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BS: Early Visitors to North America

Sourdough 25 Aug 01 - 01:55 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Aug 01 - 02:17 PM
paddymac 25 Aug 01 - 02:34 PM
Lee Shore 25 Aug 01 - 02:36 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 01 - 02:43 PM
Gareth 25 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM
katlaughing 25 Aug 01 - 04:12 PM
InOBU 25 Aug 01 - 04:16 PM
Rollo 25 Aug 01 - 04:47 PM
Sourdough 25 Aug 01 - 06:23 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 01 - 07:17 PM
Lee Shore 25 Aug 01 - 07:18 PM
Lonesome EJ 25 Aug 01 - 07:56 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 Aug 01 - 08:07 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 01 - 09:31 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 25 Aug 01 - 11:23 PM
katlaughing 25 Aug 01 - 11:53 PM
raredance 25 Aug 01 - 11:59 PM
katlaughing 26 Aug 01 - 12:07 AM
raredance 26 Aug 01 - 12:16 AM
Peg 26 Aug 01 - 12:29 AM
Lepus Rex 26 Aug 01 - 12:32 AM
Lee Shore 26 Aug 01 - 01:53 AM
GUEST 26 Aug 01 - 03:46 AM
gnu 26 Aug 01 - 08:41 AM
katlaughing 26 Aug 01 - 11:33 AM
Sorcha 26 Aug 01 - 12:07 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 26 Aug 01 - 01:06 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 01 - 02:24 PM
Clinton Hammond 26 Aug 01 - 04:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 01 - 06:40 PM
Little Hawk 26 Aug 01 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Pete M at work 26 Aug 01 - 08:32 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Aug 01 - 09:53 PM
Lepus Rex 26 Aug 01 - 10:42 PM
Bill in Alabama 26 Aug 01 - 10:45 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Aug 01 - 10:50 PM
katlaughing 26 Aug 01 - 11:30 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Aug 01 - 12:07 AM
Rollo 27 Aug 01 - 08:27 AM
Jack the Sailor 27 Aug 01 - 08:57 AM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Aug 01 - 11:59 AM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Aug 01 - 12:01 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Aug 01 - 01:15 PM
Willie-O 27 Aug 01 - 01:15 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Aug 01 - 02:06 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Aug 01 - 02:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 01 - 02:29 PM
MMario 27 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM
katlaughing 27 Aug 01 - 02:51 PM

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Subject: Early Visitors to North America
From: Sourdough
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 01:55 PM

Naemanson stareted what has become a very interesting thread about local places that are often overlooked by people from outside the area. Some people started writing about early North American visitor sites and I thought the topic was worth a thread of its own. Although no one is surprised any more that Columbus was not the first European to reach the North American land mass, it is suprising to me how many early contact sites are purported to exist around the US.

Of course, there is the Viking site, I believe it is in Iceland, that has been under excavation for the past decade otr so. It is a tradiing village that was inhabited for a generation or so, as I recall. I think it is uncontroversially ascribed to the Viking exploration period but there are many more sites, although their authenticity is questionable.

For instance, where I grew up in southern New Hampshire, there was some sort of edifice that was, if I recall correctly, identified as Druidic. I don't think I ever visited it so I don't know much about it.

On the shores of the Charles River that flows by Boston, Massachusetts, there is what traditionally has been regarded as a Viking long ships' mooring post although sup[porting evidence, as far as I know, has never been found.

The Charles River also flows by Harvard University. A professor there, Cyrus Gordon, who died this past spring, had spent forty years gathering proof for his theory that the Phoenecians who were famed in the ancient word for their shipbuilding expertise, their sailing ability and the courage of their merchant sailors to go anywhere to trade had not only crossed the Atlantic from their Eastern Mediterranean home, they had penetrated the rivers of North AMerica and had travelled far inland. I remember one site he discussed at length in a book of his I read fifteen or twenty years ago. It was in Tennessee. Although he was highly respected for his work on other topics, most of his colleagues only shook their heads and wondered why he had wandered so far of the beaten track.

Anyone know of any other such early contact sites or more about these particular ones?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:17 PM

I wouldn't count the Iceland site as New World, myself. It's definitely part of the European history.

Greenland, (the west coast) on the other hand, was settled for about a thousand years before Columbus. There are tithe records in the Vatican showing payment of tithes in lumber and firs. During one of the Crusades a noble (royal?) night was captured, and the demand for ransoming him included, among other things, a Greenland falcon. There was regular trade with Norway or Sweden or Denmark--forget which--but during the plague years there were fewer and fewer ships, perhaps thirty years between voyages. Eventually one of the ships returned to Europe with the report that the population had vanished in the past fifty or so years. One of the unsolved mysteries of the Arctic.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: paddymac
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:34 PM

Twenty-five years ago it was taken as gospel truth that the people collectively known as native Anmericans had all arrived via the Bering land bridge, no more than 10,000 years ago. Modern students in the field now ponder at least three separate waves of Immigration to the Americas, roughly between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago. I think they are generally referred to as Trans-Pacific, Trans-Atlantic, and Beringean. And, of course, if one group made any of the crossings successfully, there's no reason to believe that they would have been the only group to do so. Some Native American legends look back to the earliest arrivals as having been some 30,000 years ago. The great variety of languages and phenotypic groupings of Native American peoples also argue for multiple origins. Perhaps the biggest problem in understanding the anthropo-history of the Americas is the eurocentric baggage investigators have traditionally brought with them. These things move slowly, and seemingly in spurts. "hard evidence" is often just not available, so an open mind is of great value.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Lee Shore
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:36 PM

If you like this subject, you might want to have a look at a book called "Children of the First Man," which, while fiction, uses a lot of archeological and anthropological evidence to support the theory that the Mandan tribe of the Mississippi Valley descended partly from a group of 12th century immigrants from Wales.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:43 PM

Iceland, of course, is still settled by Viking descendants. The site Sourdough may be thinking about is in Canada, East coast, where excavations have found definite remains of a Viking settlement. I believe there is debate about whether it was an attempt at permanent settlement or was a summer camp. I am sure one of our NFLD. mudcats or Maritime cats can give better information than I can. I read an interesting book lately which compared some of the Zuni religious beliefs and customs with those of an area in Japan. A guess is that the ancestors of the Zunis had come into contact with Japanese somewhere on the NW coast on their movement to the southeast and the customs had been adopted. There is a site in Minnesota with supposed runic stones, but I believe that one has been discredited.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Gareth
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM

Also on the mixture of history and fiction try
"An Old Captivity" by Nevil Shute.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:12 PM

I had a personal tour of the Gungywamp in CT a few years back by a friend who was a member of the Gungywamp Society. It was an uncanny place with feelings of great antiquity. I was amazed to sit on a boulder and find it was covered with tiny garnets growing out of its surface. I went in the chambers spoken of and pictured near the bottom of this page: Gungywamp in CT.

I remember we were very quiet and respectful as it felt like a very sacred space with a very aware energy. It seems it is becoming more known, but the Gungywamp Society is dedicated to its protection and one still is not suppposed to visit without the permission of the landowner and a member of the society. As far as I know, they have still kept the trail a rough hike with no parking at the bottom available which helps to discourage the hoards.

Here is some interesting info on another of the mysterious sites in New England: Mysterious Megaliths of New England: Mystery Hill.

Also, I remember seeing a docu on PBS one year in the late 80's/early 90's about more and more sites being discovered, along the east coast, which had runic characters carved into the stones, etc. It was very interesting.

My friend who is from the west coast of Wales told us about a city which is under the ocean off of where she grew up. General belief was that it was from Atlantis.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:16 PM

Actually, other than the Viking ruins in the far north east, there are no NO European ruins in North America yet proven to be so... Mystery hill, I believe it is called in New Hampshire is 18th Century. Some hucksters like Berry Fell go around creating hype.. . this does not mean that Brendan likely reached America in around 532 or so, and that Madoc of Wales may have gotten here, but one has to be cautious about the non-scholars who make their living "proving" that the pyramids were built by Alieans and that all stone architecure in the New World was built by Celts. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Rollo
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:47 PM

I read once that a chinese armada was sent out to exploration and reached the u.s. pacific coast, wich was verified by some china founds(hur, hur, good joke, isn't it?), but I cannot remember the date, nor the name of the admiral who lead the expedition. Does anyone know more?


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Sourdough
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 06:23 PM

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.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 07:17 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Lee Shore
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 07:18 PM

Anybody have the details on Kenniwick Man...the Ice-Age caucasian remains found around the Columbia River? I remember it caused a great hoo-ha a couple years ago, because the local Native Americans were seriously upset by the discovery, and I think the Park Service reburied the bones deep in a move that was more politically correct than logical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 07:56 PM

Lee, I'm sceptical that native american anger would be enough to keep a discovery like that under wraps.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 08:07 PM

The ONLY authenticated Viking site in North America is near a village in Northern Newfoundland called L'Anse aux Meadows...

It was excavated by the Ingstads...

More info here...

http://www.gov.nf.ca/tourism/iconmenu/viking/

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 09:31 PM

Kenniwick Man has been reburied. Apparently his age was greatly exaggerated. -Clinton is right, L'Anse aux Meadows is the place. I couldn't remember whether it was in NFLD or on the coast. Just call me ignorant westerner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 11:23 PM

I seem to remember reading in either National Geographic or Reader's Digest a few years back abou a place in the Midwest America which was thought to be of Viking design. Something like the Mound people type excavations.

Also, if I remember correctly, there was some talk boout objects which are on the Western coast of North or South America which were believed to be stones like the ballast used on Chinese vessels.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 11:53 PM

There are many, many links which look good at Native American Archaeology On the Web. Some are out of date, such as the one on the Kennewick Man, but there are many which look very interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: raredance
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 11:59 PM

The Mandans were an agricultural-based tribe with cities on the Missouri River (not Mississippi) in western North Dakota. Lewis and Clark spent the first winter of their expedition with the Mandans. They were largely exterminated within a few years by European diseases especially small pox. What has provoked much interest and speculation about them is that they were farmers surrounded by tribes of hunters and that there were a significant number of fair-haired, blue-eyed individuals in the population.

Then there is the purported "runestone" dug up in Minnesota which has sparked controversy for years and debate as to whether it is real or a clever fake. The stone has old Norse writing on it.

rich r


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 12:07 AM

Great minds think along the same lines, richr.*bg*

Here is a site which has many pro and con links about the Kensington Runestone of which you speak.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: raredance
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 12:16 AM

thanks kat for finding the link so I don't have to look for it. That's a whole lot more about the Kensington Rune Stone than I would even want to remember.

rich r


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Peg
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 12:29 AM

The site in New Hampshire is known as "America's Stonehenge" and there is absolutely NO evidence to suggest it is Druidic in origin. The guy who owns the property has put forth a lot of crap that is dubious in terms of its historical and archeological accuracy. I have not been there (though I was in a class at Harvard that took a field trip there) but having seen pictures the place does look somewhat like a long barrow. Doesn't make it "druidic" though...


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 12:32 AM

Uhm, Kennewick man hasn't been reburied. Still in court, actually. And he's still more than 9,300 years old. And he wasn't "white," goddamn it. His skull looks more like a Polynesian's than anything else.

And, aaargh, not the Kensington Runestone... I hate Minnesota, sometimes. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Lee Shore
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 01:53 AM

Lonesome EJ: You're probably right that they must have had some other motive for reburying the bones. Any idea what would it have been? Dicho: So, if his age was greatly exaggerated, why would they have reburied him? Lupus Rez: Okay, so now I've got three responses and three opinions. What's the real deal? And what is it about all this that makes the King Wolf so cranky?


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 03:46 AM

A good site for archeological matters thats updated daily is http://www.archaeologica.org/ with this site you get the press releases as they happen but not many direct links. This provides lots of food for thought on both mainstream archeology and some slightly off the wall subjects, so folks reading through the list of updates will surley find at least one thing of interest.

There are several recent entries on this Kensington stone, a subject that has been relativley ignored over here in the UK but then this small island has enough historical mysteries to keep us going for decades. I bet Hollywood are already casting their greedy eyes over this one though, after all who really needs facts.

To show how archeology has been used and abused have a look at http://www.channel4.com/plus/great_excavations/, this is a summery of a really good series shown on UK tv detailing a rough history of the subject, if it made it to the US then its well worth the time to watch it.

Finding something of interest is so often a matter of blind luck, one of our teams out here in the Saharah recently found a stone that had carvings of giraffe and antelope on it, the enviroment for such creatures dissappeared out here around 10,000 years ago, makes you wonder how old the carvings are.

Cheers

Sledge


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: gnu
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 08:41 AM

I've been to L'Anse aux Meadows and it's worth the trip.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 11:33 AM

Wow, Sledge, thanks for the link to that site and its links!! Really a lot there. Found this to maybe give the definitive answer on the Kennewick Man.:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 12:07 PM

Phonecians in Oklahoma?? here, and the home page for ViewZone magazine, here. Lots of interesting stuff whether it's true or not.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 01:06 PM

I read about the Kennewick reburial in The Calgary Herald. That paper has more misinformation than information sometimes- I should have noted the source.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 02:24 PM

Not only are druidic Celts not responsible for any megaliths or monuments in the New World, they aren't even responsible for the Bronze Age megaliths and monuments in Ireland. They all predate the arrival of the Celts.

Of course, that hasn't stopped the Brendan the Navigator and Columba enthusiasts from claiming the Irish beat the Vikings to the New World. The only thing the Irish lack in this regard is evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 04:21 PM

thanks Guest... Nice to see someone with the facts straight! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 06:40 PM

The strange thing is that there are people who seem to think that somehow, if there were people of European origin in America a few thousand years ago, that somehow is significant in terms of the rights and wrongs of what has happened since.

Current thinking is we all started off in Africa a bit earlier than that, wherever we are today, and whatever we look like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 08:29 PM

Then there are the stories about emigration/colonization from Lemuria, and at a considerably later date...Atlantis. Interesting possibilities. All of it remains merely speculative at this point, and I doubt that that will change soon, if ever.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: GUEST,Pete M at work
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 08:32 PM

Hi Paddymac,

like most people, this kind of thing is an interest for me not an area of expertise, so I hope I have an open mind ;-) I would like some further information though. You say that "Modern students in the field now ponder at least three separate waves of Immigration to the Americas, roughly between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago." I may be out of date, but I thought that there was no undisputed evidence of any pre Clovis (circa 13000 BC) inhabitants. If you could point me at any good summary of evidence to the contrary I'd be very interested.

"Some Native American legends look back to the earliest arrivals as having been some 30,000 years ago." Yes well, legends are probably less use than folk songs as a record of history!

As you say, there is a dearth of evidence and the greatest danger it seems to me is that of academics making a reputation for themselves by pushing a particular viewpoint based on a narrow specialisation.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 09:53 PM

Yes Clinton Hammond. The only confirmed pre columbian settlements in North America are on the Islands of Newfoundland, at L'Anse aux Meadows.., and in Greenland. There is some evidence that Basque whalers used Newfounland and Labrador as a staging area some years before Columbus arrived in the Caribbian. But they successfully kept the richest fishing grounds in the world a secret until the arrival of John Cabot.

Newfoundland is not considered to be one of Canada's maritme provinces, Neither ar B.C. or Quebec, though there is no denying the maritime heritage of any of those provinces.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 10:42 PM

McGrath, that "there are people who seem to think that somehow, if there were people of European origin in America a few thousand years ago, that somehow is significant in terms of the rights and wrongs of what has happened since" is EXACTLY what bothers me about things like Kennewick man and the Kensington Runestone. As if they're thinking, "My great-grandad wasn't a land-grabbing racist mass murderer! He was just bringing the Dingleforth family back to their rightful homeland!" Grr.

WHY do people have such a hard time admitting that their ancestors were ASSHOLES? They were, folks, and so are we. :)

And Lee Shore, that link that Kat gave last night has what I think you're looking for about Kennewick man. And I wasn't really being cranky. Note the 'smiley.'

BUT GODDAMN IT! It's LEPUS Rex. LEPUS. ;)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 10:45 PM

In volume I of his book The Tennessee (part of The Rivers of America series), Donald Davidson mentions a Cherokee legend of a great battle fought at Muscle Shoals between the very first Cherokees and a group of white men. This would, I believe, been prior to DeSoto's peregrinations through here. Also, I a bit foggy on it, after all these years, but I recall that there was a story that the Welsh Prince Madoc sailed into Mobile Bay in the twelfth or thirteenth century, and moved northward, leaving European-style earthworks in several locations in Alabama. I can't vouch for the Madoc legend, but I have heard the Muscle Shoals story from several sources.

Bill in Alabama


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 10:50 PM

With very few exceptions in the history of the world. EVERYBODY's ancestor pushed someone off their land. Darwin called it survival of the fittest. It is how we all got here. I have no pride or guilt about what my forefathers did. What matters is what I do NOW!


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 11:30 PM

Oh, Bill, now I've had to go look for more links!**BG** Keep it up folks, this is interesting!

Interesting citations about th legend of Prince Madoc

Prince Madoc (this one does have a repeat of an article of the first one)

Muscle Shoals Massacre just for interest, not early enough for what Bill was talking about

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 12:07 AM

I could care less about anyone's prior right to the land when it comes to the archaeological record, and neither would most archaeologists. Any solid evidence of Caucasian habitation in North America before 1000 AD would be a monumental find, and covering it up would be as difficult as hiding a Bill Clinton intern affair. If Caucasian remains were found, it would certainly be no justification for any claim of prior possession by European colonists, but the questions that would arise would make for a fascinating exploration.

And a word about who "discovered" America. I have always felt that the term "discovery" used in this sense referred to the revelation and exploration of a new and unknown territory to a civilization that had considered the world pretty clearly defined and known. The Vikings cannot lay firm claim to discovery, because the nature of what they had stumbled on was never understood by them, nor was it communicated within the Pan-European Civilization of the time. To them, Vinland was the last in a string of forlorn outposts that included Greenland (another colony doomed, as Vinland was, to extinction) and Iceland. Nor can any other group, Phoenician, Chinese, Celtic or otherwise, lay claim to discovery in this sense. It may even be probable that many wanderers came upon the North American continent, either through intent or accident. These people either never returned to spread the word, never knew where they had been, or didn't find anything of enough immediate value to attach importance to the place. Regardless, evidence of their would be fascinating from a historical standpoint.

And before anyone jumps on me with both feet for not acknowledging that indigenous people "discovered" America, let me say that they certainly did discover it in the sense of being the first to penetrate and populate it, but not in the sense I have defined above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Rollo
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 08:27 AM

"The Vikings cannot lay firm claim to discovery, because the nature of what they had stumbled on was never understood by them, nor was it communicated within the Pan-European Civilization of the time."

Sure it was communticated within the pan-european civilisation of the time. Greenland was not so far away from europe as you would imagine. There was boat travel via island, the last known vessel going back to island in the year of 1410, there was a bishop's chair, and even in the year of 1492 Pope Alexander II invested a new bishop of gardar, a monk matthias, who was sent to visit the island personally (allthough he probably didn't). Even after the year of 1410 ther must have been boat travel between europe and greenland, for certain clothing styles found their way from burgundy to greenland, and the danish-norse crown protested in england against illegal travel (only norse ships were allowed to visit the norse territoris of faroer, island and greenland). Were these ships basque fishermen, english merchant-adventurers?

But these facts allow the conclusion that the viking settlement on greenland might have been the place where basque sailors heard about the fishing grounds of newfoundland.

Well, and about the nature of their discovery: the vikings may not have recogniced they had found a new continent. But Columbus didn't, either. He thought he had found the eastern coasts of asia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 08:57 AM

According to the sagas which the Ingstads used to find vinland. Lief Ericson not only discovered North America, but he tried to encourage settlement by exagerating the bounty of the land. The lack of viking settlement may be due to questionable credibility on his part. I believe he or his father fled Iceland as a criminal.

The archeological records show the Basques processing whales on the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador. While I guess it is not impossible that these whalers found Newfoundland via Greenland, Greenlan is a long long sail from northern Spain. But it does make sense that a whaling vessel might end up there as whales were plentiful in the Artic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 11:59 AM

Jack M:

There are fairly recent archaeological findings in Mississippi, stone structures as I recall, that have been dated about 16000 BC.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 12:01 PM

I think I'm wrong on the dating of the Mississppi site: It was 16,000 years ago, not 16,000 BC.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 01:15 PM

"nor was it communicated within the Pan-European Civilization of the time"

Not likely... Chris Coloumbus knew there was land between Europe and India...

Also anybody got a -good- link to this Kennewick man thing??? The Kensington Runestone, I already know is a load of rubbish... but I'm not sure that I've ever even heard of Kennewick Man... I'd like to ahve some more info on the dude!

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 01:15 PM

Well, what motivates exploration and discovery?

The quest for expansion of territory...yes but it seems most of the empire-building colonial expansion involved travelling south and east from Western Europe. The idea seems largely to have been that there were many known, settled lands which could be taken over and exploited by our ancestors, and indeed they spent many centuries pursuing their dreams in this way without necessity of the long and highly uncertain crossing of the western ocean.

The quest for unoccupied land, or available land for farming, by an ever-increasing population that was running out of farmland in realtion to the population (and the law of primogeniture meant that the firstborn son got the family land, the rest had to look elsewhere). Trouble is, until there was enough known about prospects in North America that official sponsored emigrations were organized, those without resources in their native countries wouldn't generally have had the resources to mount a trans-Atlantic voyage.

History has allowed for the occasional independent wanderer--St Brendan being the best known.

However, consider the merchant class which dealt in finding goods abroad and shipping them back to Europe. Of course they would have both the motivation and the means to come to eastern North America, if they thought there was a profit in it. And the stuff they wanted was here: whales, cod, walrus, and lots and lots of timber.

It is entirely credible that they would have set up expeditions to Newfoundland, Labrador and possibly farther inland. BUT NOT TOLD THE WHOLE WORLD WHERE THEY WERE GETTING THEIR GOODS for obvious reasons. They didn't want the competition here. Logically they might have set up at least seasonal, and possibly semi-permanent settlements to organize their resource-harvesting activities.

The Greenland route to North America has some obvious inconveniences, but can be accomplished in relatively short hops rather than by direct trans-atlantic voyaging. Since these would have been commercial voyages, their objective would have been accomplished once they had a shipload of stuff...no need to continue exploring the unknown continent.

And maybe I'm nuts, but it also seems logical that the most successful merchant traders would have been the ones who established a useful working relationship with the native peoples who were here already and knew where the fish were. It's a matter of historical record that this is why the Vikings failed in their Newfoundland efforts--peaceful coexistence was not in their nature, but they were severely outnumbered by the natives, and eventually just gave up.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 02:06 PM

However, consider the merchant class which dealt in finding goods abroad and shipping them back to Europe. Of course they would have both the motivation and the means to come to eastern North America, if they thought there was a profit in it. And the stuff they wanted was here: whales, cod, walrus, and lots and lots of timber.

It is entirely credible that they would have set up expeditions to Newfoundland, Labrador and possibly farther inland. BUT NOT TOLD THE WHOLE WORLD WHERE THEY WERE GETTING THEIR GOODS for obvious reasons. They didn't want the competition here. Logically they might have set up at least seasonal, and possibly semi-permanent settlements to organize their resource-harvesting activities

I like this concept, but am still doubtful that such information could have been kept secret. Human nature would seem to dictate that members of a crew who conquered the Atlantic, encountered unknown tribes of peoples, and saw all sorts of plants, animals, and geography that were unknown in their world, would have talked. I am unaware of any pre-Columbian writings in any European culture which speak of this new land, other than the Viking Sagas. Since the Viking settlement occurred ca 1000 AD, why, if the knowledge was widespread, was there not a subsequent rush to colonization? True, European ocean craft of the era was very primitive compared to 500 years later, and this could go a long way toward explaining it. But if there was specific record of this Vinland discovery, I would be highly interested in seeing it, and would be even more interested to know if such writings led Columbus to believe that in fact there was a new land between Europe and India.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 02:15 PM

Why no rush to settle Vinland?

1) It was WAAAAAAAAYYYYY far away, and there was still good land to be had in Iceland, Ireland and such...

2) They were a little freaked out at how easily the Scralings beat the tar out of them...

3) The weather got really bad again... it was only a warming trend that allowed them to get here in the first place... As the Viking Age comes to a close there's a distinct drop in average temps across the Northern Hemisphere...

And I'm pretty sure that "History" (The historical sciences if you will) does not support the St Brendan thing... it still resides firmly in the "Ya Whatever" file and until solid evidence comes along, it's probably gonna stay there...


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 02:29 PM

Thread drift alert (but I didn't start it): Caucasians? I doubt if any Caucasians made to America until late in the 19th century.

Yeah, I know this weird term is still used in America to mean people whose ancestors mostly came from Europe. But it reeks of 19th century pseudo-science, when they were busy inventing racial classifications as a way of underpinning racist policies.

I doubt if many black Americans would appreciate having the generic term "Ethiopians" pinned on them - and if anyone ever refers to me as a Caucasian that's how I feel. (And I imagine people hailing from Ethiopia and the Caucasus would resent this barbarism even more.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: MMario
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM

it's pretty much the standard term in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Early Visitors to North America
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 02:51 PM

Clinton, I posted a link to a site about the Kennewick Man at 11:33 a 26, Aug. after visiting the terrific site Sledge posted as GUEST at 344a, same day.


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