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Early contact theories: Vikings & Muslims + Mayans & Chinese

Researchers Discover Allah Inscribed on Vikings Burial Costumes


While it is well documented that the Vikings did engage in trade with the Islamic World (such as spices and slaves), I think it is a little farfetched to claim that they adopted significant aspects of Islamic culture and ideas.

First, the burial shroud lacks the ‘shadda’, ‘daggar alif’, and ‘ha’ strokes that you find in the word Allah. I think that this researcher may be misinterpreting her findings. Have you heard of a Rorschach test? This is the same thing in that people see different things depending on their perception.

Second, even if we accept this artifact at face value, it seems rather out of place. Are there any other artifacts that suggest contact with the Islamic World within its vicinity? How about within the same historical period? Can the cultural influence of Islam be demonstrated in other historical records such as Viking texts? When doing excavation, archaeologists usually try to place an artifact in a given time period and want to understand the historical context of an artifact. Why might there be a burial costume with an inscription of Allah on it? If the Vikings really did adopt Islamic religious and cultural beliefs, when was this and why did it happen? It is not good archaeology if we divorce an artifact from its historical context.

Also, if this really is an innovative finding, why has it not been addressed by scholars and expert in the study of Vikings? Surely this finding, if it is true would not be kept secret from the scholars and from the public? I recommend that you look at archaeologists such as Jason Colavito, Kenneth Feder. These are some great professional archaeologists that you should look into reading.

I think that there is actually a political motivation behind this, Dr. Larsson and her fellow researchers may want to make Europe seem like a more culturally diverse place. This stand is far different in comparison with how White Nationalists really love the Vikings. While this may be an honorable goal, it doesn’t justify bad archaeology.

Overall, I’m not convinced that this burial costume displays the word Allah; and I don’t think that there is any evidence that Islam had a profound impact on the cultural beliefs of the Vikings.

I hope that you continue finding new information and be sure to think with a critical eye.


Mayan Calendar similar to Ancient Chinese, suggests early contact


After reading this article, I don’t think that it really presents any truly revolutionary ideas in archaeology and history. Also, I don’t think that there is any real evidence that supports the idea that the Ancient Chinese made contact with the Ancient Maya. Here are some reasons why:

The primary evidence cited in this article for contact between the Chinese and the Maya seems to be focused on similarities between the calendar systems. For example, both the Chinese and Maya calendars include depictions of animals and the four elements (Chinese civilization includes wood). Even though one could argue that this demonstrates contact, it could also just be coincidence. Both the Chinese and Mayan civilization were both sophisticated and skilled at astronomy and calendar formation. They also both used logograms, however, if there really was contact between the two civilizations we would likely see the writing systems look similar to each other which doesn’t seem to be the case. The logograms of China don’t share great resemblance to the hieroglyphics of the Maya.

In order to really demonstrate that there was contact you will need to provide evidence such as DNA analysis. We know that during the Last Ice Age, there was a land bridge on the present-day Bering Strait. It was here that people came from Northeastern Asia and crossed into the Americas. This is demonstrated by evidence from DNA, artifacts, and the morphology of the early peoples in the Americas.

Further, if there really was any contact between the two civilizations we would likely see other artifacts that demonstrated they encountered each other. Context is key to archaeology and encounters with other cultures usually require several varieties of artifacts to be present at a site. Are there any Chinese tools in Mexico from the Ancient Chinese? Is there any maize or beans from the Maya in China? Are there similarities in architecture that demonstrate any groups influence on the other? Again, I don’t see enough artifacts that belong to the Ancient Chinese or the Ancient Maya that indicate any sort of contact.

I took a look at David H. Kelley’s bibliography and he is a well-respected archaeologist and epigrapher specializing in the Maya Civilization. However, I don’t find any evidence that suggests that he believes the Ancient Maya and the Ancient Chinese made contact with each other. If there really was contact between the two civilizations, wouldn’t most archaeologists know this? How could this be unknown to several different specialists? I recommend you look at some articles from Jason Colavito, Michael Coe, Kenneth Feder. These are some great professional archaeologists that you should look into reading.

I hope that you continue finding new information and be sure to think with a critical eye.