:00 PM

4. .

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Response to Effete Snob (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 12:22 PM

6. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

That's perfect!

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Response to Effete Snob (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 12:43 PM

7. !

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Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 11:55 AM

3. What did they eat, where were they kept, and where did their shit go?

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Response to Effete Snob (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 01:08 PM

8. One must conduct a thorough search

No other way.

To my knowledge, only one wolf/dog skull from 33,000 years ago has been found although dogs were domesticated in multiple places all over the world, were far more numerous, and didnít go extinct.

Cave art tells me humans possessed the necessary intelligence and imagination. Paleolithic humans mastered animal husbandry. Their whole lives revolved around animals. Training a grizzly bear isnít anything new. They used their techniques on many species. The Russian study of foxes shows they can be domesticated in just a few generations.

Is it outrageous to suggest our ancestors may have done the same with extinct species? The extinct ones may have been even MORE tractable. We donít know. They may have been free-ranged. Again, we donít know.

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Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 12:22 PM

5. They probably harnassed unicorns to move the smaller stones.

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Response to zuul (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 01:19 PM

9. The yucksters are here

Glad you had a laugh. Iíd appreciate a reply on the merits, though.

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Response to Ponietz (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 01:34 PM

10. I did indeed have a good laugh, which I sorely needed.

I'm in New Orleans, still without power after Hurricane Ida. I have many home repairs that are needed, I can't get my prescriptions filled, and I haven't had a real meal or a cold drink in 4 days. The temperature is in the 90s (well over 100 with the heat index.) All my friends and coworkers evacuated, so I'm here alone, trying to deal with a fucking tragedy.

I will fucking laugh at a post in the fucking 'creative speculation' group if I fucking want to.

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Response to zuul (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 2, 2021, 01:39 PM

11. Sorry to hear that

Last edited Thu Sep 2, 2021, 03:13 PM - Edit history (1)

Didnít mean to put you on the defensive. I hope you are safe and well, at least. Really ironic that the rain we had yesterday came from Ida and we needed it very badly.

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Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Sat Sep 18, 2021, 12:18 AM

12. Only tangentially related to your OP

But you may find this interesting even though it's a couple of hundred thousand years removed from your theory.

Francis Pryor is an archaeologist specialising in the European bronze age. He questions many accepted beliefs regarding agriculture, the 'Dark Ages' the Roman occupation of Britain, with an engaging and knowledgable humour. One of his hobbies is farming ancient sheep breeds - animals that were said not to respond to herding dogs.

It's worth reading the whole article; difficult to extract a pertinent few paragraphs.

"In fact I would go further than that. My foray into farming taught me that archaeologists not only can, but must look beyond the trench, the laboratory or the library. After all, who are we doing our work for? Cambridge taught me very well how to do archaeology, but they also instilled a misplaced sense of the exclusivity of the subject. Somehow it was too important to trivialise or to take lightly; we were privileged to be given access to its sacred groves. In retrospect, what made those attitudes so hypocritical was that our Professor, Glyn Daniel, had been elected BBC TV Personality of The Year a few years previously. The prevailing view throughout the Department was that archaeology was an orthodoxy: you didnít invite outsiders into its church. You gave them your views, as I said in a recent blog post, ex cathedra Ė from the pulpit. And indeed, the tradition still continues in many presenter-led TV and radio programmes."

https://digventures.com/2014/01/francis-pryor-asks-how-are-sheep-relevant-to-life-and-archaeology/

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Response to canetoad (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 18, 2021, 10:33 AM

13. This is interesting

Last edited Sat Sep 18, 2021, 02:53 PM - Edit history (1)

Iím getting Pryorís Making of the British Landscape. Thank you

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Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Fri Oct 1, 2021, 06:10 PM

14. Um, no

They were extinct by then

The folks on Rapa Nui, for example, say the Moai "walked there" when asked about how they got the structures to where they are now

Archaeologists, using ropes, were able to get the Moai to move from side to side, as if they were walking, by taking tens of people pulling on each side in cadence

Thus they "walked there"

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Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Sat Sep 17, 2022, 05:36 AM

15. More evidence--timeline for domestication at least 2000 older than thought

More than a year has passed since I originally posted this thread.
[link:https://www.sciencealert.com/ancient-poop-suggests-humans-tended-animals-2000-years-earlier-than-we-thought]

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Response to Ponietz (Original post)

Wed Oct 12, 2022, 10:39 PM

16. Sure, I saw a movie about it..

"10,000BC"

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #16)

Thu Oct 13, 2022, 12:32 AM

17. Good example from popular culture

The idea isnít new but I tried to argue itís plausibility rationally.

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