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roibert88
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:47 pm 
 

I Found this pretty interesting what do you guys think about this theory?
http://www.completegenomics.net/ice-age-columbus-who-were-the-first-americans/

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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:54 am 
 

This might not necessarily need to be thrown in the FFA thread, but you should elaborate more in your posts if you want to facilitate discussion.

At any rate, we literally just started doing research on this in my Anthropology class. The idea that Solutreans traveled from Europe to the America's is a very inspiring one, and there are some unrecognized DNA trails in the Clovis DNA record, but unfortunately the evidence just isn't there. There are no signs of boats that old, or fishing in the ice that far north during that time period to prove that they could have traveled that far, and the tools still don't completely line up; the Clovis spear heads are very refined and compare way better to many Asian specimen than to few extreme and rare European examples that resemble Clovis points. I'm not buying it, and I think that our accuracy in measuring just how large the land bridge was during the last ice-age is off, or something.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:45 am 
 

Yeah I've heard of this before, fascinating to think about. The thing with something this old is that it's highly unlikely we will actually find really conclusive evidence either way. We can't even really verify (or at least have not yet done so) who were the first Inuit in Europe or modern east Asians in the Americas, both of which would have been far more recent. When you are talking about civilizations this old the record starts to become a crap shoot. It's maddening for a lot of people but we are always going to have large gaps in the record and there are doubtlessly a lot of historical firsts that we will get wrong because we will never know who actually did them first.
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FasterDisaster
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:14 pm 
 

If anybody has listened to one of the last one or two Joe Rogan Experience podcasts, this very thing is talked about. Regardless, super fascinating.
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Manic Maniac
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:25 pm 
 

I remember reading about that talked about people studying ancient viruses. Apperantly, they found that the earliest humans to reach the Americas travelled from Japan &, by sea, they & ended up at California. LONG BEFORE THE ICE AGE EVEN OCCURED! That said, I wouldn't be surprised if there where people who also crossed the seas from Europe, or Africa, or both, or in addition to that, people crossed the land bridge connecting Siberia to Alaska.
I must also add that some Austronesians had reached South America & it's possible they where in Mexico, too. Some people link the mysterious Olmecs to the headcarvers of Easter Island.
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John_Sunlight
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:36 pm 
 

first comment on that link wrote:
I’m not a geneticist, but as a history teacher, I know that it was quite common among French settlers to America in the 16th and 17th centuries (about 90% of whom were male) to marry or live with Native American women, usually resulting in children with both European and Native American DNA. How do we know that this wouldn’t explain the existence of European DNA among Native Americans today?


An interesting point. This kind of thing makes me wonder about a lot of these connections people draw between disparate ancient peoples based on modern commonalities in DNA. Any word on this in the documentary?
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:52 pm 
 

Wouldn't they be able to tell from mitochondrial DNA how long ago the intermingling happened? I was under the impression paleogeneticists can make pretty accurate genetic timelines somehow. And it would be odd if people working for the Smithsonian wouldn't rule out more recent intermingling before making a claim this big.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:41 am 
 

"Before the oceans drank Atlantis, and before the coming of the sons of Arius, there was an age undreamt of."

Conan jokes aside, I have always maintained that the "deep time" aspect of prehistory is a bit unrecognised. Without going all Chariots of the Gods here, modern Homo Sapiens has been the same animal for around 400,000 years give or take. "History" is around 6,000 years (Ctyal Hyuk/Ur/Sumer/Babylon/Egypt). Logically it seems like a hard sell that there were 34000 years of people just as inventive as modern folk but who never got a civilisation off the ground. But then there are people still living in the stone age today, so maybe not.
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sortalikeadream
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:16 am 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:
"Before the oceans drank Atlantis, and before the coming of the sons of Arius, there was an age undreamt of."

Conan jokes aside, I have always maintained that the "deep time" aspect of prehistory is a bit unrecognised. Without going all Chariots of the Gods here, modern Homo Sapiens has been the same animal for around 400,000 years give or take. "History" is around 6,000 years (Ctyal Hyuk/Ur/Sumer/Babylon/Egypt). Logically it seems like a hard sell that there were 34000 years of people just as inventive as modern folk but who never got a civilisation off the ground. But then there are people still living in the stone age today, so maybe not.


I find this a much more interesting question. Who cares who the first "Americans" were? Why does it matter?

On the other hand, what spurred on the quantum leap in humanity's ability to alter its environment so radically in such a short period of time is fascinating to think about. Although I believe agriculture was invented ~10k years ago, I would call that the origin of modern civilization.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:59 am 
 

sortalikeadream wrote:
Scorntyrant wrote:
"Before the oceans drank Atlantis, and before the coming of the sons of Arius, there was an age undreamt of."

Conan jokes aside, I have always maintained that the "deep time" aspect of prehistory is a bit unrecognised. Without going all Chariots of the Gods here, modern Homo Sapiens has been the same animal for around 400,000 years give or take. "History" is around 6,000 years (Ctyal Hyuk/Ur/Sumer/Babylon/Egypt). Logically it seems like a hard sell that there were 34000 years of people just as inventive as modern folk but who never got a civilisation off the ground. But then there are people still living in the stone age today, so maybe not.


I find this a much more interesting question. Who cares who the first "Americans" were? Why does it matter?

On the other hand, what spurred on the quantum leap in humanity's ability to alter its environment so radically in such a short period of time is fascinating to think about. Although I believe agriculture was invented ~10k years ago, I would call that the origin of modern civilization.


Psilocybin? :P

I don't know, are there any theories out there? It's an interesting topic.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:02 am 
 

I don't really think archeologists dismiss out of hand the possibility that relatively advanced civilizations existed in prehistory, and in particular that they may have existed during the five to ten thousand years preceding the invention of writing. While I don't think the understanding of when writing first appeared has changed all that much or all that frequently, archeologists readily admit there is more room for interpretation when you are talking about organized society. Structures that occur naturally can appear to be the result of human manipulation or the other way around, and the eroding influence that time has on natural, man-made and especially man-manipulated objects muddies the waters a bit. Certain types of material cannot be carbon-dated at all, which means even if a city or tomb or burial mound is obviously artificial, if it is made of material that can't be carbon dated then we can only make inferences based on the environment as to how old it is. That requires an understanding of the geology, ecology and climate of the time and place which may be lacking.

Like I said, there are always going to be gaps in our historical knowledge and they will always be larger the further back you go, and archeologists know this. When archeologists state things like "civilization started with the Sumerians" or "agriculture started in X time period," they aren't intending for you to hear that and think it is set in stone, pun intended. It's meant to be understood as "the most recent evidence suggests" that this is the case, subject to newer discoveries. This isn't necessarily how it will be stated in the media or even in lower-level textbooks (like grade school), but college professors and university textbooks usually make sure to state it this way.




tl;dr version: everyone (including archeologists) knows it's entirely possible that (relatively) advanced societies existed thousands of years earlier than commonly understood, but evidence for this is ambiguous or non-existent at the present time.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:53 am 
 

Getting back to the topic at hand, something else I thought of: when looking at pre-Columbian, pre-Norse transoceanic contact, we should take into consideration the concept of probability in history. We need not (and should not) substitute it for "proven," or rather evidence-based, historical knowledge, but that is not the only reasonable way to look at history. Let me take the hypothetical existence of extraterrestrial life as an example:

1. Is it possible that there is no life anywhere else in the universe right now? Yes.
2. But is it statistically probable that there is no life anywhere else in the universe right now? No. The improbability stems from the sheer size of the universe, coupled with the apparent ubiquity of organic material.

By the same token, the same can and should be said of ancient contact between peoples living on other continents. If the size of the universe is the main factor to consider with regards to exobiology, the sheer age of humanity is the main factor here. If the sub-factor in exobiology is the apparent ubiquity of organic matter, than the sub-factor in ancient human contact is the apparent widespread existence of humans across the globe simultaneously. Lending support to this, we already know of instances in which errant travelers, traders and warships from eastern Asian inadvertently wound up in the New World. Given that we know this has happened, and combined with the long arrow of time and the known existence of advanced societies in the ancient Orient, it is improbable that such contact did not occur prior to the Nordic and Spanish explorations of the New World.

Now, as in the case of exobiology, there are some caveats here. For alien life, the same thing which practically guarantees the existence of life also may very well guarantee we never find it: the size of the universe. It is so big we may never find alien life, particularly if it is rare. And if you take into account how life evolved here on earth, we may have to concede that intelligent life will never be discovered in the lifespan of the human race. There is a world of a difference between single-celled organisms and organisms capable of space flight and splitting the atom; and in the billions of years the planet has existed, there was no intelligent life until less than 5 million years ago.

You can draw a neat analogy with pre-Norse/Columbian transoceanic contact between different human societies. While it is probable that contact happened, the sheer amount of time humans have existed (combined with the dating problems I mentioned above) makes it very hard or even unlikely that we will find conclusive evidence that such contact existed. And as with the case of simple and complex life, there is a world of a difference between a single ship getting lost at sea and the kind of persistent, sustained contact between peoples that the Christopher Columbus's and Erik the Red's of the world undertook. Contact in the first case is one-way: the lost people on the ship never find their way back, and the only civilization affected is the one in the New World. In the second case, both societies become aware of the other's existence, which is quite a bit different.


And I'm done with long-winded posts for today. Just some food for thought.
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693
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:54 pm 
 

The Native Americans were the first, the Vikings were the second.

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Manic Maniac
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:21 pm 
 

^ & who are the "Native Americans?" Asian? African? Please be more spacific. They wheren't American before they came here, so ware where they before then?
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MARSDUDE
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:51 pm 
 

I thought they were Siberians. The ones who stayed in the north became the Inuit. Others went south.
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Manic Maniac
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:43 pm 
 

& yet there is evidence of migrations from even earlier than the ice age, & fossil DNA seems to indicate mixed origins. Only the Eskimo-Aleutan people genetically ressemble native Siberians.
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Marag
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:00 pm 
 

Fossils in Brazil suggest the first inhabitants of South America were of Austronesian origin, comparable to Australian aborigines perhaps, before those people disappeared(before or due to, I don't know) the migrations from Asia.

As for the theory on the OP, I never heard of it before. Sounds quite interesting, let's see if they find more proof to it. The idea of Stone age europeans crossing the Atlantic is pretty crazy.

Manic Maniac wrote:
& yet there is evidence of migrations from even earlier than the ice age, & fossil DNA seems to indicate mixed origins. Only the Eskimo-Aleutan people genetically ressemble native Siberians.

Tens of thousand of years are enough to make noticeable genetic differences between two related peoples. What were the origins of this admixture you speak of?

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Acidgobblin
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:55 pm 
 

Scorntyrant wrote:
"Before the oceans drank Atlantis, and before the coming of the sons of Arius, there was an age undreamt of."

Conan jokes aside, I have always maintained that the "deep time" aspect of prehistory is a bit unrecognised. Without going all Chariots of the Gods here, modern Homo Sapiens has been the same animal for around 400,000 years give or take. "History" is around 6,000 years (Ctyal Hyuk/Ur/Sumer/Babylon/Egypt). Logically it seems like a hard sell that there were 34000 years of people just as inventive as modern folk but who never got a civilisation off the ground. But then there are people still living in the stone age today, so maybe not.


According to your figure, humans were culturally dormant for 396,00 years. Probably a typo, but either way; anatomically modern humans have existed for ~200,00 years (current best guess) and 'recorded history' is about 5000 years old. Agriculture is about 10,000 years old, and evidence of art can be traced to about 40,000 years ago. Humans seem to have existed for about 150,00 years whilst leaving no real record of their lives, at least that we are able to read and interpret.

I used to like the idea of relatively rapid and spontaneous emergence of behavioural modernity (symbolism, art, language) as bought about by things like hallucinogenic plants but, given the gradual evolution of pretty much every other aspect of life and matter on earth, it seems to be more likely that a continual and gradual progression is causal and not one cataclysmic, mind shattering mutation or adaptation.

Though it interests me to consider the possible single moment when a human suddenly considered their own separate self for the first time ever, I think its more likely a gradual 'awakening' of a latent skill inside all.
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