In a recent archeological find that surely must be numbered among the most important of the past 200 years, a link between South America and ancient Greece was discovered. While a link between ancient Greece and North America was recognized as early as 1962 (when Peter Schickele unearthed P.D.Q. Bach’s cantata, Iphigenia in Brooklyn, followed by his discovery in 1990 of the oratorio/opera Oedipus Tex), a direct link to South America has never even been posited.
The archeological dig took place in a Greek mountain village called Ameiliktos. The name itself should have been sufficient reason to believe in a link to the Americas. The root ameiliktos
Now, the word ameiliktos has previously been seen only in adjectival form, meaning “cruel”. (Obviously we have before us an example of grammaticalization of the adjective to a noun, specifically a place name.) The meaning of ameiliktos provides yet another clue to the link between ancient Greece and South America. The town is located in the mountains, where the weather can often be “cruel”, a situation paralleled in the Andes Mountains. Obviously, some ancient Greek colonists must have left their homeland untold ages ago, traveled across distant seas, endured storms and bouts of scurvy, and finally alighted on the western coast of “the land of a thousand mountains”, from which we derive the name Chile (Greek chilioi).2 Setting the standard for European colonization centuries later, these Greeks called their new home “New Ameiliktos”, or, more accurately, “False Ameiliktos” (Pseudameiliktos). Now, as any German will tell you, the English pronunciation of Pseud- is homophonous with the English pronunciation of Süd, the German word for “South”. Combining “South” with “America” yields the obvious: “South America”.
All of this, however, is purely speculative. The real find came from some clay tablets buried in rubble just outside the Greek town of Ameiliktos. The first important aspect of these tablets is that they are inscribed in cuneiform, which must prove something, I’m sure. The second important aspect is that these tablets contain a biographical sketch of a pre-
Φιλοκακος: ω Ωδορος, τι ονομα ουτος; Ωδορος: Γαβαγαι
The fact that the phone [v] is spelled with a beta is immaterial, since, cross-
Discovery of the word gavagai is significant for two reasons. First, it finally answers the question posed so eloquently by Jerry Fodor (“What does gavagai mean?”
Rarely have small archeological digs by unprofessional and unscrupulous amateurs in podunk villages far from the epicenters of civilization turned up such remarkable artifacts and findings! The work, however, is far from complete. Many questions remain to be answered: What is the significance of the cuneiform of the Ameiliktos tablets? How did the Ameiliktosians travel to Chile? How did Odoros know about the fruits discovered by the Pseudameiliktosians? Was trade established for a time between Chile and the Mediterranean? Were the Pseudameiliktosians the first to explore the Amazon? These, and other questions, must await further study by real experts.
2 A further remarkable fact is that these Greeks must have rounded either the Cape of Good Hope or Tierra del Fuego to reach the western coast of Chile. They may even have been the first to sail through the Strait of Magellan.
3 Perhaps less surprising is the phonological relationship between Odoros and Fodor
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