This post was formerly entitled: “The Pericues: Proof of Homo erectus in Baja”—–
The Pericues also known as the Pericu, Cora, and Edues were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Cape Region which is the southernmost end of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Sine the late 18th century, sadly, they have been culturally and linguistically extinct.
Baja California Native American Tribes
Of special interest here is that these people had very distinctive hyperdolichocephic skulls. That is, they were known for their distinctive long headed skulls. Some researchers believe that the Pericu were either were trans-Pacific migrants or remnants of some of the oldest colonizers of the New World. Their burials feature remains painted with red ochre (Las Palmas burial complex) which sometimes were deposited in caves or under rock shelters. These people used the atlatl and darts along with the bow and arrow up through the 17th century. When the Spanish came to the Americas they enslaved the Pericu until they revolted in 1734. The revolt lasted for two years until the Spanish reasserted authority over them. Many of the Pericu died of diseases brought by the Spanish as well. Continue Reading
A bit over 100 years ago anthropologists were searching for early man in SE Asia and specifically they were searching for the “missing link.” That common ancestor between ape and man! But what they were discovering is that the jungles of SE Asia were not conducive to fossil formation, so fossil finds were few and still are today. Then in 1891 Dutch paleoanthropologist and geologist Eugene Dubois stumbled on to something. On the island of Java he found the remains of what was first called Pithecanthropus erectus which would later be renamed Homo erectus and would commonly come to be known as Java Man. What Dubois found was a tooth, skullcap, and a thigh bone at a place called Trinil on the banks of the Solo River in East Java. Dubois was certain he’d found the “missing link”!! Dubois himself called the species Anthropopithecus erectus. Java Man was dated at between 1 mya and 700 kya.
Aboriginal rock art, Western Australia
But Dubois was not the only one looking for the “missing link.” Researchers in Europe and Africa were also looking for this elusive “missing link” between ape and man. Not long after Dubois unearthed Java Man startling news came from Europe. The “missing link” had been found in England!! Continue Reading
NOTE: This is a rather long read but there is a lot of info I wanted to include in this post so grab that diet soda and box of bon bons, get comfortable in your easy chair and indulge 🙂
One of my favorite land is Australia. The “land down under” is nothing short of magnificent! We are going to explore this fantastic land in upcoming posts because there is some geology and prehistoric history there that is significant although it has been much ignored by academia. For starters I want to take a look at what I call the “Bradshaw Boat.” But first we need a bit of history………
Dr. Grahame Walsh: Researcher, Lone Wolf, & Rebel
Grahame Leslie Walsh was the only real expert on the Bradshaw Art (Guion Guion) in which the “Bradshaw Boat” is to be found. He documents and studied this ancient rock art for over 40 years. He was born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia in 1944 and sadly passed away in Brisbane in 2007. He was both a scholar and a Bushman, an outsider and an aesthete. He was particularly drawn to studying Aboriginal Australia. Walsh had a rather “maverick style” and a lone-wolf persona. He had a wide range of interests and was described by some as having been a “self-created man wholly free from external influences.” He pursued a life of field research hating the idea of sitting behind some academic desk. When he was in his teens a friend took him to Carnarvon Gorge to see a rock art paradise. To Walsh this site was like Camelot! For years after he operated a service station at Injune which is near the entrance to the gorge national park and while doing so he developed a keen interest in nature, geology, and the areas Aboriginal traditions. Continue Reading
Did ancient Polynesians and Australian Aboriginals get to South America? Did they interbreed with some South American people? Did Native Americans not only arrive in the Americans via the Bering Land Bridge but also by sea? These are some of the questions that science is attempting to answer and the evidence that is being found is somewhat astonishing…..at least to some.
I have long studied the Olmec which I consider to be a fantastic ancient people. They were the first MAJOR civilization in Mexico and Guatemala following a progressive development Soconusco (a region in the SW corner of Chiapas, Mexico) and what is today the modern SW Pacific lowlands of Guatemala. These people lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico in what is today the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco. There is speculation they came from the Mokaya or Mixe-Zoque people which some consider pre-Olmec people. But, note this is speculation.
The Olmec are best known for their carvings of colossal heads and other artworks. These people have broad noses, large lips, and some had large eyes. Some of their artwork depictions of themselves clearly look African or Polynesian and one must wonder if these people actually came from Africa or Polynesia! Yet, other artwork depictions look more Oriental such as that depicted in the artistic statue known as “The Wrestler.” Continue Reading
Back in February of 1974 researcher Jim Bowler and his team found an enigma as they were sifting through the sand dunes near the dry Lake Mungo in southwestern New South Wales, Australia. That enigma is known as “Mungo Man” today and it was to cause controversy that would challenge the Out of Africa theory head-on!
Mungo Man, Lake Mungo, Australia 1974
According to the Out of Africa/Replacement Theory AMH (Anatomically Modern Humans) didn’t appear in Australia until a mere 42-48 kya. Possibly they arrived there via the migrations of people cross land bridges or making short sea crossings from what is today SE Asia. These first people may have been the ancestors of modern indigenous Australians who were hunter-gatherers with a complex oral culture and spiritual value system based on reverence for the land and a belief in “Dreamtime.” Continue Reading
Maka woman in Pacific Northwest from 1900
In a recent post to his webpage Linguist Robert Lindsay makes two important observations (among others). In the final paragraph he notes how the Mozabite people in Algeria are Caucasoid but they are “some of the weirdest-looking Caucasoids I have ever seen. They don’t really look like any other race of humans..” He notes some look like people from India. He also notes that in papers about the genesis of the Caucasian race North Africa, the Middle East, and India are mentioned (frequently) as hubs for the development of this race 30-40 kya. He further notes that the Mozabite people are mentioned over and over when remains of ancient genetic groups are discussed along with the Uighur “for some odd reason.” I think this is because some researchers consider the Mozabites and Uighur to be some of the most ancient people on the planet.
This is subject matter for a future post I think but for now I want to focus on something else Lindsay said in this post. He notes, “There are also links between Orcadians (Scottish Islanders) and Siberians.” This is true and has been acknowledged by some researchers. Then Lindsay goes on to say this:
“Skulls from Europe from 21,000 YBP (years before present) look more like Amerindians than anything else. The closest match-up between those ancient European skulls is the Makah Amerindian tribe from Europe.”
Now the Makah are actually a Native American tribe currently dwelling in Washington State in the Pacific Northwest of the US. They are a federally recognized tribe. These people have hunted whales and seals for generations. So I’m not sure what Lindsay means by saying the Makah “tribe from Europe” because most anthropologist believe these people came via the Beringia Landbridge into North America and never were in Europe. However, skulls of SOME Europe from around 21 kya DO in fact resemble Amerindian skulls!
In 2007 there was a find and DNA analysis that undercut recent theories about Paleoamericans (the first people in the New World) having originally come from SE Asia or even Europe. That find was the “Cave Maiden.” These remains were of a teenage girl found in a Mexican cave who lived about 12 kya. The cave is the Outland Cave in the Yucatan. Her bones are believed to be one of the oldest and most complete skeletons ever found in the Americas. DNA analysis showed her ancestry was from a now vanished land between Siberia and Alaska. Continue Reading
A study conducted by Vanderbilt University has found that during the last ice age Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea formed a single landmass known as Sahul. They’ve also found that this landmass was inhabited by a rather bizarre number of giant animals.
The study confirms that this landmass was once home to 500 pound giant Kangaroos, marsupial tapirs the size of horses and wombat-like animals the size of hippos. There were also flightless birds that weighed twice as much as the modern Emu, snakes 33 ft long, 20 ft crocodiles, 8 ft turtles with spikes on their heads, and giant monitor lizards greater than 6 feet long and likely poisonous.
The study determined that by 30 kya most of these giants went extinct as part of a mass global extinction event. Other researchers are not so sure about these findings, however. They believe most of these giant animals were hunted into extinction by Australian aborigines who arrived in the area around 50 kya. Others contend the native population destroyed the animals environment using fire-stick burning. Still others believe a gradual drying out of the environment in Australia along with a weakening in the monsoon was the major reason for these animals extinction. I’d say most likely it was a combination of these factors. When it comes to extinction events it is never a black/white clear cut issue or cause!
Vanderbilt compared the diets of some of these giant animals. One group of fossils teeth used was from around 300 kya and the other from around 30 kya. Their analysis suggests climate change had a huge impact on these giants and their diets and likely was a factor in their extinction. Ya think? (sorry to be pessimistic about this but common sense should already tell us what this $ research has)
Sadly, it appears that some researchers still only see climate as a backdrop! I do NOT believe that to be the case in the slightest. In fact, I think CLIMATE was and IS a MAJOR factor in the evolution and extinction of ALL LIFEFORMS ON THIS PLANET! Common sense should tell us that when climates change so do food supplies, birth rates, mortality rates, and a host of other things. Animals (including humans) either must adapt or die! Those who don’t or can’t adapt go extinct. Those that do survive!
In my mind this study tells us nothing knew but simply confirms what many of us already know. The last ice age not only wrecked havoc in Australia but everywhere else on the planet. As I’ve said before for the past 12,000 years or so climate on this planet has been relatively stable when compared to what it has been prior to the end of the last ice age. In that sense we are lucky today but we know that one day the chaos will return just as we know that one day the ICE will return! Many researchers believe we are now overdue for that great cooling to return and they believe it could return rather suddenly. That would wreck human civilization as we know it in many places! I’ve heard some researchers say that man almost went extinct in the last ice age. We may not be so lucky in the next one.