Solutrean-Clovis connection?

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by juantoo3, May 19, 2005.

  1. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, all!

    I watched a program last night that intrigued me. Has anybody else heard of the controversy over the possible connection between the Solutreans (who lived in Europe at the time of the ice age) and the Clovis people (who are said to be the first humans in the Americas). Interesting stuff, seems it challenges a lot of firmly held beliefs... ;)
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I printed out some material to go through, but I haven't had the opportunity yet.

    It seems the controversy stems from the dating and connections between the two cultures. Apparently, the Clovis point has served as the landmark noting the introduction of humans to the Americas for quite some time. These people are presumed to have crossed the Bering Sea during the Ice Age across a land bridge due to the lowered sea level.

    One problem seems to stem from the "point" that the culture whose weapon making seems to most closely resemble the Clovis people is that of the Solutreans, the same peoples who are thought to be behind the magnificent cave paintings at Lascaux France and elsewhere in Europe. This leaves two possibilities: the Solutreans migrated around the globe to arrive at the Bering Sea and on into North America, or they crossed the Atlantic at the foot of the glacier to arrive in North America (even though it is presumed they were not capable of sea-faring).

    Other stone weapons, some Clovis-like, some not, have also been found pre-dating the Clovis find. This suggests human travel to the Americas before the glacial retreat of the Ice Age in defference to the accepted chronology. Finds like the Kennewick man in Alaska (?) also raise questions.

    In all, I am thinking this supports the possibility that humans were far more mobile in pre-historic times than we commonly give credit for. Which also raises the possibility of more than one "initial" migration into the Americas. It seems DNA samples confirm at least 4 major influxes, at least one of which was of European extraction, during pre-historic times. This would seem to support the cultural distinctions between the Native American tribes.
     
  3. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    This isn't my "area" of anthropology per se, but as far as I know, we don't currently think, nor have for a while, that there was only one migration event. It seems there were lots of independent ones until the end of the Ice Age and the land bridge closed. Whether or not native Europeans came across is a matter of controversy. I hadn't heard the possibility of an Atlantic crossing- did they say there was any archaeological evidence for that? I'd never heard of any, but maybe they found something recently. Since I focus on modern human ecology, I'm out of the archaeological loop as it were for the most part.

    The problem is that it is highly likely that the gene pools of Europe and Asia were not isolated. So findings of European genetic markers and guys like Kennewick man (who looks like the captain from Star Trek, by the way :) ) may not mean something as dramatic as long European treks across into Russia. It could just mean interbreeding between populations. I'd have to ask more knowledgable people about the Clovis point thing. I think it is important to remember, however, that independent groups can and do come up with the same basic technology, especially when it's so basic. There's been a lot of studies on things like hand axes that used to be thought of as representing various cultures based on their shape, only to find out that those differences were actually due to tool construction and use. I suspect that Clovis-like points could have been independently invented more than once.
     
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Kennewick man is certainly it's own controversy - and like too many archaeological finds recently, seems somehow usurped for political purposes.
     
  5. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, path of one!

    Thank you for your reply!
    I am not close enough to the studies to say with certainty, but one of the concerns expressed both on the program by some researchers as well as in some of the webpages I printed is that the long standing academic presumption is that there were no humans pre-Clovis in America, at least in the North. Anything predating Clovis is held suspect.

    The nature of water craft, especially of the type that would have been built back then, doesn't leave much to be found. I believe the program was NOVA, in any event it was on PBS. In that program, some researchers turned to Native Inuit people and their water craft of seal skins and I presume some type of bone (whale bone perhaps). I haven't read the stuff I printed yet, but at least one mentioned drawings on a cave wall (in France I think it was) that depicted a crude boat.

    Cool job!

    I don't understand the genetic marker stuff well enough to elaborate, but it seems those involved were quite suprized to learn the dates to which their research pointed were so far in the past. Interesting stuff, and thankfully the program did not hint at "knowing" the answer. Instead, they ended by listing all of the possibilities the recent findings presented. I think I mentioned they found 4 distinct lineages, 3 of which were Asian, and the 4th European. It is possible, as you say, the European lineage made its way by interbreeding across the Eurasian continents. Another possibility, very likely in my mind, is that one lineage traversed the Atlantic in pre-historic times by skirting the glacier in simple boats, likely living on the products of the sea (fish and sea mammals).

    I suppose this is a possibility, and I would love to hear what your friends may have to say in this.

    I don't know enough about knapping to say with certainty. One of the researchers made a point of demonstrating the technique, and pointed out the distinction between Clovis style and other more recent styles. Something about double siding or something like that. I understood it to mean that the Clovis points were worked on both sides and "fluted" (I think that was the term used) at the base to receive the wooden shaft. These were supposed to be things that distinguished Clovis and Solutrean work from others.

    Yes, there is a variety to the work, no two pieces are identical due to the nature of the material (stone). But the technique is what the researchers were pointing out, and according to them there is a distinction that to knowledgeable people can be made. The whole thing just leaves us laypeople guessing. But that's OK, its a mystery I enjoy following.

    Throw in the recent find in Indonesia of a race of miniature people, and I think there are a lot of exciting things going on right now in the field of pre-historic anthropology.

    BTW, Kennewick man looks like the captain from star trek? Which one, Kirk or Piccard? ;)
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Brian!

    Indeed! I smell politics in this matter as well, which is sad. Too bad researchers also have to play politics just to get at something like fact...or at least educated interpretation.
     
  7. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I suppose anything is possible, but in this case what is possible versus what is provable is the problem. Some researchers have long tried to argue for a Pacific sea crossing as well- Melanasian peoples had simple boats and were fabulous navigators. Some have tried to make the argument that a few folks reached South America as a separate migration event. So far, though it falls into the realm of the "cool idea, no evidence and highly unlikely" file. Presumably, even without the boats, there would be some archeaological evidence on the Atlantic coast that it was inhabited early on- the kind of stuff we find all along the Pacific coast in caves and whatnot. It'd certainly be nifty to find out my ancestors were here way back when too, but I'm skeptical until somebody finds some clear evidence. Interestingly, there are lots of similarities in belief structure between the ancient European shamanic religions (from which arose the famous but mysterious druids) and Native American shamanic religions, but these traits are common to lots of other shamanic traditions as well and are more a function of common social structure and economy than direct linkages.

    Yes- Clovis points are worked on both sides and have a smooth indentation running down the center of each side for the shaft. They look kind of like big arrowheads, but are longer as compared to their width and don't have notched bases. If I run into him, I should ask our resident lithics expert if he caught the program and what he thinks. Maybe I'll run into him next week- he can be hard to get a hold of, but he's excellent and has been doing this stuff for years, though he mostly works on early man sites in Africa.

    I got so excited about that! It's such a fun finding!

    Piccard. We have a model of his face that a forensic anthropologist put together in our department. He looks strikingly like Piccard. Of course, part of that controversy is how the forensic anthropologist "artists" cover the bones with muscle and skin features. It's hard to tell, for example, what someone's nose should look like since it doesn't preserve. The artistry of trying to produce what ancient folks looked like may be done by scientists, but it involves a lot of guessing and creativity. Neanderthals, for example, have been shown by some artists to be these hairy, hulking, barely human looking folks while others have shown that if you dressed them up in a suit and tie and put them on the subway, no one would notice. Hence, more debate... ;)
     
  8. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, path of one!

    Thank you for your post, and my apologies for the delay in responding.

    Ah yes, the efforts of Thor Heyerdahl. I learned of his exploits with Ra I and II and the Kon Tiki when I was a child, and refreshed my memory about a year ago for a class project. And I agree, because he showed it could be done, does not mean that it in fact was. I also learned of the efforts of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the recreation of Lief Erikson's expedition. What I take away from these efforts is that pre-historic and ancient historic peoples had the capablity of sea-faring. Just how far they dared fare into the open ocean is a question of debate among researchers, but it remains a distinct possibility that travel across the ocean to another continent is not out of the reach of primitive peoples.

    My studies at that time also brought out a possible connection between Africa and Central America, and there is a line of thought that suggests Chinese exploration of the East coast of North America, as well an ancient Hebrew connection to North America with the Los Lunas (New Mexico) decalogue stone and a keystone discovered in one of the serpent mounds of Ohio with the decalogue inscribed on it.

    I recently read reference to the problem of resolving the issue of aboriginal populating of Australia. Without prehistoric sea-faring by humans, the situation gets sticky to say the least. This is a matter I will have to look into when I complete what I have now.

    I printed out close to 200 pages of material covering Clovis-Solutrea, Kennewick man, Homo-Floresiensis, and the Neandertal hybrid child, and have only begun reading through the material. With my time limitations, I suspect it will take me a while to go through it all. The first material I have started on deals with Clovis, and from what I am reading, at least some researchers have recognized Clovis points across America from Virginia to New Mexico.

    www.centerfirstamericans.com/mt.html?a=46
    and
    www.wfu.edu/~cyclone/THE SOLUTREAN CONNECTION QUESTION.htm
    (listing 4 pages of references in small print)

    I haven't completed reading the second reference, but some of the things brought forward so far are interesting to say the least.

    I am not well versed in shamanic traditions, although I am inclined for the moment to agree with you because of Frazer's seminal work "The Golden Bough." I think though, that Frazer was (intentionally or not) drawing similarities and ties between the multi-god pagan pantheon, much as Alexander Hyslop did almost 30 years earlier, even though the two authors had different agendas.

    I would love to hear what you may have to say to further your comment regarding shamanism.

    That would be really cool if he would be so kind.

    I noticed in the second reference the connection with atlatls, a kind of throwing stick for spears that increases the throwing ability of the hunter, to the Clovis and Solutrean points. I don't know yet if this was a supposition on the part of the researcher(s), I had thought atlatls to be a unique invention to Central America. There is also a linguistic connection to the name, "atlatl," with "Atlantic" that I remember reading somewhere, associating both with "Atlantis." Whether or not it holds up academically, it is interesting just the same.

    Another thought that occured to me hinges on Stonehenge. Presumably, the time in question concerning Solutrea and Clovis and their possible connection, precludes their direct involvement in megaltihic construction. It is thought, at least in the stuff I have covered so far, that England and Europe (to a point 40 miles South of Paris) were enveloped in the glacier of the last Ice Age. Yet as soon as the ice had retreated, megalithic construction began, or so it seems if some of the currently accepted dates for Stonehenge are correct. The Great Pyramid at Giza followed (historically speaking) shortly after. So there would seem to be a quantum leap in human ability immediately following the retreat of the glacier that coincides with the advent of agriculture. Intriguing... this is one of those points in time where so much happens in such a short span, it is difficult to reconcile with logic and evidence alone.

    I found a few pictures, and you are quite right! I wonder if the actor is aware of the semblence, and his thoughts about it. Kind of a dubious honor, I would think... :D

    Add in the hybrid child, and it does make one wonder...perhaps we modern humans, or at least some of us, are related to both Neandertal and Cro-Magnon? Especially since the hybrid child dates from several thousand years after the supposed extinction of Neandertal?

    The more I look into these things, the more questions I have. It is all very fascinating to me.

    Thanks for the conversation!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2005
  9. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I completed reading the second reference, and there is a lot of interesting info in it. Another site I visited that seems to cover the major points of contention is:
    www.stpt.usf.edu/arthurj/Modern Humans-Asia-America.html

    This looks to me like a syllabus for a class in prehistoric movements of humans. There seems to be much more material that I haven't even begun to look at yet.

    I also read the material I printed from the PBS website, and it is indeed the program NOVA- America's Stone Age Explorers. A bit simplistic and geared for school age students, but it gives a brief of the points argued among researchers. One point brought forward is that Clovis points have been found in 48 states. I am taking for granted that Alaska is included in this count, so I have no idea which state is omitted, but the suggestion that Clovis points are found all across North America and into Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica, suggests to me that the Clovis peoples were indeed far reaching and well travelled. It also brings forth info that suggests weapon points other than Clovis that well predate the end of the Ice Age.

    Just a little added info I have stumbled upon so far... :D
     
  10. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro Staff Member

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    Concerning the "Piccard look-alike":

    The person who did the "artistic reconstruction" of the skull admitted that he was influenced by Star Trek: the Next Generation while he was working on the project (I heard about this because I was taking a classs in forensic anthropology at the time, and this case was discussed to death for several classes [the topic of whether or not a scientist could be influenced by outside/irrelevant data and/or expectations.]) The person redid the project (if I recall correctly) but the manure had already hit the fan (a white supremacist pseudo-religious group tried suing the local Native American tribe to have the skeleton turned over to the group [they lost]) and that was basically the last I heard about it.

    Can anybody update me on the whole ball of wax, especially what the "final" reconstruction looked like? Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience. :)

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  11. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Phyllis!

    Thank you for your reply!

    I only saw the images I googled. Most presented a bald individual that looked a great deal like Piccard from Star Trek, but I did see one image that attempted to apply hair. I didn't save the images, so I can't direct you to it exactly, but I would think it relatively easy to find.

    Perhaps Path of One can provide better directions.

    Regarding the "white supremacist" group, I vaguely recall hearing of the court battle a couple of years ago, but I understood it to be instigated by a group claiming Kennewick Man was Norse, a Scandanavian Viking. Perhaps you are privy to info I missed, but that is my understanding.

    I went back and found these, one version a little less hairy than the other... :D

    http://www.iup.edu/publications/iupmag/BACKISSUES/Sum04/kasnot.shtm

    Towards the bottom of the page:
    "One of Kasnot’s favorite projects was for National Geographic, helping to reconstruct the facial appearance of Kennewick Man. The 9,600-year-old remains were found below the surface of Lake Wallula in Washington in 1996. “Everyone was scratching their heads wondering what a Caucasoid was doing on Indian land long before the Indians were even here,” he said. Working with the director of the physical anthropology department at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and using advanced scanners and software, Kasnot recreated the face and features of the ancient man. The results strongly suggested that Kennewick Man was an Ainu descended from the Chinese and Japanese."

    http://www.sulinet.hu/eletestudomany/archiv/2000/0005/tudvil/kennewic.htm

    This is the hairy one, but the text of the page is a language I am not familiar with.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2005
  12. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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  13. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards!

    Sorry to backtrack, but a relevent argument was raised in the second reference. That is, how the technology would survive interbreeding, particularly since the technologies of the two distinct lineages were so very different. In other words, while it may well be true that there was interbreeding between ancient European and Asian populations, there are no extant examples of Clovis-Solutrean work in Asia having been found. The Asian peoples had an entirely different methodology of knapping. Another point brought forward deals with dental studies. I am not familiar enough with the differences and how they are viewed, but it seems there is a noticeable difference in Asian and European "dentition." Dental finds in relation to Clovis (and Solutrean) sites seem to suggest European dentition, not Asian.

    One argument raised in an attempt to break the connection between Clovis and Solutrea is the gap of time between the end of the one and the beginning of the other, some 5 to 6 thousand years. However, there have been quite a number of finds of Clovis-Solutrean work in America that are dated in the interim period, well into the Ice Age. Academia apparently refused to recognize these finds at first, suggesting all manner of inaccuracy in the dating methods. Currently the abundance of evidence seems to side with the finds and against the accepted dating ascribed to the introduction of Clovis to America.

    I began reading the info on Homo-Floresiensis. I am in the middle of the research report analyzing the remains. Suggestions of a "dwarf" individual are readily dismissed by the body proportions. It is thought this is an individual about 30 years old, most likely female, due to tooth wear and bone solidification and proportion, so it is not a child. Most intriguing to me are the similarities of some physiology to Homo-erectus (comparisons with Java man and African examples), and similarities with Homo-sapiens in other physiology, and Australopithicus in still others. There remains the question of how they initially arrived on an isolated island. The brain case is about the size of a chimpanzee (even smaller than Australopithicus), which would suggest an inability to reason on a level with "humans" of the period of time, yet they are thought to have hunted a dwarf species of elephant and komodo dragons (no "small" feat!), which would require a level of intelligence and cooperation chimpanzees do not begin to match. Some suggest these people may have lived at least until the Dutch arrived on the island in the 1700's, a couple of hundred years ago. There is hint that they may still exist, hiding in the wilderness of the island, according to local legends. Fascinating stuff! :D

    Should there be interest, the article I printed is from the Nature magazine website ( www.nature.com/nature ) reprinting the October 28, 2004 article dealing with Homo-Floresiensis.
     
  14. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Regards again!

    I just had to share this, it kinda dispels the "no evidence" POV.

    www.unl.edu/rhames/monte_verde/peru_clovis.htm

    This page talks of 3 sites in Southern Peru, one in detail, on the coast, that predate Clovis by 2500-3000 years. Admittedly, there are no remains of watercraft, but the proximity to the ocean, place and period of time strongly suggest water borne travel, as there is little other access without a trek through the Andes. The artifacts left include stone implements (not Clovis) and bones of sea birds and fish, and very few land animals. This particular site was found by accident by a group studying the effects of El Nino weather patterns in pre-historic times. :D
     
  15. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    TOPPER SITE- ALLENDALE-EXPEDITION REGISTRATION

    The Topper Site in South Carolina

    Impossibly Old America?

    Topper, South Carolina | Time Team America | PBS


    I could only watch 15 minutes of a one hour program that looked really promising on the subject of pre-Clovis occupation of America. The highlight was on a site at Topper, South Carolina. Haven't been all through the references yet, but at a glance they look pretty good.

    Seems like it adds a bit of fuel to the argument for the Americas being populated much earlier than the 13K years ago commonly taught.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009

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