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Clovis First hypothesis falls? People in Americas before 13000 BP

jmcc

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The "Clovis first" hypothesis about the population of the Americas (seems to have taken another kick to the head with the discovery of mastodon bones that show evidence of being butchered 14,550 years ago in Florida.

Mastodon meal scraps revise US prehistory - BBC News

The "Clovis first" hypothesis is one of those academic "theories" that became a kind of religious orthodoxy. According to the hypothesis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_culture ), there was no human civilisation in the Americas prior to 13,000 years before the present. (Sometimes referred to as the "Clovis horizon".) In this hypothesis, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_of_the_Americas) the Americas was populated by people crossing the Bering straits and spreading down through the Americas. It was simple and wrong. It took a battering as other pre-Clovis sites were excavated in recent years and were confirmed as being older. These mastodon bones are confirmed to be 14,550 years old which puts the evidence for human activity back another 1,500 years or so.
 


Catalpast

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The "Clovis first" hypothesis about the population of the Americas (seems to have taken another kick to the head with the discovery of mastodon bones that show evidence of being butchered 14,550 years ago in Florida.

Mastodon meal scraps revise US prehistory - BBC News

The "Clovis first" hypothesis is one of those academic "theories" that became a kind of religious orthodoxy. According to the hypothesis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_culture ), there was no human civilisation in the Americas prior to 13,000 years before the present. (Sometimes referred to as the "Clovis horizon".) In this hypothesis, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_of_the_Americas) the Americas was populated by people crossing the Bering straits and spreading down through the Americas. It was simple and wrong. It took a battering as other pre-Clovis sites were excavated in recent years and were confirmed as being older. These mastodon bones are confirmed to be 14,550 years old which puts the evidence for human activity back another 1,500 years or so.
It's been controversial for years IIRC

But we can only go on what we can find

- the more discoveries made then the further back the date is likely to go...

TBH I thought hunter gatherers had crossed the Bering Straight 10s of thousands of years ago...?
 

jmcc

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It's been controversial for years IIRC

But we can only go on what we can find

- the more discoveries made then the further back the date is likely to go...

TBH I thought hunter gatherers had crossed the Bering Straight 10s of thousands of years ago...?
It is a lot more complex than first thought. This Clovis First theory seemed to be the dominant theory for a while and it has been discredited as more pre-Clovis sites are excavated. There's also a Soultrean Hypothesis about European populations ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solutrean_hypothesis ) populating some areas as early as 21,000 years ago but that seems to be based more on the similarity of stone tools than on bones. A lot of human activity occurs close to coasts. With the melting of the glaciers, many of these areas would be under the Atlantic and Pacific oceans today.
 

RasherHash

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It's been controversial for years IIRC

But we can only go on what we can find

- the more discoveries made then the further back the date is likely to go...

TBH I thought hunter gatherers had crossed the Bering Straight 10s of thousands of years ago...?
When you think about it the abos reached Aus 50,000 years ago, it shouldn't have taken more than 30,000 years for homosapiens to cross the Bearing Straits.

Then again I suppose it depends what sort of conditions existed in the intervening period.
 

jmcc

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Aren't Mastodon's extinct.
Yes and the causes of that extinction are even more controversial than the population theories. There's an academic reluctance to believe that the mass extinctions in North America were the result of the impact of cometary impacts despite there being a lot of strong physical evidence. Seems like the usual career building done on various theories being the impediment to real investigation. What makes this excavation so interesting is that rather than just stone tools, there's worked biological material that can be dated.
 
S

SeamusNapoleon

Yes and the causes of that extinction are even more controversial than the population theories. There's an academic reluctance to believe that the mass extinctions in North America were the result of the impact of cometary impacts despite there being a lot of strong physical evidence. Seems like the usual career building done on various theories being the impediment to real investigation. What makes this excavation so interesting is that rather than just stone tools, there's worked biological material that can be dated.
Deccan, Deccan, Deccan.

I have had the privilege of speaking with Gerta Keller on several occasions. A very pleasant woman.
 

jmcc

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Deccan, Deccan, Deccan.

I have had the privilege of speaking with Gerta Keller on several occasions. A very pleasant woman.
Quaternary rather than KT. But some of the theories about human initiated extinctions seems a bit iffy especially with the datings of human populations in North America being pushed back. While a lot of the theories centre on human activity and disease, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_extinction_event ) there are others such as the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis that could end up causing a lot of problems. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis ) ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1994902/ ). There seems to be quite a bit of reluctance about accepting the impact hypothesis.

 
S

SeamusNapoleon

Quaternary rather than KT. But some of the theories about human initiated extinctions seems a bit iffy especially with the datings of human populations in North America being pushed back. While a lot of the theories centre on human activity and disease, ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_extinction_event ) there are others such as the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis that could end up causing a lot of problems. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis ) ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1994902/ ). There seems to be quite a bit of reluctance about accepting the impact hypothesis.

Younger Dryas. The debates surrounding the impact hypothesis are very interesting indeed.

In my previous job, I was working on putting together a special issue on that; getting some of the main players in the debate to collect their arguments and counter-arguments into one volume.
 

jmcc

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Munnkeyman

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This was the almost consensus view of the Out of Africa timeline from only 10 years ago...



 

jmcc

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This was the almost consensus view of the Out of Africa timeline from only 10 years ago...
The problem with "consensus" views is that they are generally there to protect the careers and reputations of those who proposed the views and built their careers on them. The evidence is often very sparse and poorly preserved.
 

Munnkeyman

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The problem with "consensus" views is that they are generally there to protect the careers and reputations of those who proposed the views and built their careers on them. The evidence is often very sparse and poorly preserved.
I have a bit of experience with challenging consensus views... And yes, completely agree!
It's quite a problem with the peer review process in some fields.
 

Catalpast

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Its quite possible that scattered groups of hunter gatherers reached the New World prior to the 'Clovis' culture

But if they did they either died out or went back again...

A lot more work needs to be done here before any definite conclusions can be reached

Sorry I cant resist:

It will be a Mammoth task

- ok I'll get me coat....:|
 


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