This article (Fisherman Pulls Up Beastly Evidence of Early Americans) made me chuckle. They are at it again, those people who dare imply that Europeans got to the Americas in prehistoric times. Unfortunately, this year has dumped a wammy on those who have shouted them down with catcalls of racism. New evidence suggests that the Clovis people, the forefathers of all Native American groups, were of European heritage—as well as Asia. I.e. the Native American people may be the first large group of interracial people. The evidence came from the DNA of two ancient Siberians, who had genetic markers carried by the Native American tribes, as well as Central Europeans, such as Germans and Czechs. About 30% of Native American DNA is believed to come from their European ancestors. The rest comes from their Asian ancestors.
Don’t fret over it. We were all brown then. This year another study showed that the white gene mutation occurred about 7000 years ago, about 5000 years after the Clovis migration.
The article, above, delivers another zinger. In 1974, some fishermen netted a mastodon skull and along with it some Solutrean-like tools. The skull carbon dated at 22,000 years ago, 7000 to 10,000 years before the mixed-blooded Clovis people arrived here. It implies, but falls far short of proving, an earlier Solutrean migration to the Americas—and, of course, the Solutreans came from Europe. Coincidentally, the Solutrean culture existed about 22,000 years ago.
The Solutrean idea isn’t new. The flaking of Solutrean tools is similar to that of the Clovis point, so some people have suggested that the Clovis evolved from the Solutrean. These people have been suggesting a European migration to the Americas for quite some time. If the find described in the article is legit, then these proponents have one more bit of evidence to support their idea. But I’m skeptical.
To me it seems all too convenient that a mastodon skull was dredged up along with human tools that just happened to be Solutrean. I mean, if you dropped stone tools in the water all around a mastodon skull, what would be the chance that you would dredge some of them up with the skull? I’m not trying to imply anything; I’m just saying it was damned propitious to get the skull and tools in the same dredge.
On the other hand, speaking against the idea of a hoax, the skull and tools were pulled up in 1974. The fishermen did not run to the press with it. Instead they chopped the mastodon tusks into pieces and distributed the tools and tusks among themselves as souvenirs. Forty years later, some of the stuff was spotted in a museum by an archeologist who tracked down the story. If it were a hoax, someone waited a hell of a long time for others to learn about their prank.
So what do I think? I think it’s interesting. I’ve said before that emerging DNA technology will support some of our beliefs about early man, and it will inflict substantial damage on others.