The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38150   Message #535272
Posted By: Sourdough
25-Aug-01 - 06:23 PM
Thread Name: BS: Early Visitors to North America
Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
DaveO, you are right of course. I was not thinking of Iceland, I was thinking of the excavations in the Canadian aAritimes. I think htey are accepted as Viking but as Dicho says, the question is whether or not this was a permanent settlement.

Thank you, kat. Mystery Hill is the place I was trying to think of. I would guess that the reason my parents never took me there was that there was an air of fraud about it. My father would not have been sumpathetic to that.

Rollo- When I was an antrhopology student, I learned of the armada to which you refer. They are extant books that state that they came to a land in the Far East in which there were great trees growing back from a rocky, foggy coast. Many people feel tha this is a description of the coast somewhere between Northern California and Southern Canada.

At the time I was a student, there were a number of things believed differently than today although the Beringea land bridge, although an article of faith by the general public, was already being seriously questioned by scholars. There had been a great deal of wartime construction along the coast but no one had found evidence of migrating peoples. THe lack of an explanation for this was considered to be an important element for questioning the theory of the Ice Age migration as the major settlement mechanism. Also, there were dates beginning to show up that suggested peopling in the southwest and in south america, had begun at least several millenia earlier.

I had a professor who proposed an alternate theory. Instead of a migration route across the Bering Sea and down along the coast where the migrating people could live off the plentiful proein sources of the ocean, he postulated a route that took the people north of the Brooks Range and down through Anectuvic Pass. There would be caribou to sustain them. An earlier expedition had done some excavations in the pass and it looked like a promising site. If a migration did come through there over a period of centuries, here would be signs of their passage.

One reason I was selected for the expedition was that I played the harmonica (let that be a motivation for anyone considering the instrument). It was a remote site and we would be on our own for several months. There would be a need to be able to entertain ourselves and so people with a performing talent were given a priority in staffing th eexpedition.

Meanwhile, excitement was brewing in Russia. They were about to pull off a coup and when they did, launching Sputnik and astounding the world, my expedition was placed in jeopardy because much of our funding came from a Dept. of Defense that was willing to help anyone who would in turn help them study the sub polar north. With the crisis caused by the appearance of Sputnik, our money was folded into the Vanguard program and disappeared. The exploration of Anectuvik Pass was cancelled.

Although it caused a career change for me, from the standpoint of scholarship it wasn't a terribly significant blow to the understanding of the peopling of the Western Hemisphere. Later expeditions, of which I was not a part, found nothing.

How the native american arrived here remains a mysery although DNA studies may eventually provide some solid clues.

We also studied Heyerdahl at great length to learn that flaws in his Kon Tiki theory. Because Heyerdahl was so well known and highly regarded by the general public, the Anthropolog Department made special effort to put his work into perspective with what was known about the peopling of the Pacific Islands. I believe that Heyerdahl is not taken seriously now by many scholards in this field but Kon Tiki remains a great adventure story of the sea.