24 Feb 2012
Bubonic plague was transmitted from Europe pre-Columbian .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “ Cahokia . Amazonia and the BlackDeath” Feb 2011
See Appendix II
“During the 14th century many of the educated scribes died of the bubonic plague. Less educated writers introduced vernacular into the legal documents during that period.Download his 74-page article in PDF format.
Thomas Reiersgord, author of The Kensington Rune Stone: Its Place in History, believes that the "10 men red with blood", were not killed by Indians, but were victims of the bubonic plague, carried in its incubation period from Europe, by one or more carriers in the group. In its pneumatic form the plague spreads and kills rapidly, the victims vomiting blood as well as covered with bloody pustules.”
Bubonic plague can and did cross the Atlantic ,repeatedly .
The lack of native American pandemics is due to the potato . But only in areas growing potatoes , of course .
Interesting speculation :
Is eating fish a promotor of bubonic plague ?
Note that Greenland inhabitants did not eat fish , even when they were starving . This was considered irrational . But what if it was very rational ?
Fish do target CCR5 mechanisms via memory structures .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Anchovies and the fall of empires” Jul 2011. Repeated in Appendix I for your ease .
Note the spread of Black Death . It followed the fishy routes .This was seen as trade route effect , but now seems more likely that people eating a lot of fish were more vulnerable on the CCR5 front .
Fish and chips
A staple diet of the North Sea . But old-style chips , with eyes in them .
You know , that glassy bit .
Trust humans to find the most nutritious bit and excise it .
Now you have a poor substitute in curry , mainly curcumin + yoghurt .
Cheese and potatoes .
Both work by stimulating stem-cell production like in a youngling .
Vikings died out because lack of cheese . Mostly of plague , activated by withdrawal of lactose-related epigenetic factors .
Boiled eyed potatoes in cream .Yummy .Also zaps most known diseases .
Never mind the apples .comfort me with potatoes .
Anchovies and the Fall of Empires.
2 Jul 2011
"Civilizations simply forgot civilization .":
Domoic acid (a powerful neurotoxin causing loss of short term memory) is concentrated in anchovies during periods of environmental degradation . This gets into the human food chain via sauces such as Roman Garum and South-East Asian fish sauces such as nuoc mam .
This caused hippocampus damage , resulting in memory loss . Poor impulse control results . Essentially , infantilism .
Nero was not mad . He just forgot .
1.Why eat it in the first place ?
Fish sauces were and are vital to supply essential omega fatty acids . These are really essential for brain development . Inland communities in history went through extraordinary convolutions to obtain them .
Anchovies are especially favoured because of the snout contains a unique rostral organ, believed to be sensory in nature . It is a bioelectric organ , harbouring some unique biochemicals , lusted after by predatory brains .
This organ enables anchovies to flourish in troubled waters , where pollution due to mud or chemicals is high . Another organism shares this ecological niche , namely some phytoplankton like red algae . These produce domoic acid as a biochemical weapon .
Anchovies have evolved defences , which means they concentrate it (so does some other species like shellfish) .
2.The Cycle :
When the waters are clear , nothing much happens .
But when the human land-empire becomes more successful , more land is cultivated . The pollution of the coasts increases drastically around landlocked seas like the Med or complicated island and canal nets of southeast asia .
Anchovies first explode in numbers , then humans , then pollution in a feedback loop .
At some stage phytoplankton production of domoic acid kicks in (presumably a quorum mechanism to inhibit high densities of anchovies that eat plankton.)
A forgetty poison .
3.This works equally well on Humans .
Fish sauces , which were essential to human health , suddenly became actively deletrious , causing loss of short term memory . You need short term memory to get to long term memory in a purely biochemical sense .
Civilizations simply forgot civilization .
This why you no longer get Garum . It became a poison .
It would start with the top levels of societies , those who could afford the best Garum or Nuoc Mam , and work its way down . Note that the barbarians in the interior , or fishing communities on the Atlantic would be little affected .
5.The end of Rome and Angkor Wat .
Not even a whimper . Just a "What?"
I suspect the same in Meso-america or Polynesia . Everywhere where they just walk away .
6.Bronze-age civilization ? (circa 3400 years ago)
A possibility . If they kept eating anchovies after the volcanic turbitity , severe memory loss would result . Especially since the memory systems at the time were mainly verbal , not written down . This might have stimulated the evolution of written systems .
7.End of the Ice Age (about 10 000 years ago)
Massive floods and turbidity would have polluted seas (North Sea , Bay of Biscay , Med , Sediment Floods from North America .
The last is interesting . The light , freshwater floods after the breaking of the ice-dams on North-America was supposed to stop the Gulf stream .
It did not . The heavy , cold , finely-ground sediment swept in suspension along the seafloor to turn the west coast of Europe into a murk . Algal blooms resulted . Fish like anchovies bloomed . Humans ate them and turned into forgetties . There was little symbological language . The referents were forgotten .
There were high human civilizations . They simply forgot them .
All we have left are rocks with symbols like spirals , circles , etc . The referents are forgotten .
8.Domoic Acid and the Immune System .
The secondary level of the Immune System is a Short-term memory system .
I do not know if domoic acid interferes with this , but have a horrible feeling that it does .
Evolutionary systems tend to be very conservative . Higher level short term memory systems will tend to follow from older memory systems . So something affecting the hippocampus will also affect the immune system . In other words , domoic acid will degrade immune systems . This means more plagues .
Note the Roman plagues .A Perfect Storm scenario
And things like HIV in our times .
(Note the feedback between West-African fishery turbidity due to massive netfishing and bush-meat . Some anchovies from the turbid , polluted areas still made it through , degrading immune systems and exposing them to new infectious agents .)
9.And our Civilization ?
I'm afraid the same thing is happening .
The system has learned to some extent , in as much that fish sauces are not as prevalent . But nutritional supplements are . And fish-oil supplements are not tested for domoic acid .
In any case , Gaia has more of these feedback loops up her sleeve .
Have you noticed how more infantile the better-fed elements of the society are ?
That is because their memory is going .
Memory-loss begets infantilism .
10. Gaia likes a flashy big spender
(since She owns the only Casino in town)
She might even comp you a few extra million years in cushy comfort .
Gaia does not see spreading high-energy molecules like plastics or oil around as pollution. These are opportunities ,
The alert reader will have noticed that most of the plastics in ocean gyres are being broken down by bacteria . Oils spills (like Gulf of Mexico) has vanished . We are still awaiting ripple effects .
11.Humans and Gaia
Humans are supposed to be the conscious component of Gaia .
Cutting down on pollution can be far more dangerous than the pollution itself .
Systems will protect themselves , even if it destroys themselves .
Humans need to start really worrying if they cut down on pollution without understanding what they are doing .
Having trouble with your memory ?
Pizza with extra anchovies , anyone ?
Cahokia , Amazonia and the Black Death .
12 Feb 2011
Maddened refugees from the European Black Death (circa 1348-1350 CE ) took desperate flight towards known refuges across the Atlantic (Vinland) . Some unfortunately made it within 38 days (about 4 miles per day) to riverine ports on the Mississppi and Amazon . (Most perished on hostile shores or seas : risks they would never have taken if not maddened ) .
The local populations and civilizations were then destroyed .
The Black Death was nearly 100% lethal in closely tied river civilizations .
A riverine agricultural society . Traders from the Great Lakes to the mouth of the Mississippi .
They were besotted with "Chunkey" .
A type of bowls .
But this like saying that present American Football is also a type of bowls .
This required large plazas of hardpacked pavement , with pavilions for the rich and famous with a good view (flat topped mounds) , and enclosures to keep the non-paying dead-beats out .
And there you have a Cahokia center . Not a city , but more a sports complex , complete with bookies , priests , etc .
About 1050 AD this really took off as discretionary income rose due to favourable climatic conditions and certain threshold population densities being passed .
The sports centers provided agglutinive cores .
Cf present roving Olympic Game sites .
The normal vicissitudes of overpopulation , environmental degradation , warfare ,etc followed . But nothing capable of stopping the civilization in its tracks . Remember , the Mississippi drained half a continent , arising from glaciers . There was always water . More steadfast than the Nile .
Then the Black Death refugees arrived , probably somewhere around St Louis .
Out of the hundreds that must have arrived , some were still biologically active .
The Black Death spread like wildfire (it's cousin , bubonic Plague , had crossed over from Asia with the first colonists and had hosts) .
The American Bottom became a death zone . By the time Columbus arrived , it was known as the Vacant Quarter . The locals shunned it , with good reason . For a long time , anybody who went in there died within 40 days .
See National Geographic Jan 2011 , p127 "Cahokia"
The death rate would have been higher than Europe , since the centers were all connected via fast and easy riverways .
They were slowly recovering when the Spaniards arrived . Smallpox , measles , whooping cough , flu etc then completed the destruction .
Ironically , smallpox , which would have given some measure of protection against the Black Death (since they both compete for receptor site CCR5) , arrived too late .
(Though this might have happened to the Natchez by chance .)
These were extensive riverine agricultural civilizations on the banks of Amazonian rivers .
These have been recently discovered and described .
All vanished circa 1350 – 1400 CE (ie pre-columbian)
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marajoara_culture for the one at the mouth of the Amazon , where the infection probably started .
Why did MesoAmerica escape ?
Most likely because there was no fast river transport .
By the time transport was organized , carriers were dead . Also , the pneumonic form of Black Death was the main carrier . Fast , lethal . but not persistent .
The genetic structure of the Black Death in Europe has been sequenced .
Finding it in pre-Columbian corpses should be indicative . The same for bubonic plague in rat or other carriers in pre-Columbian carrier corpses .
There might be written accounts mouldering away somewhere . The refugees would have been wealthy and literate . Most likely to have been found and brought back to Spain , and there promptly buried for political reasons . (The Black Death was an extremely touch subject in the 1400's and 1500's . The Vatican probably has copies .)
It is still touchy today , 500 years later .
The Spaniards would be absolved of most of the genocides , while the countries of origin of the Black Death refugees (Dutch , English , Irish , maybe some Swedish) could face class-actions claims in the World Court in the Hague .
The Natchez would stand a good chance of success , especially since they have deep enough pockets to fund such a process .
Not to mention the survivors of Amazonia , now savages in the jungle .
Rehabilitation would be a least requirement .
Substantial amounts of moral and monetary capital are involved .
Compensation for accidental or unintential death or injury is one of the bedrocks of any judicial system . The interesting point will be whether a civilization has a statute of limitations .
Chunkey , Western Style , anyone ?