Comments on America Unearthed—Pre-Colulmbian Celts in America?Is it possible that Europeans were in America prior to Christopher Columbus?
When I was in grade school it was theorized that the old Norse legend about a guy called Leif Ericson might be true. A few years later, due to the intense archeological effort of the Norwegian explorer, Helge Ingstad, and his wife, Anne Ingstad, a site at L’Anse aux Meadows , Newfoundland, was excavated and evidence proved that the Norse were in America in Ericson’s time. The evidence consisted of a few iron artifacts and typical Norse building construction, a construction that was distinctly different from native construction.
During my life time I have heard conflicting and sometimes silly statements from alleged experts regarding the Norse explorers. I point these out to show how the educated and knowledgeable often trot down poorly considered theoretical paths in their formulation about prehistory, legendary, or mythical times.
Example 1: Eric the Red named the place Greenland to trick settlers into moving there. This statement assumes Greenland was the icy uninhabitable place we are familiar with today.
The truth is that Viking settlers farmed, raised cattle, and thrived in Greenland throughout the Medieval Warm Period up until the beginning of the Little Ice Age, centuries later. It is noteworthy that the Little Ice Age formally lasted from 1350 to 1850. Yes it ended less than 200 years ago. Are you surprised that Earth has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age? Aren’t you pleased that it did?
Also it is said that Leif repeated his father’s trickery by naming his New World colony, Vinland, ha, ha, as if grapes could grow in Newfoundland. Maybe they could. During the Medieval Warm Period wine produced from English grapes rivaled French wines. One might ask, “Why did the Norse settle in Newfoundland if it were inhospitable? Were they afraid to sail down the American coast to a warmer, more pleasant location? Maybe we should ask it this way: Were the explorers who explored Russia, founded Kiev, founded Dublin, attacked Constantinople, etc. afraid to sail down the benign American coast to find a reasonable location for their colony? My guess is that Newfoundland was a reasonable location, warmer than now, and, yes, with grapes growing wild. I also think that the Norse explored south along the coast as well. It would be inconsistent with their character to have done otherwise.
We know the Norse were here about 1000 A.D., so why not the Celts, or someone else, at the same time or earlier?
Two main reasons are given:1. No certifiable Celtic artifacts have been found here.
Counter point: Norse artifacts would not have been found except for the effort of two people, Helge Ingstad and his wife.
2. Prior to the Vikings, there were no seaworthy ships to bring people from Europe to America.
Counter point: At Bygdoy, in Oslo, there are four museums to Norse exploration. These are: the Fram Museum, The Viking Ship Museum, the Nortic Marine Museum, and the Kon Tiki Museum (Thor Heyerdahl). Thor Heyerdahl spent his life demonstrating that humans could migrate from continent to continent in the most basic of watercrafts: a balsa wood raft in the case of the successful Kon Tiki Expedition, and an Egyptian reed boat, in the case of the almost successful Ra Expedition.
Further evidence against the first argument is the presence of the Clovis point, the unique stone projectile design of the first Americans that was first found near Clovis, New Mexico. Subsequent to its first discovery, the projectiles were found on the East Coast of the US—and in France.
Well I lie, the projectiles and tools found in France, are called Solutrean, but this technique is remarkably close to that of the Clovis, and there have been NO Clovis points or tools found in Alaska where the original Americans were believed to have crossed over from Asia.
Furthermore, there is a plethora of Native American stories about white settlers, or brothers. Remember the Aztecs thought Cortez was a returning white god.
So is it possible that the Celts or others were in America before Columbus? No, not until we uncover evidence which is certifiable, but when we do, well, then, why of course they were here.