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#1 Ironhand

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Posted 20 November 2004 - 11:18 AM

Scientist: Man in Americas earlier than thought
Archaeologists put humans in North America 50,000 years ago
By Marsha Walton and Michael Coren
CNN

Archaeological dig suggests that humans settled in the Americas about 50,000 years ago

(CNN) -- Archaeologists say a site in South Carolina may rewrite the history of how the Americas were settled by pushing back the date of human settlement thousands of years.

But their interpretation is already igniting controversy among scientists.

An archaeologist from the University of South Carolina on Wednesday announced radiocarbon tests that dated the first human settlement in North America to 50,000 years ago -- at least 25,000 years before other known human sites on the continent.

"Topper is the oldest radiocarbon dated site in North America," said Albert Goodyear of the University of South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.

If true, the find represents a revelation for scientists studying how humans migrated to the Americas.

Many scientists thought humans first ventured into the New World across a land bridge from present-day Russia into Alaska about 13,000 years ago.

This new discovery suggests humans may have crossed the land bridge into the Americas much earlier -- possibly during an ice age -- and rapidly colonized the two continents.

"It poses some real problems trying to explain how you have people (arriving) in Central Asia almost at the same time as people in the Eastern United States," said Theodore Schurr, anthropology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a curator at the school's museum.

"You almost have to hope for instantaneous expansion ... We're talking about a very rapid movement of people around the globe."

Schurr said that conclusive evidence of stone tools similar to those in Asia and uncontaminated radiocarbon dating samples are needed to verify that the Topper site is actually 50,000 years old.

"If dating is confirmed, then it really does have a significant impact on our previous understanding of New World colonization," he said.

But not all scientists are convinced that what Goodyear found is a human settlement.

"He has a very old geologic formation, but I can't agree with his interpretation of those stones being man-made," said Michael Collins of the Texas Archeological Research Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. Collins disputes that the stone shards at the site show signs of human manipulation.

But whether the Topper site proves valid, Collins said most archeologists now believe people settled in America before 13,000 years ago, refuting a theory that has held sway for 75 years.

Since the 1930s, archaeologists generally believed North America was settled by hunters following large game over the land bridge about 13,000 years ago.

"That had been repeated so many times in textbooks and lectures it became part of the common lore," said Dennis Stanford, curator of archeology at the Smithsonian Institution. "People forgot it was only an unproven hypothesis."

A growing body of evidence has prompted scientists to challenge that assumption.

A scattering of sites from South America to Oklahoma have found evidence of a human presence before 13,000 years ago -- or the first Clovis sites -- since the discovery of human artifacts in a cave near Clovis, New Mexico, in 1936.

These discoveries are leading archaeologists to support alternative theories -- such as settlement by sea -- for the Americas.

Worldwide, ideas about human origins have rapidly changed with groundbreaking discoveries that humans ranged farther and earlier than once believed. Fossils in Indonesia nearly 2 million years old suggest that protohumans left their African homeland hundreds of thousands of years earlier than first theorized.

Modern humans, or homo sapiens, most likely emerged between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago in Africa. They quickly fanned out to Australia and Central Asia about 50,000 years ago and arrived in Europe only about 40,000 years ago. Ancestral humans -- hominids like australopithecines and Neanderthals -- have never been found in the New World.

Goodyear plans to publish his work in a peer-reviewed scientific journal next year, which is the standard method by which scientists announce their findings. Until research is peer-reviewed, experts in the field may not have an opportunity to evaluate the scientist's methods, or weigh in on the validity of his conclusions.

Archaeologists will meet in October of 2005 for a conference in Columbia, South Carolina, to discuss the earliest inhabitants of North America, including a visit to the Topper Site.

Goodyear has been excavating the Topper dig site along the Savannah River since the 1980s. He recovered many of the artifacts and tools last May.

Goodyear dug four meters (13 feet) deeper than the soil layer containing the earliest North American people and began uncovering a plethora of tools. Until recently, many archeologists did not dig below where Clovis artifacts were expected to be found.

Scientists and volunteers at the site in Allendale have unearthed hundreds of possible implements, many appearing to be stone chisels and tools that could have been used to skin hides, butcher meat or carve antlers, wood and ivory. The tools were fashioned from a substance called chert, a flint-like stone found in the region.

Goodyear and his colleagues began their dig at the Topper Site in the early 1980s with the goal of finding out more about the Clovis people. Goodyear thought it would also be a good place to look for earlier human settlers because of the resources along the Savannah River and the moderate climate.
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#2 Rusty

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 04:04 AM

I've often wondered this myself. Why are scientists so unwilling to accept new findings and investigate them with an open mind? I guess there are some that are so self centered that they will not accept the fact that what they believe may be wrong. No one knows how old the earth really is and no one knows how long ago humans first started settling in North America. I'm not too sure I even buy into the whole "Land Bridge" thing. Unless these hunters dragged their women and children along (and that kinda goes against the whole "Hunter/Gatherer" concept of the men going out hunting and the women staying behind caring for the children and tending the homefront) then I really don't see how they could have been tagged as the first settlers of the Americas. If they didn't bring their women and children along then how did they reproduce? Unless there were already humans in the Americas and they "inter-mingled" with them. Could be. And that still leaves the question unanswered... who were the first settlers and where did they come from. If these scientists continue to bicker among themselves and look at things with closed minds then we may never know the answer. Just my two cents.

#3 Ironhand

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 09:22 AM

I'm not too sure I even buy into the whole "Land Bridge" thing. Unless these hunters dragged their women and children along (and that kinda goes against the whole "Hunter/Gatherer" concept of the men going out hunting and the women staying behind caring for the children and tending the homefront) then I really don't see how they could have been tagged as the first settlers of the Americas. If they didn't bring their women and children along then how did they reproduce? Unless there were already humans in the Americas and they "inter-mingled" with them. Could be.

Obviously they did bring their women and children with them when they migrated to better hunting grounds. That's what migration was all about. On a given day, a hunting party might leave the women and children behind, but as the seasons and the years progressed, and whole tribes would move to better hunting ground, of course they would bring the women and children along. How could they leave them behind if they were never coming back? The Bering Strait land bridge theory is based on geologic evidence, and the great simiilarity between Siberian and Eskimo tribes in racial characteristics, culture, technology, religion, etc.

REH was very interested in migrations.
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"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
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Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
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#4 Kane

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 04:21 PM

I'm not too sure I even buy into the whole "Land Bridge" thing.

I wish I could find an old article that I once read.
It gave an alternative explaination of the first humans to come to North Amercia.
The idea was that eary europeans jumped across the atlantic, going from the mainland through Ireland to Iceland then Greenland to what is now Canada.
Since this was during the Ice Age sea levels were lower and the distance between the islands were not as great.
However, because NA was in the grip of the Ice Age, these people were later absorbed into the mix of the people coming from Asia.
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#5 Orkin

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 07:19 PM

I think it's got to do with the Clovis point, a distinctive flint spearhead style that is found all over North America. Nothing like it appears in Siberia at that time; a spearhead was built up in a fundamentally different manner. Some have noticed how a spearhead used in Europe resembles the Clovis point, so they began to open their minds... :rolleyes:
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#6 Rusty

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 05:57 AM

The Bering Strait land bridge theory is based on geologic evidence, and the great simiilarity between Siberian and Eskimo tribes in racial characteristics, culture, technology, religion, etc.


There is no disputing that fact. There are many similarities, especially in their facial features. But I still hold firm to my belief that there were other peoples already inhabiting the Americas before then.
Kane, if you do find that article I would really like to read it. Sounds interesting!

#7 Ironhand

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 06:31 AM

The Bering Strait land bridge theory doesn't exclude the possibility of other tribes having migrated earlier, by whatever means.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#8 Rusty

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 07:14 AM

Good point Ironhand. And it will be interesting to see what comes of the research talked about in the original post.

#9 Orkin

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Posted 26 November 2004 - 08:04 PM

The Bering Strait land bridge theory doesn't exclude the possibility of other tribes having migrated earlier, by whatever means.

Other animals migrated in similar fashion, why not Neanderthals?
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#10 Rusty

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 05:27 AM

Yet another good point Orkin. Ok, so now the Land Bridge is starting to make more sense. And since geological evidence supports at least one Ice Age then it is conceivable that tribes would have migrated south to hunt game and to seek warmer climates. How awesome would that have been to see a tribe of primitive people taking down a Mammoth using crude spears and clubs!

#11 budgie

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Posted 27 November 2004 - 10:16 AM

Yet another good point Orkin. Ok, so now the Land Bridge is starting to make more sense. And since geological evidence supports at least one Ice Age then it is conceivable that tribes would have migrated south to hunt game and to seek warmer climates. How awesome would that have been to see a tribe of primitive people taking down a Mammoth using crude spears and clubs!

There was a programme on Discovery that supported that theory, it was concerned with the dissapearance of the mammoth.
Basically while carbon dating the mammoth they found the youngest on the North American continents, the theory being that Cro Magnon man basically followed the herds for food, as the herds hunted for newer pasture the humans followed..
Cant remember the title but it was interesting.

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#12 timeless

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:44 PM

Seems I read long ago a theory that a Roman voyage may have landed in North America. I know about the Vikings, Chinese, Brendan, Madoc, supposedly the Phoenicians and Africans and Egyptians as well, but was wondering if anyone knew about the possibility of Romans landing in the New World. I know coins have been found, but that's easily explainable.
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#13 Pictish Scout

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 10:22 PM

Seems I read long ago a theory that a Roman voyage may have landed in North America. I know about the Vikings, Chinese, Brendan, Madoc, supposedly the Phoenicians and Africans and Egyptians as well, but was wondering if anyone knew about the possibility of Romans landing in the New World. I know coins have been found, but that's easily explainable.


Although romans were great navigators and had land contacts with China to the east and "black kingdoms" in Africa, I don't think they were much interested in the Atlantic. There was some rumors about the Tin Isles or Cassiterides in the Atlantic, maybe near the western coast of Iberia not as far as Azores and Madeira. Even Ireland wasn't much interesting to the romans.
I don't think if one could go to America with a galley. Vikings rowed to America because they had many landing points, Iceland, Greenland, etc. For the Romans the Atlantic had no landing points it was the great abyss, untill the portuguese knights dared to navigate there.

#14 Almuric

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 01:37 AM

I believe the Cassiterides were the British Isles, which are rich in tin (especially Cornwall).
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#15 Taranaich

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 03:54 AM

Uh oh, I can see the Hollywood treatment even now...

I think there's certainly the possibility of some enterprising Romans going off the Atlantic, since they had some pretty mighty vessels, and certainly had the resources to make a good open ocean ship. Indeed, one could argue that ships of classical times were probably more capable than (early) medieval ones, especially considering the huge amount of naval warfare going on in those days. I don't know what bearing that would have on long sea voyages though.

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#16 Kortoso

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 01:16 AM

The Old Copper Complex of the Western Great Lakes

Great Lakes Archaic Indians were the first to experiment with metal fabrication technologies in North America. Ninety-nine percent pure copper was discovered in the Lake Superior basin in vein form and in the form of nuggets in glacial outwash gravel beds. Through experimentation, Archaic peoples learned to hot and cold hammer the copper to produce a variety of projectile points, wood working tools, harpoons, fishhooks, and jewelry. Many of these tools were used for everyday subsistence activities; however, some copper goods were traded to cultures outside of the region in order to obtain exotic materials such as marine shell and exotic chert.


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#17 Taranaich

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 01:42 AM

Heh, so THAT's where they ended up. ;)

One wonders how different history would've been if they hadn't drifted from metalworking to jewelry, for Columbus (or the Vikings or the Phoenicians) to stumble upon a world not so different from their own...

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#18 Savate

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 11:54 AM

not really....but this news piece made me think of "Red Nails".... :)

Pre-Inca temple discovered in Peru
By ANDREW WHALEN, Associated Press Writer Fri Mar 14, 7:09 PM ET

LIMA, Peru - Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient temple, roadway and irrigation systems at a famed fortress overlooking the Inca capital of Cuzco, according to officials involved with the dig.

The temple on the periphery of the Sacsayhuaman fortress casts added light on pre-Inca cultures of Peru, showing that the site had religious as well as military aims, according to researchers.

It includes 11 rooms thought to have held mummies and idols, lead archaeologist Oscar Rodriguez told The Associated Press.

The team of archaeologists that made the discoveries believes the structures predated the Inca empire but were then significantly developed and expanded.

"It's from both the Inca and pre-Inca cultures; it has a sequence," Washington Camacho, director of the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park, told the AP on Thursday. "The Incas entered and changed the form of the temple, as it initially had a more rustic architecture."

Archaeologists are still waiting for carbon dating tests, but Camacho said their calculations about the facilities' age are supported by historical references such as ceramics and construction style.

Previous carbon-14 dating of Sacsayhuaman revealed that the Killke culture constructed the fortress in the 1100s, said Peruvian archaeologist Luis Lumbreras, former director of Peru's National Culture Institute and an expert on Cuzco's pre-Incan cultures. He was not involved in the dig.

The Killke occupied the region from 900 to 1200 A.D., prior to the arrival of the Incas.

"These recent discoveries add to our knowledge of Sacsayhuaman, confirming again the aggregate nature of the fortress," Lumbreras told The Associated Press.

The Inca empire, based in the ancient city of Cuzco, flourished along the western edge of South America during the 1400s, prior to the arrival of the Spanish.

Today, Cuzco is Peru's main tourism hub and a launching point for visitors to the jungle-shrouded ruins of Machu Picchu, 40 miles northwest.

The temple lies a little under a mile from zigzagging walls of the Sacsayhuaman fortress, alongside an enormous rock formation believed to be one of the fortress' burial mounds.

"The temple is one of the most important in the Sacsayhuaman site," Camacho said.

The discovery of the temple reveals "the sacred ceremonial nature of the Killke," Lumbreras said. "Previously we thought Sacsayhuaman was simply a military fortification, but we now see it was a very complex ceremonial center.

Lumbreras, now working with Peru's Institute for the Study of Cultural Patrimony, has extensively studied and excavated sites from the Wari culture, which flourished in Peru's southern highlands from 500 to 1200 A.D.

Part of the temple was destroyed by dynamite blasts in the early 20th century, when the site was used as a stone quarry.

The roadway, buried for hundreds of years under about three feet of soil, is believed to have formed part of a network connecting Sacsayhuaman's buildings, according to Camacho.

Archaeologists are also busy unearthing an advanced hydraulic system, which may have been used to supply water to Cuzco during the Inca empire.

The team also believes the Killke built the irrigation system, later used and expanded by the Incas. Remnants of Killke ceramics are scattered throughout the site.

The new excavations, directed by Cuzco's National Culture Institute, began in June 2007 and will continue for another five years, Camacho said.

___
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#19 Konorg

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 10:24 PM

not really....but this news piece made me think of "Red Nails".... :)

Pre-Inca temple discovered in Peru
By ANDREW WHALEN, Associated Press Writer Fri Mar 14, 7:09 PM ET

LIMA, Peru - Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient temple, roadway and irrigation systems at a famed fortress overlooking the Inca capital of Cuzco, according to officials involved with the dig.

The temple on the periphery of the Sacsayhuaman fortress casts added light on pre-Inca cultures of Peru, showing that the site had religious as well as military aims, according to researchers.

It includes 11 rooms thought to have held mummies and idols, lead archaeologist Oscar Rodriguez told The Associated Press.

The team of archaeologists that made the discoveries believes the structures predated the Inca empire but were then significantly developed and expanded.

"It's from both the Inca and pre-Inca cultures; it has a sequence," Washington Camacho, director of the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park, told the AP on Thursday. "The Incas entered and changed the form of the temple, as it initially had a more rustic architecture."

Archaeologists are still waiting for carbon dating tests, but Camacho said their calculations about the facilities' age are supported by historical references such as ceramics and construction style.

Previous carbon-14 dating of Sacsayhuaman revealed that the Killke culture constructed the fortress in the 1100s, said Peruvian archaeologist Luis Lumbreras, former director of Peru's National Culture Institute and an expert on Cuzco's pre-Incan cultures. He was not involved in the dig.

The Killke occupied the region from 900 to 1200 A.D., prior to the arrival of the Incas.

"These recent discoveries add to our knowledge of Sacsayhuaman, confirming again the aggregate nature of the fortress," Lumbreras told The Associated Press.

The Inca empire, based in the ancient city of Cuzco, flourished along the western edge of South America during the 1400s, prior to the arrival of the Spanish.

Today, Cuzco is Peru's main tourism hub and a launching point for visitors to the jungle-shrouded ruins of Machu Picchu, 40 miles northwest.

The temple lies a little under a mile from zigzagging walls of the Sacsayhuaman fortress, alongside an enormous rock formation believed to be one of the fortress' burial mounds.

"The temple is one of the most important in the Sacsayhuaman site," Camacho said.

The discovery of the temple reveals "the sacred ceremonial nature of the Killke," Lumbreras said. "Previously we thought Sacsayhuaman was simply a military fortification, but we now see it was a very complex ceremonial center.

Lumbreras, now working with Peru's Institute for the Study of Cultural Patrimony, has extensively studied and excavated sites from the Wari culture, which flourished in Peru's southern highlands from 500 to 1200 A.D.

Part of the temple was destroyed by dynamite blasts in the early 20th century, when the site was used as a stone quarry.

The roadway, buried for hundreds of years under about three feet of soil, is believed to have formed part of a network connecting Sacsayhuaman's buildings, according to Camacho.

Archaeologists are also busy unearthing an advanced hydraulic system, which may have been used to supply water to Cuzco during the Inca empire.

The team also believes the Killke built the irrigation system, later used and expanded by the Incas. Remnants of Killke ceramics are scattered throughout the site.

The new excavations, directed by Cuzco's National Culture Institute, began in June 2007 and will continue for another five years, Camacho said.

___


Thats an interesting post.
Though I have often though of starting a Hyborian temple/religion.

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#20 Spartan198

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 05:05 AM

Though I have often though of starting a Hyborian temple/religion.

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