Russia not finding Alaska

Yes, the apparent Russian support in the Civil War (yes, it was the Civil War, and, yes, the story about the “good-will tour” that was actually a sleazy way to get into a warm-water port is true) was a factor in the Alaska sale, though it might have gone through anyway.

A major factor in the Book of Mormon was the common racist assumption that the Mound Builders culture couldn’t possibly have been “filthy redskin savages”, an idea the LDS was still pushing in the 70’s, and, for all I know, still do.

There may have been an earlier pre-Columbian migration from Europe as well. Recent genetic studies on 11,000 year old remains in Illinois have discovered haplogroup X-DNA, a mitochondrial variant whose origins are unique to Europe. It simply does not exist in east Asian and Siberian populations, and exists today in approximately 20,000 American Indians. The more recent Kennewick Man on the west coast you mentioned is speculated to be European as well.

No. Not from Europe. I know of no support for that. greater diversity from Asia, yes.

Hmm, do you have further citation? I’d like to take a look at this. However, based on my general knowledge, you’re drawing a marginally incorrect conclusion. Presence in modern Europe does not mean that its presence in an 11ky old skeletal remains derives directly from Europe: we could be seeing (i) convergence (ii) population xfer through Bering straight, but of the type which contributed your referenced trait to Europe (insofar as we can not tell where a trait originated).

Given other signs of a complicated mixing through the mid-Asian continent, this explanation is to be favored in my opinion.

Old news, K man is not Euro. In fact the speculation was withdrawn early on because (a) its inaccurate, his original finder felt he had a caucasoid phenotype --racial thinking led to the Euro id through false idea of Euro-Caucasoid identity (b) further examination led to attribution to East Asian populations. Testing indicates, as memory serves, affiliation with Ainu like asian populations. He appears to be simply to belong to a divergent population whose phenotype was caucasoid.

Eh, Irishman, Washington, D.C. :wink:

Whoa! I LIVE in Illinois. Gotta get the Google…

Hmm…widely repeated and linked on the Web. As usual, takes on it range from the strictly scientific “just the facts, ma’am” to the truly strange, “This proves Europeans were here before the Indians!”

Hmm…all I can find is the following snip, widely repeated in many different kinds of places, but no original source.

Also, the
Ohio Sinkhole Skeleton story
comes up frequently, but it’s very strange. The AP headline reads,

but the article itself doesn’t mention any skeleton–all they found were tools.

So they didn’t find a skeleton, just tools. I think the AP writer screwed up. The confusion isn’t helped any by the fact that a paragraph heading later in the article says “Skeleton Has Scientists Jumpy”. I want to scream, “There’s no skeleton! Only tools!”

Well, we know we’re not dealing with a serious scientific type here.

No kidding! You mean some Americans might have originally come from western Europe?! :rolleyes:

Eventually the usual snip is repeated, but all it’s tied to is pure speculation:

And God bless the honest Ohio locals, whose voices even the AP Pulitzer wannabe couldn’t disguise with his mounds of sound bite fluff.

Translated: go away.

Not sure if you’re being ironic or not here, Irish. Here in the North we only had one Revolutionary War, but I realize opinions differ down South. The Russian diplomatic support I was referring to was during the American Civil War which ended in 1865. The Washington I was referring to was the seat of the United States government, not the man named George.

I agree with the people that say the United States would have bought Alaska regardless of Russia’s actions during the war. My suggestion is only that the Russian support may have made the American payment more generous that it would have been otherwise. And by no means am I stating this happened as a fact; the theory is based on other people’s interpretations of passages in the personal papers of some of the people involved in the sale.

At the National Library of Medicine, I found
abstract on mtDNA haplogroupX: An ancient link between Europe/Western Asia and North America?Next to the display tab, scroll down for abstract and click on display.
mtDNA Analysis of a Prehistoric Oneota Population:Implication for the Peopling of the World

For the archaeological evidence (Solutrean -Clovis) supporting the Atlantic crossing theory and reference to y chromosome studies for European origin case, We have a report by Michael A. Arbuthnot

Of course there is a lively debate about the European connection, but the Greenberg Zegura Turner Theory(circa 1986)for three migrations presented here by Akatsukami is no longer accepted to the extent it once was. This is refuted in my second link. A single migration for the Asian connection is currently being seriously considered due to the age of recent archaeological digs in the east.

Mea culpa. I fell for it. Thanks DDG. I think the Illinois reference is for the 700 year old (not 11k) Oneota individuals unearthed at Norris Farms, the basis for my second link, which although indicates the 5th haplogroup is precolumbian, does not stipulate a European connection.

Three reasons for suggesting direct European transfer are the claims that haplogroup X has not been found in eastern Asia. I would assume that traces would be left behind during a migration.
Secondly, if I am reading the Table II referenced in the second link correctly, then the highest concentration of this 5th haplogroup, (other), is in the east. Mohawk, Chipewa, and Ojibwa.
Thirdly, the oldest clovis culture appears in the East, and this culture appears similar to another earlier culture in Europe.

As I understand it, testing/research was halted due to an injunction by the Federal government, and efforts by scientists have been ongoing for resumption.

What has never been mentioned and what I would find most interesting to pursue is why couldn’t haplogroup X be a result of European/Dorset and Thule interaction and/or settlement attempts by the Norse farther south resulting in disappearence due to carrying off the womenfolk or sale of daughters or marriage… There is almost 500 years of pre-Columbian Greenland/Norse involvement with the indigeneous people of the Eastern seaboard, so I find it hard to believe that there was no genetic transfer , that couldn’t be picked up 500 years later as a small haplogroup.
The latest arrival for haplogroup X in north america is stated as 12,000 years, but I have no idea if that assertion is strong enough to preclude a Norse connection.

Consider Cecil’s comment: “By 1700 the native peoples of Siberia had told the Russians about a giant landmass across the water, but this didn’t get much of a response either.”

The “native people” went back and forth at will. They had watercraft. Like the Vikings that landed before them, they probably noticed there was little of interest.

You might think Columbus was made a hero for discovering new lands. Not so. He was a hero because he lied about finding large amounts of gold when he was unable to get more than a couple of nuggets out of Hispaniola. When, on further voyages, this falsehood was revealed, he was taken home in chains, and died in poverty.

Discovery was not glorious then, only those who found real wealth were honored.

He was cleared of the charges and set off in 1502 on his fourth voyage. Presumably he did not make this voyage in chains, and presumably the chains remained off until he died in 1506.

The link that does say “European DNA–yes!” seems to have an awfully small sample.

They only sampled 22 Indians and 14 Europeans? And then they use words like “appears to be”, “estimates”, and “assumed”, and finish up with this grand waffle:

“…has not been unambiguously identified”? Translated as, “well, we can’t really find haplogroup X in Asia, so we’re going to assume for the sake of argument that it’s an exclusively European trait”. I dunno, it all sounds pretty speculative to me.

But thanks for the Oneota link, it was neat. Just think, right here in Illinois… I will quote a bit here in case the link goes flooey, for future generations to use in their Google searches. :slight_smile:

Dang, left something out, on the Thule/Greenland genes.

It’s my understanding that when they test mtDNA, they also have a way to check its “clock” to see how long it’s been passed down from mother to child. That’s how they got the 150,000 year date for “Eve”. So I’m assuming that both sets of researchers did that. And actually, the Oneota data came from skeletons from an Indian cemetery dated to around 1300 A.D.

The other study, the abstract didn’t specify whether their sampling was from skeletons or whatever, and where they got them from. But I would assume that they would have checked the “clock”, and so any contamination from Greenland Viking genes would have shown up as too recent to be within the 25,000 B.P. dates they’re looking at.

Hate to be snippy about this, Duck Duck Goose, but I am a mild-mannered reporter and I take these things seriously.

The original headline on the AP story said, “Scientists piecing together puzzle of first Ohioans.” The misleading “skeleton” headline very likely was written by a copy editor at the local paper where you read the article. In addition, the original AP story carries no byline, so it was almost certainly a “pick-up” _ that is, a rewrite of a story that appeared in one of the AP’s member newspapers.

So you have less-than-scientifically-rigorous story that was filtered through the AP and then topped with a poor headline to produce a confusing report _ not a proud moment for journalism but still not a “Pulitzer wannabe” trying to mislead readers.

I apologize for the hijack, but even men of steel can get defensive about things.

Actually, the chains were put on at his own request! Chains were called for by the naval rule book, but they weren’t going to use them, because he was a person who had met the Queen more than once and they were afraid of offending her. The guy was such a grandstander that he insisted, to bring shame to his accusers. Neither the Queen or King were impressed by this, and he was still subjected to official inquiry before coming into favor again.

Sorry, Clark, didn’t mean to step on any journalistic toes there! Why, journalists are some of my favorite people–I rank them right up there with child molesters and politicians on my list of “kewl people to know”!


I find that it saves time and confusion just to think of reporters, politicians and child molesters as a single group!

I saw an account that someone had discovered Chinese anchors off the coast of California that dated from the 9th Cent. AD. In all likelihood, the Siberians probably jetted around Alaska, etc. all the time, but nobody in Moscow gave a hoot about it because it took so dang long to get to Siberia. Besides, what would tell them there was to look at, snow? They had plenty there and didn’t need anymore. In one of Cecil’s columns he mentions the fact that had the sailing times been slightly longer when the English colonized America, the language spoken by the colonists and the mother country would have diverged so much in a few decades that they would have become two distinct languages. So what would be the point in going all that way if you’re descendants couldn’t talk to you without the use of a translator. Not to mention the fact that on average those people only lived to be roughly 40-45 years old. A trip of two or three years is a big chunk of ones life to be spend away from everything you hold near and dear. Look at Ulysses, he went a way for his weekend gaurd duty and didn’t make it home until almost 20 years later!


Sorry. :frowning:

I’m a bit behind on work and other projects, but I wanted to note I have some comments on the articles re NatAm descent when I get time.

However, Viking “genes” would not throw off the clock or whatnot per DDG’s later comments. But I do see some other concerns in re the second article (which we only have the abstract for). Also re Kennewick man.

Ducky, thanks for setting me straight on the anchors. I’m not really surprised that they would be found to be of local origin. Still, if I’m not mistaken (and I’d have to do a lot of digging in the assorted piles of trash, which I should be doing anyways as I promised myself that I’d clean house today, but I haven’t because I’ve been reading these boards all day long, and am now rambling) there have been other cases of artifacts found in one part of the world which date from a time when they shouldn’t have been known to be there. Such as the purported discovery of tobacco leaves in an Egyptian mummy. Anyone know of any other oddball things like that?

A brief note:

First in re “tobacco” and mummies, there was a recent thread in this very forum dissecting such claims. Resume: the traces, not leaves but chemical signatures, are inconclusive and may stem from contamination and/or confusion with similar/same old world alcaloids. Search on cocaine mummies.

For Grienspice: I dug around in my files and found this little link saved in my folders:

I do seem to have mis-recalled the source of data --it was not genetic analysis-- however the basic thrust of my comments were correct. I will try to find some time in the near future for a comment on the X haplagroup question (which remains controversial as the first article you referenced discusses in the body of the text) in depth, but let me reiterate, it is a grave error to view this as “European” in origin.

In any case, I need to prepare some materials…

(PS: DDG, the clock issue is a serious question by the way, there is a great deal of discussion about this. My comments were just re the issue of Scandinavian “contamination” – given the brief and essentially insignificant nature of Scandinavian contact as documented to date by various sources this is really a non-concern.)