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Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture Hardcover – February 28, 2012
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In their well-written and well-reasoned exploration of the first inhabitants of the Americas, Dennis Stanford and Bruce Bradley have provided a viable alternative scenario. I am not a trained professional, but I have been reading the archeological literature for thirty-five years. Their argument is logical and should be given an open-minded hearing.” Jean M. Auel, author of The Land of Painted Caves and The Clan of the Cave Bear
This carefully crafted, well-researched book aims to change our thinking of who the first Americans were and where they came from. Stanford and Bradley have produced an ambitious, interdisciplinary study of a neglected route of early entry into the Americas that will affect the way the larger narrative of the first chapter of human history in the New World is written.” Tom D. Dillehay, author of The Settlement of the Americas: A New Prehistory
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Let me give an example. I live in Montana and am a geography major and climatology minor. J Harlen Bretz theorized that the channeled scablands of Eastern Washington among other landforms were caused by floods of Glacial Lake Missoula when the ice dam near the present site of the Clark Fork Dam broke repeatedly during the last glacial period. His theory got him ostracized and laughed at by his peers. That was less than 100 years ago. We know now that he nailed it.
Similarly, we "know" the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere all came from Asia by walking, by boat or by sled perhaps. Well, many of course did. The theory proffered here is that people from SW France and NW Spain, the Solutreans got here first, up to 6,000 years earlier than the Beringians (Asians) and were the ancestors of the first known culture in the Americas: the Clovis people.
No one has yet found a body/skeleton of the Clovis people in the Americas or a body/skeleton of the Solutreans in Europe which would have been helpful for DNA and gene comparisons. So what do we have to go on? Well, ancient peoples left tools. Turns out that the Beringians made their tools a particular way. The Solutreans made their tools a completely different way. After digging up old tools the authors find that the Clovis made their tools (spear heads, arrow heads and much more) almost exactly as the did the Solutreans of Europe. The Beringian tools were made completely differently.
Unfortunately, all this occurred during the last glaciation period when sea levels were much lower. The rising sea level since then has destroyed many of the campsites on both sides of the ocean, limiting the amount of evidence available. A further problem was the haphazard archeological work done by Europeans on the Solutrean in the last century. Lastly, the rise in sea level cut off any further immigration from Europe.
Bottom line: The authors write for the general public as well as their peers, so the tool making parts of the book are a slog, but well worth the trouble. Much of the theory of Europeans getting here first is based on analyzing how the tools were made. There is a Dynamic Systems Analysis Chart on page 156 of the book that compares the tools of Europe, Asia and the Americas during the time period in question. That one chart would convince virtually any skeptic as to who taught who how to make tools. The authors focus on tools as that is their area of expertise. Further bolstering the author's theory is that there are recent discoveries of DNA similarities between Columbus era native corpses in America and Europeans.
This book will, one hopes, get scientists to explore Stanford and Bradley's theories and who knows, 50 years from now everyone will say they always knew Europeans got here first.
02/28/2014 - Well guess what. Archeologists found a two year old Clovis boy buried 12,600 years ago near Wilsall, Montana. I have been by that area many times. The scientists got permission from the various Montana tribes to do a DNA test and proceeded. The DNA test showed the boy to have European roots. I can't link to the article in Der Spiegel - but just Google "Montana Boy: Bones Show Ancestral Links to Europe".
The science is never settled.
Chronology excellent...documentation excellent...A bridge now exists to transport people to the Americas way before Alaska!
Well done. As a reader, I rec'd the very best from the Best. No one will be let down...this is a professional voice doing what ALL academics should, step outside their box and carefully examine the evidence. Can not say enough/ regards to how badly this work was and is needed.!