Artefacts found in Bolivia and South America suggest an ancient Sumerian connection

by Jim Allen, author "Atlantis: Lost Kingdom of the Andes"

Whilst looking for improved illustrations of the god who emerged from the sea called in Sumerian legend,
Oannes, above top left, I came across similar sculptures in the Father Crespi collection in Ecuador, above centre and right. Instead of having a "fish head" aspect, these sculptures portrayed instead an "eagle head" aspect.


Another sculpture in the Father Crespi collection, above left, is almost identical to a winged bull figure from Assyria, above right. There was said to have been a huge number of similar and other unidentificable artefacts in the Father Crespi colection, including gold sheets with an undecipherable language. But the question of these sculptures in particular is whether they are genuine and of a great antiquity, or more recent copies, i.e. "forgeries".
Although easy to dismiss them superficilally as forgeries, when we look at the subject in greater detail, there are other aspects which suggest there was indeed a Sumerian presence in Ancient South America.

If we look closely at the hand of the winged figure from the palace of Sargon of Akkad, in Assyria, he appears to be holding something which he has just plucked from a sacred plant or tree and has sometimes been described as a fir cone, a sponge, the spathe of a male date palm (G. Maspero History of Egypt, Chaldea) or a head of corn or maize, (Americas's Ancient Civilisations A. Hyatt Verrill and Rith Verrill who thought, P118 "It seems probable that maize was carried from America to Asia by the earliest Sumerian voyagers, but in its new home, where the people were unfamiliar with its proper cultivation and hybridisation, it deteriorated and died out, whereas, in America, where the Indians were familiar with the proper care of corn, it increased and improved.") That should surprise us, because corn or maize was not said to be imported into Europe, until after the "discovery" of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492 although James Bailey (God Kings and Titans) tells us that maize was introduced into Spain by the Arabs in the thirteenth century.

above, spathe of male palm tree from G.Maspero, History of Egypt, Chaldea.


If we look at the above sculpture, this time from an ancient temple in India, the goddess is also holding in her hand what looks like a head of corn ...

Sargon of Akkad claimed to have been "Lord of the Four Quarters" (just like in the Andes, the Incas were "Lords of the Four Quarters, this being the name for the later Inca Empire called Tahuantinsuyo. It is usually assumed that the four quarters of Sargon were the territories bounding on his assyrian kingdom, but Sargon also claimed to have made a voyage to the far west, to obtain the metal tin. Again it is usually assumed that he went to Cornwall for his tin but there were also plentiful supplies in Bolivia so perhaps when he claimed to be lord of the Four Quarters of the World, that world did after all include Bolivia and South America.

The Fuente Magna, a large stone dish found on the shores of Lake Titicaca, is covered in proto sumerian writing, so prehaps Sargon's claim was true after all.

It has also been found that there are many Semitic words or roots underlaying the local Aymara laguage in Bolivia.

above, map from History of Egypt, Chaldea showing location of city of Uru in Mesopotamia.

Then there is the name of the oldest inhabitants of the Altiplano, who lived in reed houses and built reed boats just like the Sumerians. They were called the Uru, and in Mesopotamia, one of the oldest or first cities according to G.Maspero (History of ancient Egypt, Chaldea) was also called URU, later shortened to UR.

Assyrian eagled headed god Amazonian circular headdress Aztec eagle head mask Elamite headdress 1000bc Persian headdress Indian high headdress
Above, Assyrian god with eagle head and feathered headdress, Amazonian feathered headdress,
Aztec warrior with eagle head mask, Elamite headdress 1000bc, Persian headgear, Indian headdress

Sea Peoples high headdress
Above, Sea Peoples with high feathered headdresses.

Discovery of square plots of 165ft in Tabasco, Mexico show plots of 100 x 100 Sumerian cubits in the Americas,
click for the Atlantis stade

At last the Altiplano gives up its secrets! These channels on the Bolivian Altiplano north of Peńas which is north west of La Paz region are in regular plots of 330ft or 200 x 200 Sumerian cubits confirming the use of the 330ft stade to describe the rectangular plain next to Lake Poopo.

Many measurements in Tiwanaku, Peru and Mexico can be related to Sumerian units.

Above, measurement of Puma Punku (Tiwanaku) by Alexei Vranich in Journal of Field Archaeology

Above, On this drawing of the Puma Punka I have superimposed the dimensions given of 167.36 metres wide along its north-south axis together with the 116.7 metres on the north and south sides shown in solid outline. The 167.36 metres comes to 100 Sumerian double yards or 500 Sumerian feet for the length of the platform, whereas the quoted 116.7 metres for north and south sides does not seem to represent anything special. On the other hand if the north and south side had been measured to include the dotted section, then they would measure 450 Sumerian feet, suggesting a platform of 100 Sumerian double yards by 90 Sumerian double yards or 500 x 450 Sumerian feet was originally intended. See also Tiwanaku cubits

The most ancient calendar found at Tiwanaku was based in divisions of the year into 20, and set out in Sumerian cubits.

Susa, Ecbatana, Firuzabad and Persepolis

There is a certain similarity between Plato's description of the city of Atlantis with its circular central island surrounded by concentric ring islands and cities which existed in ancient Persia, in particular with for example Susa and Ecbatana which Herodotus describes as being surrounded by concentric walls, each painted in differing colours and rising in height from the outside towards the centre and also for example with Firuzabad for which we have a record of the dimensions being 2000 metres in diameter (probably to exterior of ditch) according to Wikipedia or 1950 metres in diameter (probably to centre of ditch) according to Prof. Dietrich Huff

Now, 2,000 metres would be pretty close to 4,000 Sumerian cubits of 19.8" and since Prof. Huff tells us that the city was "divided into twenty sectors by a precise geometric system of twenty radial and several concentric streets." It tends to suggest that the interpretation of 4,000 Sumerian cubits in diameter is the correct one, the radius being therefore 2,000 cubits...

Firuzabad aerial view
Firuzabad aerial view

Wikipedias's account of Firuzabad – meaning "The Glory of Ardasher" - "is a city in and the capital of Firuzabad County, Fars Province, Iran.... Firuzabad is located south of Shiraz. The town is surrounded by a mud wall and ditch. Alexander of Macedonia destroyed the original city of Gor. Centuries later, Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid Dynasty, revived the city before it was ransacked during the Arab invasion of the seventh century. Firuzabad is situated in a low-lying area of the region, so Alexander was able to drown the city by directing the flow of a river into the city. The lake he created remained until Ardashir I built a tunnel to drain it. He founded his new capital city on this site. Ardeshir's new city was known as Khor Ardeshir, Ardeshir Khurah and Shahr-i- Gor. It had a circular plan so precise in measurement that the Persian historian Ibn Balkhi wrote it to be "devised using a compass"."

Firuzabad satellite view
Firuzabad satellite view

Plato's city of Atlantis comprised a central island 5 stades in diameter surrounded by a ring of water 1 stade in diameter, ring of land 2 stades, water 2 stades, land 3 stades and water 3 stades making a total of 27 stades in diameter. The problem is, what were the original units used, if not Greek stades of 606 english feet (600 Greek feet) supposing they had been furlongs of 660ft (600 Sumerian feet) then the diameter would have been 27 x 660ft = 17,820ft = 10,800 Sumerian cubits. (5.43km) Had they been they been stades of 330ft such as described the rectanglur plain of the Bolivian altiplano, then the diameter would have been 27 x 330ft = 8,910ft = 5400 cubits of 19.8" (2.71km)which is about the size of the Pampa Aullagas site in Bolivia. And if we try a smaller stade of 100 Sumerian cubits (165ft or half of the 330ft stade) then the size of the circular complex at 27 stades would be 4455ft or 2700 cubits of 19.8" (1.36km) in diameter.

Firuzabad map
Firuzabad - the old city 2km in diameter and modern city of Firuzabad.
Note the radial spokes dividing it into 20 sectors.

The Firuzabad site was surrounded by a ditch 35 metres wide according to Prof Huff, or 50 metres wide according to Wikipedia, and again, 50 metres in Sumerian cubits would be 100 cubits which sounds more appropriate. And wikipedia also tell us "The royal capital's compounds were constructed at the center of a circle 450 m in radius. At the center point of the city was a Zoroastrian fire temple 30 m high and spiral in design" - a 450 metre radius circle would be 900 cubits giving a diameter of 1800 cubits - leaving 100 cubits each side for the surrounding ditch already described and a temple 30 metres high would be 60 cubits high in Sumerian cubits.

Firuzabad palace
Firuzabad palace sometimes incorrectly called the "fire temple"

Prof Huff also adds "This scheme continues the concentric and radiant pattern of the town, at first up to an enclosure wall, forming a twenty-cornered polygon of nearly 8 km in diameter. Beyond this, the radials, consisting of traces of canals, paths, walls, and field borders continue up to 10 km distance from the central tower. The two perpendicular main axes of the scheme, determined by the axes of the tower and the four main gates, which are marked by four wide breaches in the city wall, lead to ruined constructions, which obviously belong to Ardašīr's building program: a mud-brick ruin with a round moat and Sasanian surface pottery 9.5 km southeast of the city center was probably a fort, guarding the eastern entrance to the plain. Some 4.5 km northwest are traces of a garden designed with a circular pool and a building on a hill, also with Sasanian pottery. An arrangement of walls on a mountain plateau 6 km northeast could indicate a cemetery. About 10 km southwest, at the outlet of the river from the plain, are the remains of water conduits and of a single arched aqueduct. In an arid neighboring valley, beyond a mountain ridge, a wall, most probably of an aqueduct, runs exactly north-south in line with the tower beyond the ridge. The aqueduct was fed from springs in the eastern Fīrūzābād plain by a rock canal, penetrating the ridge by a rock tunnel (Huff, 1974, pp. 159-60)"

So the outer limits of the city were 10km from the centre, which would be 10,000 metres or 20,000 Sumerian cubits, or 100 stades of 330ft such as the stades of the Atlantis plain using the Bolivian Altiplano stade of 200 cubits or 50 stades using the Sumerian furlong of 660ft which is also closest to the Greek stade.

Plato's Atlantis scheme also included a circular "sea wall" at a distance of "50 stades from the outermost circle" which would compare to the outer limit of Firuzabad at 50 furlongs from the city centre, but in Furuzabad those limits describe not so much the city itself as the actual plain which instead of the 300 nautical miles described by Plato, only measures about 13km or 8 miles in length.

Firuzabad satellite view of the plain
Firuzabad and plain, satellite view, the plain measures about 13 km (8 miles) east-west and about 9 or 10km (6 miles) north to south.

location of Susa, Ecbatana and the royal road to Sardis.

There also existed in Persia two capital cities said by Herodotus to be surrounded by concentric ringed walls, one at Ecbatana (although in modern times no evidence of ringed walls have been found there), the other at Susa and these walls were also said to have been painted in decorative colours and rising higher on the interior towards the centre.

According to Herodotus, when the Medes appointed Deioces as king, he ordered them to build a city and palace (around the 8th century BC) and "The Medes were again obedient, and built the city now called Agbatana, the walls of which are of great size and strength, rising in circles one within the other. The plan of the place is that each of the walls should out-top the one beyond it by the battlements. The nature of the ground, which is a gentle hill, favours this arrangement in some degree, but it was mainly effected by art. The number of the circles is seven, the royal palace and the treasuries standing within the last. The circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same with that of Athens. Of this wall the battlements are white, of the next black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth blue, of the fifth orange; all these are coloured with paint. The two last have their battlements coated respectively with silver and gold."

painted stone from Pampa Aullagas
The description of Ecbatana mentions how the walls were painted in different colours.
Although there are many naturally red coloured stones at Pampa Aullagas,
the above photo shows a stone from the mountain at Pampa Aullagas
which appears to have been painted red on the outside..

Polybius, a greek historian writing in a period later than Plato about 200BC (10.27.1-13), describes Ecbatana, "6 It lies on the skirts of Mount Orontes and has no wall, but possesses an artificial citadel the fortifications of which are of wonderful strength. 7 Beneath this stands the palace, .... The palace, however, is about seven stades in circumference, and by the magnificence of the separate structures in it conveys a high idea of the wealth of its original founders. 10 For the woodwork was all of cedar and cypress, but no part of it was left exposed, and the rafters, the compartments of the ceiling, and the columns in the porticoes and colonnades were plated with either silver or gold, and all the tiles were silver. 11 Most of the precious metals were stripped off in the invasion of Alexander and his Macedonians, and the rest during the reigns of Antigonus and Seleucus the son of Nicanor, 12 but still, when Antiochus reached the place, the temple of Aene alone had the columns round it still gilded and a number of silver tiles were piled up in it, while a few gold bricks and a considerable quantity of silver ones remained." (note, it is the palace which is 7 stades in circumferene, not the main citadel).

Izady (1992: 263) states, "The Assyrian bas relieves depicting Kurdish cities besieged by Assyrian forces all show a basic design of the cities, built on hills with many (usually seven) concentric walls sectioning the city all the way to top of the hill, where the palace/temple is located."

Another account says that both Ecbatana and Susa were built by King Memnon around the time of the Trojan war... "Memnon in Greek mythology, son of Tithonus (son of Laomedon, legendary king of Troy) and Eos (Dawn) and king of the Ethiopians. He was a post-Homeric hero, who, after the death of the Trojan warrior Hector, went to assist his uncle Priam, the last king of Troy, against the Greeks. He performed prodigies of valour but was slain by the Greek hero Achilles".
"But Memnon himself was, as Tithonus 1, related to the East, and he is said to have built a palace of many colored and shining white stones bound with gold in the city of Ecbatana. For Memnon, starting from Ethiopia, overrun Egypt and conquered the East as far as the city of Susa, which he surrounded by walls. So Memnon, although being king of the Ethiopians, came to Troy, not from what today is called Africa, but from Susa, not far away from the river Tigris, in the land that later became Persia. And when he made his march to the west, he subdued all the peoples that lived between Susa and Troy."

ecbatana plan
plan of Ecbatana, authenticity unknown as it is said that the circular walls there have never been found, however the drawing does show how walls on a given site may be adapted to the terrain of the site, thus in Pampa Aullagas it may have been feasible to have walls rising in height on the western side, but interconnected harbours at the same level on the eastern side.
See flooding dates page for illustrations of water levels at Pampa Aullagas.

pottery ectabana museum
a pot from Ecbatana shows the Atlantis symbol.

susa aerial photo
Susa aerial photo, the citadel in the foreground shows remarkable similarity to the site
at Pampa Aullagas as it exists today. The fort at the rear of the site was built by French archaeologists
and the "Tomb of Daniel" is marked by the pointed spire on the left of the photo.

Atlantis Pampa Aullagas oblique view
Oblique view of Atlantis mountain at Pampa Pullagas.

Underground water channels are found in ancient Persia where they are known as Qanats. With this system, water is conducted beneath a plain using artifically constructed channels and emerges via wells to irrigate cultivable land using surface channels. In Bolivia today some areas of the surface are barren and bare stones, but columns of stones cleared from the landscape illustrate (in Bolivia) how large areas once supported thriving and industrious agricultural communities.

qanat wells
illustration of construction of qanat from Scientific American.

Interestingly, the writer of the Qanat article says
"Written records leave little doubt that ancient Iran (Persia) was the birthplace of the qanat. As early as the 7th century BC, the Assyrian king Sargon II reported that during a campaign in Persia he had found an underground system for tapping water. His son, King Sennacherib, applied the "secret" of using underground conduits in building an irrigation system around Nineveh. During the period 550-331 BC, when Persian rule extended from the Indus to the Nile, qanat technology spread throughout the empire. The Achaemenid rulers provided a major incentive for qanat builders and their heirs by allowing them to retain profits from newly-constructed qanats for five generations. As a result, thousands of new settlements were established and others expanded. To the west, qanats were constructed from Mesopotamia to the shores of the Mediterranean, as well as southward into parts of Egypt. To the east of Persia, qanats were constructed in Afghanistan, the Silk Route oases settlements of central Asia, and Chinese Turkistan (ie. Turpan)........ Since the systems in South America may predate the Spanish entry into the New World, their development may have occurred independently from any Persian influence."

I find it curious that Sargon should be credited initally with distributing the Qanat system through the Middle East, North Africa, even as far as China, but when it comes to Peru and Chile, it is said to have been invented independently at more or less the same time.

Sargon of Akkad claimed to have been "Lord of the Four Quarters" (just like in the Andes, the Incas were "Lords of the Four Quarters, this being the name for the later Inca Empire called Tahuantinsuyo. It is usually assumed that the four quarters of Sargon were the territories bounding on his Assyrian kingdom, but Sargon also claimed to have made a voyage to the far west, to obtain the metal tin. Again it is usually assumed that he went to Cornwall for his tin but there were also plentiful supplies in Bolivia so perhaps when he claimed to be lord of the Four Quarters of the World, that world did after all include Bolivia and South America.

I have read previously about underground channels or conduits at Nazca, and an interesting page on Nazca channels mentions the use of wells as well as the undergound channels, so perhaps the trapezoidal areas in Nazca were flooded by water emerging from the wells, the wells are also similar to those which exist on the Bolivian Altiplano which is also rumoured to contain underground channels and is also criss-crossed in places by innumerable ancient now abandoned cultivations amd canals.

Nazca wells
Example of well or "ojo" from the above report about Nazca, Peru.

It is usually assumed there was no ancient sea route between the Americas and the Old World, but there are in fact artefacts which suggest an ancient connection, including this ceramic (below) which is a typical Nazca ceramic, but found in Cyprus and now in the University of Cambridge Fitzwilliam museum.

nazca pottery imported into cyprus
above, typical Nazca pottery found in Cyprus,
at one time part of the Persian empire.