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American Neanderthal?
ABC News ^ | 02-18-2000

Posted on 01/21/2002 5:30:59 AM PST by blam

American Neanderthal?

Unearthed Native American Could Help Solve Mystery

W A S H I N G T O N, Feb. 18 —The baffling 9,300-year-old Kennewick Man, whose skeleton was unearthed in 1996 in Washington state, looks so “European” because he had Neanderthal roots, a scientist said today.
The National Park Service said earlier this month it would allow a genetic analysis of the skeleton, which some Native American groups claim as an ancestor and want buried. It has intrigued researchers because the features seem to suggest a more Caucasian than Asian origin. Others say he looks like an Ainu — the aboriginal people of Japan who are often said to be physically closer to Europeans than Japanese.

Loring Brace, a specialist in bone measurements at the University of Michigan, says he has a simple explanation for this — both Kennewick Man and the Ainu, along with the people of Europe, descended from Neanderthals.
“I have long maintained that Neanderthals are obviously the ancestors of living Europeans,” Brace told a news conference held at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

A Controversial Theory

“To produce a modern European out of a Neanderthal, all you have to do is reduce the robustness,” Brace said. Scale down the heavy teeth, jaws and brow of the Neanderthal and you have a European, he said.

It is a controversial theory because most scientists believe that Neanderthals were an evolutionary dead-end, people who lived side-by-side with the Cro-Magnons who were the earliest Homo sapiens but who did not interbreed with them.

But Loring said his measurements that compare the skulls of people all over the world suggest a resemblance among peoples living in Europe, along the coastlines of Asia and into ancient North America.

He also found two distinct groups among the Native Americans. “It is clear there are two major groups and they are not closely related to each other at all,” Brace said.

One group physically more resembles East Asians, especially modern Chinese, while the second looks a lot like the Ainu.
“Some of the Plains Indians don’t look Native American at all,” Brace said.
He thinks they may have come from the same lineage as Kennewick Man did. Brace has not been allowed to examine the Kennewick remains, but thinks any measurements he could make would support his theories.

Studies May Back Up Theory

Some recent evidence tends to support Brace.
In October an international team of scientists tested Neanderthal bones found in Croatia in the 1970s and found they may be just 28,000 years old, which means they would have lived side-by-side with modern humans for several thousand years.

Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, led that study and another one that a few months earlier suggested that the 24,500-year-old bones of a child found in Portugal showed characteristics of both Neanderthals and of modern humans.

Trinkaus said he believed this suggested humans and Neanderthals interbred, but Brace said it just as easily could have been an “intermediate” form of human evolving from Neanderthal into modern Homo sapiens sapiens.

Although just a few years ago everyone agreed no humans lived in the New World until about 11,000 years ago, and that everyone trekked together over the Bering Strait into Alaska, more and more evidence suggests that people started coming over in successive waves as long as 30,000 years ago.

David Meltzer, an anthropologist at Southern Methodist University, noted that huge ice sheets would have blocked any passage from the Bering Strait down through Canada until 11,500 years ago.

A settlement in Monte Verde, Chile has been dated to 12,500 years ago, which suggests people must have come either a different way, or long before the ice sheets formed.

Theodore Schurr of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical research in San Antonio, Texas did genetic studies that found four separate lineages in the Americas, and using a “molecular clock” that tracks the rate of mutations in DNA, dates some of them back as far as 25,000 or 30,000 years ago.

Some seem to originate in southeastern Siberia, while one seems to have links with a relatively rare lineage found in a few modern Europeans.

A Common Root

Johanna Nichols of the University of California-Berkeley, who compared the structures of Native American languages to languages found elsewhere in the world, said some of the similarities when dated using a kind of linguistic clock, could date back to a common ancestral language 30,000 years ago.

One thing is clear, Meltzer said — when people did reach what is now the continental United States they spread fast, which meant they had to be astonishingly resourceful. “In the space of 500 years they completely covered the continent,” he said. “These folk had no neighbors.”

And most modern hunter-gatherers depend heavily on their neighbors for information about the landscape.

The early colonists of the Americas had no one to ask where to find water, food or herbs to cure their ills. And they had few sources of fresh genes. “You can only marry your sister so many times,” Meltzer said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: davidmeltzer; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals; preclovis
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Repost of an old article. There are no skeletons/evidence of American Indians/Native Americans (as we know them today) that are older than 6,000 years old in the Americas.

There will be a one hour special, "Neanderthals On Trial", on PBS, 1-22-2002.

1 posted on 01/21/2002 5:30:59 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
"Scale down the heavy teeth, jaws and brow of the Neanderthal and you have a European, he said. "

Or the Junior Senator from New York.

2 posted on 01/21/2002 5:42:25 AM PST by billorites
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To: blam
One theory has it that Europeans derive larger noses, lighter skin, blonde hair, and more body hair -- among other adaptations for colder climates -- from Neanderthals. Presumably, the superior Cro-Magnon invaders killed the Neanderthal men and mated with the women.
3 posted on 01/21/2002 5:43:52 AM PST by Grand Old Partisan
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To: blam
The baffling 9,300-year-old Kennewick Man, whose skeleton was unearthed in 1996 in Washington state, looks so “European” because he had Neanderthal roots, a scientist said today.

Maybe it's baffling because there is something wrong with the ability to date these bodies. Or maybe it's baffling because Neanderthals aren't real.
4 posted on 01/21/2002 5:44:11 AM PST by AD from SpringBay
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To: blam
Try this out. When the first skull of was found in the Neandethal region, it was taken to a medical doctor who diagnosed the person as having severe ricketts, a bone deformity condition caused by a lack of vitamin D.
5 posted on 01/21/2002 5:47:29 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants
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To: blam
It is a controversial theory because most scientists believe that Neanderthals were an evolutionary dead-end...

There ya go - evolutionary "science" is a belief system.

6 posted on 01/21/2002 5:48:04 AM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: blam
American Neanderthal? So? I've been compared to a Neanderthal on various occasions ... ;)
7 posted on 01/21/2002 5:53:40 AM PST by BluH2o
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To: Blood of Tyrants
"Try this out. When the first skull of was found in the Neandethal region, it was taken to a medical doctor who diagnosed the person as having severe ricketts, a bone deformity condition caused by a lack of vitamin D."

Yup. The lack of a sufficent amount of vitamin D was the driving force for lighter skinned humans.

8 posted on 01/21/2002 6:01:42 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
But there IS evidence that there were humans here before 10,000 years ago...whatever their origin. I think the 'midland' man (who was really a woman) is one example. There were others somewhere in southern California. By the way, I see no conflict between evolution and religion. Am amazed by those who are threatened by that branch of academia which studies evolution.
9 posted on 01/21/2002 6:16:41 AM PST by Dudoight
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To: Dudoight
Yup. Check this out: Calico: A 200,000 Year Old Site In The Americas?
10 posted on 01/21/2002 6:20:48 AM PST by blam
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To: billorites
PLEASE! Let's not insult our ancestors! Besides, Neanderthal's did not have coffee-can ankles!
11 posted on 01/21/2002 6:24:26 AM PST by donozark
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To: blam
Fascintating info. Thanks. Keep us informed!!
12 posted on 01/21/2002 6:35:28 AM PST by Dudoight
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To: AD from SpringBay
Maybe it's baffling because there is something wrong with the ability to date these bodies. Or maybe it's baffling because Neanderthals aren't real.

A theory I've heard is that Neanderthals were actually modern man who happened to live several hundred years. As a result of the long lifespan and the diet they had, the bone above the brows and the jaws built up to form a sort of "flying buttress" of bone to assist in the chewing of the tough foods.

BTW--I agree with the date process. It's fatally flawed and doesn't give the correct date at all.

13 posted on 01/21/2002 6:37:05 AM PST by ShadowAce
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To: ShadowAce
The last I recall reading, the Neanderthals were around for about 250,000 years. I don't know what was their lifespan.
14 posted on 01/21/2002 10:55:00 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Evening bump.
15 posted on 01/21/2002 3:37:11 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Love these articles you post. You don't seem real big on ping lists but I would appriciate one thrown my way.
16 posted on 01/21/2002 3:38:55 PM PST by farmfriend
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To: blam
He's quite obviously French, not Neanderthal. From the LaBarre area I would guess...


17 posted on 01/21/2002 3:54:19 PM PST by Redcloak
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To: AD from SpringBay
Or maybe it's baffling because Neanderthals aren't real.

Huh? Are they a figment of our collective imaginations?

18 posted on 01/21/2002 4:02:39 PM PST by Junior
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs"
19 posted on 01/21/2002 4:02:50 PM PST by blam
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To: Blood of Tyrants
The first Neanderthal skeleton was of a middle-aged man with obvious problems. Later Neanderthal skeletons have included individuals without the physical problems of that first individual. Neanderthals have some definite physical differences from modern man, included different dentiture, and the angle at which the spinal cord enters the skull is different than Homo Sapien Sapien.
20 posted on 01/21/2002 4:09:01 PM PST by Junior
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