Is it possible that Neanderthals were actually in the Americas? According to mainstream theory (OOA) the Neanderthals made it just about everywhere except into the Americas. However, genetic studies are challenging that assumption! My own personal view is that they were and so was H. erectus. I think there is evidence of both having been in the Americas at one time or another as evidenced by Oldowan stone tools found by myself and many others in the Americas. And, also, the famous anthropologist Louis Leakey left his work in Africa and came to the Americas (Calico Hills, CA) fully expecting to find hominin fossil remains here like he found in Africa. Why was Leakey so convinced that he would find them?
Last week I posted about H. heidelbergensis and my conclusion is that he was an archaic Neanderthal. My conclusion also is that Heidelberg Man is likely not a common ancestor for the Neanderthals and H. sapiens (modern humans). That common ancestor may well be some hominim species we have not discovered yet and possibly might even be the Denisovans. That said, mainstream theory (OOA) holds the assumption that Neanderthals and modern humans share Heidelberg Man as a common ancestor and according to that theory the Neanderthals split from us about 300 kya. Neanderthals came to occupy most of Southern Europe, the Levant, Iran, Afghanistan, and the Caucasus region. We know this is so because we find their fossil remains in these places. They did not live in Sub-Sahara Africa and eventually they were replaced by modern humans. However, I hold the view that more than replacement the Neanderthals interbred with modern humans and I think frequently.
Map showing distribution of the B006 haplotype based on global samples of the 6092X chromosomes.
Back in 2011 genetic research conducted by a team led by Vania Yotova published research showing an X-linked haplotype of Neanderthal origins that is present in all non-African populations today. This study specifically focused on a very small part in the X chromosome known as the B006 haplotype and came up with some interesting conclusions.
What they found is that modern humans outside Africa share the B006 with Neanderthals and, in fact, this haplotype is very common outside Africa but it is nonexistent in Sub-Sahara Africa! What this suggests is that the B006 haplotype comes from a gene pool other than H. sapiens that lived outside of Africa and at some point interbred with H. sapiens and passed that haplotype on to H. sapiens. The contributor of this haplotype was the Neanderthals and was done via interbreeding with our species. Continue Reading
This is perhaps one of the greatest Mesoamerican discoveries of all time! Using LIDAR technology archaeologists have been able to peel back the thick forest canopy of the jungles of Guatemala and have discovered thousands of pyramid, palace, causeway, and housing ruins previously unknown. They discovered, also, that the magnificent Mayan ruins of Tikal are only a fraction of a LARGE Mayan city!
Some of the ruins are in swamp areas believed to have been uninhabitable and the ruins are all connected by causeways (elevated highways) suggesting they were frequently used for travel and trade. These finds are going to change the way we think of the Maya and it now appears certain that the Maya had a civilization that rivals anything found in Rome, Greece, and Egypt!
Were the ancient Phoenicians in the Americas? Was this where the gold and silver was obtained from the build the infamous Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem? The Phoenicians were well known for the ability to navigate the high seas and that is not a matter of question. In fact, they were renowned for this ability throughout the ancient world. There is even archaeological evidence that these ancient seafarers used sophisticated instruments for navigation on the waters and that they had a very large fleet of ships. These ships were not some primitive form of dugout but well built and sophisticated vessels some of which could carry over 500 people! These facts alone speak to the greatness of Phoenician shipping.
Artistic depiction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem
We know that in the 10th century BC suddenly huge amounts of gold and silver found their way to Jerusalem and that during that time Israel’s King Solomon “made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones for abundance.” At least that is what the Bible says in the book of 1 Kings 10:27. But could it be true? Did King Solomon ever exist?
Solomon reportedly had at his disposal a navy from Tarshish and Hiram and once every 3 years the navy of Tarshish brought gold and silver, ivory and apes, and PEACOCKS to Jerusalem. Peacocks are significant here because without a doubt they could have only come from Southeast Asia and that is proof that the Phoenicians sailed to SE Asia to obtain them or, at least, they had contacts with people in SE Asia who provided them with the peacocks. The Phoenicians also brought apes to Jerusalem and those apes could have been large gorillas or monkeys of varied sizes. The must have obtained them from central Africa and/or South or Central America. Again, proof that the Phoenicians had contact with a wide range of people in the world. Continue Reading
Reconstructed face from Paleoindian skull named “Naiia” who lived about 13-20 kya in the Americas. This face shows some very obvious Oriental features!!
Back in April I posted about the fossil remains of Luzia Woman found in Brazil. Most anthropologists, including myself, believe she was a Paleo-Indian who may well have been part of the first wave of migrants into South America. The fossil remains have been dated at about 11.5 kya and in terms of all things anthropological that’s not that long ago. In fact, it was towards the end of the last glaciation. You can find my original post at the link below. Continue Reading
There now comes a highly disturbing report out of the Javari Valley near the Peruvian border in Brazil. That valley is the second largest indigenous reserve in Brazil and tribes in that area are sometimes referred to as “lost tribes.” Reports indicate that gold miners slaughtered and chopped up some of the indigenous people recently and threw their mutilated bodies into a river….not once….but TWICE! The reason? The miners want control of the land to get at the gold!!
Brazilian police are said to be investigating the claim that 10 tribesmen belonging to remote Amazonian people were hacked to death after a complaint was filed with Brazilian prosecutors following an incident in which some of the miners involved in the slaughter bragged about the killings during a drinking bout in a local bar. But this is not the first such incident! Since the beginning of 2017 more than 50 tribesmen have been killed in Brazil in the first six months! Their lands are known to be rich in gold deposits and the miners want it at ANY cost, apparently.
In the bar the miners were showing off a hand-carved paddle that they claimed they took from one of the tribes. The talk in the bar was apparently cruel and laced with all sorts of nasty and prejudice language. And, the killer miners even bragged about cutting up the bodies and throwing them in the river! In a futile effort to attempt to justify their slaughter the miners told bar patrons that they “had to kill them or be killed.” Apparently, the killings happened just last month. Prosecutor Pablo Luz de Beltrand is heading the investigation. He told reporters that this is the second such investigation he’s led this year. The first centered around several killings of tribesmen in the same area back in February.
The populations of these remote tribes are very small to begin with and “Survival International” which is an indigenous rights group says the killings may have eliminated a significant number of the small populations. In 2016 there were 61 KNOWN killings of tribesmen and as of the end of July of this year there have been at least 50 killings. Continue Reading
There have been several discoveries over the past few years that are changing what we think about how and when the Americans were populated by modern humans and now comes yet MORE evidence that modern humans were in Brazil about 23 kya (thousand years ago). These new discoveries are proving our textbooks WRONG and frankly that is a breath of fresh air!!
A recent article in the journal “Antiquity” suggests that prehistoric modern humans were hunting giant ground sloths in eastern Brazil 23 kya. A large number of stone artifacts and bones were found at a rock shelter at Santa Elina between 1954-2004 and reanalysis now suggests small, bony sloth skin plates were notched and perforated and made into ornaments by modern humans living in the area. Remains of fire hearths were also found in the sediment layers. Dating suggests humans were living in the area at least 20 kya and the dates also suggest that humans were living again in the area between 10,000 and 2000 years ago. Continue Reading
This story begins with the arrival of the Spanish Conquistador Juan de Onate in what is today the State of New Mexico back in 1598. This was the first arrival of Spanish colonizers into New Mexico. After several delays Juan de Onate finally set out for the region from Mexico City with 127 Spanish soldiers, families, and servants in January of that year. Part of this company of soldiers and settlers included two young men by the name of Vicente and Juan de Zaldivar. Along the trek Onate frequently sent these two men out as scouts to find the Rio Grande River and lead the settlers safely across the barren desert. Finding the Rio Grande they followed it up to the Robledo Mountains near what is today Las Cruces, New Mexico.
It was at this point that Onate decided to split the company up into two groups. One group included the Zaldivar brothers who were also nephews of Onate. This group was given the task of moving ahead of the other group so that they might make contact with and begin peaceful relations with the Pueblo Indians in the region. As this group of settlers moved northward they received mixed receptions from the Pueblo people. Some welcomed them. Others were suspicious of them. A few were even outright hostile to their arrival. At Socorro gifts were cautiously exchanged between the settlers and the Pueblos who were both suspicious of each other. At some locations the Pueblo ran away as the Spanish approached obviously not wanting any contact with them.
Acoma Pueblo, NM 1904
The second group of settlers was led by Onate. They moved towards the San Juan Pueblo in northern New Mexico. A little place not that far from this pueblo was called “Ohke” and Onate chose this place as the first Spanish settlement in New Mexico. The Spanish settle in and Onate began touring the surrounding Pueblos, collecting ore samples along the way, of course. Afterall, the Spanish were most interested in gold and silver more than anything else. Meanwhile the Zaldivar brothers reached Ohke about a month later with the rest of the settlers and within weeks the Spanish built a church at this site in honor of San Juan Bautista. Continue Reading