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ATLANTIS & the Atlantic Ocean

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Author Topic: ATLANTIS & the Atlantic Ocean  (Read 20620 times)
dhill757
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« Reply #75 on: March 31, 2007, 03:49:43 pm »



Waves in the trade winds in the Atlantic Ocean—areas of converging winds that move along the same track as the prevailing wind—create instabilities in the atmosphere that may lead to the formation of hurricanes

Climate
 
Waves in the trade winds in the Atlantic Ocean—areas of converging winds that move along the same track as the prevailing wind—create instabilities in the atmosphere that may lead to the formation of hurricanesThe climate of the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent land areas is influenced by the temperatures of the surface waters and water currents as well as the winds blowing across the waters. Because of the ocean's great capacity for retaining heat, maritime climates are moderate and free of extreme seasonal variations. Precipitation can be approximated from coastal weather data and air temperature from the water temperatures. The oceans are the major source of the atmospheric moisture that is obtained through evaporation. Climatic zones vary with latitude; the warmest climatic zones stretch across the Atlantic north of the equator. The coldest zones are in the high latitudes, with the coldest regions corresponding to the areas covered by sea ice. Ocean currents contribute to climatic control by transporting warm and cold waters to other regions. Adjacent land areas are affected by the winds that are cooled or warmed when blowing over these currents. The Gulf Stream, for example, warms the atmosphere of the British Isles and northwestern Europe, and the cold water currents contribute to heavy fog off the coast of northeastern Canada (the Grand Banks area) and the northwestern coast of Africa. In general, winds tend to transport moisture and warm or cool air over land areas. Hurricanes develop in the southern part of the North Atlantic Ocean.

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« Reply #76 on: March 31, 2007, 03:54:21 pm »



Pangaea separation animation, which formed the Atlantic Ocean known today.

History
 
Pangaea separation animation, which formed the Atlantic Ocean known today.
The Atlantic Ocean appears to be the second youngest of the world's oceans, after the Southern Ocean. Evidence indicates that it did not exist prior to 180 million years ago, when the continents that formed from the breakup of the ancestral supercontinent, Pangaea, were being rafted apart by the process of seafloor spreading. The Atlantic has been extensively explored since the earliest settlements were established along its shores. The Vikings, the Portuguese, and Christopher Columbus were the most famous among its early explorers. After Columbus, European exploration rapidly accelerated, and many new trade routes were established. As a result, the Atlantic became and remains the major artery between Europe and the Americas (known as transatlantic trade). Numerous scientific explorations have been undertaken, including those by the German Meteor expedition, Columbia University's Lamont Geological Observatory, and the United States Navy Hydrographic Office.

Some important events in relation to the Atlantic:

•   In 1858, the first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid by Cyrus Field.
•   On April 14, 1912 the RMS Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg with loss of 1,593 people.
•   In 1919, the American NC-4 became the first airplane to cross the Atlantic (though it made a couple of landings on islands along the way).
•   Later in 1919, a British airplane piloted by Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight, from Newfoundland to Ireland.
•   In 1921, the British were the first to cross the North Atlantic in an airship.
•   In 1922, the Portuguese were the first to cross the South Atlantic in an airship.
•   The first transatlantic telephone call was made on January 7, 1927.
•   In 1927, Charles Lindbergh made the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight in an airplane (between New York City and Paris).
•   In 1952, Ann Davison was the first woman to single-handedly sail the Atlantic Ocean.
•   In 1998, Ben Lecomte was the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean, stopping for only one week in the Azores.
•   After rowing for 81 days and 4,767 kilometers (2,962 mi), on December 3, 1999, Tori Murden became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat alone when she reached Guadeloupe from the Canary Islands.
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« Reply #77 on: March 31, 2007, 04:00:28 pm »

Economy

The ocean has also contributed significantly to the development and economy of the countries around it. Besides its major transatlantic transportation and communication routes, the Atlantic offers abundant petroleum deposits in the sedimentary rocks of the continental shelves and the world's richest fishing resources, especially in the waters covering the shelves. The major species of fish caught are cod, haddock, hake, herring, and mackerel. The most productive areas include the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the shelf area off Nova Scotia, Georges Bank off Cape Cod, the Bahama Banks, the waters around Iceland, the Irish Sea, the Dogger Bank of the North Sea, and the Falkland Banks. Eel, lobster, and whales have also been taken in great quantities. All these factors, taken together, tremendously enhance the Atlantic's great commercial value. Because of the threats to the ocean environment presented by oil spills, marine debris, and the incineration of toxic wastes at sea, various international treaties exist to reduce some forms of pollution.




Atlantic bathymetry


Terrain
 
 
The surface is usually covered with sea ice in the Labrador Sea, Denmark Strait, and Baltic Sea from October to June. There is a clockwise warm-water gyre in the northern Atlantic, and a counter-clockwise warm-water gyre in the southern Atlantic. The ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a rugged north-south centerline for the entire Atlantic basin, first discovered by the Challenger Expedition. This was formed by the vulcanism that also formed the floor of the Atlantic, and the islands rising from it.

The Atlantic Ocean has irregular coasts indented by numerous bays, gulfs, and seas. These include the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, English Channel , North Sea, Labrador Sea, Baltic Sea, Gulf of Maine, Bay of Fundy and Norwegian-Greenland Sea. Islands in the Atlantic Ocean include Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Rockall, Great Britain, Ireland, Fernando de Noronha, the Azores, the Madeira Islands, the Canaries, the Cape Verde Islands, Sao Tome e Principe, Newfoundland, Bermuda, the West Indies, Ascension, St. Helena, Trindade, Martin Vaz, Tristan da Cunha, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia Island.

Elevation extremes
•   lowest point: Milwaukee Deep in the Puerto Rico Trench −8,605 metres (28,232 ft)
•   highest point: sea level, 0 metres

Natural resources


Petroleum and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales), sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, precious stones
Natural hazards
Icebergs are common in the Davis Strait, Denmark Strait, and the northwestern Atlantic Ocean from February to August and have been spotted as far south as Bermuda and the Madeira Islands. Ships are subject to superstructure icing in extreme northern Atlantic from October to May. Persistent fog can be a maritime hazard from May to September, as can hurricanes north of the equator (May to December).
The Bermuda Triangle is popularly believed to be the site of numerous aviation and shipping incidents because of unexplained and supposedly mysterious causes, but coast guard records do not support this belief.
Current environmental issues
Endangered marine species include the manatee, seals, sea lions, turtles, and whales. Drift net fishing is killing dolphins, albatrosses and other seabirds (petrels, auks), hastening the decline of fish stocks and contributing to international disputes. There is municipal sludge pollution off the eastern United States, southern Brazil, and eastern Argentina; oil pollution in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Maracaibo, Mediterranean Sea, and North Sea; and industrial waste and municipal sewage pollution in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and Mediterranean Sea.
On June 7, 2006, Florida's wildlife commission voted to take the manatee off of the state's endangered species list. Some environmentalists worry that this could erode safeguards for the popular sea creature.
Marine Pollution
Marine pollution is a generic term for the harmful entry into the ocean of chemicals or particles. The biggest culprit are rivers that empty into the Ocean, and with it the many chemicals used as fertilizers in agriculture as well as waste from livestock and humans. The excess of oxygen depleting chemicals in the water leads to hypoxia and the creation of a dead zone (ecology).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Ocean


List of ports and harbours of the Atlantic Ocean:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ports_and_harbours_of_the_Atlantic_Ocean
« Last Edit: March 31, 2007, 04:05:24 pm by dhill757 » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #78 on: March 31, 2007, 04:09:03 pm »

Azores



The Azores [ˈeɪ̯zɔɹz] (Portuguese: Açores, pron. IPA [ɐ'soɾɨʃ] or [ɐ'soɾʃ]) are a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 km from Lisbon and about 3,900 km from the east coast of North America. The westernmost island (Flores) actually lies on the North American plate and is only 1,925 km from St. John's in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.

The nine major Azorean Islands and the eight small Formigas extend for more than 600 km, and lie in a northwest-southeast direction. The vast extension of the islands defines an immense exclusive economic zone of 1.1 million km². The westernmost point of this area is 3,380 km from the North American continent. All of the islands have volcanic origins, though Santa Maria also has some reef contribution. The mountain of Pico on Pico Island, at 2,351 m in altitude, is the highest in all of Portugal. The Azores are actually the tops of some of the tallest mountains on the planet, as measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean. The archipelago forms the Autonomous Region of Azores, one of the two Autonomous regions of Portugal.

Though it is commonly said that the archipelago is named after the goshawk (Açor in Portuguese), because it was supposed to be a common bird at the time of the discovery, the bird actually never existed on the islands. Some historians indicate the archaic Portuguese word "azures" (the plural of blue) because of the color of the islands when seen from afar. Most, however, insist that the name is derived from birds, pointing to a local subspecies of the buzzard (Buteo buteo), as the animal the first explorers erroneously identified as goshawks.

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« Reply #79 on: March 31, 2007, 04:18:07 pm »

History





Old map of the Azores Islands.

The islands were known in the fourteenth century and can be seen incompletely, for example, in the Atlas Catalan. In 1427, one of the captains sailing for Henry the Navigator rediscovered the Azores, possibly Gonçalo Velho, but this is not certain. The colonization of the then-unoccupied islands started in 1439 with people mainly from the continental provinces of Algarve and Alentejo; in the following centuries settlers from other European countries arrived, most notably from Northern France and Flanders. In 1583, Philip II of Spain as king of Portugal, sent his combined Iberian fleet to clear the French traders from the Azores, decisively hanging his prisoners-of-war from the yardarms and contributing to the "Black Legend". The Azores were the second-to-last part of the Portuguese empire to resist Philip's reign over Portugal (Macau being the last), Azores was returned to Portuguese control with the end of the Iberian Union, not by the military efforts, as these were already in Restoration War efforts in the mainland, but by the people attacking a well-fortified Castillian guarnition.
The 1820 civil war in Portugal had strong repercussions in the Azores. In 1829, in Vila da Praia, the liberals won over the absolutists, making Terceira Island the main headquarters of the new Portuguese regime and also where the Council of Regency (Conselho de Regência) of Mary II of Portugal was established.
Beginning in 1868, Portugal issued its stamps overprinted with "AÇORES" for use in the islands. Between 1892 and 1906, it also issued separate stamps for the three administrative districts of the time.
From 1836 to 1976, the archipelago was divided into three districts, quite equivalent (except in area) to those in the Portuguese mainland. The division was arbitrary, and didn’t follow the natural island groups, rather reflecting the location of each district capital on the three main cities (neither of each on the western group).
•   Angra consisted of Terceira, São Jorge, and Graciosa, with the capital at Angra do Heroísmo on Terceira.
•   Horta consisted of Pico, Faial, Flores, and Corvo, with the capital at Horta on Faial.
•   Ponta Delgada consisted of São Miguel and Santa Maria, with the capital at Ponta Delgada on São Miguel.
During the Second World War, in 1943, the Portuguese dictator Salazar leased bases in the Azores to the British. This represented a change in policy. Previously the Portuguese government only allowed German U-boats and navy ships to refuel there.[1]. This was a key turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic, allowing the Allies to provide aerial coverage in the middle of the Atlantic. This helped them to hunt U-boats and protect convoys.
In 1944, American forces constructed a small and short-lived air base on the island of Santa Maria. In 1945, a new base was founded on the island of Terceira and is currently known as Lajes Field. It was founded in an area called Lajes, a broad, flat sea terrace that had been a farm. Lajes Field is a plateau rising out of the sea on the northeast corner of the island. This air force base is a joint American and Portuguese venture. Lajes Field has, and continues to support US and Portuguese military operations. During the Cold War, the US Navy P-3 Orion anti-submarine squadrons patrolled the North Alantic for Soviet submarines and surface spy vessels. Since its inception, Lajes Field has been used for refuelling aircraft bound for Europe, and more recently, the Middle East. The US Army operates a small fleet of military ships in the harbor of Praia da Vitória, three kilometers southeast of Lajes Field. The airfield also has a small commercial terminal handling scheduled and chartered passenger flights from other islands in the archipelago, Europe, and North America.
In 1976, the Azores became the Autonomous Region of the Azores (Região Autónoma dos Açores), one of the Autonomous regions of Portugal, and the Azorean districts were suppressed.

Politics

Since becoming a Portuguese Autonomous Region, the executive section of the local authority has been located in Ponta Delgada, the legislative in Horta and the judicial in Angra do Heroísmo. The President of the Regional Government is Carlos César.
Azorean politics are dominated by the two largest Portuguese political parties - PSD and PS, the latter holding a majority in the Regional Legislative Assembly. The CDS/PP is also represented in the local parliament, in coalition with the PSD. Even though the PS dominates the administrative scene, the PSD is usually more popular in city and town council elections.

Current affairs

In 2003, the Azores saw international attention when U.S. President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and then Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar and then Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso held a summit there days before the commencement of the Iraq War.[2]
Municipalities
 
 
Pasture fields
 

The Azores are divided into nineteen municipalities (concelhos); each municipality is further divided into parishes (freguesias). The Azores have a total of 156 parishes.
There are also five cities: Ponta Delgada and Ribeira Grande on São Miguel Island; Angra do Heroísmo and Praia da Vitória on Terceira, and Horta on Faial.
Angra
•   Terceira
o   Angra do Heroísmo and Vila da Praia da Vitória
•   Graciosa
o   Santa Cruz da Graciosa
•   São Jorge
o   Calheta and Velas
Horta
•   Pico
o   Lajes do Pico, Madalena and São Roque do Pico
•   Faial
o   Horta
•   Flores
o   Lajes das Flores and Santa Cruz das Flores
•   Corvo
o   Corvo
Ponta Delgada
•   Santa Maria
o   Vila do Porto
•   São Miguel
o   Lagoa, Nordeste, Ponta Delgada, Povoação, Ribeira Grande and Vila Franca do Campo
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« Reply #80 on: March 31, 2007, 04:22:01 pm »




Pasture fields

Geography

Island Area (km²)

São Miguel Island 759
Pico Island 446
Terceira Island 403
São Jorge Island 246
Faial Island 173
Flores Island 143
Santa Maria Island 97
Graciosa Island 62
Corvo Island 17
The archipelago is spread out in the area of the parallel that passes through Lisbon (39º 43' / 39º 55' N), giving it a moderate climate, with mild annual oscillation. The average annual rainfall increases from east to west and ranges from 700 to 1600 mm. The Azores high is named after the islands.

The archipelago lie in the Palearctic ecozone, forming a unique biome among the world's Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, with many endemic species of plants.

The nine islands have a total area of 2,355 km². Their individual areas vary between 759 km² (São Miguel) and 17 km² (Corvo). Three islands (São Miguel, Pico and Terceira) are bigger in size than Malta (composed of three different islands), São Miguel Island alone being twice as big.

The nine islands are divided into three groups:

The Eastern Group (Grupo Oriental) of São Miguel, Santa Maria and Formigas Islets
The Central Group (Grupo Central) of Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial
The Western Group (Grupo Ocidental) of Flores and Corvo.
The islands were formed during the Tertiary period, in the Alpine phase. Their volcanic cones and craters reveal the volcanic origin of most islands. Pico, a volcano that stands 2,351 meters high on the island of the same name, has the highest altitude in the Azores. The last volcano to erupt was the Capelinhos Volcano (Vulcão dos Capelinhos) in 1957, in western part of Faial island, increasing the size of that island. Santa Maria Island is the oldest Azorean island presenting several limestone and red clay extensions.

On 31 December 2002, the Azores' population was 238,767 at a density of 106 persons/km²
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« Reply #81 on: March 31, 2007, 04:24:48 pm »


Pico viewed from Faial

http://forums.atlantisrising.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=000958;p=2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Verde


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« Reply #82 on: April 07, 2007, 09:18:09 pm »



Canary Islands

The Canary Islands IPA/kəˈnæɹɪ ˈaɪləndz/ (Spanish Islas Canarias /ˈis.las kaˈnarjas/) (28° 06'N, 15° 24'W) are an archipelago of the Kingdom of Spain consisting of seven islands of volcanic origin in the Atlantic Ocean. They are located off the north-western coast of Africa (Morocco and the Western Sahara). They form an autonomous community of Spain.

The Canary Islands have been known since antiquity. Some accounts estimate the islands to be 30 million years old.[1] They had an indigenous population called the Guanches whose origin is still the subject of discussion among historians and linguists.

The islands were presumably visited by the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Carthaginians. According to Pliny the Elder, the 1st century AD Roman author and philosopher, when visited by the Carthaginians under Hanno the Navigator the archipelago was found to be uninhabited, but that they saw ruins of great buildings.[2] This may suggest that the islands were inhabited by other peoples prior to the Guanches.

In the Middle Ages the islands were visited by Arab and European sailors.


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dhill757
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« Reply #83 on: April 07, 2007, 09:21:07 pm »



Map of the Canary Islands

Population origins

The origins of the Canarian indigenous people, known as Guanches, are still the subject of debate. Numerous theories have been put forward achieving varying degrees of acceptance.

Since this is a group of islands, the first settlers must have arrived by sea, and archaeology suggests that, when they did so, they imported, not only domestic animals such as goats, sheep, pigs and dogs and cereals such as wheat, barley and lentils, but also a set of well defined socio-cultural practices that seem to have originated and been in use for a long period of time elsewhere.

Although the maritime currents surrounding the Canaries flow in a south-westerly and westerly direction (thus leading boats away into the Atlantic Ocean), there is enough evidence to prove that various Mediterranean civilisations in antiquity did know of the islands' existence and established contact with them (mainly Romans, Greeks and Phoenicians). The indigenous population of the Canaries, therefore, did not develop in complete isolation.

Today, archaeological and ethnographic studies have led most scholars to accept the view that the pre-colonial population of the Canaries were descendants of North African Berber tribes who lived in the Atlas region and started arriving in the Canaries by sea from about 1000 BCE. Two main problems remain to be solved in this field, though. First, there is no archaeological or historical evidence to prove that either the Berber tribes of the Atlas Mountains or the Canarian pre-colonial population had any knowledge or made any use whatsoever of navigation techniques. This is particularly problematic considering that only the peak of Tenerife is visible from the African coast on the very clearest of days and the currents around the islands tend to lead the boats southwest and west, past the archipelago and into the Atlantic Ocean.

The second problem concerns absolute dating. Despite the fact that most scholars would now agree that the earliest reliable dates can be traced back to about 1000 BCE, different absolute dating technologies such as 14C and thermoluminescence have provided the most variable results. Poor methodological practices in the past and an insufficient number of absolute datings carried out throughout the archipelago are mostly responsible for this sort of inconsistency and lack of information.

There still exists, however, a relatively large variety of theories regarding the origin of pre-colonial Canarians. For instance, a group of scholars (mainly from the University of La Laguna, in Tenerife) are presently defending the theory that the origins of the Canarian populations are Punic-Phoenician. Professor D. Juan Álvarez Delgado, on the other hand, argued that the Canaries were uninhabited until 100 BCE, when they were gradually discovered by Greek and Roman sailors. In the second half of the first century BCE, King Juba II of Numidia abandoned North African prisoners on the islands, who eventually became the prehispanic Canarians. The fact that the first inhabitants were abandoned prisoners thus explains, according to Álvarez Delgado, their lack of navigational acumen.

Although denied by certain scholars (cf. Abreu Galindo 1977: 297), specialisation of labour and a hierarchy system seem to have governed the social structures of the Canarian precolonial populations. In Tenerife the highest figure was known as the Mencey, although, by the time the first Spanish incursions in the Canaries took place, Tenerife had already been divided into nine menceyatos (i.e. separate regions of the island controlled by its own Mencey), namely Anaga, Tegueste, Tacoronte, Taoro, Icod, Daute, Adeje, Abona and Güimar. Despite the fact that all Menceys were independent and absolute owners of their territory within the island, it was the Mencey of Taoro who acted, according to the chronicles, as primus inter pares. Gran Canaria, on the other hand, appears to have been divided into two guanartematos (i.e. functionally, politically and structurally differentiated regions): Telde and Gáldar, each governed by a Guanarteme.

Studies of precolonial Canarian society indentify both agricultural and pastoral ways of life in the Canaries (cf. Diego Cuscoy 1963: 44; González Antón & Tejera Gaspar 1990: 78).

At the time of European engagement, the Canary Islands were inhabited by a variety of indigenous communities. The pre-colonial population of the Canaries is generically referred to as Guanches, although, strictly speaking, Guanches were originally the inhabitants of Tenerife. According to the chronicles, the inhabitants of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote were referred to as Maxos, Gran Canaria was inhabited by the Canarii, El Hierro by the Bimbaches, La Palma by the Auaritas and La Gomera by the Gomeros. Despite the fact that inter-insular relations among the indigenous communities cannot be conclusively denied, evidence does seem to suggest that the interaction was relatively low and each island was populated by its own distinct socio-cultural groups.

Little information has survived regarding the religious and cosmological beliefs of the Guanches. Indigenous Canarian people often performed their religious practices in places marked by particular striking geographical features or types of vegetation, and certain sites containing architectonic remains and cave paintings have been identified as sanctuaries.


Links in ancient times

The peak of Teide on Tenerife can be seen on clear days from the African coast. It is possible that the islands were among those visited by the Carthaginian captain Hanno the Navigator in his voyage of exploration along the African coast. It has also been suggested that the islands were visited by the Phoenicians seeking the precious red dye extracted from the orchilla, if the Canaries are considered to be The Purple Isles, alternatively identified with the Hesperides. Although there is no evidence that Romans actually settled, in 1964 a Roman amphora was discovered in waters off Lanzarote. Discoveries made in the 1990s have demonstrated in more secure detail that the Romans traded with the indigenous inhabitants. Excavations of a settlement at El Bebedero on Lanzarote, made by a team under Pablo Atoche Peña of the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Juan Ángel Paz Peralta of the Universidad de Zaragoza, yielded about a hundred Roman potsherds, nine pieces of metal, and one piece of glass at the site, in strata dated between the first and fourth centuries A.D. Analysis of the clay indicated origins in Campania, Hispania Baetica and the province of Africa (modern Tunisia).

Legendary islands in the Western Ocean that recur in European traditions are often linked with the Canaries, even the legendary voyage of Saint Brendan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Canary_Islands#_note-1
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« Reply #84 on: April 07, 2007, 09:22:49 pm »



Maps of the Canary Islands drawn by William Dampier during his voyage to New Holland in 1699
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« Reply #85 on: April 07, 2007, 09:25:42 pm »



Guanche rock carvings in La Palma

Guanches

Guanches (also: Guanchis or Guanchos) were the first known inhabitants of the Canary Islands. This people, whose origin is uncertain, were still at a Stone Age level when the Europeans first arrived in the Middle Ages. Their culture as such has since disappeared, although some traces can still be found.

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« Reply #86 on: April 07, 2007, 09:29:03 pm »

What do you suppose those concentric lines mean?  They seem to be found all over the world.
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« Reply #87 on: April 07, 2007, 09:58:14 pm »

Historical background

The native term Guanchinet means "man of Tenerife" (from Guan = person and Chinet = Tenerife). It was corrupted, according to Juan Núñez de la Peña, by Spaniards into "Guanchos". Strictly speaking, the Guanches were the primitive inhabitants of Tenerife, where the population seems to have lived in relative isolation up to the time of the Spanish conquest, around the 14th century (though Genoans, Portuguese, and Castillians had occasionally landed there since the second half of the 8th century).

The name came to be applied to the indigenous populations of all the seven Canary islands. The Guanches, now extinct as a distinct people, appear, from the study of skulls and bones discovered, to exhibit similarities to Cro-Magnon populations of the Mesolithic era, and links to the Berbers, who have long inhabited northern Africa from Egypt to the Atlantic, have been suggested.

Pliny the Elder, deriving his knowledge from the accounts of Juba, king of Mauretania, states that when visited by the Carthaginians under Hanno the Navigator the archipelago was found by them to be uninhabited, but that they saw ruins of great buildings. This may suggest that the Guanches were not the first inhabitants, if this account is accurate. From the absence of any trace of Islam among the peoples found in the archipelago by the Spaniards, it would seem that this extreme westerly migration of Berbers took place either before or as a result of the conquest of northern Africa by the Arabs. Many of the Guanches fell in resisting the Spaniards, while others died from infectious diseases that accompanied the invaders, diseases to which the Guanches, because of their long isolation, had little immunity. Many were sold as slaves, and many conformed to the Roman Catholic faith and married Spaniards. This pattern of events would be repeated in the Spanish subjugation of the Arawaks and other peoples of the New World only a century later.

What remains of their language, Guanche—a few expressions, vocabulary words and the proper names of ancient chieftains still borne by certain families—exhibits positive similarities with the Berber languages. The first reliable account of Guanche language was provided by Genovese explorer Nicoloso da Recco in 1341, with a translation of numbers used by the islanders.

Petroglyphs attributed to various Mediterranean and northern African civilizations have been found on some of the islands. In 1752, Domingo Vandewalle, a military governor of Las Palmas, attempted to investigate them, and Aquilino Padron, a priest at Las Palmas, catalogued inscriptions at El Julan, La Candía and La Caleta on El Hierro. In 1878 Dr. R. Verneau discovered rock carvings in the ravines of Las Balos that bear similarities with Libyan or Numidic writing from the time of Roman occupation or earlier. In other locations, Libyco-Berber script has been identified. However, according to chroniclers, the Guanches did not possess a system of writing at the time of conquest.
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« Reply #88 on: April 07, 2007, 10:02:16 pm »

What do you suppose those concentric lines mean?  They seem to be found all over the world.


Good question, Tom!  I don't buy into the mystical explanation, nor the idea that all the people of the world got the idea for the spiral all at the same time.

I think it is a "mark" of some kind.  Whether it is supposed to be the capital city of Atlantis, I don't know, but many of the spirals from New Zealand look the same as the ones from La Palma.  I think it is the mark of a race of ancient sea-faring people.
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« Reply #89 on: April 07, 2007, 10:09:29 pm »

Political System

The political and social institutions of the Guanches varied. In some islands hereditary autocracy prevailed; in others the government was elective. In Tenerife all the land belonged to the chiefs who leased it to their subjects. In Gran Canaria, suicide was regarded as honourable, and on a chief inheriting, one of his subjects willingly honoured the occasion by throwing himself over a precipice. In some islands, polyandry was practised; in others the natives were monogamous. But everywhere the women appear to have been respected, an insult offered any woman by an armed man being a capital offence.

The island of Tenerife was divided into nine small kingdoms (menceyatos), each ruled by a king or Mencey. The Mencey was the ultimate ruler of the kingdom, and at times, meetings were held between the various kings. When the Spanish invaded the Canary Islands, the southern kingdoms joined the Spanish invaders on the promise of the richer lands of the north. The Spanish would never reward them with their promise and betrayed them.


Clothes and Weapons

Guanches wore garments made from goat skins or woven from plant fibers, which have been found in the tombs of Gran Canaria. They had a taste for ornaments, necklaces of wood, bone and shells, worked in different designs. Beads of baked earth, cylindrical and of all shapes, with smooth or polished surfaces, mostly colored black and red, were fairly common. In his research, Dr. René Verneau suggested that the objects the Spanish referred to as pintaderas, baked clay seal-shaped objects, were used as vessels for painting the body in various colours. They manufactured rough pottery, mostly without decorations, or ornamented by making fingernail indentations.

Guanche weapons shared similarity with those of north African peoples, adapted to the insular environment (using wood, obsidian and stone as primary materials), with later influences from medieval European weaponry. Basic armaments in several of the islands included javelins of 1 to 2 m in length (known as Banot on Tenerife); round, polished stones; spears; maces (common in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, and known as Magado and Sunta, respectively); and shields (small in Tenerife and human-sized in Gran Canaria, where they were known as Tarja, made of Drago wood and painted with geometric shapes). In Gran Canaria, after the arrival of the Europeans, Guanche nobility were known to wield large wooden swords (larger than the European two-handed type) called Magido, which were said to be very effective against both infantrymen and cavalry. Weaponry made of wood was hardened with fire. These armaments were commonly complemented with a stone or obsidian knife known as a Tabona.

Dwellings were situated in natural or artificial caves in the mountains. In areas where cave dwellings were not feasible, they built small round houses and, according to the Spaniards, practiced crude fortification.

Funerals

In La Palma the old people were at their own wish left to die alone. After bidding their family farewell they were carried to the sepulchral cave, nothing but a bowl of milk being left them. The Guanches embalmed their dead; many mummies have been found in an extreme state of desiccation, each weighing not more than 6 or 7 pounds. Two almost inaccessible caves in a vertical rock by the shore 3 miles from Santa Cruz (Tenerife) are said still to contain bones. The process of embalming seems to have varied. In Tenerife and Gran Canaria the corpse was simply wrapped up in goat and sheep skins, while in other islands a resinous substance was used to preserve the body, which was then placed in a cave difficult of access, or buried under a tumulus. The work of embalming was reserved for a special class, women for female corpses, men for male. Embalming seems not to have been universal, and bodies were often simply hidden in caves or buried.


Religion

Little is known of the religion of the Guanches. They appear to have had a distinct religious system. There was a general belief in a supreme being, called Acoran, in Gran Canaria, Achihuran in Tenerife, Eraoranhan in Hierro, and Abora in La Palma. The women of Hierro worshipped a goddess called Moneiba. According to tradition the male and female gods lived in mountains whence they descended to hear the prayers of the people. In other islands the natives venerated the sun, moon, earth and stars. A belief in an evil spirit was general. The demon of Tenerife was called Guayota and lived in the peak of Teide volcano, which was the hell called Echeyde.

In times of drought the Guanches drove their flocks to consecrated grounds, where the lambs were separated from their mothers in the belief that their plaintive bleatings would melt the heart of the Great Spirit. During the religious feasts all war and even personal quarrels were stayed.


Origins

Genetic evidence shows that northern African peoples (most likely descendants of the Capsian culture) made a significant contribution to the aboriginal population of the Canaries following desiccation of the Sahara at some point after 6000 BC. Linguistic evidence supports common origins between aboriginal Canary Islanders and the Berbers of northern Africa, particularly when comparing number systems.

Early Spanish accounts differed in their descriptions of native Canary Islanders. Chroniclers described one group as tall, blonde and blue-eyed, another as being of medium height and dark complexion, and a third group was said to be of smaller stature. The Guanche population of Tenerife were, according to accounts from the 15th century, tall, tan-skinned, and powerfully built, with some having blond hair and blue eyes.

Early observations about the appearance of the Guanche peoples led to considerable speculation about their origins. Past theories speculated that the Guanches inherited their fair traits from the Celts, Germanic tribes or some other group originating on the European continent, but no evidence has been found linking these groups and peoples of the Canary Islands. To be sure, similar fair traits can be found among the indigenous Berber populations in neighboring North Africa in the few cases where they have not interbred with the more recently arrived Arab majority.

The diversity of physical traits observed may indicate that the Canaries were populated over time by more than one single source. The islands were visited by a number of peoples within recorded history. The Numidians, Phoenicians, and Carthaginians knew of the islands and made frequent visits. The Romans occupied northern Africa and visited the Canaries between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, judging from Roman artifacts found on the island of Lanzarote. The East Germanic Vandals invaded northern Africa in the 5th and 6th centuries AD, and their reach could have theoretically extended to the Canaries. However, each of these cultures had reached a higher level of technology than the Neolithic culture that was encountered at the time of conquest.

The Conquest
 
The surrender of the Guanche kings to Alonso Fernández de LugoThe conquest of the islands began in 1402, with the expedition of Juan de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle to the island of Lanzarote. Gadifer would conquer Lanzarote and Fuerteventura with ease since many of the aborigenes, faced with issues of starvation and poor agriculture, would surrender to Spanish Reign.

The other five islands fought back. El Hierro and the Bimbache population were the next to fall, then La Gomera, La Palma, Gran Canaria and 100 years later, Tenerife.

Tenerife was most successful against the Spanish invaders. In the First Battle of Acentejo, called La Matanza or "The Slaughter," poorly armed Guanches with only stones ambushed the Spanish in a valley and killed many.

One in five survived, including the leader of the expedition, Alonso Fernandez de Lugo. Lugo would return later to the island after many defeats and with the alliance of the southern part of the island. The northern Menceyatos or provinces would fall at the Second Battle of Acentejo with the defeat of Bencomo, Mencey of Taoro - what is now the Orotava Valley - in 1496.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanches
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