The second half of the twentieth century has seen many changes in theories concerning the mode of colonization of the islands of Micronesia, and the rise of the Inca Empire, with it’s striking similarities to Egypt. In the past, it has been suggested that Asians had worked their way through the Pacific, over a period of thousands of years. It was believed that each island group had formed independently, and that the residents, while they were of the same race, had totally different cultures. Since the 1940’s, however, these views have been changing.
It is now accepted by many scholars that early Egyptians sailed as far west as South America, in their huge reed boats. In turn, the Incas, who owe many of their technological advancements to these Egyptian travelers, set sail to the west, colonizing Easter Island, Hawaii, and the other Pacific islands. The most common misconception about these early travels is that they took place on boats or ships. This is definitely not the case. In fact, the Egyptians and Incas relied on rafts; the Incas used balsa logs ( Kon-Tiki 21), the Egyptians used bundles of papyrus reeds (Ra 3).
One striking piece of evidence for Egyptian-Inca contact is the existence of eed rafts on Lake Titicaca that are exactly like rafts used on Lake Chad and the Nile (Ra 3). Of course, this could be merely coincidence, but much more evidence exists to support the theory of ancient contacts between Egyptians and Pre-Colombian Incas. The most positive, though hardly concrete, item is the legends of the *I*Viracocha*/I* (which translates as white man in English) people of Lake Titicaca in South America.
The *I*Viracocha*/I* are said to have been the first builders of the reed boats in South America and came forth in a flotilla of reed boats,… appearing to the local Indians who at the time ere ignorant of sun worship, architecture, and agriculture (Ra 30). These reed boats were the same size and specification of the boats used by Egyptians, and the people who crewed them began, among other things, building pyramids and statues, many of which still stand throughout Central and South America (Ra 3).
In fact, the most concrete piece of evidence linking the Egyptians and early Americans is a small stone statue, discovered in Mexico, bearing features that are decidedly similar to those of Egyptian sculpture. The statue was carbon dated 800 BC (Begley, et al 28), long before Europeans were said to ave contacted Central and South Americans. The Aztecs and Mayas of Central America also provide evidence of Egyptian contact. The starting date of the Maya calendar is 12, 3113 BC. This is in the middle of the first dynasty of the Pharaohs.
If these Indians had already been in the Western Hemisphere for 15,000 years, why was it only after the Egyptians started using calendars that they did, and used such similar methods. Mayan and Aztec texts also state that they became civilized only after a man, claiming descent from the sun arrived from the Gulf of Mexico, with a complement of astronomers, architects and priests. The Aztecs called the man/god Quetzalcoatl, and the Mayans called him Kukulkan. Both names translate as Plumed Serpent (Ra 258). A plumed serpent decorates some of the Pharaohs’ tombs in Egypt, as well as Papyrus scripts.
This mixture of birds and snakes is prevalent in Egypt, Mexico, and Peru. In addition, Peruvian and Egyptian art depicts birdmen, assisting the sun king’s voyages. It is not, however these supernatural men who are credited with the technological advancements in the area (Ra 259). Instead, normal men, who wore sandals and robes, and arrived on reed boats are attributed with this. They taught the primitive natives to write, build, weave, and worship the sun. They also built schools primarily teaching history.
Native legends throughout Central America, and the Inca empire, from Bolivia to Peru agree that men on reed boats brought them technology (Ra 259). Portraits found in Olmec ruins in Mexico bear decidedly African features, including black skin, rounded faces, and broad noses, versus the angular faces of the American natives. Moreover, there are paintings and statues bearing Semitic characteristics, including hooked noses, goatees, and sharp facial features. Some are depicted as carrying alking staffs (Ra 260). A good deal of ‘circumstantial’ evidence also points to Egypt-Inca contact.
This includes the fact that both cultures demonstrate traditions of intermarriage to preserve royal blood lines, and hieroglyphic writings. Both societies also embalmed their dead in the same way, and performed cranial surgery (Geographic 47). One noted anthropologist with the University of California documented sixty features, all of an unusual nature, unique to only the Egyptian and Inca empires (Ra 24). These include, in addition to the aforementioned ceremonies, paper-making with reeds, the use of adobe ricks, false beards for religious leaders, and circumcision of males.
Perhaps the most bizarre trait shared by both civilizations is the practice of, expeditions in search of special mollusks, highly valuable for their red shells or for the red dye extracted from the snail (Ra 87-88). Nonetheless, in order to further theories of Egyptian-Inca contact scientists must establish a means whereby such contact could have occurred. The feasibility of Egyptian voyages to South America has been proved by Thor Heyerdahl. In 1970, he and a hodgepodge team of various nationalities built a large reed raft in Egypt, sing Egyptian designs and Peruvian Indians to provide technical advice.
They hauled the raft on a sledge across the continent, and sailed to a landfall in Barbados, in the Caribbean. The only tools used in constructing this raft were those that ancient Egyptians would have had, and the expedition was a complete success, proving that with their technology, ancient Egyptians could certainly have traveled to the Americas (Ra Poscript). As far as the overland journey from a landing point in the Caribbean to Peru, the Spanish explorer Francisco Pizzaro provided proof that it wasn’t an nsurmountable distance.
Indeed, he sailed from the Mediterranean to South America, and marched overland, with his crew, to the Inca empire in Peru, and then returned to Spain almost as fast as Hernan Cortes hacked through Mexico to the Aztec empire (Ra 267-268). Despite all this evidence, though, it has not been unequivocally proved that Egyptians sailed to South America. There is an entire ocean, and two continents separating the cultures. It would have been a remarkable feat to have traveled that distance.
But one must keep in mind that the Egyptians were the builders of the Pyramids, nd crossing the vast distances may have been a similarly worthy undertaking to this mighty people. As pointed out by Thor Heyerdahl, there is a much stronger case for Inca colonization of the Pacific Islands. The single most obvious indicators of such contact are the sweet potato and bottle gourd. The common sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas is native to South America. It was brought into North America by natives, and wasn’t known in Europe until the sixteenth century. Yet it is prolific throughout all of the Polynesian islands.
Its distribution among these scattered islands could only have een accomplished by human intervention. On Easter Island, huge sweet potato plantations have flourished for hundreds of years. Like the sweet potato, the bottle gourd, native only to South America, is found throughout the Pacific. Even more striking is the linguistic similarities between the names given to these vegetables by the different cultures. The sweet potato is called kumara, and the bottle gourd is known as kimi in almost all Polynesian dialects, and by the traditional languages in Peru (Kon-Tiki 102-103).
There are also legends, on both sides of the Pacific that support the theory of ontact between the peoples of the Polynesian islands and the Inca culture. Peruvians contend that a race from the North who lived on Lake Titicaca fled to the west on great rafts made of balsa. Their leader’s name was Kon-Tiki (Kon-Tiki 19). Furthermore, the Polynesians contend that they are descendants of a group that had come across the sea from a land in the east which was scorched by the sun (Kon-Tiki 19). The leader of this legendary group- Tiki; who was said to be a direct scion of the sun god.
It is said, Tiki, he was both god and chief. It was Tiki who brought my ancestors to these islands where e live now. Before that, we lived in a big country beyond the sea (Kon-Tiki 12). Many who oppose the theory of Inca colonization of the Pacific islands point to the vast distances between Peru and the Pacific islands as evidence against the possibility of their migration. This, as Heyerdahl points out, is in error. The distance from Peru to the Tuamoto island chain is 4,000 miles. However, after a raft or sailboat has traveled 1,000 miles over the sea surface, it will have reached the Tuamotos.
This is due to the Humbolt Current, which flows up from Antarctica, along the coast of South America, and ue west, towards Asia. In Thor Heyerdahl’s 101 day crossing from Peru to the Tuamotos, the ocean displaced his raft, the Kon-Tiki, 3,000 miles, and the wind was actually responsible for only one thousand miles of displacement. Unfortunately, on a west-to-east journey, the sea distance to be covered is 7,000 miles. That would mean a 700-day journey just to overcome the current. However, any craft attempting that journey would have to tack several hundred miles in order to avoid the trade winds.
Most experts, Heyerdahl included, feel that such a voyage would be impossible (Early Man 33). This ould serve to explain the failure of a return route to Peru and negates an Asian migration to the eastern-most. The distances between the islands are also frequently misconceived. Easter Island, source of the oldest remnants of civilization is the furthest removed from Asia as all the islands, suggesting a migration from South America, which is only 2,000 miles from Easter Island, while the nearest island is 2,000 miles west, and it is 8,000 miles to mainland Asia (Kon-Tiki 127).
Nonetheless this tiny, dry desolate island is the home of the oldest statues and pyramids in the Pacific islands. The famous ed-haired statues discovered on the island are found elsewhere, but only on the islands closest to the Americas. In addition, the details and skill levels shown in the construction of these statues decreases as distance from America increases (Kon-Tiki 133-136). This all points towards a westward spread of culture, rather than the traditional eastward diffusion suggested by most anthropologists.
Once again, legend offers evidence for the westward migration theory, this time involving Easter Island. The first Europeans to visit the island, were astonished to see mysterious white men on shore,… with long flowing beards Kon-Tiki 138). This race, characterized by their light skin, red hair, and artificially-lengthened ear lobes, are said to have first come to Polynesia around 400 AD The Polynesians contend that this race, known as the big-ears, led by the sun-god Kon-Tiki, came from the east, and built the statues that bear an incredible likeness to them.
They continued west, scattering from Hawaii to New Zealand, and intermingled with and dominated the scattered tribes that lived on the islands (Kon-Tiki 139). The statues on Easter Island are the oldest, and most similar to the statues found around Lake Titicaca. Decorating the statues on Easter Island are tufts of red hair, long ears, and a belt carved around the stomach. These belts are also on every statue in the ruins around Lake Titicaca, and are the emblem of the sun-god (Kon-Tiki 140). These remarkable similarities suggest a common designer.
The traditional names of the islands also serve as evidence towards a westward migration, as Heyerdahl points out. One of Easter Island’s native names is Rapa Nui, which means Great Rapa. To the west is an island of the same size, with the name Rapa Iti, which means Little Rapa. As it is common tendency for a second ome to be referred to as Little__, or New__, this suggests that it is a satellite of Rapa Nui. Indeed, the natives contend they came from the East. The other aboriginal name for Easter Island is Mata-Kite-Rani, which means the eye that looks toward heaven.
There are no significant mountains on Easter Island, compared to say, Tahiti or Hawaii (Kon-Tiki 141). Rani, which means Heaven, has two meanings: literal Heaven, and the homeland of the Polynesians’ ancestors. Finally, Mata-Rani means the eye of heaven, and is a traditional name for a spot on the Pacific coast of Peru [directly] opposite Easter sland and right at the foot of Kon-Tiki’s [the god/leader of the Peruvians cum Polynesians] old ruined city in the Andes (Kon-Tiki 141).
The third native name of Easter Island, Te-Pito-te-Henua, means navel of the islands, which suggests it was an important part of the Polynesian Islands. On the island’s eastern shore, near the supposed landing site of the original ‘long-ears’ is a spherical stone, known as the golden navel, and considered the symbolic navel of the island. This takes on greater significance because tradition refers to the discovery of the islands as the birth of the islands. As the navel is where the umbilical cord ties a fetus to the mother, this seems to suggest that Easter Island was the last link to the motherland-Peru ( Kon-Tiki 140).
The final factor in considering the westward migration theory is the logistics of such journeys. Once again, Thor Heyerdahl provided absolute evidence for the feasibility of this voyage with his Kon-Tiki expedition of 1947. He and five other men, four Norwegians and a Swede, sailed from Callo, Peru, to an island near Tahiti. As with his Ra expedition, twenty-five years later, only traditional tools, food and equipment were used, ith the exception of running lights and meteorological equipment (Kon-Tiki supplement 4).
It has now been over half a century since Heyerdahl first suggested the theory westward migration theories. As time goes by, more evidence has served to reinforce his ideas. There are still indecipherable hieroglyphs in Peru and Polynesian islands. If they are ever unraveled, they may well present new evidence, either for or against the theories. The similarities between these carvings and glyphs on the west coast of North America has sparked debates on connections between these areas, either directly or via Peru.
There are also numerous references towards white men, with blonde hair. Mayans refer to them as having come with the reed-boatmen. Some members of the group who fled Lake Titicaca with Kon-Tiki were white. The Spanish conquistadors reported blonde and red-haired white men in Peru and on Easter Island (Ra 260). Perhaps these white men’s ancestors were Vikings-it is generally accepted that Leif Erikson traveled at least as far south as New England, and some legends of North American Natives have made reference to explorers that fit Norse characteristics ( Early Man 130).
Explanations for the similarities in these three distant cultures have included divine intervention, extra-terrestrial intervention, or an as-yet undiscovered master race of humans, perhaps from Atlantis, that brought the societies together. Indeed, Heyerdahl’s theories, once considered outlandishly radical, are now considered tame by many people. The possibilities are certainly endless, but in light of the evidence so far gathered, the idea of westward migration seem the most logical explanation for the similarities between Egyptian and Inca cultures, and the colonization of the Pacific Islands.