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Diffusion - Cultural similarities between Old and New Worlds - Atlantis ?

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Author Topic: Diffusion - Cultural similarities between Old and New Worlds - Atlantis ?  (Read 6623 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #150 on: October 11, 2008, 09:21:48 pm »








                                                         Mayan trade links






Another fascinating proof of long-distance trade has been reported from the Caribbean, where jade axe blades found on the West Indian island of Antigua have been traced to the Maya jade sources in the Motagua valley of Guatemala some 1700 miles to the west. Alfred Levinson, of the University of Calgary, says that the axes date between AD250 and AD500, which for the Maya was the early classic apogee of their civilisation, with cities such as Tikal having contacts with places as distant as the metropolis of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico.

Archaeologists have found jades in the West Indies before, but the source of the raw material was unknown. Settlement and trade tended to be along the line of islands, north from Trinidad and Tobago past Antigua and its neighbours and eventually to Hispaniola and Cuba.

Although Cuba is not far from Florida, no certain evidence of pre-Hispanic contact is known, and similarly, the short passage across the Yucatán channel to the Maya area is not documented by imports on either shore.

The discovery of the new Motagua jade source followed flooding from Hurricane Mitch in 1998: until then, all the known sources were north of the Motagua river, and did not match the axe blades.

Reg Murphy of the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda believes that Caribbean islanders of the Saladoid culture sailed to the Maya area, using large dugout canoes of the type encountered a millennium later by Columbus off the coast of Honduras, and not by voyaging Maya. He suggests that their long-distance connections also extended back to the lands of their distant ancestors on the Orinoco and Amazon rivers in South America. A type of turquoise found among these peoples may come from as far away as Chile, he believes.



Canadian Mineralogist 44 No. 2: 305-321.



http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/court_and_social/the_hitch/article634908.ece
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« Reply #151 on: October 11, 2008, 09:28:48 pm »








                               Polynesians beat Spaniards to South America, study shows


  Analysis of chicken bones found in Chile shows Polynesians reached thecontinent no later than 1407.






By Thomas H. Maugh II
Times Staff Writer

June 5, 2007

After decades of contention, New Zealand researchers have provided the
first direct evidence that Polynesians sailed across thousands of miles of
the Pacific Ocean to reach South America long before the arrival of the
Spanish around AD 1500.




Their proof? Chicken bones.


Using genetic analysis and radiocarbon dating of chicken bones found in
Chile, the researchers showed that the fowl originated in Polynesia, not
Europe as was previously believed, the researchers said Monday.

"The Polynesian contact probably didn't change the course of prehistory,
but I think maybe it makes us recognize the ethnocentrism in our
long-standing views of the prehistory of the New World," said archeologist
Terry L. Jones of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, who was not involved in the
research.

"The basic premise has always been that there was only one civilization
capable of crossing the ocean and discovering the New World," he said. The
new findings, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences, indicate that "the prehistory of the New World was probably a
little bit more complicated than we thought in the past."

The possibility of contact between Polynesia and the New World has been a
subject of contention since Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl's famous 1947
voyage aboard his crude raft Kon-Tiki.

Heyerdahl believed that an ancient, fair-haired race originating high in
the Andes around Lake Titicaca sailed to the Pacific islands.

He attempted to prove his ideas by setting off on a trip from the west
coast of South America on a raft based on Inca designs.

The 4,300-mile trip from Peru to the Tuamotu Islands took 101 days, but
subsequent trips were much faster once researchers learned how to steer the
boats.

Despite Heyerdahl's demonstration, the idea that Polynesians could have
routinely — or even occasionally — navigated across the Pacific was
considered farfetched, primarily because of the lack of proof.

"Scientists have not been willing to fully accept the idea" of prehistoric
contact between Polynesia and South America, Jones said, "but it is hard to
understand why."

The most convincing previous evidence of cultural contact was the presence
of sweet potatoes — a native American plant — at archeological sites
throughout Polynesia.

Most notably, sweet potatoes dating from about AD 1000 have been found on
the Cook Islands. Equally important, Jones noted, the name of the potato
used throughout Polynesia is the same name given it by South Americans.

Heyerdahl's trip and the discovery of the sweet potatoes showed South
Americans could have taken the sweet potato to the islands but did not
demonstrate that the islanders could have come to South America.

The new findings show that definitively, said the senior author of the new
report, archeologist Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith of the University of
Auckland.

The chicken bones were recovered from a site called El Arenal-1 in
south-central Chile, about a mile and a half inland on the southern side of
the Arauco Peninsula. Thermoluminescent dating of ceramics from the site
indicates it was occupied from AD 700 to 1390.

Analysis of the bones was conducted by graduate student Alice A. Story in
Matisoo-Smith's lab.

Matisoo-Smith said she didn't expect much from the study because finding
evidence of Polynesian contact would be like "finding a needle in a
haystack."

But radiocarbon dating showed the bones were about 622 years old. Even with
potential errors, they dated from AD 1321 to 1407 — before Spaniards first
trod the New World.

Genetic analysis of the chickens showed that they were identical to genetic
sequences of chicken from that same time period in American Samoa and
Tonga, both more than 5,000 miles from Chile.

The sequences were very similar to those of chickens from Hawaii, also
about 5,000 miles distant, and Easter Island, about 2,500 miles away.

"I was pretty excited when the dates came back as clearly pre-European,"
Matisoo-Smith said. "There were no questions. The Europeans didn't pick
them up in Polynesia and bring them back" to South America, she said.

Sailing into the wind from the islands to South America "requires
significant sailing technology and navigational skills," she said. "But if
you look at the winds, leaving from Easter Island, you would actually land
[in South America] around the area where El Arenal-1 is located. You could
then make the return voyage further north."

Jones of Cal Poly is particularly pleased because the find supports his
theory that Polynesians also landed in the Northern Hemisphere. He and
linguist Kathryn A. Klar of UC Berkeley have argued that the Chumash
Indians of Southern California learned to build their sewn-plank canoes
from the Polynesians, in part because the names of the ships are very
similar in the two unrelated languages.

Composite bone fishhooks used by the Indians also closely resembled those
used in Polynesia.

If we know they landed in Chile, he said, "then why is it so difficult to
imagine they couldn't have made it to Southern California from Hawaii?"



thomas.maugh@..



http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-chickens5jun05%2C1%2C6459529.story
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« Reply #152 on: November 18, 2008, 08:58:04 pm »










                                             Ancient Contacts in the Americas






The Maya had memories of several white gods, or culture heroes. The first being Itzamna who came across the ocean from the east. He was a teacher. Later twenty men arrived, the chief of whom was called Colcolcan. They all wore flowing robes and sandal shoes. Each had a long beard and their heads were bare. Kulkulcan, as he was also known, instructed the people in the arts.

A tribe immediately to the west of the Maya were visited by another white man, called Votan and he taught the people how to cultivate maize and cotton and invented hieroglyphic signs. It is likely that the great white culture-hero of the Mexicans, Quetzalcoatl -- the feathered serpent -- could have been Greek or Sumerian rather than a Master from the stars.

Stone and rock carvings plus examples of pottery all point to the inescapable fact that the ancient inhabitants of the Americas were acquainted with almost every race in the world prior to 300 BC. Evidence from North, Central and South America of Old World inscriptions, common words and customs, architectural styles and artifacts link the two. A hoard of Roman coins has been discovered in Venezuela, and a Roman pottery head was found in Mexico, and dated for stylistic reasons to the second century A.D. In Maine a Roman coin has recently surfaced, while a botanist claims to have identified two of the plants depicted on a Roman fresco in Pompeii as an American fruit, the pineapple, and an American vegetable, a species of squash.

From the depths of the Well of Sacrifice at Chichen Itza, scuba divers have recovered a wood and wax doll, bearing the Roman script. Elsewhere a stone sarcophagus was unearthed at Palenque by excavators who liken it in the style of the Phoenicians.

In 1966, a certain Manfred Metcalf claims to have picked up an inscribed stone in Georgia, now known as the Metcalf Stone. It bears text very similar in nature to Cretan Linear A and B writing and is regarded by Cyrus Gordon in Manuscripts, 1969, Vol. XXI, No. 3, as probably an inventory.

A coin found in 1957 by a small boy in a field near Phenix City, Alabama, was identified later as coming from Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, and dating from 490 B.C. In 1976 an ancient coin was found in the town of Heavener, Oklahoma. It was identified later as being a bronze tetradrachm, originally with a silver wash, now missing. It was struck in Antioch, Syria, 63 A.D., and acccording to Dr. Barry Fell, "The profile is of Nero, with the Greek inscription on the obverse saying 'Nero Caesar Augustus'."

In 1936, Dr Charles Elvers excavated a stone pendant or amulet in Gallo Canyon, New Mexico. It was pear-shaped, about three inches long with a hole at the top. On one side is the crowned figure of a man holding a crooked or serpent-like staff in his right hand, and seemingly climbing a slope while looking over his right shoulder. On the other side of the pendant is an inscription composed of an elephant head, a triangle, cross and circle, plus two six-pointed stars. These symbols or glyphs were commonly used in the archaic Sumerian linear scripts.

As if to confirm its authenticity, there is a stela preserved in the Louvre, Paris, commemorating a conquest of the near-east ruler Naram-Sin. The stone carving depicts him standing on a mountain slope, holding a staff in his right hand while wearing a headdress and looking to his right.
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« Reply #153 on: November 18, 2008, 08:59:52 pm »









Early this century, a Brazilian rubber-tapper called Bernardo da Silva Ramos was working in the Amazon jungle when he noted that on many of the rocks there could be found ancient scripts carved deep into the stone. Intrigued, he spent the later part of his life copying and recording these inscriptions. He found that the greater part of them resembled, often in detail, the ancient writings of the Old World and compiled a catalog of nearly 2000 such scripts.

An inscription found near Rio and located three thousand feet up on a vertical wall of rock contains the following words: 'Tyre, Phoenicia, Badezir, Firstborn of Jethbaal ..... '. It has been dated to the middle of the ninth century B.C.

Other jungle graffiti has indeed been linked to that already recorded as belonging to the Semitic, Indus, Phoenician, Punic, Brahmi and other peoples. The Parahyba inscription, also discovered in Brazil, was later translated from the Phoenician over 25 years ago and here is what this remarkable record has to say:

We are sons of Canaan from Sidon, the city of the king. Commerce has cast us on this distant shore, a land of mountains. We set [sacrificed] a youth for the exalted gods and goddesses in the nineteenth year of Hiram, our mighty king. We embarked from Ezion-Geber into the Red Sea and voyaged with ten ships. We were at sea together for two years around the land belonging to Ham [Africa] but were separated by a storm [lit. 'from the hand of Baal'], and we were no longer with our companions. So we have come here, twelve men and three women, on a ..... shore which I, the Admiral, control. But auspiciously may the gods and goddesses favor us!

Further evidence in South America suggests strongly that a Sumerian colony established itself around Titicaca, in what is now known as Bolivia, perhaps as long ago as 4000 years. According to legend the first Inca, Manko-Kapak, appeared in Lake Titicaca and tradition held that the Incas were red or brown-haired. A characteristic alien to American Indians but many mummies discovered there confirm this fact.

Huge blocks of stone found at Tiahuanaco were once held together by copper and even gold rivets. This was a method of building-construction almost identical to that used in Assyria and Eritrea thousands of years ago. The colony even used solid stone wheels, just like the ones in use by the Sumerians themselves, and were thought to have transported the huge stone blocks in this manner.

The tribe living around Lake Titicaca are called the Uru and elders retain memories of people of their tribe being sacrified under the foundations when Tiahuanaco was built. The name immediately suggests Ut, which again is linked to the Sumerian civilization.

The Incas carried out mummification and, like the Sumerians, placed a metal disc in the mouth of a corpse. They also built pyramids and obelisks, while using cups, plates, spoons and goblets much like those in the Old World. Likewise, both the Sumerians and the Incas held the rainbow as sacred and each carried their notables around in litters. While at a temple in Chavin, Peru, an ingenious system of air conduits still carries fresh air to every room in the building and a remarkably similar system has been discovered in the Cretan palace at Knosses.

Professor Marcel F Homet, an archaeologist and scholar from Algeria, once visited the Amazon region to view its antiquities and made many amazing discoveries. From inscriptions found on the painted rock, the Pedra Pintada, prof Homet recorded symbols well-known in the Old World, such as the swastika, the double axe, the spiral and also the sun symbol. He also indicates that Cretan ceramics were discovered on the Marajo island, at the mouth of the Amazon and further reported he found an Indian tribe called Syriana, which in Semitic simply means 'Our Syrians'.

Many archaeologists continue to dispute the authenticity of such evidence gathered from North and South America. Claims of hoaxing, while perhaps valid in some instances, could not possibly extend to include the thousands of artifacts recovered over centuries from hundreds of locatations, and from many countries of the New World. The real and exciting history of the Americas must be told and this undoubtedly means rewriting the history books.



http://www.worldofthestrange.com/Archives/20020527.htm
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« Reply #154 on: November 22, 2008, 08:52:05 am »










                                New Ideas About Human Migration From Asia To Americas







ScienceDaily
(Oct. 29, 2007) —

Questions about human migration from Asia to the Americas have perplexed anthropologists for decades, but as scenarios about the peopling of the New World come and go, the big questions have remained. Do the ancestors of Native Americans derive from only a small number of “founders” who trekked to the Americas via the Bering land bridge? How did their migration to the New World proceed? What, if anything, did the climate have to do with their migration? And what took them so long?

A team of 21 researchers, led by Ripan Malhi, a geneticist in the department of anthropology at the University of Illinois, has a new set of ideas. One is a striking hypothesis that seems to map the peopling process during the pioneering phase and well beyond, and at the same time show that there was much more genetic diversity in the founder population than was previously thought.

“Our phylogeographic analysis of a new mitochondrial genome dataset allows us to draw several conclusions,” the authors wrote.

“First, before spreading across the Americas, the ancestral population paused in Beringia long enough for specific mutations to accumulate that separate the New World founder lineages from their Asian sister-clades.” (A clade is a group of mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs ) that share a recent common ancestor, Malhi said. Sister-clades would include two groups of mtDNAs that each share a recent common ancestor and the common ancestor for each clade is closely related.)

Or, to express this first conclusion another way, the ancestors of Native Americans who first left Siberia for greener pastures perhaps as much as 30,000 years ago, came to a standstill on Beringia – a landmass that existed during the last glacial maximum that extended from Northeastern Siberia to Western Alaska, including the Bering land bridge – and they were isolated there long enough – as much as 15,000 years – to maturate and differentiate themselves genetically from their Asian sisters.

“Second, founding haplotypes or lineages are uniformly distributed across North and South America instead of exhibiting a nested structure from north to south. Thus, after the Beringian standstill, the initial North to South migration was likely a swift pioneering process, not a gradual diffusion.”
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« Reply #155 on: November 22, 2008, 08:54:26 am »









The DNA data also suggest a lot more to-ing and fro-ing than has been suspected of populations during the past 30,000 years in Northeast Asia and North America. The analysis of the dataset shows that after the initial peopling of Beringia, there were a series of back migrations to Northeast Asia as well as forward migrations to the Americas from Beringia, thus “more recent bi-directional gene flow between Siberia and the North American Arctic.”

To investigate the pioneering phase in the Americas, Malhi and his team, a group of geneticists from around the world, pooled their genomic datasets and then analyzed 623 complete mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) from the Americas and Asia, including 20 new complete mtDNAs from the Americas and seven from Asia. The sequence data was used to direct high-resolution genotyping from 20 American and 26 Asian populations. Mitochondrial DNA, that is, DNA found in organelles, rather than in the cell nucleus, is considered to be of separate evolutionary origin, and is inherited from only one parent – the female.

The team identified three new sub-clades that incorporate nearly all of Native American haplogroup C mtDNAs – all of them widely distributed in the New World, but absent in Asia; and they defined two additional founder groups, “which differ by several mutations from the Asian-derived ancestral clades.”

What puzzled them originally was the disconnect between recent archaeological datings. New evidence places Homo sapiens at the Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site in Siberia – as likely a departure point for the migrants as any in the region – as early as 30,000 years before the present, but the earliest archaeological site at the southern end of South America is dated to only 15,000 years ago.

“These archaeological dates suggested two likely scenarios,” the authors wrote: Either the ancestors of Native Americans peopled Beringia before the Last Glacial Maximum, but remained locally isolated – likely because of ecological barriers – until entering the Americas 15,000 years before the present (the Beringian incubation model, BIM); or the ancestors of Native Americans did not reach Beringia until just before 15,000 years before the present, and then moved continuously on into the Americas, being recently derived from a larger parent Asian population (direct colonization model, DCM).

Thus, for this study the team set out to test the two hypotheses: one, that Native Americans’ ancestors moved directly from Northeast Asia to the Americas; the other, that Native American ancestors were isolated from other Northeast Asian populations for a significant period of time before moving rapidly into the Americas all the way down to Tierra del Fuego.

“Our data supports the second hypothesis: The ancestors of Native Americans peopled Beringia before the Last Glacial Maximum, but remained locally isolated until entering the Americas at 15,000 years before the present.”

The team’s findings appear in a recent issue of the Public Library of Science in an article titled, “Beringian Standstill and Spread of Native American Founders.”


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Adapted from materials provided by University of Illinois.
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
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 MLA University of Illinois (2007, October 29). New Ideas About Human Migration From Asia To Americas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 14, 2008, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2007/10/071025160653.htm
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« Reply #156 on: December 30, 2008, 09:43:21 pm »




             








                                              DNA tracks ancient Alaskan's descendants


                  10,300 YEARS OLD: Tests of Southeast Natives challenge prior anthropological results.






By GEORGE BRYSON
gbryson@adn.com
December 28th, 2008

An ancient mariner who lived and died 10,000 years ago on an island west of Ketchikan probably doesn't have any close relatives left in Alaska.

But some of them migrated south and their descendents can be found today in coastal Native American populations in California, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina.

That's some of what scientists learned this summer by examining the DNA of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians in Southeast Alaska.

Working with elders at a cultural festival in Juneau, they interviewed more than 200 Native Alaskans who allowed them to swab tiny amounts of saliva from their cheeks to capture their mitochondrial DNA, the genetic material that's passed from mothers to children.

Preliminary examination of those cell particles indicates:

• None of the participants possessed DNA similar to that extracted from On Your Knees Cave man, the 10,300-year-old Alaskan whose remains were discovered 12 years ago in a shallow cavern on Prince of Wales Island.

• But some participants appear to be closely linked genetically to coastal Indian tribes in British Columbia and Washington state, in spite of anthropological studies that claim Tlingits were originally an Interior people, like the nearby Athabascans.

"We haven't seen connections inland yet ... looking at just the very first couple of samples," said Washington State University Assistant Professor Brian Kemp, the molecular anthropologist who led the research. "That doesn't mean we won't. But right now we only have these long-distant connections."

 Apparently On Your Knees Cave man only has long-distant relatives too.
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« Reply #157 on: December 30, 2008, 09:45:06 pm »




             

              Paleontologist Tim Heaton holds a plastic cast of a human lower jaw at the site of a cave dig on Prince of Wales Island in 1998.
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« Reply #158 on: December 30, 2008, 09:46:06 pm »











AN ANCIENT TRAVELER



Bones of the ancient Alaskan were first discovered in 1996 by Alaska paleontologist Tim Heaton during an archaeological survey on the northern tip of Prince of Wales, the nation's third largest island.

They are among the oldest human remains ever found in North America -- a 13,000-year-old woman's partial skeleton was discovered 50 years ago in an island cave off the south coast of California -- and the oldest ever discovered in Alaska.

Heaton's team recovered a male pelvis, three ribs, a few vertebrae and a toothy, broken jaw, along with some ancient tools. With the help of archaeologist E. James Dixon, they eventually pieced together the caveman's story.

His teeth indicate he died in his prime, possibly in his early to mid-20s. The content of his bones revealed that his primary food came from the sea. The nearby stone tools, consisting of materials not found on the island, suggest a long-distance traveler, a mariner.

Then the geneticists went to work. Laboring two years as a graduate student, Kemp finally succeeded in extracting mitochondrial DNA from one of the caveman's teeth, the oldest DNA sample ever recovered in the Americas at the time.

It clearly placed On Your Knees Cave man in the "haplogroup-D" branch of the human family tree.
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« Reply #159 on: December 30, 2008, 09:49:37 pm »









GENETIC TRAILS



Population geneticists trace all humans alive today back to common ancestors who lived in Africa about 60,000 years ago. As they migrated north out of Africa, then east and west across Asia and Europe, the common DNA they carried with them would occasionally mutate.

Different populations that migrated to different destinations carried different sets of mutations, which scientists have categorized into haplogroups and sub-haplogroups. The first people to migrate to the Americas all belonged to one of five primary haplogroups: A, B, C, D or X.

Just knowing that On Your Knees Cave man was a D reduced the chances that he would have any close relatives still living among present-day Native Alaskans, Kemp said. Previous DNA sampling of Eskimos, Athabaskans and Southeast Indians had traced nearly all of them to haplogroup A, with a tiny scattering of Bs.

The only known haplogroup D people in Alaska were the Aleuts. But that made them only distant relatives to On Your Knees Cave man -- very distant, since scientists believe the D mutation appeared for the first time about 50,000 years ago in Asia.

On closer inspection, however, Kemp found that On Your Knees Cave man belonged more specifically to the genetic sub-group D4H3, which may have shown up as recently as 20,000 years ago. Still, it's an exclusive group. Less than 2 percent of all Native Americans share that signature.

Aleuts living today don't appear to be that closely related to the caveman, Kemp said. Of the 163 tested so far, none were D4H3.

"The Aleuts are more closely related to the On Your Knees Cave individual than anyone who is not a member of D," he said. "But that has nothing to do with what happened in the Americas. It happened way before."

According to Kemp's research, part of what happened in the Americas is this:

Some of the caveman's relatives decided to head south from Alaska. Members of his specific genetic lineage have been found among the Chumash people of Southern California, the Cayapa of Ecuador and the Yaghan of Tierra del Fuego.

The fact that most of them landed at seaside destinations lends a lot more credence to scientists who believe the Lower 48 states and South America were populated first by coastal mariners -- Ice Age migrants from Asia who skirted around land-blocking glaciers in Alaska as early as 20,000 years ago
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« Reply #160 on: December 30, 2008, 09:52:35 pm »










TLINGIT MYSTERY



Did some of those first Alaskans remain behind in the North? In terms of present-day Native Alaskans who might share the same specific genetic marker as On Your Knees Cave man, the jury is still out, Kemp said.

That's because genetic genealogy is still in its infancy. Very few Native Americans have been checked so far.

The DNA testing of 234 Southeast Alaska Indians that occurred in June -- one of the largest samples ever collected in the Americas -- nearly doubled all the previous data scientists had on Alaska Native populations, Kemp said.

It's possible the right person with the right match simply hasn't been tested yet, said Rosita Worl, president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, the nonprofit Southeast Alaska Native group that sponsored the research.

It's also possible that the Tlingits and Haidas -- migrating either from the south or the Interior -- arrived in Southeast Alaska after the cave man's people had already passed through.

Worl's research suggests that the Tlingits of today used to be two separate populations. Tlingit society has long been divided between two groups, called "moieties" -- the Eagles and the Ravens -- based on the mother's ancestry. It's possible that one group preceded the other.

"Our oral traditions always talk about the presence of an older population being here when they arrived," said Worl, a Juneau-based Tlingit who teaches cultural anthropology at the University of Alaska Southeast.

"The hypothesis is that the Eagles and the Ravens represent two different populations."

Kemp is anxious to continue his research on his Tlingit DNA samples, to see if the matrilineal branches based on DNA match the matrilineal branches based on culture.

"We collected as much information as we could about individual moieties," Kemp said. "So a cool test will be to see if it (matches) the population genetics. And that may clarify the separate origins."




Find George Bryson online at

adn.com/contact/gbryson or call 257-4318.
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« Reply #161 on: January 06, 2009, 05:45:52 pm »








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    Re: ATLANTIS & the Atlantic Ocean
« Reply #163 on: December 27, 2008, 05:32:38 am » Quote 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




                                               Who discovered the Americas?






Zeeya Merali



Skull analysis suggests Australians got there first.

From the BA Festival of Science, Exeter, UK.

Traditional colonization theories hold that the first wave of humans to migrate to the Americas came from Siberia.


The first colonizers of the Americas came from Australia, according to archaeologists who have analysed skulls from 12,000-year-old skeletons found in California. The finding contradicts the traditional view that the first immigrants were the ancestors of modern Native Americans.

The skulls, taken from skeletal remains found in the desert of the Baja California peninsula in Mexico, are long and narrow. "This is completely different to the Native Americans' rounder skull shape," explains lead researcher Silvia Gonzalez from the Liverpool John Moores University, UK.

The skeletons are housed by the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. They were embedded in volcanic deposits that deteriorated the structure of the bones and made them difficult to date accurately. But the skulls' intriguing form has driven researchers to work out how old they are.

Gonzalez and her team announced their first set of results on 6 September at the Exeter-based Festival of Science, run by the British Association for the Advancement of Science. They have managed to radiocarbon date 4 of the 27 skeletons. So far, the oldest, belonging to an individual called Peñon Woman III, is 12,700 years old.
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« Reply #162 on: January 06, 2009, 05:47:10 pm »









Cue from the Pericues



Traditional colonization theories hold that the first wave of humans to migrate to the Americas came from Siberia at the end of the last ice age. Skeletons of these migrants are dated at about 9,000 years old. So Gonzalez says the new evidence means that the Siberians, who are related to modern day Native Americans, did not get there first after all.

She believes the lost tribe of immigrants, known as the Pericues, are related to modern Australian Aborigines, who have a similar skull shape, and that they became extinct between 200 and 300 years ago. "There are eighteenth century reports from missionaries in Baja California of thin, hunter-gatherer, shellfish-eating people," says Gonzalez. "These seafaring travellers would have followed a corridor around the Pacific coast from Australia, along the coast of Japan, to Baja."

"The theory that the first migrant population to the Americas is not connected to the current Native Americans has been debated for five to ten years," says Chris Stringer at the Natural History Museum in London. "If Dr Gonzalez has dated these skeletons accurately, then this is a very exciting result."

The researchers now hope to strengthen their theory of a link with aboriginal Australians by doing a DNA analysis of the Pericue skeletons' bones.



Article Copyright © 2004 MacMillan Publishers Ltd.



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« Reply #163 on: January 11, 2009, 06:16:38 pm »











                                                     Navigating by the Stars






Joe Rao
Skywatching Columnist
SPACE.com
Fri Sep 19, 2008
 
Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences, and quite possibly the oldest use of astronomy is navigating
by the stars. This craft dates from prehistoric times among humans, and is even practiced by certain animals.
 
For example, during the 1960s, a study undertaken by New York's Cornell Lab of Ornithology demonstrated through use of planetarium simulations that the indigo bunting, a brilliantly blue bird of
old fields and roadsides, migrates at night using the stars for guidance. It learns its orientation to the night sky from its experience as a young bird observing the stars.

Some primitive tribes accomplished amazing feats of pathfinding using only the sky as their guide. The Māori came to New Zealand from eastern Polynesia, probably in several waves between the years 1280 to 1300. With no instruments or tables to consult, they very carefully observed the night sky as well local weather patterns and ocean currents. 
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« Reply #164 on: January 11, 2009, 06:17:53 pm »










Relying on the stars


In today's modern world, private and commercial aircraft depend on a complex network of radio, satellite, inertial and other navigation systems. But should any or all of these systems fail, the starry sky can serve as the last resort.


As the late Henry Neeley, a popular lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium during the 1950s once noted: "The navigational use of the stars will continue to be a valuable asset for many years to come. In spite of all the scientific aids that have been developed to do the navigating by robot science, the ancient stars will still be a 'must' for navigator or pilot." Indeed, celestial navigation is still an important part of a navigator's formal training and while we might immediately think of sailors in this regard, the pilot of an aircraft can also sight on the stars in an emergency (and often with an advantage over sailors, being high above any obscuring clouds). [By day, ancient mariners used sundials to navigate.]


The Nautical Almanac and Air Almanac are special annual publications printed both in the United States and the United Kingdom and describes the positions and movements of celestial bodies for the purpose of enabling navigators to use celestial navigation to determine the position of their ship or aircraft including the sun, moon and planets.   
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