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No. 43: Jan-Feb 1986

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A JAPANESE PRESENCE IN ANCIENT MEXICO?

A. von Wuthenau, a specialist in Precolumbian art, at the University of the Americas in Mexico City, has long been a champion of ancient contacts between the New World and Africa, the Orient, and the Mediterranean region. For example, his book Unexpected Faces in Ancient America contains hundreds of photographs of Precolumbian figurines and other artwork showing facial features typical of the Old World and Asia. His latest find consists of a terra cotta model of an ancient sailing ship manned by figurines of ten oarsmen, all with striking Japanese features. The model boat is one foot long; the oarsmen, two inches high. It was discovered at a burial site in the Guerrero region of Mexico. Von Wuthenau has tentatively dated the boat as 2,500 years old

(Anonymous; "Sailors in a Model of an Ancient Ship Found in Mexico Have Asian Features," Boston Sunday Globe, November 10, 1985. Cr. J. Whittall.)

Giant Olmec stone head A sketch of one of the giant Olmec stone heads from von Wuthenau's book. He believes this particular head, La Venta III, displays Asiatic features. Others seem African.

From Science Frontiers #43, JAN-FEB 1986. 1986-2000 William R. Corliss