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Post A 9000-Year-Old Syphilis Victim? From Gary Moore
Created by John Eipper on 02/09/20 4:30 AM

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A 9000-Year-Old Syphilis Victim? From Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA, 02/09/20 4:30 am)

Gary Moore writes:

Fascinating questions arising, reportedly 9,900 years old, from a submerged cave in Mexico's Yucatan, and the skull called Chan Hol 3.

1) Regarding the "French disease" debate on whether venereal diseases came from the New World post-1492: The 30-year-old, 5' 4" woman labeled as Chan Hol 3 had "deformations in the form of craters that appear consistent with lesions caused by a bacterial relative of syphilis...found on the cranium." Investigators are not being shy about speculating that she was expelled from her group to the cave, then died there.

2) Regarding popular chronology on a cornucopia ranging from Clovis points to the Bering land bridge, to the birth of agriculture, to ancient Mexico's development of maize, to Kennewick Man's strangely long skull, and the round-faced Olmec Buddhas--where do we fit two separate, 10,000-year-old Yucatan groups, one of them tall hunters with tools, and another more pygmy-like, tool-less forest people?

And other questions....


JE comments:  Gary Moore originally titled this post the "French Cave-Diver's Disease," although by their names, the divers were probably Mexican:  the "Mexican Cave-Divers' French Disease" doesn't roll off the tongue as smoothly.  Might syphilis be Mexico's ultimate revenge for Napoleon III's and Maximilian's adventurism?  Or given the age of the skeleton, we could argue that Mexico had struck first and Napoleon was the one bent on vengeance.

Chan Hol and Chac Mool:  in WAISworld's uncanny synchronicitous fashion, just yesterday Aldona and I were discussing the Mayan deity.  It turns out that the name (Chacmool) was a 19th-century invention.  Who did the naming?  Why that would be a (sort of) Frenchman, Augustus Le Plongeon, who was born on the British island of Jersey, but whose travels took him to Chile, San Francisco, Peru, England and Yucatan, where he was one of the first to study the ancient Mayan civilizations.  I'd call that a WAISly life:


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