So who really WAS here first, anyway???

While we’re on the subjects of archaeology and legends of world-wide floods and evidence of gigantic but localized floods, I thought we might just as well throw in some more controversy by discussing the latest findings about who discovered America first.

We all know the scenario: the very first human beings to set foot in America came across the now-vanished land bridge from Siberia, and worked their way down to the very tip of Tierra del Fuego. They were northern Asian people, from whom the present-day Native Americans are descended, and before them, nobody was here. The Clovis culture (11,000 years ago) was the first, and since nobody was here before that, there’s no need to dig any deeper than that. Right?

Maybe. Or maybe not. Some of the latest findings are causing whole new theories to be thought up. Examples: artifacts and skeletons are being found which bear no resemblance to Native American models. In the past, anything which pre-dated Clovis was airily dismissed as either misdated or as hoaxes, but archaeologists are finding too many of them now to ignore. Stone tools have been found in Virginia and South Carolina which do not match Native American models----but they are identical to tools made by people of the Solutrean culture…in Stone Age Spain and France. The kicker? These tools have been dated to 15,050 years old—about 4000 years before anybody was even supposed to be entering North America from Siberia. And if people did enter from Siberia and trek down from the Northwest, why are the oldest artifacts showing up in the Southeast?

Another finding: many skulls and skeletons discovered in N and S America do not bear any racial or ethnic similarities with Native Americans. A skeleton found in Brazil from 11,500 years ago bears bone structure similar to that of present-day native Australians. Another one is identical to modern Polynesians. Was Thor Heyerdahl correct after all, when he said that people first came to America on rafts across the Pacific? Skulls from Nebraska and Minnesota, all of them anywhere from 7,840 to 8,900 years old, seem to be of European origin----even though no Europeans were supposed to be in North America prior to the Vikings in the 10th century. One celebrated find called “Spirit Caveman” resembles either a Japanese Ainu or an African Bushman.

Finds such as the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Pennsylvania suggest that America was a pretty crowded place for a continent that was supposed to be uninhabited before 12,000 B.C. Remains of settlements, hearths, tools, butchered animals, etc., have been found that are thousands of years older than Native American examples and bear no resemblance to them. The Pennsylvania findings consist of stone tools and woven material possibly 17,000 years old, and mastadon bones along with stone tools in an ancient firepit in Virginia are 14,000 years old.

Researchers are now speculating that prehistoric peoples from the Pacific area and southern Asia came across the Pacific to South America (a la Heyerdahl), and from Europe (following the ice sheets and living off fish and seals) to eastern N America anywhere from 3000 to 4000 years before any Native Americans ever showed up.

The political implications of this are profound. If these findings are accepted, some Native American leaders fear that their hard-won priviliges will soon be lost, since it would mean that the Europeans were here first, after all, and the Native Americans were simply another group of foreign immigrants. Some tribes, like the Shoshone, the Paiutes, and the Umatilla, are already demanding that any skeletons found in their tribal areas are to be immediately turned over to them for reburial instead of scientifically examined and (possibly) be found to be carrying non-Native American physical traits.

Anyway, it appears that America has always been a “rainbow-coalition melting-pot”, even back into prehistory. I wonder, are there any Native Americans out there who read this board, and if there are, what are your thoughts concerning this issue?

From an archeological point of view, your post is quite interesting. From a historical or political point of view, in my opinion, it is moot.

The human race is paradoxically both migratory and territorial, and arguements about “who was here first” do not and should not carry much weight. If a person can be said to “belong” in a certain place, let it be based on where he was born, not where his forefathers came from or who they displaced.

I agree 100%. Interesting and what not, but most definately moot in all considerations.

The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is
yours to draw…

Omniscient; BAG

I agree as well; who cares who was here “first”? And as for the residents of Pre-Columbian America, hey, it was their country then, and it’s their country now.
However, that wasn’t the point of my post. We all know how these things get bent totally out of shape (with attatched consequenses) whenever it appears that the rights of somebody are infringed upon, real or not (look at the O.J. Simpson and Matthew Shepard cases). This scenario is tailor-made for somebody to either make money on it or to get skewered, depending on which side they’re on. Like it or not, there are some whites who resent the gains that Native Americans have finally managed to achieve in the last twenty years, and they could use this as a vehicle to reverse them in the courts; say if somebody wants to challenge the legality of Native American fishing rights, for example, or to shut down a casino they don’t happen to like. It’s happened before in different circumstances. That’s esentially what I was wondering about. Maybe I was too opaque. Sorry. :slight_smile:

Pickman’s Model wrote:

I don’t think so.

You seem to feel that whoever was in the Americas first should have owner’s rights, to the exclusion of the newcomers. As your example, you are suggesting that the “Native Americans” should lose their rights, and have the Europeans become the true owners, since this new evidence shows the Europeans to have been here first.

It doesn’t work that way. Those who give owners rights to the Native Americans over the European immigrants don’t do it because the Native Americans were there “first”. They do it because the Native Americans were the current owners, and the European invaders illegaly stole the land, and so the Native Americans never really lost their owners rights to begin with.

The difference is crucial: Based on the information in your original post, it seems that the original European immigrants died out. You give no indication that the Siberian immigrants illegally stole it from them, but that the Europeans had already died out when the Siberians arrived. Thus, there are no surviving heirs from that original group of Europeans. And they certainly did not bequeath it to their cousins who were still home in Europe, an entire continent (or two continents) to be held in trust for several millenia until their descendants arrive!

No, when the Siberians arrived, it seems that the land was uninhabited by humans, and ownerless. They laid claim to it, became the owners, and their descendants were then known as Native Americans, rightful owners of the land.

I don’t want to start any LDS bashing here, but don’t the Mormons believe that there were europeans here before the indians and that they integrated with the native americans?

Seems tome given the size of the panamerican continent that those coming across the siberian land bridge might not have run into the europeans that much and if they did, it seems possible that they would have inter-bred.

Now, hold on there, Baba Looie! I ain’t feeling or suggesting anything. As far as I’m concerned, everybody in this here country ought to be completely equal. My opinion is that our dear Founding Fathers royally screwed up when they only granted freedom and voting rights to white males after the British were tossed out. They should have granted not only citizenship but complete and equal rights to EVERYBODY within the jurisdiction of the new United States of America, including women, Native Americans, and black slaves in the South. But they didn’t, and the rest is unfortunate history. What I was saying is that there are those who WOULD like to take rights away from somebody else who is doing well, and they could use this as an excuse to do it.

You’re absolutely correct.

Not necessarily. One of the non-conforming skeletons is that of “Kennewick Man”, dating from about 8,000 years ago, found in Washington State in 1996. His physical attributes appear to Polynesian, or perhaps Ainu. In any event, he was found with a stone spear point embedded in his hip, which is identical to those manufactured by Native American people of the Cascade culture, who were just moving into the area. Anthropoligists suggest that this may be proof of ethnic conflict. There is other evidence to suggest the possibility of either obliteration or absorption by later arrivals of the original inhabitants. Nobody knows for sure, however.

However, isn’t it nice to know that even back then, we all knew how to get along with each other? (I jest, of course…)

Should this not be included in the “mormon” thread on American origins. Where’s Monty when you need him?

“Its fiction, but all the facts are true!”

About a year ago, I saw a tv show (Natl Geog?) about a European race that lived in what is now western China (Takla Maklan?). I don’t remember details, but they lived there about 1,000 years ago and prospered for a couple centuries. It is desert region, so there are well-preserved artifacts and skeletons, like the mummies in Egypt. Again, I don’t remember details, but I think evidence was that their skeletons are the shape and size (tall) of Europeans, not Asians. Their artifacts, drawings, farming, and customs resembled the N. European viking tribes, not Asians. Ancient writings from China and Europe tell of a white race of people there with white traits (some red hair, blond hair, blue eyes…).

How important/relevant is this? Enough so that the current Chinese government wants to cover it up. The region has been mostly banned to western scientists. When western archaeologists were allowed to go there a couple years ago, they learned Chinese military went there first and removed all the artifacts they could. They even replaced some of the ancient skeletons with skeletons of recently dead Chinese, trying to fool the scientists. They want to erase European people in present China from the history books and make it seem like only Chinese people have always occupied the land.

The European race you discrible, George, sounds like the Russ, a Norse tribe that drove through eastern Europe, as a sort of reverse mongol horde in the 9th and 10th centuries. You read a lot about their plunders and triumphs (They captured Novgorod and Kiev and lent their name to Russia)on their trek eastward, but their doesn’t seem to be much evidence of them coming back or settling anywhere.

I haven’t heard about the digs in China. Sounds interesting. Unfortunately, nationalists often overestimate the political significance of such revelations, and could very well have destroyed anything that theatens their “official” history.

They sort of sound like the Russ, but that wasn’t them. I am familiar with the Russ and would have remembered if that was their name.

This tribe lived in the Western China dessert area. I think the Russ lived over central and Northern Russia. Also, I think this tribe was before the time of the Russ. They were sort of like the vikings. The tribe might not have even had a written or spoken language.

I’ve been looking on the web but still can’t find anything about them or the show I saw.

Try here:
and a transcript of a NOVA episode:

And for an overview of some of the issues that Pickman’s Model alluded to in his second post, (including a reference to the Takla Maklan), as presented by a promoter of “Aryan Supremacy”, see:
This last site is actually pretty well presented, generally going stupid only where it presents the normal give and take of academic theory and discussion as an attempt to “suppress the truth” about “white supremacy.”