The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38150 Message #535295
Posted By: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
25-Aug-01 - 07:17 PM
Thread Name: BS: Early Visitors to North America
Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
Sourdough, I too was studying anthropology at university at one time. I agree, a number of stories in the press and in popular books and even textbooks were dismissed by knowledgeable scholars long before the mistake or the fraud was exposed. The Piltdown Man was an obvious fraud to serious physical and forensic anthropologists because the parts didn't match; the skull was easily shown to be part human and part ape or pre-human. You are correct in that the only proven pre-Columbian European site is the Viking one in the Maritimes, and perhaps another in NFLD. Of course there is the possibility of failed expeditions or ships carried off course, but these events leave no concrete evidence. The Polynesians got as far as Easter Island. Perhaps they reached the South American mainland because there is a food plant there (I believe one of the yams, but I studied this too long ago) that is Asian in origin, but currents or birds could have carried the seeds. As for the aboriginals from Asia, the inland route is likely if they were hunters, only sea-faring types such as the Aleuts would take a coastal route. The Zuni-Japanese cultural similarity I mentioned could be coincidence as cultural patterns can arise independently. And as you say, DNA studies in this field are just beginning. Basque fishermen were going up the Labrador almost at the time of Columbus, some guess even before, but they had no interest in the land itself.