When did humans arrive in the Americas?

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Mendalla

Agnostic pan(en)theist gorilla
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It has been a big question in archaeology for some time now. When did the first humans arrive. And the numbers are increasingly suggesting we underestimated for a long time.

Originally, it was held that the Clovis people (named for their style of tools) were the first and also the ancestors of the indigenous people of today. They existed about 11-13,000 years ago, when the glaciers covering North America had receded enough to clear a corridor through central North America (the modern Canadian prairies and US Great Plains).

However, a number of finds have now shown good evidence of humans being here before that (e.g. a site in Chile that dates back 14,600 years, suggesting humans were already that far South a thousand years before the oldest Clovis remains). DNA evidence from indigenous North Americans suggests 16,500 years but there are issues with that since that data also shows them having a very limited genetic diversity, which some researchers suggest could be due to the fact that 80% of them died out since colonization. If they were more diverse in the past, that could push that date back. Since most of the continent was locked up under ice prior to that period, the current hypothesis has these people migrating along the Pacific coast until they got South of the glaciers.


So then this bombshell dropped. While some evidence of very early North American human presence is sketchy and controversial (e.g. a find in California that is alleged to be 130,000 years old), the discovery of 22,500 year old footprints in New Mexico seems to be fairly well supported, They are clearly human and the dating seems to be holding up to scrutiny. But that is well before Clovis or even the dating suggested by DNA. So who were these people? Is the DNA evidence skewed by the impact of colonization as some suggest so that these are ancestors of the indigenous people? Or were there multiple waves of human migration to the New World, with the ancestors of the indigenous people being a more recent wave? And what if that 130,000 year-old find actually bears out? That is old enough that it might not even be homo sapiens.


The original human settlement of North America (vs. the European colonization) is a fascinating branch of archaeology and anthropology that has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years. It has been sadly marred by racist and colonialist influences but growing involvement by the indigenous people, such as allowed things like genetic analysis of themselves and their ancestors, is starting to overcome that. One clear conclusion is that the pre-European history of North America is much longer and more complex that we European descendants used to give credit for.
 

Mendalla

Agnostic pan(en)theist gorilla
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One area where Euro-centric, racist ideas has coloured the archaeology of North America is the study of the "mound builders" of the Mississippi valley and neighbouring areas. Cahokia, the largest site, had a population that is estimated to be between 25 and 50 thousand and was occupied from 1050 CE to around 1400 CE. And, yet, early studies either tried to show that someone other than the indigenous people of the region built it (ranging from Mexican Toltecs to Vikings) or saw it as a sign that the indigenous people were a fading civilization even before the arrival of the Europeans, essentially justifying colonization. The article from Smithsonian Magazine discusses the current state of knowledge about Cahokia, then looks at that sad history.

 

Mendalla

Agnostic pan(en)theist gorilla
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An article from Smithsonian on that controversial 130,000 year-old find in California. It seems really sketchy to me but even archaeologists not involved seem to think there's a chance it is correct. Of course, if it was Neanderthals or Denisovans, then they likely went extinct before the wave of modern human migration that gave rise to the indigenous people.

 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
When considering inhumanity of man towards his kind ... is it surprising that humans can be self eliminating and thus extinctive?

This also supports the Catch 22 scheme or dual urges: to get into it or out of it when deemed necessary!

There are those that cannot imagine this as it is too abstract ... a word related to psyche and other insubstantialities!

Thus immaterial as dark energy ... and still remaining unseen ... as many folk do not wish to observe consequences of radical activities ... psyche diversions? Wind rift? Eire it is ...

If expansive one might relate to James Reeves and his song; He'll Have to Go! Thus done ... or so it appears ...
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
Our ancestors were very efficient after about 100,000 years ago at eliminating our cousins. I have long believed that there were multiple waves of humans reaching the Americas from East and West. I believe they were established in the Americas before 24,000 years ago.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Our ancestors were very efficient after about 100,000 years ago at eliminating our cousins. I have long believed that there were multiple waves of humans reaching the Americas from East and West. I believe they were established in the Americas before 24,000 years ago.

This can really mess up the fundamentals that believe it all started recently ... so they won't be related to ancient immaterial stuff ... and so it goes all crapped up like "kell" which once ment a filter or caul ... like a bag of incredible non sense ... and thus decreasing sentience ...

Imagine disturbing that hard pool! Although the entire commentary may be medical and not for common ears ... difficult for some to hear about how such crap goes on and on by reproduction ... hen there is the thought ... it got up and left!
 

Mendalla

Agnostic pan(en)theist gorilla
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Our ancestors were very efficient after about 100,000 years ago at eliminating our cousins.
Do be aware that the theory that homo sapiens actively eliminated the Neanderthals is long dead, largely due to lack of evidence. The Neanderthals were already in decline when they met us. And we interbred with them and the Denisovans. That much is for certain. Since species mixing and merging is part of how evolution works, this is hardly representative of anything sinister on our part.

I have long believed that there were multiple waves of humans reaching the Americas from East and West. I believe they were established in the Americas before 24,000 years ago.
We are talking science here, not religion. Show me some solid evidence and then I will consider it. Right now, the oldest evidence we have that is even close to being generally accepted is these footprints.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
I believe nothing is certain ... given what we know for sure! Thus Uncertainty Theory ... which is disposed by a great mass of folk ...
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
I admit my beliefs are mostly speculative. Part of that is projecting backwards on what we currently know about European successions as waves of people flowed into different parts of Europe from the East and South. An interesting pyzzle for me is Malta. Malta is not visible as far as I know from Sicily or any part of Africa, but it was first settled before 7000 years ago. The culture there abruptly changed about 5000 years ago. The older culture built magalithic religious structures above ground and matching structures underground including the Hypogeum on the edge of Valletta. How did the first occupants get there? Could they have arrived towards the end of the ice age about 12,000 years ago when sea levels were much lower? Why did the culture abruplty change 5000 years ago? Just as waves of people moved into Europe, I suspect waves of people at the very least crossed to Alaska with each wave pushing the former waves farther south and west, thought not completely. Indigenous Americans belong to several very different language groups. For example, Nakoda Souix and Cree languages have different foundations and structures. Cree is routed in animate and inanimate terms; Nakoda has a very strong gender system.

The Majorville Medicine Wheel dates back to before Stone Henge and the people who created it predated the Blackfoot Confederacy.

A big challenge for archeologists is the broad rearrangement of most of the land surface of North America by the ice sheets and the difficulty of finding and examining middens left by the people who traveled along the west coast when the sea level was much lower. This could have been as much as 29,000 years ago. I do not have evidence, but I can speculate.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
I admit my beliefs are mostly speculative. Part of that is projecting backwards on what we currently know about European successions as waves of people flowed into different parts of Europe from the East and South. An interesting pyzzle for me is Malta. Malta is not visible as far as I know from Sicily or any part of Africa, but it was first settled before 7000 years ago. The culture there abruptly changed about 5000 years ago. The older culture built magalithic religious structures above ground and matching structures underground including the Hypogeum on the edge of Valletta. How did the first occupants get there? Could they have arrived towards the end of the ice age about 12,000 years ago when sea levels were much lower? Why did the culture abruplty change 5000 years ago? Just as waves of people moved into Europe, I suspect waves of people at the very least crossed to Alaska with each wave pushing the former waves farther south and west, thought not completely. Indigenous Americans belong to several very different language groups. For example, Nakoda Souix and Cree languages have different foundations and structures. Cree is routed in animate and inanimate terms; Nakoda has a very strong gender system.

The Majorville Medicine Wheel dates back to before Stone Henge and the people who created it predated the Blackfoot Confederacy.

A big challenge for archeologists is the broad rearrangement of most of the land surface of North America by the ice sheets and the difficulty of finding and examining middens left by the people who traveled along the west coast when the sea level was much lower. This could have been as much as 29,000 years ago. I do not have evidence, but I can speculate.

In short it is all as alien as the development of the human mind that gave us underground messages ... they do pop up as funny ballads from time to time!

Even print presses had to be underground at one time because the powers disregarded literacy as something evil ...
 
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