Native Americans traveling by boat

By Land or Sea? The Heated Debate on the Peopling of the Americas Continues…

(Read the article on one page)

Researchers should always be ready for the next big discovery, they never know where it may come from. Having an open mind and questioning peculiar finds is what sets things in motion. Take for example the increasingly common perspective that the first people in the Americas came by boat. For one researcher, it all started with a bathroom break and an unlikely discovery on Cedros Island in Mexico.

According to the magazine Science, Matthew Des Lauriers was a graduate student at the University of California in 2004 when he came across some stone tools and shells that didn’t fit in with the other artifacts scattered about the landscape of the mountainous island believed to have been inhabited for the past 1500 years. Scooping up some shells and charcoal, he sent a sample of the out of place items for radiocarbon dating – and it came back with an unexpected date - from 11,000 to 12,000 years ago.

Matthew Des Lauriers turns a beach cobble into a stone tool like one used by people who lived on Cedros Island nearly 13,000 years ago

Matthew Des Lauriers turns a beach cobble into a stone tool like one used by people who lived on Cedros Island nearly 13,000 years ago. ( Lizzie Wade )

While it used to be common thought that the first travelers into the Americas crossed over the Bering Strait on foot, more and more studies are questioning that idea. The emerging view now suggests that ancient maritime travelers set out from Beringia about 16,000 years ago, and within just 1500 years their followers had ended up all the way down the Pacific coast to modern day Chile.

Although the discoveries Des Lauriers and others have made in the recent past show that people were already settled along the coast soon after the (mostly) agreed upon date for the first peopling of the Americas, they are not believed to have provided enough proof for the trip beginning by boat –critics, such as David Meltzer of Southern Methodist University, say it simply suggests boats were used after crossing the land bridge.

The Beringia Land Bridge. Did the earliest people entering the Americas trek this or pass by it in their boats?

The Beringia Land Bridge. Did the earliest people entering the Americas trek this or pass by it in their boats? ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

Where could that cold, hard proof (possibly) be found? Along the Alaskan and Canadian coast. As David Meltzer has said , "All eyes are on the coast." So now researchers are searching for evidence along, and under, the waters at ‘the gateway to the Americas.’

The belief in big game hunters and Clovis-first that were so prominent are now falling by the wayside as recent discoveries and improved dating techniques show time and again that the old picture doesn’t quite fit with the new information.

For example, a recent analysis of human skulls provides evidence that the Americas were not just populated by one wave of migration – in fact, researchers have said that it took several migrations of ancient Asians and possibly Australian or Polynesian people to populate the Americas thousands of years ago.

Even more surprising, research presented in April 2017 about an Ice Age site in San Diego, California proposes people were already in the Americas 130,000 years ago . The evidence for that extreme date comes from a trove of ancient bones that were apparently modified by early humans.

If that’s not enough, other researchers are continually pressing that the whole Bering Strait, people spreading down from North America belief is just not right. They sometimes present evidence in the form of unconventional dates for sites and artifacts or surprising inscriptions to support the belief that it may not have started up north.

Others say that the mainstream theory of how the Americas were populated is downright biologically unviable .

Rock paintings at Pedra Furada, Brazil.

Rock paintings at Pedra Furada, Brazil. ( CC BY SA 4.0 ) Many alternative researchers have looked to South America for the peopling of the Americas. Could it be true?

There are obviously still many missing pieces to this puzzle. The story of the first people in the Americas is always transforming and little by little we seem to be getting closer to the real story. While some ideas are certainly more controversial than others, that doesn’t mean researchers should take the easy route…our prehistoric ancestors almost certainly did not.

Top image: Native Americans traveling by boat ( public domain )

Comments

IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR BOAT TRAVEL FROM ASIA AND EUROPE 13,000 + YEARS AGO BECAUSE OF THE "ICE AGE” IN THE PACIFIC.  THE ONLY PASSAGE BY BOAT TO THE AMERICAS WOULD HAVE CAME FROM AFRICA THROUGH THE ATLANTIC.  ANCIENT AMERICANS SUCH AS NAIA AND LUZIA DEMONSTRATES WHO WERE THE ORIGINAL ARRIVALS TO THE AMERICAS.   ALSO, MORE THAN 17 GIANT NEGROID OLMEC STATUES CEMENTS THE DEAL IN MY BOOK, ALONG WITH THE OLMEC STATUE WHICH IS ON DISPLAY AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM IN TUXTECA, MEXICO, CARVED WITH A WOOLLY AFRO HAIRSTYLE AND GIVEN THE NAME "EL NEGRO" BY MEXICAN ANTHROPOLOGISTS/ARCHAEOLOGISTS..

Charles Bowles

Charles Bowles' comment is a near perfect example of some people wanting to believe something that agrees with their psychological needs versus those making sensible use of the often tedious method of eliminating the impossible and accepting what's left - improbable as it may be - as the truth, to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes. Should negroid races have populated earliest America, then the Americas would be populated even today with a race of individuals with negroid characteristics. However, even a cursory look at living native-Americans and deceased native populations over millenia of early American history show all the characteristics of Asian-featured individuals, not negroid. Exceptions that are yet to be explained do pop up now and then, but that the Apache Geronimo in no way racially resembles Shaka the Zulu - other than being human, of course - cannot be reasonably answered by anyone who advocates beliefs like Mr. Bowles'. Additionally, one can only guess at what might have been the navigability of ice-age seas by humans in boats, yet Mr. Bowles claims absolute certainty about it. Lastly, Mr. Bowles' use of capitalization demonstrates a psychological urge to forcibly convert the heathen to his views on the subject. True-belief that does not admit even the possibility of error has caused much grief in this world, and especially when it undertakes a missionary zeal about it that allows no dissent. Such has no place in science whatsoever.

ARGYRASPIDE,   MY COMMENT IS A REPRESENTATION OF FACT, WHICH IS WHAT MY PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS DESIRE, AND NOT A LOT OF LIES THAT MAKE PEOPLE LIKE YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF.    FACTS ARE THAT MORE THAN 13,000 YEARS AGO THERE WAS AN ICE AGE IN THE PACIFIC WHICH MADE IT HIGHLY UNVIABLE FOR TRAVEL FROM EUROPE/ASIA TO THE AMERICAS.  THE ONLY POSSIBLE ROUTES TO THE AMERICAS WERE VIA THE ATLANTIC WHICH LEADS DIRECTLY FROM AFRICA TO BRAZIL IN SOUTH AMERICA.    SKELETAL REMAINS TELLS SCIENTISTS THAT HUMANS SETTLED IN SOUTH AMERICA FIRST AT LEAST 30,000 YEARS AGO...THE MOST WELL KNOWN SCIENTISTS ON THIS SUBJECT OF ANCIENT AMERICAN SETTLEMENTS ALL AGREE THAT THE OLDEST HUMAN REMAINS OF ‘LUZIA’ WAS NO DOUBT A “NEGROID’ AND NOT A MONGOLOID.  FURTHERMORE,  GIANT MONUMENTS WITH NEGROID FACES ARE SCATTERED OVER MANY PARTS OF MEXICO WHICH BELONG TO THE BLACK OLMEC’S.    THERE IS A OLMEC STATUE OF A 100% BLACK MAN WITH WOOLLY AFRO ON DISPLAY IN A NATIONAL MUSEUM IN TUXTECA, MEXICO WHICH MEXICANS GIVE THE NAME “EL NEGRO”.  AS YOU MENTIONED, GERONIMO DOES NOT RESEMBLE SHAKA ZULU, AND VICE VERSA, AND THAT IS BECAUSE SHAKA ZULU IS BLACK, AND GERONIMO IS NOT, SO I REALLY DON’T SEE YOUR POINT?   YOU MENTIONED WHY ARE THERE NOT MORE NEGROIDS IN THE AMERICAS SINCE THEY WERE HERE FIRST, AND THE ANSWER TO THAT DUMB QUESTION IS WHY ISN’T THERE MORE BLACK ABORIGINES IN AUSTRALIA THAN THERE ARE WHITE EUROPEANS TODAY, SINCE ABROGINES WERE THERE FIRST he he he, DO YOU GET MY DRIFT?  IN REGARDS TO MY USE OF CAPS ON MY COMPUTER IS STRICTLY NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, SINCE I CAN TYPE IN ANY WAY I CHOOSE, AND IF THAT BOTHERS YOU, THEN I WILL HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE A VERY SERIOUS PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEM WITH TRYING TO INSTRUCT PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT KEYS TO TYPE THEIR COMMENTS.  AS FOR ME, I JUST SIMPLY READ COMMENTS, AND NEVER CONCERN MYSELF ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE USE, SO I DON’T IMBUE THAT SORT OF STRESS he he he..  THERE ARE MANY PRESENT DAY LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES THAT HAVE LARGE BLACK POPULATIONS, AND SUCH AS CUBA, BRAZIL, COLOMBIA, VENEZUELA, PANAMA, COSTA RICA, EVEN MEXICO, ECUADOR ETC, AND NO THEY ARE NOT JUST PRODUCTS OF SLAVE SHIPMENTS, IN THAT THERE ARE DOCUMENTS PROVING THAT BLACKS WERE IN THE AMERICAS LONG BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF WHITE EUROPEAN COLONIALISTS, AND I MEAN LOTS OF DOCUMENTED PROOF IF YOU CARE TO DO YOUR RESEARCH...THE ASIATIC SIBERIAN NATIVE ARRIVALS OCCURRED THOUSANDS OF YEARS AFTER THE BLACK PEOPLES ARRIVAL. WHETHER THEY BE FROM AFRICA, OR THE SOUTH PACIFIC, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL BLACK PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY ALL CAME FROM.  HOWEVER, EVIDENCE OVERWHELMINLY PROVES THAT THEY CAME FROM AFRICA…..LATER

Charles Bowles

Mr Bowles, why are you shouting?

JSMITH,   DO YOU ACTUALLY HEAR ME SHOUTING, BECAUSE IF YOU SAY “YES”, THEN I WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE LYING.   I CAN SEE THAT YOU AND THE OTHER GUY HAVE PROBLEM WITH WHAT KEYS OTHER PEOPLE DECIDE TO TYPE  he he he.   I GUESS THAT MEANS “SHOUTING”, BUT TO ME, IT SIMPLY MEANS MY PREFERENCE TO TYPE WITH CAPS FOR A BETTER VIEW OF MY REPLY….LATER

Charles Bowles

Pages

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article