Rebuttal to the Chinese Mayans connection


I refer to the article of my good friend, Jose Antonio, on the possible Chinese Mexicans (Mayans) connection (see the preceding post).  However, I came across an article written in English appearing in a China magazine, which said there is another group of Chinese scholars who does not subscribe to such connection. It said as follows:

Professor Xu Shicheng is one of that group. An expert in Latin American studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, he is also the vice president of the Chinese Association for Latin American Studies. He says the two groups of scholars not only exist in China, but worldwide. One group cannot convince the other of its arguments.


Xu Shicheng has been to several central American countries to visit Maya ruins. He says that the evidence of the Chinese connection is far from convincing.


“Take the language for example. Deciphered Maya hieroglyphs are just a tiny proportion of the whole. Much of its highly complex systems of writing were recorded in books made from bark paper. Because of their perishable nature and book-burning by Spanish invaders, only four books remain today. The Maya hieroglyphs still remain as a great mystery. Therefore, study based on the deciphered ones is not convincing enough.”

Xu Shicheng admits there are similarities between the cultural relics of the two civilizations. But he prefers to explain it as coincidence, saying that such similarities could also be found between Chinese civilization and other ancient civilizations. He points out that differences between the two civilizations far outnumber the similarities. For instance, Maya’s main form of architecture was stone pyramid temples, while in China, it was wooden palaces; Maya’s primary crop was corn which resulted in their worship of the God of Corn, but the major crop in ancient China was rice. What’s more, the Mayans didn’t know how to make metal tools, how to raise livestock, and how to make wheels, which were mastered by ancient Chinese.

Xu Shicheng points out that Maya and Chinese are two independent civilizations, which don’t share the same origins. “I believe that Maya civilization was built on the inherited inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations in central America such as the Olmec. And Maya people are not gone, since there are still some two million descendants of Maya living in Mexico.

Professor Xu Shicheng points out that some people even say the Mayans were extraterrestrial beings, which is sheer fabrication. But he says there are still many mysteries of Maya, which are beyond people’s imagination. For example, why did it disappear all of a sudden while there were no signs of famine, plague or war? Without metal tools and animal-drawn vehicles, how was it possible to quarry huge slabs in distant mountains and transport them for the construction of magnificent temples? How to reconcile such astonishing cultural achievements as a calendar that could work for 6000 years without error, complex computations in terms of billions, and an exquisite system of hieroglyphs with productivity represented by slash-and-burn farming? What secrets are the statues with their stern expressions and the esoteric language inscribed on the tablets supposed to tell?

Professor Xu Shicheng hopes more people will begin to research the answers to these mysteries.

I would appreciate it if any of my friends could translate the above passage into Spanish for the benefit of my Spanish-only readers, of whom my friend Jose Antonio is one of them.

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6 Responses

  1. Perhaps you know of it already: a book by Gavin Menzies titled ‘1421- The Year China Discovered America’. An interesting read … how factual is up for debate I’m sure.
    Ed

  2. My friend Rohio of Peru made the following comments:

    Hi Brandon
    I’ve just read the article you told me about and I found it very interesting. If you have further information about it, please let me know.
    Regards
    Rocio

  3. My friend Antonio of Mexico made the following comments

    Well, I have to admit that I really knew nothing about this chinese/mayan connection, it’s kind of surprising that there are these similarities between those cultures, as described in your blog. As for my opinion, I think that Xu Shicheng has some good reasons for thinking like that, more precisely, about the fact that there are many things we don’t know about the mayans and the difficulties to study the existing material, but I also believe that it doesn’t rule out the possibility of some early contact. Personally, I think that more research has to be done on the subject to cleary all those mysteries, surely it’s an interesting topic.

    And your translation was very good, keep it up.

  4. Hi Brandon, you have a great blog. It’s very interesting this article you published, about a possibly connection between these two magnificent ancient cultures. If you need more information about my country please just let me know. By the way… I’m photographer I hope to share some pictures then.

  5. Cualli Brandon,… nicnequi cuicatin español.. jejeje Aprenda español para que entienda las palabras latinas.

  6. Hi, Brandon! I translated the article above into Spanish:

    El profesor Xu Shicheng es uno de ese grupo. Experto en estudios latinoamericanos de la Academia China de Ciencias Sociales, es también vicepresidente de la Asociación China de Estudios Latinoamericanos. Dice que los dos grupos de expertos no sólo existe en China, sino en todo el mundo. Un grupo no puede convencer al otro de sus argumentos.
    Xu Shicheng ha ido a varios países centroamericanos a visitar las ruinas mayas. Dice que la prueba de la conexión de China está lejos de ser convincente.
    “Considere la lengua, por ejemplo. Los jeroglíficos mayas descifrados son sólo una pequeña proporción de la totalidad. Gran parte de sus sistemas de escritura de alta complejidad se registraron en libros hechos de papel de corteza. Debido a su carácter perecedero y a la quema de libros por los invasores españoles, sólo quedan cuatro libros hoy en día. Los jeroglíficos mayas aún permanecen como un gran misterio. Por lo tanto, el estudio basado en los descifrados no es lo suficientemente convincente.”
    Xu Shicheng reconoce que existen similitudes entre las reliquias culturales de las dos civilizaciones. Pero prefiere explicarlas como una coincidencia, diciendo que tales similitudes también se pueden encontrar entre la civilización china y otras civilizaciones antiguas. Señala que las diferencias entre las dos civilizaciones son mucho más numerosas que las similitudes. Por ejemplo, la forma principal de la arquitectura maya fueron sus templos-pirámide de piedra, mientras que en China fueron los palacios de madera. El cultivo principal de los mayas era el maíz, que se tradujo en la adoración al dios del maíz, pero el principal cultivo en la antigua China fue el arroz. Es más, los mayas no sabían cómo hacer herramientas de metal, cómo criar ganado, y cómo hacer ruedas, asuntos en los cuales los antiguos chinos fueron expertos.
    Xu Shicheng señala que los mayas y los chinos son dos civilizaciones independientes, que no comparten los mismos orígenes. “Creo que la civilización maya fue construida sobre las invenciones y las ideas heredadas de las civilizaciones antiguas en América Central, como la Olmeca. Y la gente maya no se ha ido, ya que todavía hay unos dos millones de descendientes de los mayas que viven en México.
    El profesor Xu Shicheng señala que algunas personas incluso dicen que los mayas eran seres extraterrestres, lo cual es pura invención. Pero dice que todavía hay muchos misterios de los mayas que están más allá de la imaginación de la gente. Por ejemplo, ¿por qué desaparecieron de repente, sin dejar signos de hambruna, peste o guerra? Sin herramientas de metal ni vehículos tirados por animales, ¿cómo fue posible extraer enormes losas de las lejanas montañas y transportarlas para la construcción de magníficos templos? ¿Cómo conciliar esos logros culturales asombrosos, como su calendario -que podría funcionar por 6000 años sin errores-, cálculos complejos en términos de miles de millones, y un sistema exquisito de jeroglíficos que representaban la productividad con la técnica agrícola de tala y quema? ¿Qué secretos se supone deben contar las estatuas con sus expresiones severas y el lenguaje esotérico inscrito en las tabletas?
    El profesor Xu Shicheng espera que más gente comience a investigar las respuestas a estos misterios.

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