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Article summary:

1. The Chontal Maya, also known as the Putun, were a major seafaring group in ancient Mexico who dominated trade from Mesoamerica to Canada.

2. They were descendants of the Olmec people and spoke a variant of the Mande language, which is also found in West Africa.

3. The Chontal merchants were wealthy and traded various goods such as salt, cocoa, jade, and gold. Their trade dominance ended with the arrival of European diseases brought by the Spanish.

Article analysis:

The article titled "Forgotten Voyagers: The Ancient Mexican Merchants Who Took to the Seas" discusses the seafaring abilities and trade dominance of the Chontal Maya in ancient Mexico. While the article provides some interesting information, there are several potential biases and unsupported claims that need to be addressed.

Firstly, the article heavily relies on the research of Dr. Wiener, Peck, and Shatto for information about the Chontal Maya. However, it does not provide any information about their credentials or expertise in this specific field. This lack of information raises questions about the reliability and credibility of their research.

Additionally, the article claims that the Chontal Maya were descendants of the Olmec people based on Douglas Peck's "Olmec-Chontal-Itzá-Centric Theory." However, this theory is not widely accepted among scholars and lacks substantial evidence to support its claims. The article fails to mention any counterarguments or alternative theories regarding the origins of the Chontal Maya.

Furthermore, the article suggests that the Chontal Maya were black or had African ancestry based on linguistic connections between Mande languages and Mayan terms for merchants and marketplaces. While these linguistic connections may exist, it is a leap to conclude that this proves African ancestry among the Chontal Maya. The article does not provide any genetic or archaeological evidence to support this claim.

The article also makes sweeping statements about Chontal trade dominance from Mesoamerica to Canada without providing sufficient evidence or sources to back up these claims. It relies heavily on Dr. Wiener's assertions without critically examining his research or considering alternative explanations for trade networks in ancient Mexico.

Overall, while the topic of ancient Mexican merchants and seafarers is intriguing, this article presents biased and unsupported claims that should be approached with caution. It would benefit from a more balanced presentation of evidence and consideration of alternative viewpoints.