Bearded Figures in Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology

The ceramic figure below comes from the Late Classical Period from the Monte Alban site in Oaxaca, Mexico, and is on display in Mexico City’s magnificent National Museum of Anthropology. Since modern Native Americans generally lack the ability to grow beards, the presence of bearded figures in ancient Mesoamerica suggests that some genetic features found among ancient Mesoamericans were lost over time (plague, perhaps, or assimilation in other groups?).

Bearded figures are also known from the Olmecs. Here is a sculpture simply labeled as “Bearded Man.” The description also notes that Quetzlcoatl is sometimes depicted with a beard.

Here’s one more from the Classical Period of the Gulf Coast region, called “Old God.”

Hey, I think it looks like Amalickiah! Man, the evidence just keeps piling up around here.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

15 thoughts on “Bearded Figures in Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology

  1. The inuits (forgive my spelling, maybe i should just say eskimo) have beards. As do native northern japanese peoples. Oh and mongolians and chinese too. In fact, most asian peoples….many of which look alot more like the mesoamericans than arabs or whatever from isreal.

  2. People need to stop condemning the Book of Mormon. It only shows the weakness of your souls to condemn a book that does nothing to harm you.

  3. I think condemnation is appropriate for all things. This may be one of the ways we keep the things that don’t hurt us from becoming powerful enough to actually hurt us. I am sure if the koran didn’t gain such acceptance and power, we wouldn’t have the Taliban for example. As for souls, well, telling me that it is weak is as feckless as telling me I could trade it in for cash. I don’t beleive in souls. I would like too, but well, I don’t.

  4. Evidence of a few mesoamerican men having beards should not be a surprise. There have always been a few chinese men that had beards as well. What is more amazing is that most pictures of mesoamerican men have NO beards, while almost pictures of Jewish men from the same time period DO have beards.

    While seeing evidence of something that was not common is interesting, it is weak to claim God is changing their genetics. When this is brought up, it sounds like you are trying to provide evidence of the Book of Abraham racism.

  5. I’m assuming the Amalickiah comment was a joke.

    We need to be careful of taking very spurious evidence and trying to use it to “prove” the Book of Mormon. Such things only weaken the case for the Book of Mormon when they are shown to be false. Quetzacoatl is a great example of something that people latched onto strongly as a Christ-type, until it became quite clear that said stance does not fit well with the evidence.

    So, basically just be careful attributing anything archaeological to the BoM, because someone’s probably going to come along and smash the evidence to pieces. Then where are you?

  6. Gazzini,

    The article does NOT say that God is changing their genetics. It merely implies that a possibly heritable trait that may have existed in a small population centuries ago may have existed, and was subsequently lost. This type of phenomenon is very well documented. Just look up any articles on genetic drift and you will see what I mean. This article merely implies the possibility of such a trait previously existing, and does show support for the posited theory through art, but Jeff does not claim that this proves anything, only that it lends credence to a potential theory, which it definitely does. There may be other possible explanations, as previously mentioned, but those explanations do not make Jeff’s particular theory any less plausible. In other words, the previously mentioned theorys don’t contradict Jeff’s theory, they merely present an alternative which is also likely.

  7. The ability to grow beards is, as far as I know, a trait that was extant among several Native American populations, especially ones that shared the same language groupings
    as the Mesoamerican peoples (that language group had branches in all parts of the continent.) The tribe I share ancestry with, the Lenni Lenape, had religious leaders with beards. The fact that beards can be grown would warrant further investigation into the genetic traits shared by differing populations around the world. But genetically categorizing ethnicities and “races” is hard due to the fact that there are very few
    homogenous communities that have been that way for a long time, if there has been contact with other populations. The ancient Mesoamericans would not warrant a homogenous community, in my view, due to the extensive trade system that existed within those myriad societies. Not saying that there was cross-Atlantic or cross-Pacific
    migration, but that there were differing migrational waves that hit the ancient americas from both Asia, and the evidence is mounting for Polynesian immigration as well.
    The people of Native America were not homogeneous in either sociological or biological traits, and share genetic ancestry that is diverse and warrants further investigation.

  8. there's another picture in another book of moron evidence page that shows a bearded man with very Semitic face structure with a proper Jewish nose and all, but why wasn't this photo in here?

  9. I enjoyed following the whole entry, I always thought one of the main things to count when you write a blog is learning how to complement the ideas with images, that's exploiting at the maximum the possibilities of a ciber-space! Good work on this entry!

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