I think the source of the below quote may be the basis of the post
discussing possible allegations of migrations from the Pacific
directly to South America in early prehistory based on A skull found
in 1998. Much was made by the news services at the time of the
announcement out of South America.
"The oldest American found so far, an 11,500-year-old skeleton from
central Brazil, resembles southern Asians and Australians,
anthropologist Walter Neves of the University of So Paulo reported
If anyone knows Walter Neves, call him up and ask for details. By the
way, skeletal material that old in the Americas is not all that
uncommon. The "interpretation" of the possible origins was unusual. We
just went through five years of court proceeding with respect to
"Kennewick Man" up in Washington state (USA). When the 14C dates
finally were authorized, yes he was here prior to Columbus' arrival in
the New World, but not by much.
The above quote appears in the 26 April 1999 issue of Newsweek (USA).
The text is still up as seven sequential web pages for viewing - a
long article. The above quote is located near the bottom of page 2 of
the web version of what appeared in the print news magazine. In the
above, "last year" makes reference to the 1998 news release.
Here is the link to the seven web pages that weave a bit of a
chronological story - as a news reporter might write the story.
Though I did not view whatever may have been in a TV program in the
UK, I have no doubt someone may have used news sources to entertain -
and even might have passed it off as "fact"?
The "statement" (news release) did happen so that is a fact - but
there are no facts to my knowledge yet - to support the conclusions in
the news release.
Many of us assume it to be possible that "someone" (humans) may have
been in the Americas perhaps 25,000 to 30,000 years ago (or longer) -
but evidence of that has yet to appear in a manner not subject to
scholarly rebuttal on closer examination.
Indeed, I am aware of dates that "imply" habitation by humans at a
site not more than a two hour drive from my home with lithic
technology unlike anything else in the Americas - at the lowest and
oldest levels. That does not mean they are related to what they look
like - some micro blades from several sites in China - but the dates
I host a web page about that a program for Dr. Goodyear as a favor to
him related to the site near my home. Dr. Goodyear has put in over 12
summers working there. And there will be no peer reviewed
publications until the geology is sorted out. If anyone is interested,
they can view
which briefly describes one of the research. It includes a short
article from 1999 near the top with the "dates" and such. But before
you launch your browser, be aware It is a long web page and graphics
intensive. It exists only to inform some who have interests about that
very large quarry site (lithic "manufacture" went on there for a very
long time at some point in prehistory).
I hope the material near the top of this post might provide some
background to the "skull" from South America?
Wayne Neighbors, Ph.D.
President, Vee Ring Ltd
[log in to unmask]
http://anthro.org/paleo/index.html (new - limited content)
From: [log in to unmask]
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Stewart Ellinson
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2000 6:56 AM
Subject: Re: Pre clovis American aboriginal culture
> There was a TV programme within the last year discussing the finding
> of ancient human remains somewhere on the American continent. The
> skull in particular was unusual. The idea put forth in the programme
> was that the remains represented evidence of a pre-clovis "American
> aboriginal" culture, ethnically related to the aboriginal cultures
> Australia and the pacific. This culture had in effect been been
> suppressed by the clovis people moving across the Bering straights
> pushing down the American continent. The only remanants of the
> pre-clovis people were found in Tierra del Fuego, where DNA analysis
> gave some support to the Australian aboriginal connection.
> Anyone remember this programme and can recall the title?
> Anyone know where I can chase up further information on the subject?
The programme in question was, I believe, one in the channel 4
the Dead" series. I have to say that the premise upon which the whole
programme was based seemed somewhat suspect; much has been made in the
the differences between different human groups on the basis of skull
meausrements, but I find that these are inevitably based upon small
and overlook the inherent variation of a given population. A similar
arguement was advanced for "Kennewick man", and suggestions were made
europeans were the first to settle the US, on the basis of a
american" skull shape. This type of research was carried out in europe
the 1930s, and whilst it may have some value, there is a danger that
tip over into he type of work which the Nazis drew upon so much. I
it has been largely discredited.
Having said all of that, there is no per se reason why aboriginals
have reached south america, but one must ask if they could, or did, so
sufficient numbers to maintain population diversity. A small community
have a very restriced gene pool,and to have a community of hudreds
require a large number of "accidental" journies.
All things considered, I'm not convinced....
Archaeology Tutor, University of Leeds, UK