Professor say the darndest things! . . . Parte Trois
In early August 2012, during the height of the “Maya Mythbusting in the Mountains Thang,” I received an email and an intriguing photograph. A gentleman, who introduced himself as a salesman in Gwinnett County, GA (NE Metro Atlanta) stated that he and his wife had just come back from a long weekend with friends, who lived near Track Rock Gap. While there, the hostess had dug up the figurine above in her garden and he had bought it from her. He said that the figurine was proof that the Mayas came to Georgia. The salesman urged me to call a press conference in front of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia and that he would bring the figurine. He said that I had his permission to include the photo in the press release.
I instantly recognized the figurine, but was curious from where the email was coming from. I traced it to a server on the Florida State University Campus in Tallahassee, Florida. I decided to play along for awhile, however. I wrote back that figurine was not Maya, but much older. It belonged to the Formative Period and was similar to figurines found at the Cuicuilco and Copilco sites in Mexico City.
He wrote back that I shouldn’t say that at the press conference, because it would hurt my case. He urged me to call it a Maya figurine.
I waited a couple of hours then emailed him back with some very important news. I had seen that figurine before. It was sitting on an oak shelf, immediately right of the entrance door to the office of Dr. Román Piña-Chan, Director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia. “Mike, you are in possession of stolen Mesoamerican artifact, worth untold thousands of dollars. Under federal law I was immediately obligated to call the FBI office in Tallahassee to notify them that you were involved in international artifact smuggling. Maybe if you tell the agents, who you are working with in Mexico, you might be able to plea bargain a short prison term.” Funny thing, I never heard from Mike again. Furthermore, I did not receive anymore hate mail from professors (using pseudonyms) from either the University of Georgia or Florida State University. I can’t understand why?
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