Although the Stonehenge documentaries featured here last week were very relevant to the greenYgrey in many ways, the first in a series of documentaries about Lost Kingdoms of Central America was even more redolent for us. That’s because the leaders of the Olmecs believed they were were-jaguars.
Author: Guy de la Bedoyere Original caption by Bedoyere at Guy de la Bédoyère: “With Tony Robinson and Mick Aston on a Time Team shoot in 2007.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aware Were Not Hollywood Weres
Hi, it’s Tony Loboinson, comedy history correspondent at the greenYgrey inspired by legendary comedian and historian Tony Robinson.
Yes indeed, the Olmecs were Latin America‘s oldest civilisation, thriving 3000 years ago in Mexico, where the Mayans would later rule.
The Olmecs built the first pyramids on the continent and made the first rubber balls in the world, playing a kind of football/volleyball style game. They also built big stone statues, and worshipped the jaguar as a spirit animal.
They didn’t think they turned into were-jaguars like Hollywood’s werewolves, but thought they could spiritually journey with and as the Central American jungle’s top predator.
Pagans and Monotheists
The Olmec heartland, showing the location of El Azuzul in relation to San Lorenzo and other Olmec sites. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We now know that sacred lakes the Olmecs thought bottomless passageways to the underworld do have bottoms.
The same as we know there is infinite space above us, full of planets and stars much bigger than ours, and solar systems full of the building blocks of life, rather than a supernatural world.
The Future is Precious
The past is full of theories and philosophies that have proved false. Much of what we think is true today will probably be proved false in the future.
Every day scientific finds are pushing what we know about the past back, with new discoveries about humans like those found around Stonehenge, or new dinosaurs and human ancestors creating new paradigms of theories.
The reason we don’t know more about our planet’s past and the way space works is because we don’t have the tools and knowledge yet. The truth is likely to be much wilder and intriguing than even the myths and legends of the ancient worlds.
However, the truth about life is small and microscopic. I won’t pretend to understand it all myself, but over time it does sink in a little, and when well explained it does seem to make sense.
Like the building blocks of life themselves, learning about them little by little builds the blocks of understanding needed to appreciate the science, like the structures themselves grow into the life-creating complex amino acids that started the ball rolling on planet Earth.
Complex Molecules Found in Space
Along those lines, this week news agencies including Astrobiology Web released evidence featured in this month’s Science journal that a carbon-bearing molecule with a “branched” structure has been found in interstellar space.
AW reported that the ‘branched structure of the carbon atoms within the iso-propyl cyanide molecule is unlike the straight-chain carbon backbone of other molecules that have been detected so far, including its sister molecule normal-propyl cyanide.
The discovery of iso-propyl cyanide opens a new frontier in the complexity of molecules found in regions of star formation, and bodes well for the presence of amino acids, for which this branched structure is a key characteristic.’
Amino acids have already been found in meteorites, and they hope to find them in inter-stellar space soon. They also provided a nice greenYgrey image:
Kingdom of the Jaguar is available in the U.K. for another two weeks, and might be available elsewhere?