Is the Clovis First theory finished?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Drifterwood, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Drifterwood

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    BBC News - Old American theory is 'speared'

    I have always found this debate fascinating. During my adult life the theory has had increasing scientific evidence placed against it. Yet such is the will of its adherents, that the counter evidence has virtually been suppressed.

    I wonder what people from the US think.

    And anyone else who is interested for that matter.
     
    #1 Drifterwood, Oct 21, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  2. Krusader

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    I'm not surprised by this. Just why the evidence is being suppressed at all.
     
  3. Bbucko

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    Haven't the Valdiva pottery issues settled this once and for all?

    Amerindians enjoyed a wide array of contacts and trade (to say nothing of settlement/colonization) for centuries. The Clovis myth is largely a PC construct largely of their own creation. Mankind has existed on the American continents for centuries longer than the so-called Clovis Horizon. I thought that was sort of an unspoken truth amongst the intelligentsia for decades now.

    What's the name of that cave in Brazil showing human occupation tens of decades out of date again?
     
  4. midlifebear

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    I own a bunch of sections of dirt in the north east Sagebrush Steppe that collectively I call "The Big Chunk of Dirt." There are five sections at 642 acres per section. Plus, they surround other sections "owned" by the 'Mericuhn peepuhl under the Bureau of Land Management Act. However, I get to fence in everything and keep it free of ATVs, neighbors who like to come out and kill things out of hunting season on private property, and a whole bunch of other things. But I digress.

    One of the many amusing activities I enjoy when I'm out at the Big Chunk of Dirt (BCT) is to mosey along the lower mountain ridges with my eyes not concentrating on anything except things that don't match the caliche or dolomite surface of the Earth. The minute you find something that does't match you most likely have found an arrow head, razor sharp pieces of long flint that were part of longer rock-chipped knives and once in a while I'll find the remains of a feather robe hidden deep in a natural cave. Most of the time I leave the stuff alone.

    However, I have collected my share of what are commonly known as Clovis tips. Some are broken, but a couple are large Mammoth-worthy complete classic spear heads made out of amber-colored basalt. I also have several graves on on a particular ridge that the local Shoshone folks insist aren't their ancestors but people who preceded them by many years. Spooky? No fucking shit!

    There are also panels of petroglyphs which have been dated to approximately 13,000+ years ago. They are real subtle and you need to know what you are looking for to identify them. But once you see them you can not avoid seeing that they are, indeed, WAY old petroglyphs. Similar petroglyphs are found on the islands of the Great Salt Lake, especially Stansbury Island. As yet, no archaeologists have come close to identifying who left the petroglyphs. But they were most likely chipped into the igneous rock about 14,000 years ago after the Bonneville Flood (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Bonneville for a fun lesson in why you need flood insurance). The petroglyphs are definitely pre-pueblan, but not in the sense of pre-pueblan petroglyphs that cover southern Ewetaw, northern Arizona, and nearby parts of Colorado and New Mexico. The "four corners" type of petroglyphs are now called pre-pueblan or Ancient Pueblo instead of Anasazi, which is just an anglicized Navajo (Diné) word for "other people before us."

    Like Bbucko has pointed out the "Clovis Horizon" is just that. There's plenty of evidence that people (as in ancient human kulture) has occupied many parts of all of North America, died out or moved on only to be occupied by yet another clot of humans. There are even older (as in 20,000+ years old) occupations in northern Peru currently being picked over for spare UFO parts. OK, I made the UFO thing up. But the cities and pueblos being excavated in northern Peru are especially intriguing. Been there. Looked at them. Touched stuff. Took nothing but foot prints. Left nothing but photos.

    But as for North America (including all of Canada) there are the remains of enormous civilizations (mostly made of mud) that our European settlers didn't recognize. There's a particularly large rock/earth drawing made by the Chillicothe, in Ohio. It's sort of like the Nazca Lines in the southern Peruvian mountain plains. In 1846, it measured 5 feet high, 30 feet wide, and 1,300' long. It has eroded a bit since then but is still impressive when viewed from above, an effigy of a serpent holding an egg (maybe the Sun) in its mouth. This is the center of the Hopewell-Adena Moundbuilder culture. Part of the design has been disturbed by a wrecking yard for cars and trucks, but the earth art is mostly still there. Similar earth art exists at the north end of Imperial Valley in south/central California. Just turn north from El Centro and take the long drive to Palm Springs and you'll run into what is left. A lot of these ancient artifacts have been destroyed from using them as gravel pits. But from the air it's easy to see how impressive and beautiful they once were. Who built them? When? No one is willing to risk a guess.

    However, as far as hunter gatherer societies being older than the Clovis folks isn't such a scientific stretch . . . unless you're an old and cranky archaeologist from the 20s.

    The real FIND will be an authentically carbon dated site that shows not just arrow heads, petroglyphs, and what look like Clovis points, but stashes of pottery and evidence of modest attempts at agriculture (even just a few stalks of ancient corn and some freeze-dried beans -- and maybe a basket or two) all older than 13,000 to 15,000 years in the northern Nevada/California to Washington parts of North America. That would put your name in the history books, if you ever find such a site.

    When you realize that during the last ice age up until its sunny ending that most of what is known as "The West" in the USA was covered by a lake that rivaled all of the Great Lakes combined, then it's easy to understand why agriculture shows up in the eastern and south western USA among the mound-builders and not with the ancient interlopers around Lake Bonneville. An interesting glitch are the Navajos who are not native to the southwestern geographical US. This was one of the first things I learned parsing out morphemes and phonemes as a 1st year student in Linguistics. The language spoken by the Diné (Navajo) is a dialect of Athabasca easily understood by the various athabascan related tribes of Washington and North West Canada. It appears the Diné sort of got stuck while racing around being hunter gatherers about 400 years ago when the Spanish invaded Central and South America and enslaved everyone they met. They were not a settled agricultural tribe. Instead, they were more of the dine and dash native 'Mericuhns who got stuck at the wrong place at the wrong time. Gotta love the Spanish.

    But back the that Clovis Horizon. Mistakes are made. The most notorious being the early trend to round up all pre-pueblan sites, whether they were pre-pueblan or not, and name them Anasazi. If you're really interested in this sort of stuff might I recommend reading up and researching the Fremont culture that thrived off and on for several thousand years in my Aunt Vera's back yard along Interstate 70 in south/central Ewetaw. They were an artsy bunch. Sadly the Ewetaw Department of Transportation (UDOT) thought it more important to plow a four/six lane Interstate right through the densest part of their settlements. If anyone was good at killing mammoths, woolly or otherwise, the ancestors of the Fremonts new how to make and throw an atlatl. They made nice feather clothes and blankets, too.
     
    #4 midlifebear, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  5. Drifterwood

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    Thanks MLB. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. I wonder if any of the DNA research has revealed remnants of the previous settlers?

    Can you recommend any good introduction reading to pre Pueblan America?
     
  6. midlifebear

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    Rather than recommend a bunch of current research papers, I recommend starting with two great (a bit breezy, but great) books by Dr. Jack Weatherford who is a professor of anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota. The first is Indian Givers: How Native Americans Changed the World. It's a riveting and enlightening look at how Europe raped the Americas bouncing Europe out of the Dark Ages. It's amazing the number of "new" foods that enhanced the health of the old world increasing general health and vigor. The second is Native Roots:How the Indians Enriched America. Anyway, check out his footnotes for further direction. Weatherford also wrote The Secret life of Money. He's well regarded as a bright and forthright academic.

    You'll find most of Dr. Weatherford's books (there are many) informative as well as entertaining.

    Then there is an independent overview of the Day's Knob site in Ohio which is generally agreed as being one of the oldest sites in the United States. The Ohiio Archaeological Society also has its own web site about Day's Knob, although it's short on research, but big on photographs. See: "Figure Stones" ("Pierres Figures") - America's (almost) Invisible Prehistory. Lots of archaeologists dispute the findings of the "new breed" archaeologists coming out of the University of Texas, University of Pennsylvania and Stanford. But with all the new tools available it's hard to dispute hard science. Check out Pre-Clovis Cultures in North America, an independent investigation published on the web by Matrix of Mnemosyne. Some of the stuff you find at that web site is best regarded as "out there." However, there is a substantial bunch of research found among the "supernatural" stuff that is valid and will lead you to current, university published articles on people who most likely lived more than 100 thousand years ago in the semi-temperate climates of Ohio, Mississippi, and -- of course -- Texas. The University of Texas has a couple of older archaeologists who, mainly because they are in Texas, are desperately trying to make a case for Neanderthal-like people who occupied the relaxing Texas Hill Country "a long time ago." One has to watch out for these guys, just as one has to regard anything claimed by the anthropology department at Brigham Young University when they claim they've found concrete evidence that proves The Book of Mormon is true. It ain't. And those few UT faculty are ready for retirement as well.

    Sadly, the majority of mounds in the Americas were not recognized as artificial geographical features and have been plowed or built over. This is especially regretful since there is flaming scientific proof that the largest mud mounds or "pyramids" were built about 1,000 years before those in Egypt.

    Happy hunting.
     
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