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Android Futureman
Aug 7, 2002

The earliest people in the Americas were people of the Negritic African race, who entered the Americas perhaps as early as 100,000 years ago, by way of the bering straight and about thirty thousand years ago in a worldwide maritime undertaking that included journeys from the then wet and lake filled Sahara towards the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, and from West Africa across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Americas.

According to the Gladwin Thesis, this ancient journey occurred, particularly about 75,000 years ago and included Black Pygmies, Black Negritic peoples and Black Australoids similar to the Aboriginal Black people of Australia and parts of Asia, including India.

Recent discoveries in the field of linguistics and other methods have shown without a doubt, that the ancient Olmecs of Mexico, known as the Xi People, came originally from West Africa and were of the Mende African ethnic stock. According to Clyde A. Winters and other writers (see Clyde A. Winters website), the Mende script was discovered on some of the ancient Olmec monuments of Mexico and were found to be identical to the very same script used by the Mende people of West Africa. Although the carbon fourteen testing date for the presence of the Black Olmecs or Xi People is about 1500 B.C., journies to the Mexico and the Southern United States may have come from West Africa much earlier, particularly around five thousand years before Christ. That conclusion is based on the finding of an African native cotton that was discovered in North America. It's only possible manner of arriving where it was found had to have been through human hands. At that period in West African history and even before, civilization was in full bloom in the Western Sahara in what is today Mauritania. One of Africa's earliest civilizations, the Zingh Empire, existed and may have lived in what was a lake filled, wet and fertile Sahara, where ships criss-crossed from place to place.
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Mr. R.I.N.G. said:
According to the Gladwin Thesis, this ancient journey occurred, particularly about 75,000 years ago and included Black Pygmies, Black Negritic peoples and Black Australoids similar to the Aboriginal Black people of Australia and parts of Asia, including India.

Intersting but (apart from the complete lack of evidence) there probably weren't such races around then - 100 thousand years ago modern humans were still largely located in African and Israel. Its likely they reached SE Asia and Australia by around 60 thousand year but ther eis no evidence to support then being in NE Asia until much later (30 thousand years).

Sounds like Black Supremacist stuff to me! <shrugs>

And whos this Zingh Empire??? Lets find more stuff about them, easier to pin down.
That conclusion is based on the finding of an African native cotton that was discovered in North America. It's only possible manner of arriving where it was found had to have been through human hands.
There is something about the phrase the only possible way that makes me fundamentally uneasy. I don't know my cotton very well, but I'm sure there is at least one other possible way it could have spread, be it avian transit, seeds in the jet streams (is it wind-dispersed?) or some other natural way. Are we certain it wasn't introduced in the last 500 years? What type of cotton is it? How far back does it go in the pollen record?

Never trust a historian with an agenda.

Anyways, isn't there strong evidence to support the idea that polynesian travellers made it to South America? And also Egyptians? And perhaps phoenicians?

I do seem to recall there were some south american statues with apparently negroid facial features to them, though. I think it may have been a consequence of stylisation rather than an accurate depiction of contemporary people.
Breakfast said:
I do seem to recall there were some south american statues with apparently negroid facial features to them, though. I think it may have been a consequence of stylisation rather than an accurate depiction of contemporary people.

Usually attributed to the Olmecs, but possibly even older...
There are God knows how many pictures of Olmec Heads to check out and I have to say they look pretty much African to me.
The larger ones in particular give the appearance of attemting actual representation of individuals rather than a stylised image.
Well, I did a search for `Zingh` on Google, I wont offend the reader by posting the relevant links I found, it is a load of black supremacist nonsense!

I did find this, which is of no use


I have an african aquantance, of fine scholarship, he speaks six african languages and one foreign (english) he says that africans should stop blaming others for their problems and sort themselves out by themselves.

We should all remember this good advice...
[edit: I should say that essentially Homo aves is correct but I didn't really want to leave it there and thought it worth proving his point ;) ]

It could also be Zing (the first thing is from a novel but it might help):

Atlantaka, his entourage, the Wagadite
monarchy and millions of others take part in
one of the most important festivals of the Waga-
dites, the Festival of the Dynasties. According
to the Wagadites their civilization is more than
fifteen thousand years old and began in the
southern part of the Sahara during the time of
the magnificent Zingh Empire.
The Zing empire was flooded three thousand
years before their visit, Atlantaka is told. After
this great catastrophy, the First Dynasty, The
Dynasty of Terracota was formed. It was
followed by the Dynasty of Bronze, the Dynasty
of Gold or The Golden Era, and finally the
Dynasty of Iron or the present era.


and gets mentioned here:

10. Blacks built the greatest and largest monuments known to humans during ancient times. They took on massive works of building and engineering in an area from the prehistoric Zingh Empire of Mauritania and the Sahara (1500 B.C.) to the Nile Corridor and Sudan to Mesopotamia all the way to the Black Shia and Shang Dynasty China.


ahhhhhhh here is more:


And also:

In the country of Mauritania, according to some sources, one of the world's most ancient urban civilizations existed. That Civilization was called the Zingh Empire and it was situated in the Southern Sahara. About 15,000 years ago, this part of West Africa now covered in desert sands was very fertile and had a huge lake much larger than Lake Victoria in East Africa. In fact, papyrus and wooden plank boats with sails was used on this giant inland sea. There were also cities, towns, villages, farms, and people who had a great culture and civilization. These Africans of the prehistoric Sahara, who inhabited the region during the Ice Age in Europe, had reached a high level of civilization and had began sailing from the Lake filled Sahara towards India, Cambodia, Melnesia and even Japan. One of the ancient Black races of the Sahara, called the Anu, are mentioned in Egyptian texts as spreading from the area of Egypt into the rest of Africa and eastward as far as Japan. Yet, this migration was recent in the history of African/Black migrations towards East Asia.


The common link? They all seem to have been written by the same person. He also addresses the questions on Zingh here:


This is also a reworking of the first link:


In fact a search:


reveals quite a few articles but pretty much all by the same guy.

He talks in capitals and accuses anyone who asks for clarification (not just people who disagree with them) of being racist:



There might be some factually correct, interesting or useful things in all of this but you'd have to go via another source.

This shouldn't detract from the discussion about the unusual characteristics of the Olmec heads but everything else............

Olmec heads certainly look like Africans, dont they? They arent the only mesoamerican representation of that race, either. However mesoamerican art appears to represent `all` racial groups, including europeans and chinese!

I guess they got a lot of visitors eh?
Normally I would now go into my umpty-page disquistion explaining everything I've learned (and a bunch of stuff that seems reasonable to me) about the peopling of the Americas in the course of researching a different topic; but thanks to the visit from the invisible shape-changing alien this morning I'm way too tired to do this without being stupid three times and insufferable at least six, so I'm going to pass y'all some links and go re-read the Wizard of Oz.

I would just like to say, however, that the Zingh Empire rubbish is a good example of the sorts of people who encourage American archeologists to be as conservative as they always have been. Racism, real and imagined, has beset American anthropology since its inception, and it attracts fringies like flies; plus the paranoia of the tribes about the intentions of white upper and middle-class academics is justifiable in light of history.

Anyway, for Olmecs:
and http://www.tribalarts.com/feature/olmec/
Lots of good pix of Olmec art on the latter - check out the babies - and pay attention to the dates. 1200 BC is *yesterday* on the geologic timescale. Olmecs always just looked like Olmecs to me, but I have poor art interpretation skills.

Dr. Steven Oppenheimer answers questions about "The Real Eve," a book and TV show concerning the genetic evidence for when and how the world was populated. Oppenheimer interprets the data to indicate a single migration out of Africa, beachcombing around Asia in land presently under water. I recommend the book to anyone interested in the problem, though personally I cruised a lot of the explanations about DNA markers and mitochondria and mutation rates.

For discussion of the current state of mind on the peopling of the Americas, you can't do better than listen to the paleoarcheologists talking to each other. The following sites concern the Clovis and Beyond conference of 1999, in which Pre-Clovis data finally, publicly, went mainstream - an event largely ingnored by mainstream journalists, who still believe in the primacy of the land-bridge, ice-free corridor, and Clovis First:

If you erase everything after the csfa/ at the Mammoth Trumpet site, you'll get to the home page for the Center for the Study of the First Americans, recently installed at Texas A&M University. The site still has many gaps, but I'm joining as soon as the checks won't bounce.

Monte Verde:

The above site, which is primarily interested in protecting and studying the "negrito" population of the Andaman islands, takes a side trip into the ethnicity of the first Americans and the role of Oppenheimer's ancient beachcombers in the Andamans and America. Their map of pre-Clovis bone sites omits Wilson-Lenard and others with which I am familiar, but I spotted no obvious fudging or leaps of faith, and it's hard to find sites as concise and clear as these on this topic on the net.

Have fun. Good night.
Peni said:
...but thanks to the visit from the invisible shape-changing alien this morning...
I'm sorry, I know this is OT, but if it was invisible how do you know it was shape-changing?
Bannik said:
I'm sorry, I know this is OT, but if it was invisible how do you know it was shape-changing?

Because he kept morphing as I fended off his sexual advances. He was trying to imitate my husband (who left for work early), but since his voice imitation was poor, he never achieved the correct shape and texture, and Damon isn't normally invisible whether he's gone to work or not, he didn't fool me for a second.

Don't worry, it was a dream. I'm pretty sure.

And now I really am going.

Speaking as the daughter of one of the Archeologists who examined the Olmec heads, it was agreed and understood that many of the heads are African in origin. Doesn't take a historian with an agenda to look at a black face and KNOW it's a black face.

WonderWoman: But there are some assumptions there - esp. beacuse they look like Africans that they must be based on them. Its possible that they could also be explained as:

1. Some kind of style in their sculpture - I don't think anyone has suggested the European Venus figurines were based on actual very large women but were stylised interpretations of an ideal.

2. That they are based on Negroidal looking people from elsewhere. I mean we know that Melanesians were floating around the Pacific could they or a similar people have made it to Central America? I know the question of Polynesians/Melanesians reaching the Americans is still considered controversial but it is another option.

Whats the situation with DNA tests on Olmec remains? There were bones found recently:


but I couldn't find any information on any actual tests.

Also what is the rest of the Olmec culture like? Are there any other African links other than the heads?

Is it possible that the Olmec heads could be representations of australian aboriginals? I remember seeing a program on the BBC a couple of years ago (I think I even brought it up on a thred here) that suggested that the spread of humans to the america's first came from africa, along the coasts and through australasia to south america before it spread over the northern link between asia and north america. This explains the "negroid" features of some tribes in India and the Aborigines in Australia and Papua New Guinea (and no doubt many other places to the east of africa). The program backed up its theory using genetic analysis of people living in the extreme south of south america (tierra del feugo?) showing a genetic link. The theory was that a small number of humans first came to the americas over the pacific who were then replaced by a larger number of humans who came down from the north leaving only a little of their genes in the population of the extreme south.
I'll try to find some more information on the BBC site.
pi23: Yes I've seen something similar on TV - it was linked to the fact that some of the earliest claimed sites in the Americas are actually in South America, e.g. Pedra Furada - see e.g.:


I don't think that the Aborigines are a good candidate as they weren't the most sea faring of people (after their initial jump to Asutralia) but I suspect a better candidate would be some group like the Melanesians who developed a sea faring culture. That said the dates at Pedra Furada (which I'm a bit sceptical of) are around the time of the colonisation of Australia so..........

Also we don't really know what the earliest Americans looked like - its possible that there were various waves into the Americas but it was only one of them that was finally successful and spread all over the palce (I would be sceptical about an actual black group spreading across the Bering land bridge as rickets would have put them at a considerable disadvantage). For example the Ainu weren't very much like the later Japanese (as far as I'm aware).

Language hinders us in discussing the spread of humanity across the globe, because we don't have terms with which to refer to ancient peoples independent of modern populations. "The first Americans came from Africa" is a true statement - because all humans came from Africa if you go back enough generations. The genetic potential for all the human variation that has occurred since then was present in the initial exodus.

We look at Olmec heads, or Paleoindian bones, and argue about whether they look "African" or "Mongoloid" or "Caucausian;" and all of these terms, laden with modern history, are irrelevent to people who lived (in Luzia's case) 12,500 years ago. Kennewick's skull does not look like the skull of anyone now living; yet the first people who looked at it decided that it was "a white guy" because "white" was their unconscious default racial category. (This is per Chatters's own account of the matter.) We can't tell from the bones, or even the artistic representations, what their skin and eye colors and hair textures were. The first human being to set foot on American soil might have had black skin, blue eyes, and nappy yellow hair, for all we know.

I strongly feel that the concept of race has outlived any usefulness it ever had. Any given race is arbitrarily defined within its culture, and is disrupted by interbreeding as soon as contact occurs between populations. At best, it provided rough statistical categories into which to sort populations at a given historical moment. That historical moment passes as soon as populations mingle. In colonial Mexico, there used to be a genre of educational illustration, I forget the name, but it illustrated the various racial mixes for the benefit of newcomers, so they could keep track of the implied classes. They start off simply: This is a European family, this an African family, this a native family. In this family, a European has bred with a native; the child is a mestizo. In this family, a European has bred with an African; the child is mulatto. In this family a mestizo has bred with a mulatto...an African and a mestizo - an African with a native...and the result, 200-odd years later, is "La Raza," the heirs of the old Spanish empire, who range from blonde and blue eyed to dark coffee colored, a race with no genetic coherence whatsoever.

Not even extremely isolated peoples can tell us what the original visitors to anywhere looked like. The Andaman Islanders are exactly the same number of generations removed from the group that left Africa as anyone else. So are modern Africans.

And yet, you've got to say something. Geneticists try to solve the problem by dealing with individuals, not populations; by tracking genes. That makes for heavy reading, I'm afraid. There must be a compromise between heavy reading, and using misleading and inappropriate terms. If anyone thinks of one, please let us know.

I have to agree with you on that, re: how these artificats really don't imply race, solely because I have been confused with Latin Americans, Italians, Bi-racial, and white references since I was a child, although the correct classification for someone like me would be MULATTO. So, if someone were to create a bust in my likeness and then to have an archeologist discover my bust, let's say, 5,000 years from now, would definitely stir up some controversy since scholars than would run the gamut of calling me a member of any given ethnicity, but the obvious.

Your just plain old mixed, same as the vast majority of folk...and its a good thing to put on stupid job application forms...why would exact government definition of race be of interest to anyone bar a few specialists??
Hello Homo Aves,

I work at a company that deals with statistics etc and everytime we recieve a questionnaire from a participant and there is a question of race, we get the funniest answers: "HUMAN", "WOMAN", "Green goblin" etc.,.

We've even gotten a few absurd ones like- " Zeti-Reticulan" or, " Lunarian"
And I laugh so hard because just about every person on earth thinks the question of race is absurd.
So do I.

try telling that to the flipping race relations board.

(I foolishly did, once, they always employ people with such a strange accent no one can understand them...perhaps they come from Yorkshire??)
African Origins of Olmec Civilization - Debunked

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