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Footsteps in time that add 30,000 years to history of America
Times Online UK ^ | 7/4/05 | Lewis Smith

Posted on 07/04/2005 9:59:36 PM PDT by freedom44

THE discovery of human footprints, preserved by volcanic ash, have put back the likely date that the American continent was colonised by Man by almost 30,000 years, British scientists say.

The prints, found by the scientists at the edge of a lake in Mexico, are thought to be about 40,000 years old. Their discovery upsets the widely accepted theory that Man first reached America across a land bridge, now covered by the Bering Sea, 11,500 years ago. Casts of the footprints reveal that a community of Homo sapiens lived in the Valsequillo Basin, near Puebla in central Mexico. Their feet ranged in size from those of small children, aged about 5 or 6, to adults who would have fitted size eight shoes.

The prints were found at the bottom of an abandoned quarry and were preserved in volcanic rock. From the size of the prints, researchers from Liverpool John Moores University and Bournemouth University estimated that the adults ranged in height from 3ft 9ins to 6ft. Almost 270 prints were found at the site, two thirds of them human and the rest from animals including mammoths, an extinct species of camel, prehistoric cow and deer. The Liverpool and Bournemouth team discovered the footprints in September 2003 but have only recently had confirmation of their age from scientists at Oxford University. Dating techniques included radiocarbon dating and optical stimulated luminescence.

Until now it was widely believed that Clovis Man was the first human to set foot on the continent at the end of the last Ice Age. Previous academic research has suggested, however, that human occupation of the American continents may have begun several thousand years earlier.

The footprints are the first evidence of earlier colonisations and would suggest that the first settlers reached the West Coast from Japan or other Pacific Ocean communities.

Professor Matthew Bennett, of Bournemouth University, said yesterday: “Our evidence of humans in America 40,000 years ago is irrefutable.”

He accepted that there would be resistance to the theory that the original migration was not over the Bering Sea: “It is quite controversial. They are not very happy in North America. They are very wedded to the idea of colonisation 11,500 years ago.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anthropology; archaeology; erectus; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; multiregionalism
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1 posted on 07/04/2005 9:59:36 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG


2 posted on 07/04/2005 9:59:53 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: blam

ping


3 posted on 07/04/2005 10:02:38 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: freedom44

Oops.


4 posted on 07/04/2005 10:09:08 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (NEW and IMPROVED: Now with 100% more Tyrannical Tendencies and Dictator Envy!)
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To: freedom44
Thank you very much for posting this. We get so wrapped up in the here and now that we can forget geological time, in which yesterday (a mere 40,000 years ago) humans were in the Americas. Fascinating.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column: "Replace Justice O'Connor -- But Which One?"

5 posted on 07/04/2005 10:11:17 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Will President Bush appoint a Justice who obeys the Constitution? I give 65-35 odds on yes.)
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To: freedom44
“They are not very happy in North America. They are very wedded to the idea of colonisation 11,500 years ago.”

That does indeed appear to be the case. Scientists should welcome new data, but unfortunately many have emotional/financial attachments to old ideas.

6 posted on 07/04/2005 10:17:45 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: PatrickHenry

pre-clovis ping!


7 posted on 07/04/2005 10:19:11 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: freedom44

Six feet, eh? Kinda argues against the fact that evolution is making us grow taller.


8 posted on 07/04/2005 10:20:10 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

Well, except that we range to upwards of seven feet nowadays..


9 posted on 07/04/2005 10:21:40 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv

Average height is still around 6 feet. It is somewhat more than it was a hundred years ago, but that can easily be put down to a changing diet. The 7 foot is still highly unusual. In fact, anything above about 6'3'' is unusual.


10 posted on 07/04/2005 10:29:28 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

The average height of these people, in case you didn't read properly, appears to be around 5 feet, which is where it should be.


11 posted on 07/04/2005 10:34:53 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: freedom44
“Our evidence of humans in America 40,000 years ago is irrefutable.”

That's gonna leave a mark I'm afraid. Liable to bunch up some underwear too.

12 posted on 07/04/2005 10:53:53 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: freedom44
Excellent..

Any idea, is this the oldest evidence now?
I seem to recall that sites on the eastern seaboard are this age or older, but there hasn't been definite confirmed carbon dating..

If early man reached america, say, 50K years ago across the atlantic, then he could very well have spread down the coast to Mexico/Central America, etc..

Not ruling out the Japan-Taiwan-Polynesian hypothesis in the article, just think either, or both is possible..

13 posted on 07/04/2005 11:00:58 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: freedom44

Human left footprint showing toe impressions and slight heel impression.

Footprints preserved in volcanic ash.

The footprints were made shortly after the deposition of the Xalnene ash and were preserved as trace fossils by the relatively fast deposition of fine-grained lake-sediment as the lake later transgressed across the site.

Rock shelter overlooking Valsequillo basin. Several early Holocene human skeletons were buried in the rock shelter.

Palaeoenvironment of the Valsaquillo Basin, Mexico - University of Nottingham

The Oldest American? Footprints from the Past - Liverpool John Moores University - Bournemouth University

14 posted on 07/04/2005 11:09:12 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: freedom44

This will change the entire assumed history of the casino industry.


15 posted on 07/04/2005 11:11:57 PM PDT by Hank Rearden (Never allow anyone who could only get a government job attempt to tell you how to run your life.)
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To: freedom44

So who were they, and what happened to them? If they really are 40K years old then genetic and other data indicates that they are not the ancestors of today's American Indians. Instead, they must have been from an ealier group that went extinct.


16 posted on 07/04/2005 11:16:23 PM PDT by Ahban
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To: AntiGuv
Oh I read it properly. And if you want to do an oranges to apples comparison, then you are correct. However, to average in the estimated heights of these people and then compare that with the average height of the modern adult male is meaningless.

As a matter of fact, if you really want to get accurate, average the height of all adult males in the world today. I think that, when the non-caucasoid peoples are also thrown into the mix, you will find that the average height is under 6 feet.

Oh, and BTW, the fathom, which is a measurement devised during the middle ages, is defined as being the average height of a man. Just so happens that the fathom is 6 feet...
17 posted on 07/04/2005 11:56:09 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: freedom44

Oddly enough, the footprints were headed north.


18 posted on 07/05/2005 1:06:57 AM PDT by commonasdirt (Reading DU so you won't hafta)
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To: Drammach
"Any idea, is this the oldest evidence now?"

There is some disputed (of course) evidence in a cave in South America at 50-55,000 years old. It may not be so disputed after this find. Dilahey(sp) is arguring for a 30,000 date at or around the Monte Verde site.

19 posted on 07/05/2005 7:31:33 AM PDT by blam
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similar, but younger threads:

Mexico offers up ancient footprints (40,000 year old footprints)
Guardian (U.K.) | Tuesday July 5, 2005 | Maev Kennedy
Posted on 07/04/2005 11:15:36 PM PDT by nickcarraway
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1436677/posts

40,000-year-old footprint of first Americans
The Telegraph (U.K.) | 5-07-2005 | Roger Highfield
Posted on 07/05/2005 3:38:09 AM PDT by Renfielhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1436721/posts


20 posted on 07/05/2005 8:22:51 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: freedom44; blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Thanks Freedom44. To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

21 posted on 07/05/2005 8:25:22 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: freedom44

This one made the radio news this morning. Are the 'original inhabitants' of the New World getting anxious yet?


22 posted on 07/05/2005 8:30:25 AM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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The edition I have is about 50 years old, the quote from p 402:
Gods, Graves, and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology
by C. W. Ceram
Now, several of these pyramids located at different sites from Tula to Monte Alban have been discussed, yet one of the most important has yet to be mentioned. This is the Pyramid of Cuicuilco, which stands on a mound 22.4 feet high, situated at the southern limits of Mexico City. The Pyramid of Cuicuilco rises up out of a weird landscape of darkly stony aspect. At one time the volcanoes Ajusco and Xitli (perhaps only the latter) erupted. The god within the pyramid was apparently remiss in diverting the glowing flood of lava that flowed about the pyramid, for half the structure was drowned in bubbling muck. The archaeologists investigating this phenomenon called on colleagues from another faculty, the geologists, for help. How old is the lava, they inquired. The geologists, not realizing that their answer was knocking a world picture awry, answered: "Eight thousand years." ...Yet late research is more inclined to consider it false.
The persistent practice of underestimating human antiquity in the Americas, is a big problem (except for those who do it, of course), and I'm not going to call into question all geological dating practices, but be aware that these results will likely be derided as unreliable by some. Others will saddle on the results right away, in order to bury Clovis-First-and-Only in a well-deserved grave. However, if past practice is any guide, even if this date is accepted (with or without modification), it will become the new floor beneath which dates won't be accepted.

FR Lexicon·Posting Guidelines·Excerpt, or Link only?·Ultimate Sidebar Management·Headlines
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23 posted on 07/05/2005 8:36:34 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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Erectus in the Americas:

24 posted on 07/05/2005 8:42:56 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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http://freerepublic.info/focus/keyword?k=preclovis

and...

Mexico Discovery Fuels Debate About Man's Origins
Deseret Morning News/Associated Press | 10-3-2004 | John Rice
Posted on 10/11/2004 6:04:15 PM PDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1242132/posts

First Americans - Homo Erectus in America
http://home.pacbell.net/tcbpfb/ | January 01, 1999 | Tom Baldwin (apparently)
Posted on 09/24/2004 7:54:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1226526/posts


25 posted on 07/05/2005 8:46:57 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

The fathom was the distance fingertip-to-fingertip of a (Viking) man with his arms outstretched.


26 posted on 07/05/2005 8:48:29 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: freedom44
The last thing many "Native Americans" want to hear is that their ancestors replaced an earlier native population the same way settlers from the Old World replaced them.
27 posted on 07/05/2005 8:55:42 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
A better diet is making us taller. There are plenty of post-WW2 Japanese and Koreans that are quite tall thanks to McDonalds and such.
28 posted on 07/05/2005 8:57:00 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: Ahban

"genetic and other data indicates that they are not the ancestors of today's American Indians."

That's not true. Various mtDNA studies (which are inherently unreliable) yield estimates of the ingress of various populations (meaning, an assumed single individual; all other mtDNA lineages having died out) which overlap the age assigned to these prints. And the vast majority of these studies reveal multiple populations entering the Americas at different times. The artificial barrier of Clovis dating is long gone.


29 posted on 07/05/2005 9:01:04 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: Question_Assumptions

"A better diet is making us taller."

I remember from a couple of decades ago that there was some buzz that hunter-gatherers had been tall, then people shrunk as a result of agriculture limiting their diet, and now we're regaining the lost height.


30 posted on 07/05/2005 9:03:40 AM PDT by dsc
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To: freedom44

Barefooted? Where was Nike or US Keds?


31 posted on 07/05/2005 9:14:04 AM PDT by sandydipper (Less government is best government!)
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another try, Erectus in the Americas:
Google

32 posted on 07/05/2005 9:17:34 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: SunkenCiv
The fathom was the distance fingertip-to-fingertip of a (Viking) man with his arms outstretched.

That makes perfect sense. A length of rope could be measured easily that way, while trying to compare it to height would be cumbersome.

33 posted on 07/05/2005 9:18:41 AM PDT by RightWhale (withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty)
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To: blam

re: the Topper site...

Signs of an earlier American
By Peter N. Spotts | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
September 23, 2004 edition
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0923/p13s01-stgn.html


34 posted on 07/05/2005 9:22:00 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: RightWhale

We're good at fathoming things around here. ;')


35 posted on 07/05/2005 9:23:35 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
When I growing up down in North Carolina, we used to hear stories from the local tribesmen about "old ones" who lived in the Appalachians long before the Indians came. I always thought those stories were a mixture of H.P. Lovecraft and Manley Wade Wellman.

Now I wonder...

36 posted on 07/05/2005 9:45:59 AM PDT by Jonah Hex (Go. Hunt. Kill Skuls.)
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To: freedom44

There goes another 'proven' scientific theory down the drain.


37 posted on 07/05/2005 11:03:18 AM PDT by wildbill
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To: Jonah Hex
This story plays into the reports I've read that the Zunis of New Mexico have a different biological heritage than all other American Indians. Only the Zunis have DNA that most closely resembles the Chinese, rather than the Mongolians.

John / Billybob
38 posted on 07/05/2005 11:27:35 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Will President Bush appoint a Justice who obeys the Constitution? I give 65-35 odds on yes.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
"This story plays into the reports I've read that the Zunis of New Mexico have a different biological heritage than all other American Indians. Only the Zunis have DNA that most closely resembles the Chinese, rather than the Mongolians."

Japanese, not Chinese. Chinese are affiliated with the Olmec in Mexico. Read the below, a good book too.

Nancy Yaw Davis

The Zuni Enigma

Did a group of thirteenth-century Japanese journey to the American Southwest, there to merge with the people, language, and religion of the Zuni tribe?

For many years, anthropologists have understood the Zuni in the American Southwest to occupy a special place in Native American culture and ethnography. Their language, religion, and blood type are startlingly different from all other tribes. Most puzzling, the Zuni appear to have much in common with the people of Japan.

In a book with groundbreaking implications, Dr. Nancy Yaw Davis examines the evidence underscoring the Zuni enigma, and suggests the circumstances that may have led Japanese on a religious quest-searching for the legendary "middle world" of Buddhism-across the Pacific and to the American Southwest more than seven hundred years ago.

Nancy Yaw Davis holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Washington. Author of numerous articles, she has long researched the history and cultures of the native peoples of North America. Her company, Cultural Dynamics, is located in Anchorage, Alaska, where she lives.

39 posted on 07/05/2005 2:34:51 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

Generally, the height of a man is equal (or pretty darn close) to the length of his outstretched arms.


40 posted on 07/05/2005 2:44:12 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Question_Assumptions

I didn't say that a better diet is making us taller. I just said that a different diet is having that effect. Considering the obesity and heart issues so prevalent today that didn't exist 100 years ago, I seriously doubt that we have a better diet today.


41 posted on 07/05/2005 2:45:32 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
I didn't say that a better diet is making us taller. I just said that a different diet is having that effect. Considering the obesity and heart issues so prevalent today that didn't exist 100 years ago, I seriously doubt that we have a better diet today.

Well, if you want to debate whether our diet is "better" or just "different" in a broad sense, knock yourself out. But with respect to having enough calories and protein as children to reach our our biologically maximum height, our diets today are better. That the diets in many Western nations (and particularly the United States) far exceed the amount of calories and protein that we need to reach our biologically maximum height resulting in obesity is a different issue. My point is simply that many populations that were once considered genetically short were actually short because of nutritional problems, not biology, and given plenty of protein and calories, the children of people in those populations can grow quite tall. If you want to argue that we've exceeded the point of improvement and headed well into overconsumption causing a different set of problems, I'd probably agree with you.

42 posted on 07/05/2005 3:52:36 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
Evolution doesn't make us taller, survival advantage makes us taller or shorter or wherever the advantage lies. Good nutrition will allow us to come up to our genetic height but we will, as a people tend toward the greatest advantage for survival in all of our traits unless we artificially interfere
43 posted on 07/05/2005 4:02:04 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopeckne is walking around free)
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To: Question_Assumptions
The diets in the U.S. from before the inception of the nation was more than sufficient to support what we needed as individuals and then some. That's not to say it was necessarily equally distributed (it rarely is). Nor does it say that there weren't cases of malnutrition.

I do agree with your point about peoples not reaching their full biological potential due to the lack of sufficient nutrients. I've noticed, however, that there is a tendency amongst some to put this down solely to natural selection rather than a change in diet.
44 posted on 07/05/2005 5:05:24 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: muir_redwoods

I agree with you that it is not an evolutionary trait. But you might note that since it is a survival advantage, it does loosely fit the definition of "natural selection" - a prime argument used in evolutionary theses.


45 posted on 07/05/2005 5:08:59 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: blam

Check the Pendejo site near Las Cruces, NM. Scottie NcNeish, RIP!


46 posted on 07/05/2005 5:09:14 PM PDT by Nucluside (Cultural Relativism is a lie; Western culture IS superior)
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
How is it a survival advantage to be tall? A minimum height probably is but I fail to see the advantage of being 6'6" vs. 5'6". A larger person requires more food to maintain and as tool users we humans do pretty well even if we are small. Small populations exist and thrive around the globe. Tall ones do too. It's setting-dependent as to whether or not it's an advantage.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I'm 6'1" and 190lbs so my position is not partisan ;-)

47 posted on 07/05/2005 5:17:11 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopeckne is walking around free)
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To: Ahban
I had to go look this up because I couldn't remember the particulars:

Human Molecular Genetics, Vol 6, 41-46, Copyright © 1997 by Oxford University Press

http://hmg.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/1/41

Lack of founding Amerindian mitochondrial DNA lineages in extinct aborigines from Tierra del Fuego-Patagonia

C Lalueza, A Perez-Perez, E Prats, L Cornudella and D Turbon
Departament de Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.

Ancient DNA from bones and teeth of 60 individuals from four extinct human populations from Tierra del Fuego-Patagonia (Selknam, Yamana, Kaweskar and Aonikenk) has been extracted and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) amplified by using the polymerase chain reaction. High- resolution analysis of endonuclease restriction site variation in the mtDNA and sequencing of its hypervariable non-coding control region, revealed complete absence of two of the four primary mitochondrial haplotype groups present in contemporary Amerinds, namely A and B. In contrast, haplogroups C and D were found in all but one sample with frequencies of approximately 38% and 60%. These results, together with the decreasing incidence of group A in more southerly latitudes in the American continent and the absence of cluster B above 55 degrees North in America and Asia, argue that the first settlers entering America 21000-14000 years ago already lacked both mtDNA lineages.

48 posted on 07/05/2005 5:20:58 PM PDT by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: muir_redwoods
Well, in a physical confrontation-type of setting, bigger people who are in good physical condition have a decided advantage over smaller people who are in good physical condition. The Japanese recognized this in WWII, as our boys were generally able to plaster them in hand-to-hand combat.

Also in Vietnam, where the average male adult was somewhere around 90 lbs. vs the U.S. soldier weight of twice that shows what the weight and height advantage gives in terms of close physical confrontation.

Of course, when you throw out the obvious advantages gained for physical combat, then you are right. I don't see any particular advantages one way or another, as long as proper nutrition is observed.
49 posted on 07/05/2005 5:33:43 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
I think you need to bear in mind that before the advent of refrigeration and mass food transportation, the diets of people weren't nearly as varied or consistent as they are today and while it's obvious that people had enough to eat during many periods before today, the additional calories needed to support an active pre-modern lifestyle along with the inconsistent consumption of meat, changes in the quantity and variety of food as the seasons changed, food shortages caused by poor harvests, and the interruptions caused by war all took a toll on the diet of people, especially when they were children. Of course diseases and parasites could also take a toll on health and nutrition. You won't find many modern Americans with, say, scurvy or rickets.
50 posted on 07/05/2005 6:04:19 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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