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Author Topic:   Pre-Clovis People in America: The Solutrean Hypothesis
Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 603 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 1 of 18 (552137)
03-26-2010 7:16 PM


For over 70-years the commonly held, scientific belief among anthropologists and archaeologists is that the earliest known settlers to the continent of North America date not much further than 12-14,000 years ago.

The proposed people were of Asian descent who migrated across the Bering Straight land bridge in the last ice age. These people today are directly related to Inuit and Eskimo tribes, as well as the Native American tribes.

This theory has stood up to scientific scrutiny making the land bridge migration one of the more well-attested facts in archaeology and anthropology. To the scientists, these paleo-indian people are commonly referred to as the Clovis People. Their name derives from one the first and oldest sites found in Clovis, New Mexico, that helped spark interest in American anthropology.

From the first initial discoveries of bone, pottery, and weaponry, it was commonly accepted to cap the migration at around 12-14,000 years ago, and that no human (or Pre-human) population existed in the Americas before this time.

Over the last 15 or so years, mounting evidence to the contrary has been surfacing pointing to a much earlier migration -- as early as 25,000 years in pre-history. Physical evidence in the form of arrowheads, bone structure, and DNA point to something even more bizarre. The theory, known as the Solutrean Hypothesis, alleges that early Europeans in the South of France, known as the Solutrean people, migrated thousands of years before the Clovis people. They are also referred to as "Pre-Clovis."

This theory has met considerable resistance over the years for challenging long accepted anthropological history about the America's. Some reject the theory out of hand and others have grown more accepting of the theory as new evidence emerges.

I would like to discuss any and all things relating to this topic to hear points on both sides of the argument, because quite honestly I don't know much about it but am intrigued by it.

What I do NOT want is this thread being hijacked by Young-earth creationists postulating that the earth is only 6-7,500 years old and that the whole anthropolgical history is bunk.

With that, were there people in America before 12,000 years ago, and if so, were they European, and if so, how did they get here and what was their fate? Did they copulate with other indigenous populations and become assimilated? Were they massacred? What happened to them, or did they not exist at all?

Is the Solutrean Hypothesis valid?


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." -- Charlton Heston
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Message 2 of 18 (552190)
03-27-2010 8:06 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Pre-Clovis People in America: The Solutrean Hypothesis thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 623 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 3 of 18 (552200)
03-27-2010 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hyroglyphx
03-26-2010 7:16 PM


This theory has met considerable resistance over the years for challenging long accepted anthropological history about the America's. Some reject the theory out of hand and others have grown more accepting of the theory as new evidence emerges.

Which is the norm in scientific investigation. Scientists are normally skeptical and demand evidence. As evidence is found to either support of reject a hypothesis, the hypothesis either becomes more readily accepted or rejected based on this evidence. Most robust theories were heartily rejected when first proposed, such as heliocentrism, oxidation-reduction or evolution. As research continued, more evidence was found and such theories were more heartily accepted.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


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Theodoric
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Posts: 4529
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 4 of 18 (552208)
03-27-2010 11:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hyroglyphx
03-26-2010 7:16 PM


Don't see the mounting evidence
The evidence does not appear to be mounting. There is the same evidence they started with and I do not see anything that has added to it.

The main premise behind the theory is the similarity of the Clovis tools to the earlier existing Solutrean tools. This theory seems similar to the theory that the Egyptians must have come to America because there are pyramids in Central America. Theories like this strike me as racial and elitist. The Clovis tools are similar to the Solutrean tools, there are marked differences though. There is no reason why the technology could not have developed in two places. This is not unheard of in history and even this day in age.

Here is some recent research that discounts this theory.
From 2008
Mitochondrial Population Genomics Supports a Single Pre-Clovis Origin with a Coastal Route for the Peopling of the Americas

quote:
However, the differential pattern of distribution and frequency of haplogroup X led some to suggest that it may represent an independent migration to the Americas. Here we show, by using 86 complete mitochondrial genomes, that all Native American haplogroups, including haplogroup X, were part of a single founding population, thereby refuting multiple-migration models.

Also, from 2008
The Solutrean Atlantic Hypothesis: A View from the Ocean
quote:
One current hypothesis for the Pleistocene peopling of the Americas invokes a dispersal by European hunter-gatherers along a biologically productive “corridor” situated on the edge of the sea-ice that filled the Atlantic Ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In this paper, we assert that critical paleoceanographic data underpinning this hypothesis has not yet been examined in sufficient detail. To this end, we present data which show that the corridor may not have existed, and that, if it did, its suitability as a migration route is highly questionable.

quote:
it is clear from the paleoceanographic and paleo-environmental data that the LGM North Atlantic does not fit the descriptions provided by the proponents of the Solutrean Atlantic Hypothesis. Although ice use and sea mammal hunting may have been important in other contexts, in this instance, the conditions militate against an ice-edge-following, maritime-adapted European population reaching the Americas.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
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Coyote
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Message 5 of 18 (552210)
03-27-2010 12:05 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Theodoric
03-27-2010 11:17 AM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
I don't see the mounting evidence, and I'm a professional archaeologist.

It is more likely that tool type spread through parts of Asia and came the long way around.

There is mounting evidence for the early coastal migration though. I've found some of that myself.

There are some mtDNA studies underway now that might help clarify some of these details. They are finally doing larger studies of the full mitochondrial genome. That will give a lot more precision.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 35 days)
Posts: 2615
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 6 of 18 (552212)
03-27-2010 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Theodoric
03-27-2010 11:17 AM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
Hi, Theodoric.

Theodoric writes:

The main premise behind the theory is the similarity of the Clovis tools to the earlier existing Solutrean tools. This theory seems similar to the theory that the Egyptians must have come to America because there are pyramids in Central America. Theories like this strike me as racial and elitist.

I agree that that Solutrean hypothesis has been pretty much refuted.

I strongly disagree that it has anything to do with racism or elitism.

The paradigm of anthropology, archaeology and paleontology is steeped in evolutionary thought. So, it’s parsimonious to propose that two similar things are related because of their similarities. Nobody proposes an Egypt-Maya connection because they think Native Americans are too stupid to have come up with pyramids and hieroglyphics on their own: they propose it because the alternative is analogous to proposing that the similarities between chimpanzees and baboons are completely incidental.

No scientist particularly likes to call similarities “incidental”: we generally predict that similarities are meaningful until there is reason to think otherwise. Granted, in this case, I think there is reason to think otherwise, but, given the history of anthropology, archaeology and paleontology, it doesn’t surprise me that there are some scientists who think some obviously incidental similarities are not so obviously incidental.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 35 days)
Posts: 2615
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 7 of 18 (552213)
03-27-2010 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Coyote
03-27-2010 12:05 PM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
Hi, Coyote.

Coyote writes:

There is mounting evidence for the early coastal migration though.

Just to clarify: you're talking about the Pacific coastal migration, right?


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 4529
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 8 of 18 (552214)
03-27-2010 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Blue Jay
03-27-2010 12:24 PM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
Nobody proposes an Egypt-Maya connection because they think Native Americans are too stupid to have come up with pyramids and hieroglyphics on their own:

I am not saying many professional archaeologists and anthropologists hold these views. But the maya/egyptian connection has been well accepted in the psuedoscientific circles and a number of them have a very racist tenor to them.

This Solutrean theory is based upon the premise that the Clovis culture could not have developed on its own. Theerfore people are looking for ways to force things like the Solutrean tools into the Clovis world. I just question whether Clovis had to have a european influence.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
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Coyote
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Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 9 of 18 (552220)
03-27-2010 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Blue Jay
03-27-2010 12:30 PM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
Correct. mtDNA evidence shows one particular haplotype, D4h3, stretching from southern Alaska along the Pacific coast to the tip of South America and almost nowhere else. That has to be from a coastal migration.

Edited by Coyote, : Speeling


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 603 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 10 of 18 (552273)
03-27-2010 10:48 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Theodoric
03-27-2010 11:17 AM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
The main premise behind the theory is the similarity of the Clovis tools to the earlier existing Solutrean tools.

I think the tools were just the first tip that led a minority view. The other corresponding evidence was that such tools were found in deeper stratum than what was previously believed. The larger piece of evidence was through cranial comparisons and mtDNA, like Kennewick Man.

Kennewick Man, however, could have belonged to the Ainu people which have a superficial caucasoid appearance, but are in fact not closely related at all. Since the Ainu inhabited parts of Asia and places like the Kamchatka peninsula, them passing through the Bering land bridge would make more sense than crossing the Atlantic.

One thing seems fairly obvious, however, which is that whomever reached the America's had done so long before what was previously believed. Besides Kennewick Man, an even older skeleton carbon dated at 13,600 years was discovered in Mexico. To migrate that far south must at least push back the initial crossing several hundreds of years, if not at least an extra thousand.

Regardless, their is a growing number of dissenters who are actually considering the Pre-Clovis theory.

This theory seems similar to the theory that the Egyptians must have come to America because there are pyramids in Central America. Theories like this strike me as racial and elitist. The Clovis tools are similar to the Solutrean tools, there are marked differences though. There is no reason why the technology could not have developed in two places. This is not unheard of in history and even this day in age.

Yes, I've thought of that. I think what they are saying is that the tools they have found in Siberia, Alaska, Canada, etc are vastly different. It is possible that later cultures developed a better spear head, but why the sudden departure?

In any event, I see spearhead as anecdotal or circumstantial evidence. The real evidence lies within the bones themselves and the DNA which can be extracted. There does not seem to be a consensus on that point. More people are giving the Solutrean hypothesis a closer look and others think it is preposterous.

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." -- Charlton Heston
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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 4529
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005


Message 11 of 18 (552277)
03-27-2010 11:04 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Hyroglyphx
03-27-2010 10:48 PM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
Regardless, their is a growing number of dissenters who are actually considering the Pre-Clovis theory.

First of all what do you mean by pre-clovis. I think there are a lot of people that do not subscribethat the first peoples in america were clovis. I think even using the term like that may be bad form. I am not sure but I do not think it is highly disputed that there were humans in america pre-clovis. Maybe Coyote can fill us in on this. But because there may be a pre-clovis influx does not mean that the Solutrean idea is valid.

Also, I stand by my comments that the only thing backing the Solutrean Hypothesis is similarity of tools. You stated there is a growing body of evidence, but have not shown any. Is there a growing body of evidence? If so I do not see it. Please share.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
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Coyote
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Posts: 4707
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 12 of 18 (552284)
03-27-2010 11:45 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Theodoric
03-27-2010 11:04 PM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
There is a major shift about to take place in the whole argument. Some papers are in the works that I think will show that Clovis was indeed first--but not as now envisioned.

I know that is heresy against what used to be heresy, but the stone tool assemblages are obviously the key to the whole thing.

The one aspect of all of this that has been overlooked is Clovis in California. All of the standard references ignore California almost completely, but I think that is about to change. There is more and more evidence coming together now that I think will help straighten things out. Can't say much more yet.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 12745
Joined: 07-20-2006
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Message 13 of 18 (552287)
03-28-2010 12:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hyroglyphx
03-26-2010 7:16 PM


Well, I'm skeptical. The main or only evidence for the hypothesis is a similarity in methods of making stone tools. But presumably there are only so many ways to make a stone spearhead.

In biological terms, is this analogy or homology?


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Hyroglyphx
Member (Idle past 603 days)
Posts: 5140
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 14 of 18 (552347)
03-28-2010 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Coyote
03-27-2010 11:45 PM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
The one aspect of all of this that has been overlooked is Clovis in California. All of the standard references ignore California almost completely, but I think that is about to change.

Some of the oldest skeletons in North America have been found in the Channel islands off the coast of California, and others in Oregon. Clearly their was a coastal migration all the way down to Tierra del Fuego.

Are you saying what is going to change is the dates with which the first wave of migrations took place as opposed to whom made the journeys?


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." -- Charlton Heston
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 4707
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 15 of 18 (552373)
03-28-2010 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Hyroglyphx
03-28-2010 9:51 AM


Re: Don't see the mounting evidence
Are you saying what is going to change is the dates with which the first wave of migrations took place as opposed to whom made the journeys?

No, those dates are probably pretty close.

But I think the standard model of Clovis will be changed considerably.

I'll probably know more after Thursday--I'll be meeting with one of the folks who has come up with some new information.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
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