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DNA, land bridge, Beringia, Ice Age, Americas, genetics, South America, humans, Paleoamerican, Naia, Luzia, skeletons, archaeology

Did Paleoamericans Reach South America First?

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In “ Textbook Story of How Humans Populated America is Biologically Unviable, Study Finds , recently published in Ancient Origins, it was noted that DNA studies indicate that people could not have crossed the Beringia land bridge to enter the Americas 13,000 years ago because the “entry route was biologically unviable”. Although this finding by geneticists is surprising, it adds even more mystery to the archaeological evidence that anatomically modern humans were in South America tens of thousands of years before Ice Age people could have crossed a viable land bridge between Alaska and Siberia.

Bering land bridge.

Bering land bridge. ( Public Domain )

The earliest dates for habitation of the American continent to occur below Canada in South America are highly suggestive that the earliest settlers on the American continents came from Africa before the Ice melted at the Bering Strait and moved northward as the ice melted. An African origin for these people is a good fit because Ocean Currents would have carried migrants from Africa to the Americas, since there were no Ice Age sheets of ice to block passage across the southern Atlantic.

Important Archeological Sites

Dr. Bryan, in Natural History has noted many sites where PaleoAmericans have left us evidence of human habitation, including the pebble tools at Monte Verde in Chile (c.32,000 Before Present), rock paintings at Pedra Furada in Brazil (c.22,000 BP), and mastodon hunting in Venezuela and Colombia (c.13,000 BP). These discoveries have led some researchers to believe that the Americas were first settled from South America.

The main evidence from the ancient Americans are prehistoric tools and rock art, like those found by Dr. Nieda Guidon. Today archaeologists have found sites of human occupation from Canada to Chile that range between 20,000 and 100,000 years old. Guidon, in numerous articles claims that Africans were in Brazil between 65,000-100,000 years ago. Guidon also claims that man was at the Brazilian sites 65,000 years ago. She told the New York Times that her dating of human populations in Brazil 100,000 years ago was based on the presence of ancient fire and tools of human craftsmanship at habitation sites.

Martin and R. G. Klein, after discussing the evidence of mastodon hunting in Venezuela 13,000 years ago, observed that: "The thought that the fossil record of South America is much richer in evidence of early archaeological associations than many believed is indeed provocative.... Have the earliest hunters been overlooked in North America? “

Warwick Bray has pointed out that there are numerous sites in North and South America which are over 35,000 years old.  A.L. Bryan noted that these sites include, the Old Crow Basin (c.38,000 BC) in Canada; Orogrande Cave (c.36,000 BC) in the United States; and Pedra Furada (c.45,000 BC) in Brazil.

Stone arch at Pedra Furada, Brazil.

Stone arch at Pedra Furada, Brazil. ( Public Domain )

Using craniometric quantitative analysis and multivariate methods, Dr. Neves determined that Paleo Americans were either Australian, African or Melanesians. The research of Neves indicated that the ancient Americans represent two populations, PaleoAmericans who were phenotypically African, Australian or Melanesian and an Asiatic population that appears to have arrived in the Americas after 6000 BC. 

Melanesian Blond girl from Vanuatu.

Melanesian Blond girl from Vanuatu. ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Archaeologist have reconstructed the faces of ancient Americans from Brazil and Mexico. These faces are based on the skeletal remains dating back to 12,000BC. The PaleoAmericans resemble the first Europeans.

PaleoAmericans and First European

PaleoAmericans and First European

Researchers working on the prehistoric cultures of these ancient people note that they resemble the Black Variety of humanity, instead of contemporary Native Americans. The Black Variety include the Blacks of Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific.

Dr. Chatters, who found Naia's skeleton, told Smithsonian Magazine that: “The small number of early American specimens discovered so far have smaller and shorter faces and longer and narrower skulls than later Native Americans, more closely resembling the modern people of Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific. "This has led to speculation that perhaps the first Americans and Native Americans came from different homelands," Chatters continues, "or migrated from Asia at different stages in their evolution."

A cast of Luzia's skull at the National Museum of Natural History.

A cast of Luzia's skull at the National Museum of Natural History. (CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Although Dr. Chatters believes the PaleoAmericans came from Asia, this seems unlikely, because of the Ice sheet that blocked migration from Asia into the Americas. C. Vance Haynes noted that: "If people have been in South America for over 30,000 years, or even 20,000 years, why are there so few sites? [....]One possible answer is that they were so few in number; another is that South America was somehow initially populated from directions other than north until Clovis appeared".

The fact that the Beringia land bridge was unviable 15,000 years ago make it unlikely that during the Ice Age man would have been able to walk or to sail from Asia to South America at this time. As a result, these people were probably from Africa, as suggested by Dr. Guidon.

Prehistoric Sea Travel

In summary, the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska was unviable before 13,000 BC. Even though man could not enter the Americas until after 14,000 years ago, man was probably in South America as early 100,000 years ago, according to Dr. Guidon’s research in Brazil.

The first people in the Americas are called PaleoAmericans. The research of Chatters and Neves indicate that the PaleoAmericans were not Asiatic. These researchers claim the PaleoAmericans, “more closely resembl[ed] the modern people of Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific.”

The first Americans probably came to the Americas by sea, due to the unviable land route to the Americas before 13,000 BC. As a result, we must agree with Guidon that man probably traveled from Africa to settle prehistoric America.

The archaeological evidence indicates that PaleoAmericans settled South America before North America, and that these Americans did not belong to the Clovis culture. Africa is the most likely origin of the PaleoAmericans, because the Ice sheet along the Pacific shoreline of North America, Siberia and Alaska, would have made the sea route from Asia or Europe unviable 65,000 years ago. The Dufuna boat dating back to 8,000 BC, shows that Africans had boats at this early date. The culture associated with the Dufuna boat dates back to 20,000 years ago.

Dugout canoes hewn from wood at Lake Malawi, East African Rift system.

Dugout canoes hewn from wood at Lake Malawi, East African Rift system. ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

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Top Image: Rock paintings at Pedra Furada, Brazil ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )

By Clyde Winters

References

Bray, Warwick. 1988. "The Paleoindian debate". Nature 332, (10 March), p.107.

Bryan, A. L. 1987. "Points of Order". Natural History , pp.7-11.

Guidon, N. and Delibrias, G. 1986. “Carbon-14 dates point to man in the Americas 32,000 years ago.” Nature 321:769-771.

Guidon, N., and B. Arnaud. 1991. “The chronology of the New World: Two faces of one reality.” World Arch. 23(2):167-178.

Guidon, N., et al.1996.  "Nature and Age of the Deposits in Pedra Furada, Brazil: Reply to Meltzer, Adovasio & Dillehay," Antiquity, 70:408.

Haynes,Jr., C.V. 1988. "Geofacts and Fanny". Natural History ,(February)pp.4-12.

Kumar, Mohi. 2014. DNA From 12,000-Year-Old Skeleton Helps Answer the Question: Who Were the First Americans? [Online] Retrieved  16 August 2016 at : http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dna-12000-year-old-skeleton-helps-answer-question-who-were-first-americans-180951469/?no-ist

Martin, P. S. and R.G.Klein (eds.), Quarternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution , (Tucson:University of Arizona Press,1989) p.111.

Neves, W. A. and Pucciarelli, H. M. 1989. Extra-continental biological relationships of early South American human remains: a multivariate analysis. Cieˆncia e Cultura, 41: 566–75

Neves, W. A. and Pucciarelli, H. M. 1990. The origins of the first Americans: an analysis based onthe cranial morphology of early South American human remains. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 81: 247.

Neves, W. A. and Pucciarelli, H. M. 1991. Morphological affinities of the first Americans: an exploratory analysis based on early South American human remains. Journal of Human Evolution, 21: 261–73.

Neves, W. A. and Meyer, D. 1993. The contribution of the morphology of early South and Northamerican skeletal remains to the understanding of the peopling of the Americas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 16 (Suppl): 150–1.

Neves, W. A., Powell, J. F., Prous, A. and Ozolins, E. G. 1998. Lapa Vermelha IV Hominid 1: morphologial affinities or the earliest known American. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 26(Suppl): 169.

Neves, W. A., Powell, J. F. and Ozolins, E. G. 1999a. Extra-continental morphological affinities of Palli Aike, southern Chile. Intercieˆncia, 24: 258–63.

Neves, W. A., Powell, J. F. and Ozolins, E. G. 1999b. Modern human origins as seen from the peripheries. Journal of Human Evolution, 37: 129–33.

Neves W.A . and Pucciarelli H.M. 1991. "Morphological Affinities of the First Americans: an exploratory analysis based on early South American human remains". Journal of Human Evolution 21:261-273. 

Neves W.A ., Powell J.F. and Ozolins E.G. 1999. "Extra-continental morphological affinities of Lapa Vermelha IV Hominid 1: A multivariate analysis with progressive numbers of variables. Homo 50:263-268

Neves W.A ., Powell J.F. and Ozolins E.G. 1999. "Extra-continental morphological affinities of Palli-Aike, Southern Chile". Interciencia 24:258-263. [Online] Available at:   http://www.interciencia.org/v24_04/neves.pdf 

Neves, W.A., Gonza´ lez-Jose´ , R., Hubbe, M., Kipnis, R., Araujo, A.G.M., Blasi, O., 2004. Early Holocene Human Skeletal Remains form Cerca Grande, Lagoa Santa, Central Brazil, and the origins of the first Americans. World Archaeology 36, 479-501

Neves, W. A., and M. Hubbe. 2005. Cranial morphology of early Americans from Lagoa Santa, Brazil: Implications for the settlement of the New World. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102:18,309–18,314.

NYT (New York Times). (2015) Human’s First Appearance in the Americas  [Online] Available at:   http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/americas/discoveries-challenge-beliefs-on-humans-arrival-in-the-americas.html?hp&_r=4 

Powell,J.F. (2005). First Americans:Races, Evolution  and the Origin of Native Americans. Cambridge University Press.

Winters,C. (2013). African Empires in Ancient America. [Online] Available at:   https://www.amazon.com/African-Empires-Ancient-America-Winters/dp/0615796583

Winters,C. (2015). THE PALEOAMERICANS CAME FROM AFRICA, jirr. Vol. 3 (3) July-September, pp.71-83/Winter. [Online] Available at:   https://www.academia.edu/17137182/THE_PALEOAMERICANS_CAME_FROM_AFRICA

Comments

Clyde Winters's picture

Willy your founder effect theory has considerable merit in explaining the predominance of type O blood type in the Americas.

I don’t know about the pandemic theory because it appears that the Black plague had little effect in Africa and the Muslim World. But I have not done the research in this area so I may be wrong. thanks for the contribution to this theme I am learning a lot.

I wasn’t sure if you had checked him out yet or not, but his work directly correlates with your personal Bio and work Clyde. I think both you and Pratt are absolutely on the right track of Atlantis being located in and surrounding the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Far too many things point to this Theory. The link I sent you this morning provides even more support for this.

Clyde Winters's picture

Thanks for introducing me to David Pratt’s work it is a good summary of the contacts Old World people had with the Americas. I hope readers following this discussion will check out this site.

I hope your contacts with the experts will be fruitful and help further your studies relating to type O blood.

Much appreciate your input here. What you say is true, there appear to be a lot of factors that can determine blood type...Diseases, Diet and Parentage, And A+B can even sometimes produce type O. They now think that Malaria alone may have caused the frequency of type O because type O fends off Malaria better. But in discussing just South America as the exampe, you really need to take a look at this map Clyde shared of South America and 90%-100% type O, it is pretty striking and curious in the least. And the type A and type B maps show almost zero in the type O areas.

 http://anthro.palomar.edu/vary/vary_3.htm

Something interesting about this type O map is the lateral band pocket of type O across Canada, the isolated peninsula of Florida and the one pocket area of 80%-90% in Siberia. The Canadian and Siberian pockets might rule out the Malaria theory. But my curiosity is how did these pockets happen? But back to South America, I am working on making a contact with the experts who are working with the “Lost Tribes" in South America who until very recently had absolutely no contact at all with the outside world.

They have been keeping their location a secret to protect these tribes but maybe they would be willing to share some DNA data in a discrete manner. I think DNA and blood type should go hand in hand in these type of discoveries.

In discussing South America...have you guys read David Pratt’s work?

http://www.davidpratt.info/americas1.htm

OK gents, let's put the ABO argument to bed first. The ABO blood groups are now known to have evolved at least 20 million years ago in the common ancestor of all modern apes and all Homonines. AB and O blood types are found in humans and ALL extant apes with varying frequencies. Though the alleles are not identical between the various species they do all descend from the same original mutations . Therefore, we can very safely assume that the progenitors of all Native American ancestors had an ABO heritage that closely resembled that of their Northeast Asian ancestors. So why then, are Native Americans so different in ABO frequency from all other humans? Diet aside, there are 2 VERY good reasons for this.

Reason #1,

The Founder Effect.

It has been determined that All native Americans are descended from a very small founder population.Some studies have indicated that the initial population may have been as small as 20 women and only 2 or 3 men. If they were of largely O blood type it logically follows that their offspring would also show a preponderance of O blood type.
Hardy Castle Weinberg Theory tells us that when random mating is the only selective pressure on a population gene drift does not occur. However, Nature is not the same as a lab so we can assume there must have been some selective advantage to the O blood type for the Native American founder population. For instance, type O blood people are far more resistant to many parasites than AB folks and this would be a great advantage when entering an environment replete with new food stuffs. Of course, it's quite possible that a carrier of A or B blood type may have simply failed to pass on the gene in that tiny founder population especially if he or she were heterozygous for the trait.

Reason #2

Pandemics.

It's quite possible that we are simply looking at the subject backwards. Modern Western people have a strong propensity for ethnocentrism and this often leads us to view ourselves as the default "normal" population when in point of fact Westerners may be the derived population. There is a strong indication that the Black Plague altered the frequency of ABO blood types from the 11th century through the 15th. When Yersina pestis first appeared it was almost universally fatal and while people continued to contract the disease (and still do!) by the 15th century it was no longer a slate wiper. So what changed? Well, it turns out thst Y pestis, and many other pathogenic bacteria, are far more deadly to the poor saps with type O blood. This means that the Black Plague placed incredible selective pressure in European, Asian and African populations exposed to the disease with a great reduction in the frequency of the O gene. Native American populations of course were not subjected to this pressure until much later and in fact, it devastated them as well when exposed. Luckily, a better understanding of medicine and a dispersed population prevented the pandemic spread seen in densely populated European, Asian and even Africa cities.

So in the end, by 1492 we are left with a Native American population that is predominantly type O due to the founder effect and an Old World population where the frequency of A, B and even AB blood types are over represented.

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