See the map below from the Alaska Geographic Alliance at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Harriman's Route, showing the tribal language geography of inter alia the Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes.
Compare to that our map of the location of rock art sites in Alaska as based on the map of the National Park Service at http://www.nps.gov/archaeology/sites/npsites/images/noatakMap.gif:
What would have seemed improbable at the outset of our research has in fact found confirmation in Alaska of the essential hypothesis of our series of writings, i.e. an ancient land survey of Native America by astronomy that may have served as the basis for territorial tribal distribution of land.
This has occurred in relatively remote North America where the pictographs or petroglyphs at most of the above-noted Alaskan rock art sites at the time of this writing are not even recorded in specialty map sites such as megalithic.co.uk. Indeed, we have been able to find nothing online about some of the locations.
The vast expanse of Alaska and its sparse populations have retained relatively unspoiled the recoverable elements of the essence of that mapping system, which -- in more populated places -- can be more difficult to reconstruct.
Even the names and the symbols of the Alaskan tribes can be interpreted in accordance with our hypothesis of territorial land survey by astronomy, though there is no way to prove if any of the tribal names or symbols in the top map above actually have a connection.
Even a resort to modern DNA analysis still leaves unresolved questions about ancient tribes and migrations: see e.g. Oldest Human DNA in the Americas and Stefan Lovgren, First Americans Arrived Recently, Settled Pacific Coast, DNA Study Says, National Geographic News.
The rather strange assumption by some of only one ancient migration to North America -- a theory we do not share -- rightly has its opponents. See New evidence supports/denies the "Solutrean hypothesis". What possible reason is there to think that only one group of humans managed the migration to North America and only at one single time? Known human migrations usually involve numerous people and they do not all move at once, but follow pioneers. Especially if migrations were by sea in early prehistoric sea-craft, as we think to be the case, then what one boat could do, others could as well.
Note in this regard especially that the mysterious "European" mtDNA haplogroup X found among Native American Indians is concentrated in the North American northeast among the Algonquians, and is apparently not found in South America or among native Asians. If there had been just one migration by land on the Bering Strait, as some uncritically allege, that could not be.
People supporting the "one migration" theory of the population of Native America unconvincingly argue that mtDNA haplogroup X was part and parcel of the genetic pool of the first migration of peoples, even though there is no evidence of that haplogroup among their presumed ancestors, being confined to haplogroups A through D. That explanation also fails to explain the distribution of haplogroup X in Native America, which clearly points to a northeast origin, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes and/or ice-free Northwest Passage (which is freed climate cyclically every several thousand years).
If there is in fact an ancient European connection to haplogroup X -- and that scenario in our view seems quite certain, given the evidence of mtDNA haplogroup X distribution today in Europe and America-- then there is likely a European connection to the ancient land survey of Native America.
Our land survey tour of Nativa America suggests that the survey was a seafaring and thus predominantly "coastal" process in origin.
That survey was then later extended to other regions -- perhaps by or including other previously migrated tribes in Native America who became versed in the imported astronomically-oriented survey technology from Europe. We think the first peoples to populate Native America were not the land survey originators, though the originators surely collaborted with them and used their knowledge.
Many ancient survey landmarks show detailed knowledge of the terrain. Native American Indians must have played a great role at some time in conducting that survey or guiding its makers to the right landmark places.
We are by no means Biblical analysts of history, sometimes quite the contrary, but we think a legendary record of the initial land survey might be retained in Biblical accounts that we regard to be true historical records, in the instant case in the Book of Enoch, Chapter 61 (LXI), where it is written:
" And I saw in those days how long cords were given to those angels [messengers],The operative words translated as "angel" meant in fact more like "messenger", a type of "courier", "consul" or "surveyor", for it was stated expressly in the Bible that it was an angel who surveyed using a "gold rod" viz. "golden reed" in Revelation 21, perhaps just like the "golden torque" of the ancient Druids. Just as in modern surveying, the ancients had a "standard" unit of measure, and it was clearly a rod of some type. We will not go into any speculation about that rod here. We have some ideas about it, but that is for another time.
and they took to themselves wings [sails] and flew,
and they went towards the north.
2. And I asked the angel [messenger],
saying unto him:
'Why have those (angels) [messengers] taken these cords and gone off?'
And he said unto me: 'They have gone to measure.'"
These ancient Biblical surveyors were to survey an alleged "Paradise", which -- in our opinion -- may have been the same ancient sea voyage also recounted in the legend of Jason and the Argonauts, who were regarded to be the legendary (and not mythical Minyans). "Paradise" was a land beyond the known lands of the ancients and beyond the horizon of the sea, "out there" somewhere.
In our opinion, however, that ancient survey did not precede the one or more previous migrations from Asia. Rather, that Biblical voyage "to measure" must have been done later in time by a small seafaring group of boats, a seafaring group that we think may have brought in mtDNA haplogroup X.
Nor does our suggested explanation rule out other migrations to ancient Native America by other seagoing peoples, such as the Norse, via the Northwest Passage in an era where the Arctic was ice-free, which may well be a periodic cyclic phenomenon.
And what about the 14 Abydos boats reverently buried in Egypt, dated to ca. 3050 B.C., and originally built using cedar? Were they the remnants of an ancient distant voyage "to measure"? Also the Haida (see below) used cedar, in their case, for building large canoes.
In any case, here are some of our thoughts on the Alaskan tribes.
- Aleut (Unangax) = Pegasus. As written by Richard Hinckley Allen in Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, p. 323:
"In the Alfonsine Tables it [Pegasus] was Alatus ... the Almagest of 1551 had Equus Pegasus, which the 17th-century astronomers extended to Pegasus Equus alatus."
The Aleuts call themselves Unangax, meaning "coastal peoples", whereas the name Aleut was given to them by the Russians. The Aleuts are genetically separate from Alaskan Eskimo people. The Aleuts have mitochondrial mtDNA D2 haplotypes -- in common with the Ainu -- from a putative Lower Amur River origin (an ancient cultural crossroads). Moreover, they speak an agglutinative language.
The skin boats could have been used to get to Alaska from Asia, but the genetic mtDNA haplogroup D2 peoples are not good candidates, however, as the originators of the ancient land survey of Native America, the oldest vestiges of which are coastal, since Aleut seafaring was confined to skin boats, which set limits. The Ainu show evidence of having had birchbark boats, but no extensive sea or coastal sea-faring vessels.
See generally on ancient boat-building, Paul Johnstone, The Sea-Craft of Prehistory, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1980, reprinted since then but also available in original on sites such as AbeBooks.com, via which we obtained a fine quality version of the original hardcover book.
See for general information on the Aleuts:
- Yinqiu Cui et al., Ancient DNA Analysis of Mid-Holocene Individuals from the Northwest Coast of North America Reveals Different Evolutionary Paths for Mitogenomes, PLOS ONE (www.plosone.org), July 2013, Volume 8, Issue 7, e66948.
- Michael H. Crawford, Rohina C. Rubicz, and Mark Zlojutro, Origins of Aleuts and the Genetic Structure of Populations of the Archipelago: Molecular and Archaeological Perspectives, Human Biology, October–December 2010, v. 82, nos. 5–6, pp. 695–717, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, Michigan 48201–1309.
- Olga A. Derbeneva et al., Analysis of Mitochondrial DNA Diversity in the Aleuts of the Commander Islands and Its Implications for the Genetic History of Beringia, Am J Hum Genet. 2002 Aug; 71(2): 415–421. Published online 2002 Jun 25. doi: 10.1086/341720 PMCID: PMC379174. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC379174/
- Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Cultures of Alaska, see generally The Alaska Native Heritage Center Museum, Anchorage, Alaska and see George Bryson, DNA tracks descendants of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian in Southeast Alaska, Indian Country News. It is in these cultures that we find possible vestiges of an astronomical system mirrored in Alaskan rock art.
- The Tlingit and the Haida = The Raven and the Eagle, i.e. in our opinion these are astronomically Cygnus and Aquila, which we see at Tuxedni Bay and Clam Cove.
Wisdom of the Elders (wisdomoftheelders.org) writes in History of the Haida Tribe: Discovering Our Story: "The original Haida family structure divided the members into two groups, the Raven and the Eagle."
The Wikipedia writes similarly about the Tlingit: "Tlingit society is divided into two moieties, the Raven and the Eagle. These in turn are divided into numerous clans, which are subdivided into lineages or house groups. They have a matrilineal kinship system, with descent and inheritance passed through the mother's line. These groups have heraldic crests, which are displayed on totem poles, canoes, feast dishes, house posts, weavings, jewelry, and other art forms." [emphasis added]
- The coastal-seafaring Haida in their large cedar wood canoes -- a people said to resemble the Vikings -- are especially good candidates as ancient coastline navigating seafarers clear down south into South America.
- Alutiq (Sugpiaq) = Altair in Aquila is said to be related to Arabic Al Ta'ir, "flying eagle", and was a name also applied to Cygnus, according to Al Sufi's translator. See Richard Hinckley Allen in Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, p. 193.
- Athabascan = Cassiopeia. The Alaska Native Language Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks writes inter alia about "The Name Athabascan": "The name in Cree is something like ahdhap-ask-a-w,
which translates roughly as 'where there are plants distributed in a
net-like pattern' ... but the actual place it originally referred to is
unknown." The "Zig-zag" net of Cassiopeia would fit that general description.
- Eyak = "throat" of Draco (if not stars, then the "throat" of the Milky Way dragon is also possible as an explanation). Although we initially identified the region of the Eyak, Haida, Tsimshian and Tlingit as representing Draco, that section of the geography could well also represent the dragon-like head of the Milky Way near Cepheus and Cygnus. See the image from our work on the Great Wall of China, which identifies the Milky Way dragon colored jade green by us on top of a sky background via the Historical Planisphere, Precession of the Equinoxes (Northern Hemisphere), by Milton D. Heifetz.
We came across this alternative when we discovered that the name of the tribe "Eyak" means "throat", which could mean the "throat" of Draco, or also, as above, the throat of the Milky Way -- extending to the right of Cygnus.
William C. Sturtevant, Handbook of North American Indians: Northwest coast, Government Printing Office, 1978, writes: "The name Eyak ... is taken from the name of the village Eyak ... a borrowing from Chugach Eskimo ... [meaning] literally "throat".
The territory of the Chugach tribe is just to the left of the Eyaks. As written under Chugach Mountains at the Wikipedia: "The name "Chugach" comes from Chugach Sugpiaq "Cuungaaciiq" ... meaning "Cook Inlet" .... In 1898 United States Army Captain William R. Abercrombie spelled the name "Chugatch" and applied it to the mountains...." References elsewhere that Chugach means simply "mountain" may be in error.
If the dragon here is not Draco but the stars of the nearby Milky Way at the dragon's head, then some of our other stellar identifications of rock art sites in Alaska would have to be reviewed, but for now we stick to Draco based on our decipherment of the rock art and megaliths in Alaska as marking star groups and not the Milky Way per se.
That applies particularly to our identification of the "rock art" of Feniak Lake in the Noatak National Preserve, which we identify as marking the stars of Cetus in the Native America land survey (and many other stars of course as well) -- see the next posting.
Did Noatak mark Cetus? One could, for example, argue that Noatak represents either the North Celestial Pole or the North Ecliptic Pole, as follows.
The Inuit Sky Culture entry at the Stellarium Wiki writes that:
"Nuuttuittuq is the North Star Polaris, the star that never moves."Correctly seen astronomically, the heavenly center that never moves is the North Ecliptic Pole, whereas the North Celestial Pole does move, making a great circle around the North Ecliptic Pole in the course of ca. 26000 years. In our era Polaris marks the position of the North Celestial Pole. In other eras not. Nuuttuittuq could be viewed as being very similar to Noatak, but it is a stretch.
Donald J. Orth, Dictionary of Alaska Place Names suggests that the oldest English translation of Inland River for the Noatak River indicates that Noatak could have meant "new land" or "belong to the land" in view of Eskimo nunulak viz. nunatak as the presumed original terms preceding noatak, since nuna viz. nunu means simply "land".
But those obviously guessed "mainstream" etymologies ignore that the Eskimo term was translated as "Inland River" in spite of the fact that the Eskimo term for inland is kivva so that the general term nuna for "land" makes little sense here, as "tak" does not mean "inland". Alaska is a lot of "land", so that such a description without an additional describing term would be meaningless.
Orth (pp. 710-711) has nunamiut (originally perhaps Nunachogmute) for "land Eskimo". Nuna is such a frequent term it would hardly have been confused with Noa-, e.g. Mount Noak meaning "headland" (Orth, p. 692), which leads us to our own Noatak word analysis.
Possible in terms of word similarities and our decipherment below of the petroglyphic megaliths viz. boulders of Feniak Lake in the Noatak River region of Alsaka (68.273N 158.33W) as marking bright stars in the head of Cetus is that noatak could relate to Eskimo natchik meaning "seal", "hair seal" surely generic with Eskimo nutchat meaning "head hair" and niakuk "head". Cetus is a star group sometimes represented by a seal on megaliths, rather then the more modernly used "whale".
Hence, the Noatak River could arguably take its name from the name of the region, not from a concept of "inland" river, as all rivers are. That "inland" translation for the river name could have been convenient, but faulty.
We present our decipherment of one spectacular megalith of Feniak Lake "rock art" in the next posting.
See also megalithic.co.uk for more information on Feniak Lake.
In our coming decipherment we see Feniak Lake as representing the stars of Cetus -- and the 3-sided megalith that we decipher is quite amazing -- but it remains an identification which is provisional for now, and by no means certain, since there is thus far no probative evidence in the rock art itself to back it up.
THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 127 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America
Alaska Rock Art Site Geographic Distribution Corresponds to Traditional Tribal Territorial Division