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The Earth Chronicles Expeditions Paperback – May 29 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bear & Company; 2 edition (May 29 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781591430766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591430766
  • ASIN: 1591430763
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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About the Author

An eminent Orientalist and Biblical scholar, Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010) was distinguished by his ability to read and translate Sumerian clay tablets and other ancient texts. He was a graduate of the University of London and worked as a journalist and editor in Israel for many years before making his home in New York City.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

from Chapter 5

The Elephant and The Astronaut

In 1869, farmers in Mexico made an unusual discovery. The embarrassment that it caused evidently continues to this day, and may play a part in the suppression of artifacts that suggest a link between the development of civilization in Mesoamerica and the involvement of extraterrestrials. My tale of it includes two museum visits, a missing elephant, and a “leap of faith” by an American astronaut.

The ruins and remains of Mexico’s pre-Colombian civilizations enchant, intrigue, and fascinate. One aspect of them is also embarrassing to some Mexicans--the oldest and earliest relics, from a people referred to as the Olmecs. These relics are an embarrassing enigma because they challenge scholars and prideful nationalists to explain how people from Africa could have come to the New World not hundreds but thousands of years before Columbus, and how they could have developed, seemingly overnight, the Mother Civilization of Mesoamerica. To acknowledge the Olmecs and their civilization as the Mother Civilization of Mesoamerica means acknowledging that they preceded that of the Mayans and Aztecs, whose heritage the Spaniards tried to eradicate and Mexicans today are proud of.

As archaeological discovery followed archaeological discovery, it became evident that the “Olmecs” first settled on the Gulf coast of Mexico, spreading inland and in time reaching Mexico’s Pacific coast. More than twenty Olmec sites have been uncovered, some bearing by now famous names such as La Venta, Tres Zapotes, San Lorenzo, Cerro de la Piedras. I have gone with my expedition groups to the most significant Olmec sites. The first time I went on my own (accompanied only by my grandson Salo) it was to see the major Olmec finds from La Venta which had been transferred to the city of Villahermosa and set up there in a park-museum to protect them from damage by oil drillers.

The colossal stone heads were the prime attraction, and their size can be judged by photographs of me standing next to some of them. But size was not the only or most impressive aspect; what impressed me most was the artistry and craftsmanship of these sculptures. And not just the heads--throughout the park-museum there were placed great slabs of stone whose faces were carved with the most complex details--some showing Olmec parents holding their children, or showing them with elaborate headgear. It seemed certain to me that in some if not most instances, the headgear and tools held by the depicted Olmecs were associated with mining.

The archaeological discoveries left no doubt that the Olmecs built complex urban centers--some, as at La Venta, with pyramidical structures of great size and with astronomical alignments. The Olmecs engaged in mining, attained high levels of art, introduced hieroglyphic writing to Mesoamerica, and were also the first in Mesoamerica to have a calendar. They were, in other words, both the first and the Mother Civilization in Mesoamerica.

The enigma of the Olmecs presented a double puzzle: How did black Africans cross the Atlantic Ocean long before Columbus? And how long ago did it happen?

Nationalistic archaeologists dealt with the Olmec enigma at first by suggesting the least-oldest date for their origin: 250 B.C., which would put them into a latecomers category. But as one Olmec site after another was dug up, the date kept shifting back to 500 B.C., then even 1250 B.C. Since my own date for the arrival of the Olmecs in Mesoamerica (a date coupled with an explanation of the circumstances of their arrival) was 3100 B.C., I was pleased to read in the official guidebook of the La Venta Park Museum a slight concession. It dated the Olmecs’ first settlement on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to “between 1350 and 1250 B.C.,” and elsewhere in the guidebook to an even earlier time, conceding “the appearance of the first civilization of Mesoamerica a little under 4,000 years ago.”

But the older the Olmec civilization became, the more the problem became one of national pride. Unable to deny the existence of the Olmecs and also their antiquity, Mexican anthropologists began to assert that the very notion of Africans crossing the Atlantic millennia of years ago was baseless and that the so-called “Olmecs” were indigenous people--Mesoamericans whose features happened to have a resemblance to Africans.

Such an inventive way to explain the enigma of Olmec origins is clearly expressed in the official catalogue of the best museum in Mexico dedicated to the Olmecs, the Anthropological Museum of the University of Veracruz in Jalapa (sometimes spelled Xalapa). The introduction, written by a noted Mexican scholar, states in regard to the persons depicted in the Olmec sculptures that “in spite of the general similarity of features--flat noses with flaring nostrils and thickened lips (leading some to falsely claim an African origin for the Olmecs),” they were indigenous people and not strangers from across the seas.

And such statements that the suggestion of African origins for the Olmecs is a false claim, bring me to The Case of the Missing Elephant.

Jalapa, a gem of a town situated in the cooler mountains about two hours’ drive from the hot and humid Veracruz (where Hérnan Cortez landed in 1519), now boasts a new museum that is second only in excellence to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. But unlike Mexico City’s museum which displays artifacts from all over the country, the one in Jalapa exhibits only locally discovered artifacts--predominantly Olmec ones.

The museum dramatically and effectively displays, in an innovative setting, a wealth of artifacts from the Olmec period, including several colossal stone heads. One of them is displayed right at the entrance, which serves as an inviting spot to take one’s picture; other stone heads are displayed among trees and greenery in open courtyards, placing them in a more natural surrounding.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Zecaria Sitchin took a number of visitors to view the actual locations described in the Earth Chronicles. I was fascinated by a stone rocket ship like article found in Turkey that could have been an ancient toy. The museum chose to ignore it as not being real because other similar ones have not been discovered. Zecharia tried to convince the museum that it is a real Sumerian artifact and to place it on view.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love the book. Great author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0a2f978) out of 5 stars 30 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa36474ac) out of 5 stars greek goddess Sept. 19 2011
By greekgoddess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When you are a Sitchin devotee,this book guides you through all the places that he traveled. It is relevant in understanding the locations of his other books. I highly recommend this book, not only for following along but for an extra travel guide to those most sacred and precious places.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa36476f8) out of 5 stars The Earth Chronicles Expedition June 1 2008
By Dorothy A. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book has wonderful pictures, some of which are suggestive of spacecraft over Mt. Sinai, and other "proofs" that space travel existed on Earth in ancient times. Zecharia Sitchin is a marveous author whose passion has driven him to write about a commonly held but unspoken universal belief that there is/was extraterrestrial life. His works are best understood by reading; not scanning. Every word counts. He interprets the ancient languages. If it is his theory, he's up front about that. His works should be in the school textbooks.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3647938) out of 5 stars Lotus Guide Review July 2 2008
By Rahasya Poe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Earth Chronicles Expeditions
By Zecharia Sitchin
Ever since I read Genesis Revisited I realized that our human history was much more complex than I had ever imagined. Looking at our past through the eyes of an eminent Biblical scholar and superb linguist in ancient languages will have a profound affect on some of your most cherished beliefs of who you are and where you came from. A synthesis of knowledge that shows that we are not alone in the universe and also points the veracity of certain texts in the Bible. A book for the adventurous soul.Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide Magazine [...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3647bb4) out of 5 stars Ninety year old Indiana Sitchin Nov. 21 2013
By R. A. JOHNSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sitchin's daring actions to get where he had to to see the real locations echoed Indiana Jones. Bribing the guard at the Temple Mount to sneak below the Dome of the Rock. Another bribe to get an oil company helicopter to fly him so he could photograph the top of Mt. Sinai. And persuading the Israeli Air Force to fly through the treacherous mountain pass following the approach to landing in the Sinai used by the Anunnaki space ships were exciting.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3647a4c) out of 5 stars Earth Chronicles Expeditions Aug. 15 2013
By Julianne Hubbard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As in all his books, I was very pleased in his rendition of his travels. It all sounded so exciting to be actually traveling and seeing these mystical places that he has been discussing over the years. I wish so much that I would have been able to take part in just one of these adventures. However, the book was a good second best option. I recommend it to all his readers.


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