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Thread: First Americans May Have Been European

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    First Americans May Have Been European

    By Bjorn Carey
    LiveScience Staff Writer

    ST. LOUIS—The first humans to spread across North America may have been seal hunters from France and Spain.

    This runs counter to the long-held belief that the first human entry into the Americas was a crossing of a land-ice bridge that spanned the Bering Strait about 13,500 years ago.

    The new thinking was outlined here Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    The tools don’t match

    Recent studies have suggested that the glaciers that helped form the bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska began receding around 17,000 to 13,000 years ago, leaving very little chance that people walked from one continent to the other.

    Also, when archaeologist Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution places American spearheads, called Clovis points, side-by-side with Siberian points, he sees a divergence of many characteristics.

    Instead, Stanford said today, Clovis points match up much closer with Solutrean style tools, which researchers date to about 19,000 years ago. This suggests that the American people making Clovis points made Solutrean points before that.

    There’s just one problem with this hypothesis—Solutrean toolmakers lived in France and Spain. Scientists know of no land-ice bridge that spanned that entire gap.

    The lost hunting party

    Stanford has an idea for how humans crossed the Atlantic, though—boats. Art from that era indicates that Solutrean populations in northern Spain were hunting marine animals, such as seals, walrus, and tuna.

    They may have even made their way into the floating ice chunks that unite immense harp seal populations in Canada and Europe each year. Four million seals, Stanford said, would look like a pretty good meal to hungry European hunters, who might have ventured into the ice flows much the same way that the Inuit in Alaska and Greenland do today.

    Inuit use large, open hunting boats constructed from animal skins for longer trips or big hunts. These boats, called umiaq, can hold a dozen adults, as well as several children, dead seals or walruses, and even dog-sled teams. Inuit have been building these boats for thousands of years, and Stanford believes that Solutrean people may have used a similar design.

    It’s possible that some groups of these hunters ventured out as far as Iceland, where they may have gotten caught up in the prevailing currents and were carried to North America.

    “You get three boats loaded up like this and you would have a viable population,” Stanford said. “You could actually get a whole bunch of people washing up on Nova Scotia.”

    Some scientists believe that the Solutrean peoples were responsible for much of the cave art in Europe. Opponents of Stanford’s work ask why, then, would these people stop producing art once they made it to North America?
    “I don’t know,” Stanford said. “But you’re looking at a long distance inland, 100 miles or so, before they would get to caves to do art in.”

    More info:
    http://www.livescience.com/history/0...americans.html

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    Re: First Americans May Have Been European

    Objections:

    Unlike the Magdalenian, the Solutrean used no bone or antler which has been found in their culture. This means no harpoons. A culture capable of crossing the Atlantic in skin boats needed harpoons. Harpoons must be made of wood or antler (bone is hollow and unsuitable for the barbs to be made). Magdalenian was definately a cold weather, Eskimo-like, marine or river based culture. Solutrean on the other hand, was associated with horse hunting and the Alpine region.

    The figure given, 19,000 is the most liberal I have ever seen. It is usually cited as one or two or three thousand years earlier.

    Solutrean is typed by laurel leaf points, Blattspitzen. Clovis points never achieved true laurel leaves.

    Clovis point are found as Clovis points, not in association with an extended culture. Solutrean stone culture was just that, a full blown stone culture with many types of points, scrapers, bruins, borers, becks, flakes and so on. None of these other types of points or any of the associated stone culture is found at Clovis sites.

    For Solutrean to be ancestral to Clovis, Solutrean would have to appear and then disappear for several thousand years and then re-appear 13,0000 years ago.

    No European looking fossils have ever been found in association with Clovis culture.

    I would like nothing more than to claim the New World for ancient Europeans. But, the evidence is against Clovis at this point. There is some genetic evidence for ancient European contact, however.

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    Re: First Americans May Have Been European

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/430944.stm

    They were more likely from Australia and Melanesia.

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    Re: First Americans May Have Been European

    Quote Originally Posted by pro-Alpine
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/430944.stm

    They were more likely from Australia and Melanesia.
    Well, both are theories

    Look at the fueguid woman, how do you classify her?:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Re: First Americans May Have Been European

    "The only evidence of any survivors comes from Terra del Fuego, the islands at the remotest southern tip of South America.

    The pre-European Fuegeans, who lived stone age-style lives until this century, show hybrid skull features which could have resulted from intermarrying between mongoloid and negroid peoples. Their rituals and traditions also bear some resemblance to the ancient rock art in Brazil.

    The identity of the first Americans is an emotive and controversial question. But the evidence from Brazil, and a handful of people who still live at the very tip of South America, suggests that the Americas have been home to a greater diversity of humans than previously thought - and for much longer."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/430944.stm

    P.S.: thanks for the link, pro-alpine

    Pics from Tierra del Fuego (S. Argentina):


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    Re: First Americans May Have Been European

    Thanks for posting this article on the Solutrean hypothesis. It contains very important information. It is important to remind people that the Beringian hypothesis is not the only explanation for the peopling of the Americas. Even more so, since it has long been noted that Native Americans from eastern North American have more of an European appearance, in contrast to, say, Native Americans in western North America and to the south, which are more Asiatic.

    However, this is hardly "new thinking". Stanford and his colleague Bruce Bradley first proposed it in 1999.


    Here is a link to an article from 2000 describing it:
    http://www.cherokeebob.com/arch_9.htm

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