Marketing Primary Technology Through The Ancient Maya Lands
By Ron O. Cook
Designing the economic structures of the future requires a gestalt or a macroscopic scale of thinking that results in monumental accomplishments. It has been suggested that ancient man did think large and as proof, they constructed some of the greatest complexes and cities that have ever graced the surface of the earth. Currently, ancient American archaeological discoveries are rising to levels as great and almost as old as the Sumerians, and Egyptians thus putting the spotlight on the New World’s past.
Perhaps one of the most mysterious cultures in our world was that of the Maya whose writings, mathematics, engineering, agriculture, and science still intrigue archaeologists worldwide. They were a leading-edge civilization for stone age (primary) technology. We are only now realizing how much this complex culture has to teach us about survival in a near-equilibrium social state which teeters on the brink of ecological disaster. That is why we must go to the Maya lands and establish a Multi-Developmental Mayasphere (MDM) for intense research so we may learn from their mistakes and accomplishments. At the same time we will also create new socioeconomic structures for that part of the world, which is in dire need of social amplification and improvement.
Primary Technology (PT) research, a burgeoning new professional field, is the act of relearning what ancient man knew almost intuitively because of his close association with the idiosyncrasies of nature. PT is the investigation of what has been provided via nature for the sustenance of ecological systems and mankind — to live and work in harmony within such a system. To be a Primary Technologist is to live the life of an indigenous culture, yet explore nature’s teachings via scientific research. Nature becomes the textbook and the philosophy — it’s where the laboratory is the field. Modern technological innovations only act as an amplifier to quicken the grasping of this forgotten knowledge hidden in the genome and biology of the present.
Living within nature means processing the products of first echelon provisions — use what is provided. A PT scientist lives the data and later uses technology to amplify the data to more ecologically safe uses. It is believed that a PT scientist would better discover how to exist in lands like the ancient Mayans, because he/she would emulate their lives. To discover how to properly use the intrinsic multi-connectedness of ecosystems for our continued existence on earth beyond the age of space and automata and to discover how to save this, our pedestal to the universe, would be the prime directive of PT scientists working at the Multi-Developmental Mayasphere.
The MDM (Multi-Developmental Mayasphere) would be international in scope, requiring the governments of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize to negotiate agreements with local, national and international interests, such as the World Bank, the National Geographic Society, universities, foundations, and corporations (such as Disney), to join with them in a gargantuan effort to redesign and rediscover the knowledge of the Maya. In exchange for this planned development of the ancient lands, primary technologists (includes all scientific disciplines) would be able to apply for partitioned-participation leases to explore and develop these ancient lands within the confines of a strict program of ecological, archaeological, anthropological, biomedical and biogenetic amplified-disciplinary program. Working within the strictures of the above would be the second multi-level which would see reconstruction of ancient sites, and construction of facilities for advanced studies, research labs and intellectual theme-park development. With such a synergistic plan, the formation of an intellectual sphere of constant amplification within the dictates of ecology, would position this area of the world as a super-critical research zone for humanity.
The Mayasphere would be more than a collection of nations, foundations or corporations, it would be a unique economic phenomena in the world with unlimited potential to impact an area in need of a financial injection and a reason the develop. The indigenous people of the lands would find a source of employment at the various facilities that would begin to be built. Peace could return to the countryside where a joint reason for prosperity would pull minds toward resourceful pursuits. This part of the world could become an attraction where the future was being created via something other than pure high technology — instead, primary technology and harmonic learning would be the emphasis.
Why is it so important to reassemble the knowledge of the ancient peoples of that part of the world? Because for 2000 years they had the edge on civilization. They did something right with Nature. What it was we are not sure of, but something big happened in the ancient Mayasphere and we need to reclaim and re-learn the mysteries of mankind’s intimacies with nature’s provisions.
Hopefully we will find some ancient message that will serve as a benchmark to what they were about. The Mayans were the only ancient American civilization with a recorded history of their own; although, new evidence suggests that earlier cultures such as the Olmeca and perhaps others (La Mojarra Stela 1) could have been the precursors to the Mayan system of writing. At any rate, the Mayans broadcast on stone billboards the loudest messages of all Mesoamerican cultures. They recorded on lithic monuments, pottery, papers, and skins, the grand events of their abstruse culture. Though their hieroglyphs remain to be totally deciphered, we may soon have the benefit of viewing an advanced civilization built upon “primary technology” taken to the fullest understanding of nature’s provisions. In other words the Mayans went about as far as they could go within a category of earth and stone technology. Their knowledge of the Primary Technology (Nature) surely surpasses ours.
When one considers what the Earth is taking on just in the form of increasing population, to rediscover how one ancient civilization contended with with feeding and maintaining a high-ordered community, would be of great value to our survival in today’s complex society. According to Linda Schele and David Freidel in their book, A Forest of Kings, the Mayans did just that for over a thousand years (200 B.C. to A.D.900) with a population of millions crammed into a collection of some fifty plus city-states that occupied about 100,000 square miles. Population density in the lowlands could have ranged from 300 to 400 persons per square mile in A.D. 800. This currently compares with 68 persons per square mile figures for the U.S. The Mayans accomplished this unbelievable feat through what must have been on or above par with what we are now trying to attain with today’s research of the universal biosphere.
One has but to look at the massive public structures that inundate the Mayan lands, with its metro and suburban areas supporting populations as large as 100,000 persons (Tikal’s metro area), to realize what’s really involved here. Most of the once urban sites are still left unexplored and unexcavated (90%?) by today’s archaeologists and anthropologists. They sit, still hidden, under jungle growth and the decayed remains of the conquistador’s attempts to cover up the magnificence of their engineering and subsequently their agricultural prowess (raised fields, canal systems, and arboreal succession).
Though the present day Mesoamerican farmer slashes, burns and then plants his land, the ancient Maya had to be much more sophisticated to support such large populations. Even old satellite photos using NASA’s sideways-looking radar used first for the old Venus mission, show evidence of raised-platform and canal remains covering almost 1,000 square miles of the ancient Maya Lowlands. It has been suggested that there is so much data to check out, that it would take 200 years at our present pace to explore the new information. Just another reason why we need the MDM. At this point in time, Mexico could use a new lease on life to counter the bad publicity currently coming out of that old nation.
Research shows that the Mayans farmed within the harmony of nature, considering every element impacting the condition of a growing situation. In their view, growing could take place on the hillside or in the swamp…all predicaments were met through evaluation of what plants would work with others in a mutualism of ecological design. That is certainly something we could use today. The Mayans were much more sophisticated than most archaeologists or anthropologists have indicated when they stress the wars between the cities or the rituals of blood sacrifice by the leader/kings or priesthood.
The Mayan culture also was preoccupied with science, art, government, marketing, philosophy, letters and health. According to Mexican physician Xavier Lozoya, the Mayans were also involved in the scientific evaluation of medicinal applications to curing what ailed them with the fruits of nature. An article by Lozoya, indicated (his) research has shown that the 1500 different plants the Mayans used for herbal prescriptions were even more effective than today’s modern medical counterparts. The Mayasphere has in excess of 1 to 5 million species of plants to study at the future MDM. Lozoya has shown that the Mayans bested today’s medicines for diarrhea and athletes foot. What other secrets still remain hidden in the jungles of the Mayasphere?
A civilization so endowed and imbued with great structure and fine aesthetic touch cannot reach such high levels of advancement unless it is well fed…spiritually and physically. To those ends the Maya must have known something that we are still searching for and in the end experienced something that we are now finding more prevalent in our society…terrorism. To determine how to live without a psychological dip into behavior that counters civilization may be an after-thought benefit of the research from the MDM.
According to Arthur Demarest’s old work with the Petexbatun Regional Archaeological Project in the Dos Pilas area of Guatemala, the Mayan civilization began to chew upon itself in their decline. Evidence of quick fortification within once grand monumental areas indicates the terror that the people must have gone through to strive to maintain their once great civilization. Warrior kings not unlike some of today’s dictatorial leaders began to invade the city-states with killing in mind. A lack of tradition and law-and-order began to cut at the morals of the citizens. Survival of the fittest began to set in. Preoccupation with war and neglect of their food sources signaled that there were too many chiefs (and their select clans) and too few Indians to work the lands. Social fragmentation began to tear at the bonds that had held people together for some 2000 years. We must learn what their mistakes were so we may not commit the same.
So much could be learned if leaders and entrepreneurs would come together to establish an umbrella such as the Multi-Developmental Mayasphere. Even the new profession of Primary Technologist would serve to reintroduce mankind to the knowledge of our ancestors — that of living as a guardian of what has been provided…Nature.
Ron O. Cook is the Author of The Enigmni (www.enigmni.com)
He is a former university administrator, communications consultant, journalist, graphic designer, and award-winning illustrator.