The First Americans (Peopling Of The Americas)

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
46,675
Reaction score
41,598
Points
334
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Multiple posts, what happened?
 

Pietro_Mercurios

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
11,967
Reaction score
203
Points
114
Mythopoeika said:
Multiple posts, what happened?
All fixed. There was an unrecognised character (a single quotation mark) and I got 'unrecognised word match' warnings. When I refreshed the thread, I couldn't see the multiple posts.

Another, longer, video of one of Vieira's lectures:

Mysterious Stone Chambers of New England- Jim Vieira

Haven't watched all of it yet, but much more about the amazing and earth mounds and stone chambers of North Eastern America.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,161
Reaction score
9,212
Points
284
Pietro_Mercurios said:
The video is the best thing I've seen, in ages!

Stone Builders, Mound Builders and the Giants of Ancient America | Jim Vieira at TEDxShelburneFalls :yeay:

There are slides of 'New England Root Cellars' with some of the very best dry stone corbelling I've seen since I visited and dug at neolithic chambered tombs in the Orkneys and in the Cotswolds. Extraordinary archaeological remains that barely get a mention in the official literature.

Then, just over half way through, as Vieira says, his lecture enters, 'The Twilight Zone'. Eight, nine foot, plus, giants with double rows of teeth and talk of cover ups at the Smithsonian... Wonderful stuff. Vieira's heart is definitely in the right place. There's one picture, near the end, of an apparently nine foot tall native American mummy that I've never seen before. Most Fortean thing you'll watch tonight.

I would love to see Vieira give a talk at the next UnCon! :)
Interesting, although I found he tended to gabble somewhat, and the video image and sound are not well synchronised.

I got the feeling of an interesting story, but not well presented.
(Some photos of the 'double rows of teeth' would have been useful.)

The best thing in his favour are the Comments from the American religious right. ;)
 

Pietro_Mercurios

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
11,967
Reaction score
203
Points
114
The stories of 'giants' (with, or without, double rows of teeth), have that tenuous quality of most Fortean phenomena, always just out of reach, or just around the next corner. As Theo Paijmans has pointed out, 19th and early twentieth century local papers in the US abound with tall tales of all sorts, giant's graves included. The enormous mounds and earth works probably share a lot in common with native American built stuff, from a lot further south. But, those 'root cellars' and 'glacial erratics', deserve some serious investigation.

There's clearly still some very weird, anomalous and under-explored archaeology out there in North Eastern America.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Archaic Native Americans built massive Louisiana mound in fewer than 90 days, research confirms
January 30th, 2013 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils


A group of school students visits the Washington University excavations of Mound A at Poverty Point. While doing work at the site, researchers collaborate closely with the Louisiana Office of State Parks to conduct educational and outreach efforts that enhance understanding of the rich history and archaeology of America’s Native inhabitants. Credit: Wustl
(Phys.org)—Nominated early this year for recognition on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which includes such famous cultural sites as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and Stonehenge, the earthen works at Poverty Point, La., have been described as one of the world's greatest feats of construction by an archaic civilization of hunters and gatherers.

Now, new research in the current issue of the journal Geoarchaeology, offers compelling evidence that one of the massive earthen mounds at Poverty Point was constructed in less than 90 days, and perhaps as quickly as 30 days—an incredible accomplishment for what was thought to be a loosely organized society consisting of small, widely scattered bands of foragers.
"What's extraordinary about these findings is that it provides some of the first evidence that early American hunter-gatherers were not as simplistic as we've tended to imagine," says study co-author T.R. Kidder, PhD, professor and chair of anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

"Our findings go against what has long been considered the academic consensus on hunter-gather societies—that they lack the political organization necessary to bring together so many people to complete a labor-intensive project in such a short period."

Co-authored by Anthony Ortmann, PhD, assistant professor of geosciences at Murray State University in Kentucky, the study offers a detailed analysis of how the massive mound was constructed some 3,200 years ago along a Mississippi River bayou in northeastern Louisiana.

Based on more than a decade of excavations, core samplings and sophisticated sedimentary analysis, the study's key assertion is that Mound A at Poverty Point had to have been built in a very short period because an exhaustive examination reveals no signs of rainfall or erosion during its construction.


"We're talking about an area of northern Louisiana that now tends to receive a great deal of rainfall," Kidder says. "Even in a very dry year, it would seem very unlikely that this location could go more than 90 days without experiencing some significant level of rainfall. Yet, the soil in these mounds shows no sign of erosion taking place during the construction period. There is no evidence from the region of an epic drought at this time, either."

Part of a much larger complex of earthen works at Poverty Point, Mound A is believed to be the final and crowning addition to the sprawling 700-acre site, which includes five smaller mounds and a series of six concentric C-shaped embankments that rise in parallel formation surrounding a small flat plaza along the river. At the time of construction, Poverty Point was the largest earthworks in North America.

Kidder analyzes the varied colors and layers of the soils of Mound A, which are a result of the building process. Indians carried basket-loads of dirt weighing roughly 55 pounds and piled them up carefully to form the mound.
Built on the western edge of the complex, Mound A covers about 538,000 square feet [roughly 50,000 square meters] at its base and rises 72 feet above the river. Its construction required an estimated 238,500 cubic meters—about eight million bushel baskets—of soil to be brought in from various locations near the site. Kidder figures it would take a modern, 10-wheel dump truck about 31,217 loads to move that much dirt today.

"The Poverty Point mounds were built by people who had no access to domesticated draft animals, no wheelbarrows, no sophisticated tools for moving earth," Kidder explains. "It's likely that these mounds were built using a simple 'bucket brigade' system, with thousands of people passing soil along from one to another using some form of crude container, such as a woven basket, a hide sack or a wooden platter."

To complete such a task within 90 days, the study estimates it would require the full attention of some 3,000 laborers. Assuming that each worker may have been accompanied by at least two other family members, say a wife and a child, the community gathered for the build must have included as many as 9,000 people, the study suggests.

"Given that a band of 25-30 people is considered quite large for most hunter-gatherer communities, it's truly amazing that this ancient society could bring together a group of nearly 10,000 people, find some way to feed them and get this mound built in a matter of months," Kidder says.

Study co-authors Anthony Ortmann (standing) and T.R. Kidder (center) evaluate the Mound A excavations at Poverty Point. Katherine Adeslberger (then a Washington University graduate student, now professor at Knox College (seated left) and Rachel Bielitz (then a Washington University undergraduate student) look on. Credit: Wustl

Soil testing indicates that the mound is located on top of land that was once low-lying swamp or marsh land—evidence of ancient tree roots and swamp life still exists in undisturbed soils at the base of the mound. Tests confirm that the site was first cleared for construction by burning and quickly covered with a layer of fine silt soil. A mix of other heavier soils then were brought in and dumped in small adjacent piles, gradually building the mound layer upon layer.

As Kidder notes, previous theories about the construction of most of the world's ancient earthen mounds have suggested that they were laid down slowly over a period of hundreds of years involving small contributions of material from many different people spanning generations of a society. While this may be the case for other earthen structures at Poverty Point, the evidence from Mound A offers a sharp departure from this accretional theory.

Kidder's home base in St. Louis is just across the Mississippi River from one of America's best known ancient earthen structures, the Monk Mound at Cahokia, Ill. He notes that the Monk Mound was built many centuries later than the mounds at Poverty Point by a civilization that was much more reliant on agriculture, a far cry from the hunter-gatherer group that built Poverty Point. Even so, Mound A at Poverty Point is much larger than almost any other mound found in North America; only Monk's Mound at Cahokia is larger.

"We've come to realize that the social fabric of these socieites must have been much stronger and more complex that we might previously have given them credit. These results contradict the popular notion that pre-agricultural people were socially, politically, and economically simple and unable to organize themselves into large groups that could build elaborate architecture or engage in so-called complex social behavior," Kidder says.

"The prevailing model of hunter-gatherers living a life 'nasty, brutish and short' is contradicted and our work indicates these people were practicing a sophisticated ritual/religious life that involved building these monumental mounds."

Provided by Washington University in St. Louis

"Archaic Native Americans built massive Louisiana mound in fewer than 90 days, research confirms." January 30th, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-01-archaic-na ... ssive.html
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Prehistoric rock art maps cosmological belief
June 19th, 2013 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

University of Tennessee professor finds prehistoric rock art connected; maps cosmological belief

This art features a bird holding ceremonial maces and a ceremonial monolithic axe transforming into a human face. Credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood/Antiquity Publications Ltd.

This art features a bird holding ceremonial maces and a ceremonial monolithic axe transforming into a human face. Credit: Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood/Antiquity Publications Ltd.

It is likely some of the most widespread and oldest art in the United States. Pieces of rock art dot the Appalachian Mountains, and research by University of Tennessee, Knoxville, anthropology professor Jan Simek finds each engraving or drawing is strategically placed to reveal a cosmological puzzle.
Recently, the discoveries of prehistoric rock art have become more common. With these discoveries comes a single giant one—all these drawing and engravings map the prehistoric peoples' cosmological world.

The research led by Simek, president emeritus of the UT system and a distinguished professor of science, is published in this month's edition of the journal Antiquity. The paper is co-authored by Nick Herrmann of Mississippi State University, Alan Cressler of the U.S. Geological Survey and Sarah Sherwood of The University of the South.

The researchers proposed that rock art changed the natural landscape to reflect a three-dimensional universe central to the religion of the prehistoric Mississippian period.

"Our findings provide a window into what Native American societies were like beginning more than 6,000 years ago," said Simek. "They tell us that the prehistoric peoples in the Cumberland Plateau, a section of the Appalachian Mountains, used the rather distinctive upland environment to map their conceptual universe onto the natural world in which they lived."

Simek and his team analyzed 44 open- air art sites where the art is exposed to light and 50 cave art sites in the Cumberland Plateau using nondestructive, high-tech tools, such as a high-resolution laser scanner. Through analysis of the depictions, colors, and spatial organization, they found that the sites mimic the Southeastern native people's cosmological principles.

"The cosmological divisions of the universe were mapped onto the physical landscape using the relief of the Cumberland Plateau as a topographic canvas," said Simek.

The "upper world" included celestial bodies and weather forces personified in mythic characters that exerted influences on the human situation. Mostly open-air art sites located in high elevations touched by the sun and stars feature these images. Many of the images are drawn in the color red, which was associated with life.

The "middle world" represented the natural world. A mixture of open air and cave art sites hug the middle of the plateau and feature images of people, plants and animals of mostly secular character.

The "lower world" was characterized by darkness and danger, and was associated with death, transformation and renewal. The art sites,
predominantly found in caves, feature otherworldly characters, supernatural serpents and dogs that accompanied dead humans on the path of souls. The inclusion of creatures such as birds and fish that could cross the three layers represents the belief that the boundaries were permeable. Many of these images are depicted in the color black, which was associated with death.

"This layered universe was a stage for a variety of actors that included heroes, monsters and creatures that could cross between the levels," Simek said.

Interestingly, weapons are rarely featured in any of the art sites.
Simek said the scale of the rendering is most impressive, noting the Cumberland Plateau was a sacred setting, spanning hundreds of miles, in which individual sites were only parts of a greater conceptual whole.

More information: antiquity.ac.uk/ant/087/ant0870430.htm

Provided by University of Tennessee at Knoxville

"Prehistoric rock art maps cosmological belief." June 19th, 2013.
http://phys.org/news/2013-06-professor- ... elief.html
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Mexico unveils stone-age etchings
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-23238606

Ancient rock etchings, or petroglyphs, are seen in Narigua in the hills of southern Coahuila, file image

Archaeologists in Mexico have catalogued thousands of etchings carved into stones that they believe were made by hunter-gatherers 6,000 years ago.

The carvings, known as petroglyphs, mostly consist of wavy lines and concentric circles, with some images representing deer tracks.

Some 8,000 images were found at the site in Narigua in northern Mexico.

Experts say the etchings may be part of hunter-gatherer initiation rites, or representations of stars.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) says it is now preparing to allow tourists into the site, some 100km (60 miles) west of the city of Monterrey.

INAH archaeologist Gerardo Rivas said there was evidence of hunter-gatherer tribes having lived in the area.

He said many of their settlements were temporary, but evidence of cooking implements and stoves still remained.

He said the petroglyphs may reveal clues as to the level of sophistication of the tribes, and the kinds of tools they were able to manufacture.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Ancient giant sloth bones suggest humans were in Americas far earlier than thought
November 20th, 2013 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

Ancient giant sloth bones suggest humans were in Americas far earlier than thought

Panoramic view and orientation of the bones: (a) the bonebed showing the 1 m grid used to reference collected elements: (b) schematic of the bones to show their orientation. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2211

Panoramic view and orientation of the bones: (a) the bonebed showing the 1 m grid used to reference collected elements: (b) schematic of the bones to show their orientation. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2211

(Phys.org) —A team of Uruguayan researchers working at the Arroyo del Vizcaíno site near Sauce, in Uruguay has found evidence in ancient sloth bones that suggests humans were in the area as far back as 30,000 years ago. The team describes their evidence and findings in a paper they've had published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Most scientists today believe that humans populated the Americas approximately 16,000 years ago, and did so by walking across the Bering Strait, which would have been frozen over during that time period. More recent evidence has begun to suggest that humans were living in South America far earlier than that—just last month a team of excavators in Brazil discovered cave paintings and ceramics that have been dated to 30,000 years ago and now, in this new effort, the research team has found more evidence of people living in Uruguay around the same time.

In this new effort, the researchers found over a thousand bones at the Arroyo del Vizcaíno site, (from approximately 27 different animals) most of which once belonged to the now extinct giant sloth. What was most remarkable however, were the deep slash markings on some of the bones—indicative of human stone tools. Also interesting was that the bones were all from the remains of large, full grown sloths—all in a single place where they wouldn't have died in other ways such as from falling off a cliff. Taken together, it appears the sloths were killed individually, as needed, and eaten, most likely, by humans as no other known animal could have pulled off such a feat. The team also found a stone that appears to have been fashioned to serve as a scraping tool.

The researchers suggest that if humans were indeed in living in South America as far back as 30,000 years ago, they likely arrived there by floating over from Africa—the prevailing winds would have carried them directly there without the need of paddles or sails. Sloths, they suggest would have been an excellent food source once they arrived—adults would have been up to 15 feet tall and weighed approximately two to four tons, offering enough food for a group of people.

More information: Arroyo del Vizcaíno, Uruguay: a fossil-rich 30-ka-old megafaunal locality with cut-marked bones, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Published 20 November 2013, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2211

Abstract
Human–megafauna interaction in the Americas has great scientific and ethical interest because of its implications on Pleistocene extinction. The Arroyo del Vizcaíno site near Sauce, Uruguay has already yielded over 1000 bones belonging to at least 27 individuals, mostly of the giant sloth Lestodon. The assemblage shows some taphonomic features suggestive of human presence, such as a mortality profile dominated by prime adults and little evidence of major fluvial transport. In addition, several bones present deep, asymmetrical, microstriated, sharp and shouldered marks similar to those produced by human stone tools. A few possible lithic elements have also been collected, one of which has the shape of a scraper and micropolish consistent with usage on dry hide. However, the radiocarbon age of the site is unexpectedly old (between 27 and 30 thousand years ago), and thus may be important for understanding the timing of the peopling of America.

© 2013 Phys.org

"Ancient giant sloth bones suggest humans were in Americas far earlier than thought." November 20th, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-11-ancient-gi ... umans.html
 

PeniG

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
2,447
Reaction score
476
Points
114
Actually, by far the majority of the archeological work being done currently in t this area (I was at a conference about it in October) agree that boats factored in somewhere and that we have no freaking idea when people got here. 30,000 years is pushing it back pretty far, but this is not the first evidence of that. And that evidence is also from South America!

People are being very cautious about What It All Means, but the possibilities are dizzying.
 

PeniG

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Dec 31, 2003
Messages
2,447
Reaction score
476
Points
114
Gene sequencing on the Anzick boy.
http://archaeologybriefs.blogspot.com/2 ... s-ago.html
The remains of a one-year-old Ice Age boy who died 12,600 years ago were discovered near a rock cliff in central Montana in 1968, along with a multitude of distinctive burial artifacts, such as spear points and antler tools. The skeleton and burial artifacts were covered with powdered red ochre, a type of mineral.

An international team of researchers have now sequenced the genome of the "Clovis boy" and compared it with genetic information of modern Native Americans across the Americas, as well as with that of ancient Europeans, Asians and Greenlanders. Their results show that approximately 80 percent of today's Native Americans are direct descendants of the boy's contemporaries - particularly the indigenous people who today live in Mexico and South America. The remaining 20 percent are found among some of Canada's First Nations, who - while not direct descendents - are still more closely related to Clovis than any genetic group from any other continent.

The Clovis boy also shares about a third of his genome with another ancient youth, a 24,000-year-old Siberian child known as the Mal'ta boy, whose remains were also recently analyzed. "The genetic findings mesh well with the archaeological evidence to confirm the Asian homeland of the First Americans... and is consistent with occupation of the Americas a few thousand years before Clovis," said Dr Michael Waters, Director of the Center for the Study of First Americans at Texas A&M University, and lead archaeologist on the team.

The similarities and differences among these native groups suggest a genetic "split" took place within the boy's lineage thousands of years before his time. From one branch came the ancestors of some Canadian First Nations, while the other branch led to the Clovis boy and his family, and their descendants who make up the majority of Native Americans today.


Source: Western Digs, Bio News Texas (12 February 2014)
http://tinyurl.com/mpdg53o
 

tastyintestines

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Messages
1,630
Reaction score
164
Points
99
Cool news. I thought it was illegal to collect native american dna. Any ideas on how they went about collecting the data?
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Language 'evolution' may shed light on human migration out-of-Beringia
March 12th, 2014 in Other Sciences / Social Sciences

Language 'evolution' may shed light on human migration out-of-Beringia
Network summarizes all splits with at least 10% support in 3,001 trees sampled. Longer branch lengths indicate higher probabilities for splits. Credit: Mark A. Sicoli; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091722.g003

Network summarizes all splits with at least 10% support in 3,001 trees sampled. Longer branch lengths indicate higher probabilities for splits. Credit: Mark A. Sicoli; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091722.g003

Evolutionary analysis applied to the relationship between North American and Central Siberian languages may indicate that people moved out from the Bering Land Bridge, with some migrating back to central Asia and others into North America, according to a paper published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on March 12, 2014 by Mark Sicoli, from Georgetown University and Gary Holton from University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Languages evolve slowly overtime and may even follow human migratory patterns. A proposed language family known as the Dené–Yeniseian suggests that there are common language elements between the North American Na-Dene languages and the Yeniseian languages of Central Siberia. To investigate this further, scientists employed a technique originally developed to investigate evolutionary relationships between biological species called phylogenetic analysis, where a tree is constructed to represent relationships of common ancestry based on shared traits. Scientists used linguistic phylogeny to work out how approximately 40 languages from the area diffused across North America and Asia. The authors first coded a linguistic dataset from the languages, modeled the relationship between the data, and then modeled it against migration patterns from Asia to North America, or out-of-Beringia.

Results show an early dispersal of Na-Dene along the North American coast with a Yeniseian back migration through Siberia and a later dispersal of North American interior Na-Dene languages. Sicoli explained, "we used computational phylogenetic methods to impose constraints on possible family tree relationships modeling both an Out-of-Beringia hypothesis and an Out-of-Asia hypothesis and tested these against the linguistic data. We found substantial support for the out-of-Beringia dispersal adding to a growing body of evidence for an ancestral population in Beringia before the land bridge was inundated by rising sea levels at the end of the last ice age." Although the authors cannot conclusively determine the migration pattern just from these results, and state that this study does not necessarily contradict the popular tale of hunters entering the New World through Beringia, it at the very least indicates that migration may not have been a one-way trip. This work also helps demonstrate the usefulness of evolutionary modeling with linguistic trees for investigating these types of questions.

Language 'evolution' may shed light on human migration out-of-BeringiaEnlarge

This polar projection map of Asia and North America shows the approximate terminal Pleistocene shoreline. The center of geographic distribution of Yeniseian and Na-Dene language is in Beringia. From this center burgundy arrows extend toward the North American coast and into Siberia. A blue arrow indicates Interior dispersals of Na-Dene. Credit: Mark A. Sicoli; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091722.g004

These finding suggest that phylogenetics may be used to explore the implications of deep linguistic relationships.

More information: Sicoli MA, Holton G (2014) Linguistic Phylogenies Support Back-Migration from Beringia to Asia. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91722. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091722
Provided by Public Library of Science

"Language 'evolution' may shed light on human migration out-of-Beringia." March 12th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-03-language-e ... ingia.html
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Images at link.

Sunken body clue to American origins

The skull has been removed from the cavern but most of the skeleton remains in place

The ancient remains of a teenage girl discovered deep underground in Mexico are providing additional insights on how the Americas came to be populated.

Divers found the juvenile's bones by chance in a vast, flooded limestone chamber on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Aged 15 or 16 at death, the girl lived at least 12,000 years ago.

Researchers have told Science Magazine her DNA backs the idea that the first Americans and modern Native American Indians share a common ancestry.

This theory argues that people from Siberia settled on the land bridge dubbed Beringia that linked Asia and the Americas some 20,000 years ago before sea levels rose.

These people then moved south to populate the American continents.

The genetics of modern Native Americans would certainly appear to link them into this story. But their facial features set them apart from the oldest skeletons now being unearthed.

These ancient people had narrower, longer skulls. The differences have hinted that perhaps there were multiple immigrations from Siberia (or even Europe).

Evolution link
However, the remains of the Yucatan girl, dubbed Naia - which means "water nymph" in Greek - does not follow that line of thinking, because although she had the slender features associated with the earliest Americans, her DNA shares commonalities with modern Native Americans.

Lab analysis of teeth and bone samples link her to a particular genetic lineage known as Haplogroup D1.

This same marker is found in substantial numbers of modern Native Americans.

"This lineage is thought to have developed in Beringia, the land that now lies beneath the Bering Sea after its ice age occupants became genetically isolated from the rest of Asia," explained lead author Dr Jim Chatters.

"Thus, Naia, one of the earliest occupants of the Americas yet found, suggests that Paleoamericans do not represent an early migration from a part of the world different than that of the Native Americans.

"Rather, Paleoamericans and Native Americans descended from the same homeland in Beringia.

"The differences between them likely arose from evolution that occurred after the Beringian gene pool became separated from the rest of the world."

The chamber where the girl was found represents one of these pits before its roof has collapsed to produce a wide surface opening.

To reach the natural amphitheatre, divers had to swim almost 1km (0.6 miles) through a water-filled tunnel.

"The moment we entered inside, we knew it was an incredible place," recalled Alberto Nava.

"The floor disappeared under us and we could not see across to the other side. We pointed our lights down and to the side; all we could see was darkness.

"We felt as if our powerful underwater lights were being destroyed by this void. So we called it 'black hole', which in Spanish is 'Hoyo Negro'."

Scientists can only speculate as to why Naia had been in the cavern. Skeletal remains of many animals also litter the pit's floor.

The suspicion is that they all were looking for water, because the region had a very dry climate 12,000 years ago and the cavern would have been mostly dry but for a few pools.

Perhaps they stumbled and fell to their death in the darkness.

"Her pelvis is broken and it appears to have been broken at or around the time of her death because it's fractured in a way that relatively young bone would break rather than ancient bone," said Dr Chatters.

"So, it appears she fell quite a distance and struck something hard. I think she died almost instantly, if not instantly."

On the face of it, the new study supports research published in February that looked at the genetics of an infant who died at about the same time in what is now the US State of Montana.

This investigation of "Anzick" boy, as he has become known, was conducted on the main DNA material found in the nuclei of the cells.

Naia's DNA, on the other hand, was sourced from outside the nuclei of her cells - in structures called the mitochondria. These carry much more limited information.

Dr Shane Doyle from Montana State University said Dr Chatters' team therefore still had some ground to travel before very robust conclusions could be drawn.

"In my view they have a way to go before they can say anything substantial," he told BBC News.

"It's extremely difficult to get at the nuclear DNA and decoding it is very complex, but this is what they need to do. Until they do that, they cannot tell us a lot about where Native American Indians came from."

Dr Chatters confirmed that unravelling Naia's nuclear genome was a future priority.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27432234
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Cave Dig Unearths Bones of Ancient Horses, Cheetahs and Bison
Excavations of an ancient Wyoming sinkhole containing a rare trove of fossils of Ice Age mammals have unearthed hundreds of bones of such prehistoric animals as American cheetahs, a paleontologist said on Friday.

Aug 8, 2014
By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) - Scientists excavating an ancient Wyoming sinkhole containing a rare trove of fossils of Ice Age mammals have unearthed hundreds of bones of such prehistoric animals as American cheetahs, a paleontologist said on Friday.

The two-week dig by an international team of researchers led by Des Moines University paleontologist Julie Meachen marked the first exploration of Natural Trap Cave at the base of the Bighorn Mountains in north-central Wyoming since its initial discovery in the 1970s.

Meachen said the extensive excavation that began late last month uncovered roughly 200 large bones of animals like horses that roamed North America from 12,000 to 23,000 years ago and an uncounted number of microfossils of creatures such as birds, lizards and snakes.

“We found evidence of bison, a bit of gray wolf and quite a lot of cheetah and horse,” she said of the first of three planned annual digs, which ended on Friday.

Researchers expect their study of the fossils to provide new insights into the climate, diets and genetic diversity of North American creatures that disappeared during the Ice Age extinction more than 10,000 years ago. ...

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... and-bison/
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Five years ago, Ben Potter made a dramatic discovery: the partially burned remains of a cremated 3-year-old child, left to rest in a hearth at Upward Sun River, one of the oldest settlements in Alaska. But the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, archaeologist never expected what waited underneath the hearth. More recent excavations have yielded two well-preserved burials, of an infant who likely lived for about 12 weeks and a fetus who died shortly before birth. The discovery provides a window into daily life and burial practices at the 11,500-year-old site, and an unprecedented opportunity to analyze the DNA of some of the Americas’ earliest inhabitants.

Upward Sun River, near the Tanama River in central Alaska, is one of the most important archaeological sites discovered in the Beringia region of the Arctic in the last 25 years, says John Hoffecker, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who wasn’t involved with the research. Most Paleoindian sites found in Alaska are short-term hunting camps, which fit with a long-standing vision of the region’s earliest settlers as nomadic big-game hunters who crossed the Bering land bridge about 14,000 years ago in pursuit of prey like woolly mammoths and elk.

Upward Sun River, in contrast, shows signs of longer term occupation, including the remains of the earliest known residential structures in Alaska. The hearth over the two buried bodies contains traces of salmon and ground squirrels, indicating that the occupants did not solely depend on bringing down large mammals, Potter and colleagues report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This evidence of a wider variety of food sources is “causing us to reevaluate what some of the subsistence [behaviors] would have been like in these early sites,” says Greg Hare, an archaeologist with the Government of Yukon in Whitehorse, Canada. ...

http://news.sciencemag.org/archaeology/ ... -new-world
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
New research shows that prehistoric Ice-Age people hunted horse and camel 13,300 years ago in North America, much earlier than previously believed, according to a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University anthropologist.

Mike Waters, who heads the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M, and colleagues from the University of Calgary and Aarhus University in Denmark have had their work published in the current issue of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Waters and the research team examined the skeletal remains of seven horses and onecamel found in an area called Wally's Beach, located about 80 miles south of Calgary in Canada. The rolling prairies of Central Canada were home to numerous types of animals early hunters sought thousands of years ago. These animals were killed in a small area close to a spot where they could ford the river, Waters says. ...

http://phys.org/news/2015-03-ice-age-people-horse-camel.html#ms
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Alternate theory of inhabitation of North America disproven
Date:
April 27, 2015
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
The most widely accepted theory of the inhabitation of North America is that humans migrated from Siberia to Alaska by means of a 'land bridge' that spanned the Bering Strait. However, in the 1990s, a small group of researchers proposed that North America was first settled by people from Europe, who moved from east to west via a glacial 'ice bridge.' Now, researchers have definitively disproven the ice bridge theory.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150427145121.htm
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Genetic testing of Iñupiat people currently living in Alaska's North Slope is helping Northwestern University scientists fill in the blanks on questions about the migration patterns and ancestral pool of the people who populated the North American Arctic over the last 5,000 years.

"This is the first evidence that genetically ties all of the Iñupiat and Inuit populations from Alaska, Canada and Greenland back to the Alaskan North Slope," said Northwestern's M. Geoffrey Hayes, senior author of the new study to be published April 29, 2015, in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

In this study, all mitochondrial DNA haplogroups previously found in the ancient remains of Neo- and Paleo-Eskimos and living Inuit peoples from across the North American Arctic were found within the people living in North Slope villages. ...

http://popular-archaeology.com/issu...ly-eskimos-migrated-from-alaska-s-north-slope
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Kennewick Man, perhaps the most controversial of all North American archaeological finds, has finally had his DNA sequenced. The results suggest he is closely related to Native Americans – and could even be a direct ancestor of some living populations.

Discovered in Washington state in 1996, the skeleton quickly became the subject of a legal battle between a group of scientists who wanted to study it, and the US government, which was prepared to hand the remains over to Native American groups for reburial under a repatriation act.

The case was finally settled in 2004: the courts ruled that the Native Americans could not prove that Kennewick Man was their ancestor, and so repatriation laws did not apply. The scientific study of the remains resumed.

Last year the fruits of those studies were published in a book that seemed to vindicate the 2004 ruling. Among many findings, the studies concluded that the shape of Kennewick Man's skull showed similarities with indigenous communities found today in Polynesia and Japan, from where the ancestors of Kennewick Man were thought to have migrated independently of the forebears of Native Americans. ...

http://www.newscientist.com/article...pid=SOC|NSNS|2015-GLOBAL-twitter#.VYM5WfmrTIV
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Deep in the Amazon, geneticists have found an unexpected Australian twist to the story of how the Americas were founded.

Genetic studies suggest that all Native American groups owe most – and in some cases all – of their ancestry to a single population that arrived in North America from Siberia at least 15,000 years ago.

Even so, some of the earliest human skeletons found in the Americas have features less like those of Siberians and more like those of indigenous people living in Australia and on some islands of South-East Asia. That could just be a coincidence, or it could reflect some unrealised genetic ties between the Americas and Australia.

A new analysis suggests it is the latter. Geneticists led by David Reich and Pontus Skoglund at Harvard Medical School have analysed DNA from 63 people belonging to 21 Native American populations – and compared the information with DNA data from 197 populations elsewhere in the world – and found that there really is an Australian flavour to some Native American genomes.

Specifically, people belonging to the Suruí and Karitiana populations of the Amazon share between 1 and 2 per cent of their ancestry with indigenous populations living on the Andaman Islands, New Guinea and in Australia.

https://www.newscientist.com/articl...ian-genetic-link-to-founding-of-the-americas/
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
On 17 September, a catamaran will set off into the Pacific Ocean on a week-long cruise back to the Pleistocene. Laden with sonar instruments, the research vessel Shearwater will probe the ocean bottom to find places that were beaches and dry land more than 13,000 years ago, when the sea level was around 100 metres lower. The researchers are hunting for evidence that ancient people lived along this now-sunken coastline as they colonized the New World.

Meanwhile, other archaeologists are digging in the intertidal zone on a remote island off the shore of British Columbia in Canada, where the sea level has barely changed since the ice-age glaciers began to retreat. Since late last year, that team has found footprints and a tool that date back 13,200 years, making them some of the oldest human marks on the continent. Whoever left them had to have reached the island by boat.

Welcome to the newest wave of American archaeology: the idea that the first residents of the Americas came by sea, hugging the Pacific coast as they went south. This theory marks a sharp departure from the once-dominant hypothesis that Pleistocene hunters from Siberia migrated by foot across a land bridge to Alaska and then south into the heart of North America. This route opened up only when the vast sheets of ice covering the continent had melted enough to permit passage. It was thought that these first migrants made the distinctive stone spear tips called Clovis points, which began appearing at sites in the interior of North America around 13,000 years ago.

http://www.nature.com/news/fishing-for-the-first-americans-1.18334?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews
 

Mungoman

Mostly harmless...
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
2,723
Reaction score
4,689
Points
174
Location
In the Bush (Peak Hill, NSW)
When I was growing up (in the 70's), most of the zoological research and documentaries were conducted by men. So we ended up with information about lions, for example, that spoke of the lion and his "pride" of lionesses. The focus was on the male lion and the picture painted was one of a "harem" of female lions feeding and being sexually accessible to the male.

When women zoologists began to explore the topic they noted that the lion prides were matrilinear--the only constant members were the female lions and their female offspring. They saw the male lion as being kept for stud, but otherwise unnecessary as the lionesses organized and conducted the hunting themselves. Male cubs were either killed by the stud lion as possible competitors, or driven off by his own female relations when old enough to fend on his own. Stud lions could also be driven off when no longer able to perform their required function.

Both the male and female zoologists were viewing the same thing: lions in prides, but how they interpreted what they viewed made all the difference in how we understand lions today.

I would suspect that the same is true of women in historical and anthropological studies. For example, in many Native American societies women who are menstruating leave society and their family during the times of their menses and join other women in isolation huts or tents. Male anthropologists described the women as "taboo" and that they were "forbidden" to interact with male society during these days. Women anthropologists looked at the same situation and noted that menstruating women got a three-day pass from all the back-breaking labor that normally made up their lives, plus someone else had to take care of the kids. In the meantime the menstruating women sat around eating, relaxing and socializing.

The facts of history don't change--this event happened this year--but our interpetations of them change according to current philosophical beliefs. History, and anthropology, supposed by many to be dead and unchanging, are actually fields subject to much variance depending on who is telling the story.




"Male anthropologists described the women as "taboo" and that they were "forbidden" to interact with male society during these days"


In these societies where the word taboo, or tapu initiated, the word was not meaning ostracised, but rather, sacred and holy.


Commonfolk could not be associated with the power associated with menses, as it was a holy situation, rather than mundane and commonplace.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,161
Reaction score
9,212
Points
284
Mastodon meal scraps revise US prehistory
By Jonathan Webb Science reporter, BBC News

Stone tools and bones from a butchered mastodon, found at the bottom of a river in Florida, are shaking up the known history of humans in the region.
A four-year investigation of the site has firmly concluded that humans lived there and, in particular, made a meal of a mastodon 14,550 years ago.
This is more than a millennium earlier than humans were thought to have settled the south-eastern US.

The findings are reported in the open access journal Science Advances.
They reinforce the idea that humans settled the Americas well before the Clovis people arrived about 13,000 years ago. For many years, the Clovis were thought to have been "the first Americans".

In fact, the mastadon tusk that is the centrepiece of the Florida haul, complete with apparent cut marks and accompanying tools, was first found and dated in the 1980s - but the discovery gained little traction.
"[It] was an impossible date for the scientific community to accept at the time, because it was well accepted that the Americas were colonised by the Clovis people, who arrived on the continent over the Bering land bridge no longer than 13,500 years ago at the oldest," said Jessi Halligan, lead author of the new study and assistant professor of anthropology at Florida State University.

That view, however, has gradually been revised as more and more evidence accumulates that humans arrived thousands of years earlier - perhaps as early as 16,000 years ago, when the last ice age was only beginning to thaw.
But that evidence remains scarce, and the new study provides the best evidence yet for such a presence in the south-east of the US.

For the new study, the original tusk was re-examined and a wealth of further evidence, including many more tools, dung samples and animal bones, was excavated from the same murky sinkhole 10m under the waters of the Aucilla River.

Before the river and sediments were laid down, this area appears to have contained a water hole where both animals and humans gathered. The mastadon was either hunted or scavenged, and butchered using tools like the small stone knives found at the scene.
"These excavations were successful beyond our dreams," Dr Halligan told journalists in a teleconference.

One of her co-authors, Prof Michael Waters from Texas A&M University, has been involved in the debate about human settlement of the Americas for many years.
"The site is a slam-dunk pre-Clovis site with unequivocal artefacts, clear stratigraphy and thorough dating," he said.
"The stone tools and faunal remains at the site show that at 14,550 years ago, people knew how to find game, fresh water and material for making tools. These people were well-adapted to this environment."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36286548
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Population boom preceded early farming
Date:
August 2, 2016
Source:
University of Utah
Summary:
Anthropologists have counted the number of carbon-dated artifacts at archaeological sites and concluded that a population boom and scarce food explain why people in eastern North America domesticated plants for the first time on the continent about 5,000 years ago.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160802104526.htm
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
9,500-year-old funerary rituals involving the reduction of fresh corpses discovered in east central Brazil
November 30, 2016 in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

Findings from Lapa do Santo show oldest evidence in the continent of humans performing elaborated funerary rituals based on the manipulation and reduction of fresh corpses and the reorganization of body parts.

In eastern South America skeletal remains dating to 10,000 years ago are rare, precluding the proper study of their ritual dimensions. In a study published this week in the journal Antiquity, an international research team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the University of São Paulo, Brazil, present their new findings on 26 human burials that date to this period and had been discovered at the archaeological cave site Lapa do Santo in east central Brazil.

"The Lagoa Santa region is known since the early 19th century due to the work of the Danish naturalist Peter Lund. During the following decades, many international research teams went to the region looking for evidence of the coexistence between humans and megafauna", says André Strauss of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. "Although hundreds of early Holocene skeletons were exhumed in the process, little has been reported about funerary rituals. Therefore, the ample diversity and elevated elaboration of the burials at Lapa do Santo at first struck us as a great surprise." ...

http://phys.org/news/2016-11-year-old-funerary-rituals-involving-reduction.html
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
24,796
Reaction score
37,919
Points
314
Location
Out of Bounds
The first humans arrived in North America a lot earlier than believed

The timing of the first entry of humans into North America across the Bering Strait has now been set back 10,000 years. ...

Their findings were published in early January in the open-access journal PLoS One.

The earliest settlement date of North America, until now estimated at 14,000 years Before Present (BP) according to the earliest dated archaeological sites, is now estimated at 24,000 BP, at the height of the last ice age or Last Glacial Maximum. ...

SOURCE: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-01/uom-tfh011317.php
 

blessmycottonsocks

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
6,414
Reaction score
12,020
Points
289
Location
Wessex and Mercia
Coincidentally, I watched the documentary on Amazon Prime over breakfast this morning, making the argument for pre-Clovis artefacts found in Mexico, hinting at far earlier dates for human occupation of the Americas.

Check out the reports from the digs at Hueyatlaco. There's plenty of discussion on the Internet - some of it a bit fringe, but enough evidence to get you thinking.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,455
Reaction score
30,974
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Study of ancient skulls suggest there may have been multiple migrations into the Americas
February 23, 2017 by Bob Yirka in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

(Phys.org)—A trio of researchers affiliated with institutions in the U.S., Europe and South America has found evidence that suggests the native people of South America likely arrived from more than one place. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel, André Strauss and Mark Hubbe describe how they applied imaging technology to skulls that have been unearthed in Brazil and what was revealed.

For many years, it was believed that a single wave of ancient immigrants made their way from Asia to North America and eventually to South America—the first people to exist in the New World. But that view has been challenged in more recent years. In this new effort, the researchers describe evidence they have found that suggests the first settlers of the New World may have come from more than one place.

To learn more about the ancestry of some of the earliest settlers to South America, the researchers used geometric morphometrics, a type of imaging technology that allows for creating 3-D images of an object, to examine skulls found in Lagoa Santa, Brazil. Prior research had dated the skulls back 7,000 to 10,000 years, which places them near the time when scientists believe South America was first populated by humans. The researchers report that the skull shapes of the ancient people differed markedly from those of modern indigenous South Americans, suggesting they came from somewhere else. ...

https://phys.org/print407057607.html
 

Xanatic*

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Messages
4,751
Reaction score
5,504
Points
214
Let me guess, the people with the cone-shaped skulls immigrated from space.
 
Top