Skip to comments.A site in Oregon could shake America's view of history, says Sanjida O'Connell
Posted on 10/19/2002 10:11:55 AM PDT by vannrox
Archaeologists split hairs over first arrivals
A site in Oregon could shake America's view of history, says Sanjida O'Connell
Thursday October 17, 2002
Woodburn is a small agricultural town in the US state of Oregon. Next to the high school is Mammoth Park. It sounds cheesy, but Mammoth Park is a paleoarchaeological site whose findings could shake America's view of her history.
In suitably prosaic fashion, the site was discovered in 1987, when local authorities tried to install a sewer line. At depths of 5m, workers found huge bones, but said nothing and took them home. Now, Mammoth Park has tighter security, and links to three universities and four institutes.
Researchers have uncovered a wealth of findings that illustrates how America might have looked thousands of years ago, but most remarkable was the discovery in July 2000 of a human hair. DNA analysis could provoke a constitutional storm. The hair, 40cm long, is said to be the oldest piece of organic human remains: it has been carbon dated twice, but the results have not been published and the research remains controversial.
Archaeologist Dr Alison Stenger, director of research at the Institute for Archaeological Studies, Portland, believes the hair could be about 12,000 years old. The consensus is that America was first colonised 13,000 years ago, when people walked across a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska.
They then walked through a corridor that opened up between ice sheets in western Canada. So the date of the hair, if it proves accurate, fits the date of the first arrivals.
However, Stephen Dunleavy, who has produced a documentary on the colonisation of America, says: "It's almost biblical - a parting of the ways - and almost certainly wrong."
The theory was challenged in the late 1970s, when the remains of a communitywere found by archaeologists in Monte Verde, Chile, which could predate the consensus figure. The authenticity of this site is still disputed.
"It depends who you speak to," says Lori Baker, an assistant professor in molecular anthropology at Baylor University, Waco, Texas. "Some say the site dates from 12,500 years ago, but unofficial dates stretch back as far as 30,000 years ago."
The idea that people reached America earlier is gaining ground. If this supposition is true, how did they get there? One theory is that people island-hopped. Islands off the coast of America were ice-free long before a corridor cleared within the continent.
These people could have used some form of watercraft to travel down the coast - a much faster mode of transport. But evidence is patchy: 10% of the earth's water was locked up in glaciers: once they melted, the coastline flooded. There is, however, evidence of human activity 10,000 years ago on Prince of Wales Island, which means that by this stage, people must have had boats.
We are beginning to understand what their environment was like from fauna and flora unearthed at Mammoth Park. Researchers found mammoths, black bears, the Sitka black-tailed deer, a mule-like deer, horses, wolves, bison, mastodon and giant sloths, including a sloth foetus.
The team has even uncovered a new species, the teratorn, a giant ice age bird with a wingspan of more than four metres. Its presence, combined with duck skeletons and eggshells, indicates that the region was marshy, swampy, open and filled with a buzzing, booming collection of iridescent insects.
The people were technologically advanced, with a full tool kit of stone hand axes and butchering implements. They had developed a stone age Kalashnikov - a device that enabled them to throw a spear-like implement 200m - twice as far as the best javelin throwers.
The "atlatal", a powerful throwing stick, launched a type of dart that was more flexible than a spear and had a main shaft 1.5m long. The foreshaft, ending in a spear point, was lashed on with animal sinew and pitch. But who were these first peoples? Scientists assumed they were descendants of native Americans who now claim ownership of ancient human remains.
When the DNA analysis came back, Stenger was in for a shock. The hair did not belong to a native American. Baker, who carried out the analysis, says: "It's possible that the so-called paleoindians are not the ancestors of native Americans. Either they didn't leave any ancestors, or they were replaced by other peoples."
The implication is that some one, or some peoples, colonised the states first. All we can tell about the owner of the hair is that he or she had had a haircut.
· Wild New World: Edge of the Ice is on BBC2, 9pm next Thursday
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002
Took them home for what?
Fidosaurus, what else?
Marlo Brandon is going to be pissed.
Now that would be a neat trick! Presumably they meant "ancestors", rather than "descendants". Anyway, the DNA analysis is the important news.
DNA Report on Kennewick Man in this list:
...the results have not been published...
Why the secrecy???
I wanna know WHO the hair belonged to.
I'm with you! I read the entire article, and they refused to say who the hair belongs to. Now, if this hiding of the information follows form, then the hair belongs to, what we would now term as, a white person. (Perhaps Asian).
It would be almost comical if it were not so frustrating. Here is an article, devoted to the topic of how the way we have looked at colonization of the North American continent is going to change drastically; yet, they will not give us the key piece of information about how it has changed. P.C. rules.
Quite possible. Even the Bible alludes to the fact that man walked the Earth long before Adam.
This is a cached article, and pertains directly to the article vanrox posted.
Maybe we can do our own sleuthing and figure out who the hair belongs to!
There's a 50% chance that it belonged to an Elvisaurus. and a 50$ chance it belonged to an ancient Saudi Arabian terrorist who was crushed inside a cave many moons ago.
Soup, of course. You never had an old recipe?
This statement below, from the current thread article would seem to tie in with the cone of silence and outright censorship and games played with the Kennewick Man:
"When the DNA analysis came back, Stenger was in for a shock. The hair did not belong to a native American. Baker, who carried out the analysis, says: "It's possible that the so-called paleoindians are not the ancestors of native Americans. Either they didn't leave any ancestors, or they were replaced by other peoples."
The cover up on the Kennewick Man went right to the highest ones in control of America at that time.
Now for a few paragraphs from the Kennewick Man that you linked in your reply:
The lack of head flattening from cradle board use, minimal arthritis in weight-bearing bones, and the unusually light wear on his teeth distinguish the behavior and diet of Kennewick Man from that of more recent peoples in the region. A fragment of the fifth left metacarpal analyzed by AMS has an isotopically-corrected age of 8410 +/- 60 B.P. (UCR 3476) (ca 7300 to 7600 B.C.). Amino acids and stable isotopes indicate heavy dependence on anadromous fish. DNA was intact, but two partially-completed extractions were inconclusive.
The man lacks definitive characteristics of the classic mongoloid stock to which modern Native Americans belong. The skull is dolichocranic (cranial index 73.8) rather than brachycranic, the face narrow and prognathous rather than broad and flat. Cheek bones recede slightly and lack an inferior zygomatic projection; the lower rim of the orbit is even with the upper. Other features are a long, broad nose that projects markedly from the face and high, round orbits. The mandible is v-shaped,with a pronounced, deep chin. Many of these characteristics are definitive of modern-day caucasoid peoples, while others, such as the orbits are typical of neither race. Dental characteristics fit Turner's (1983) Sundadont pattern, indicating possible relationship to south Asian peoples.
Current Status of Kennewic Man: On August 30, four days after the startling radiocarbon result, the Corps insisted all studies be terminated and soon took possession of the skeleton. After publishing their intent to repatriate the remains to an alliance of five tribes and bands--Umatilla, Yakama, Nez Perce, Wanapum and Colville--the Corps received numerous requests for scientific study from citizens, congressmen and anthropologists. The Colville then filed a separate claim of their own. A group of internationally-known archaeologists and physical anthropologists filed suit, asserting that NAGPRA does not apply to this case and seeking the opportunity for study. The Asutru Folk Assembly, a traditional European religion, also sued for the right to determine if this individual was their ancestor. The Umatilla, who have taken the lead on the issue, intend immediate reburial in a secret location. The remains now lie in a federal repository awaiting resolution.
Doesn't all of this sound familiar? :
Here is a little excerpt from one of the paragraphs I highlighte:
A fragment of the fifth left metacarpal analyzed by AMS has an isotopically-corrected age of 8410 +/- 60 B.P. (UCR 3476) (ca 7300 to 7600 B.C.). Amino acids and stable isotopes indicate heavy dependence on anadromous fish.
In other words this guy was dependent on the migrating salmonoids for his food a few thousand years before the Indians showed up on in this area.
I did however find other sites where deeply buried wood, fossils, and even what looked to me like bones were found. I never would report them. The owners of the sites would have been subjected to extreme loss of the use of their land and the 'scientists' would have construed their findings in ways that would have screwed us all. Better to just keep quiet and leave things well enough alone. Too bad that the sewer excavators didn't do the same thing.
In the May 1993 issue, L&O reported on organized crime's involvement in illegal wildlife smuggling and poaching. The situation is so serious that a federal forensics laboratory is devoted to supporting the investigation of wildlife crime. It's services are available to you (LEOs).
Fidosaurus, what else?
ROTLFMAO... YOu insufferable wag...
I live about 20 miles from Woodburn, as the Scud missile flies (we don't like Woodburn much around here, for reasons which would get me kicked off this website)
(but I will say, whatever was buried there, if it tradition holds across the millenia, probably got itself methodically killed, by propounding a degenerate culture among a civilized people...)
If anything it was America that pioneered the END of the stealing of land from a conquered opponent. Instead, America rebuilt conquered foes into formidable trading partners with democratic freedoms and healthy economies.
The spoils of war were equally acceptable in 1850 as they were in 10,000 B.C.
You ignore my entire point that the North American Indian tribes claim some sovereign dibs on the continent as if they blossomed on Midwestern prairies. American Indians' grievance their land was violently stolen from them, which of course I do not dispute, is not mutually exclusive from the high probability that they stole it from some other people as well. Same goes for the Mexicans. We stole it fair and square and we don't owe anyone any apologies.
Define "stealing fair and square".
I will say that stealing "fair and square" was losing its legitimacy by about 1900. 10,000 years ago, "stealing fair and square" was quite honorable and continued to be honorable for thousands of years afterward.
Also, it's easy to say "stealing" is ok when one is the thief. If you are the victim, there is a greater tendency to say stealing is wrong.
"Stealing fair and square" is clearly documented through the end of World War I in 1918 when the Austro-Hungarian Empire shattered into smaller constituent countries.
The process of "Stealing fair and square" was ended by the United States of America after World War II wherein we insisted that we would not gain territory as a result of haveing crushed our enemies unconditionally. Of course, Russia was not keen to this idea, so please note in the margin of your text that they stole all of the Eastern Bloc countries, known as those behind the Iron Curtain. We may have disapproved of their imperialism but it happened and we could do nothing to stop it.
Note that the date was 1945. Note also that Israel was made out of whole cloth by stealing someone elses property to provide for the Hebrews.
Note also that Tibet and Kasmir and South Vietnam and other countries were "stolen fair and square" long after that.
Your assertion that "stealing fair and square" was losing its legitamacy by 1900, is unfounded. It has occured right up to the modern day, if you look at how the Abanian Muslims stole Kosovo from the Yugoslavs.
If by losing its legitamacy you mean to say that you approved of territorial conquest before 1900 but not after 1900, the I beg to differ. Territorial conquest, except as the result of national self-defense, has always been immoral as it results in the theft of sovereign land of one nation by another which has no political right to that land.
The entire point to my original post was simply, we took America away from the Indians and the Mexicans at a time when they were taking land from others. We may not have had a moral right to do so but it is done and so be it. I for one think I am better off.
I defer to your superior intellect.
As you should...I am from West Texas...born and raised. I thought you should know this, so that next time you just might take "my word" for it.
Oh, by the way, insinuating that I am liberal, yankee, carpet-bagging reprobate was a low blow. You might as well have called me a union member.
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