Skip to comments.Letter From Newfoundland: Homing In On The Red Paint People
Posted on 05/09/2006 5:10:45 PM PDT by blam
Letter from Newfoundland: Homing in on the Red Paint People
Volume 53 Number 3, May/June 2000
by Angela M.H. Schuster
Port au Choix, Newfoundland--
More than 5,000 years ago, this barren, sea-lashed coast was home to the Maritime Archaic Indians (MAI), who hunted and fished the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland for more than 2,000 years. The first evidence of the Maritime Archaic culture was discovered more than 30 years ago when James A. Tuck of Memorial University of Newfoundland excavated 56 elaborate burials exposed during housing construction on a small promontory at Port au Choix, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence just south of the Strait of Belle Isle.
Buried between 4400 and 3300 B.P., the dead--along with offerings of tools, animal bones, carved animal effigies, and small, white quartz pebbles--were covered in red ochre, earning them the moniker the "Red Paint People." Tool kits contained woodworking implements for building dwellings and watercraft; finely wrought bone and ivory fishhooks, harpoons, and harpoon heads, bone foreshafts; and long, narrow ground slate lances for hunting whale and walrus; and fragments of fish spears, all of which pointed to a lifeway dependent on the deep sea.
Priscilla Renouf points to 5,500-year-old archaeological features. (Angela M.H. Schuster)
In 1997, a team led by Memorial University archaeologist Priscilla Renouf and geomorphologist Trevor Bell found the first-known MAI habitation site. Now known as the Gould Site after the family on whose property it lies, the MAI settlement is spread over ten acres on a broad flat terrace. "This was an idyllic location,"says Renouf. "The site offered a freshwater pond, shelter from the wind, and an excellent view of the ocean."
To date, Renouf and her team have unearthed gouges for woodworking; projectile points; fish spears; cut spruce logs; hearths; pits; hundreds of post holes for dwellings; distinct pairs of small, deep holes that may have once held drying racks for skins, fish, or meat; and, not surprisingly, several deposits of red ochre. The artifacts range in date from 5500 to 3300 B.P.; the earliest finds predate the cemetery by more than 1,000 years. "It's still too early to tell whether the settlement was occupied year-round or seasonally, or just how many people may have lived there." says Renouf. She will return to the field this summer in search of answers.
Angela M.H. Schuster is a senior editor at ARCHAEOLOGY.
I thought there were Viking settlements on Greenland at that time. Am I wrong?
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The Mystery of the Lost Red Paint People The Discovery of a Prehistoric North American Sea Culture Advanced seafaring culture lived in New England 7000 years ago. 59 minutes Color Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adult US Release Date: 1987 Copyright Date: 1987 ISBN (VHS): 1-56029-235-0 Directed by T.W. Timreck and William Goetzmann
Oh, one of the files is what you've just started the topic with, so I'm out. ;')
As scientific methods improved, over the years, it has been determined from studying the burials and skeletons of the Red Paint people that they are in fact Native Americans.In fact, until the late 1980s, there were no skeletons of the Maritime Archaic people, and diagnostically, the tools of their era found across the Arctic are basically identical. IOW, I agree with whomever it was -- pandering.
That was kinda cool.
The Origin of Culture and Civilization:
The Cosmological Philosophy
of the Ancient Worldview Regarding
Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion
by Thomas Dietrich
Glad to be confused in good company.
Reads like we're not alone.
My suspicion is that they were (more or less) of the Ainu (Kennewick Man) body style (racial group) and may be the source of the halpogroup-X (some call it the European 'gene') shared only by some of today's American Indians and Europeans.
Most of the oldest skeletons (not exclusively) being found in the Americas are of the long narrow type associated with Kennewick Man. And, Oppenheimer say that the Obajiwe(sp) Indians of the NE US have the highest precent (25) of the 'X-gene' than all other Indians in the US.
So, might these people of the NE US, the Red Paint People and others (reported to be tall and lighter skinned) be remnants of this group from 25,000 years ago?
The original DNA samples that were taken from this group and declared to be 'European' were found to have been contaminated with modern DNA. Not much news coming out of the Windover site in Florida. So...
Will get back to you when I know more.
The best episode of Nova I ever saw was on the Red Paint People. I taped it once when it was rerun. If you haven't seen it, you should endeavor to locate a copy of the show. You might be able to go to www.pbs.org/nova and look up the red paint people. The show links the Red Paint People to the monolith-builders of ancient Europe. Apparently, there was a circum-Atlantic culture that ranged from Malta to Atlantic Canada, and contact between Neolithic Europeans and Neolithic Indians.
Secrets of the Lost Red Paint People
NOVA follows archaeologists as they unearth clues, some 7,000 years old, about an unknown, mysterious and advanced sea-faring people who lived along the North Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada.
Original broadcast date: 12/15/87
I don't know. I've ordered it from two different book people before Christmas only to have the order cancelled by both. Now, I notice that June is a new release date, so, maybe.
Overlooking the nearby community of L'Anse Amour, the Labrador Straits Museum is just a few kilometres away from an important archaeological find dating to 7, 500 years ago.
The earliest known ceremonial burial in North America took place at this site. A Maritime Archaic Indian adolescent was buried there in a significant ceremonial manner. The body was wrapped and placed face down in a deep, wide pit. Fires were lit around the body, food was cooked in its presence and offerings of weapons and tools were placed in the grave. A large flat stone rested on the lower back. A large mound of rocks was placed over the grave to complete the ceremony. The manner in which this youth was buried some 7,500 years ago suggests that he/she had an important role or association within the tribe, or that his/her death had a special significance.
A plaque outlining the importance of this National Historic Site is displayed next to the mound near the community of L'Anse Amour. Just a few minutes away, the Labrador Straits Museum has an exhibit that highlights details of the site and displays reproductions of objects found during the excavation.
Yep. Best TV program I ever saw.