How early were humans in America?

Discussions unearthing human history including cultural anthropology, linguistics, etc.

How early were humans in America?

Postby vivian maxine on April 26th, 2017, 1:42 pm 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat ... eakingnews

Ancient humans may have reached Americas 100,000 years earlier than thought. Evidence was found in California but is controversial as of now.

Whenever I read of such discoveries, I start asking myself - and never dig into it as I should - how close are new finds to a time when our continents were attached to Europe and Africa? I am guessing that the separation took place long, long before 130,000 years ago. Yes?
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby Forest_Dump on April 26th, 2017, 2:15 pm 

First, yes the seperation of the continents happened tens of millions of years ago - long enough ago for the monkeys to have evolved in somewhat different directions and before there were apes.

As it happens I read about that "site". Far, far from convincing in any way. What little was included in the report I read left me far from convinced there is any evidence of human behavior at the site at all. In fact the evidence of anything there, other than mammoth bones, is so thin that I don't expect anyone big will even bother to comment, let alone closely scrutinize or critique this one.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby SciameriKen on April 26th, 2017, 2:32 pm 

Here is an article that raises the skepticism of that study:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/danvergano/mas ... awnJ2mMEMl
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby Forest_Dump on April 26th, 2017, 2:51 pm 

Well that shows I was wrong. Grayson and Haynes are bigger names than I woud have expected to come out and dump on that story. And I do agree with them - that story proposing it to be an archaeological site was pretty crappy. One or two real fringe types trying to grab a moment of fame.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby SciameriKen on April 26th, 2017, 3:07 pm 

Forest_Dump » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:51 pm wrote:Well that shows I was wrong. Grayson and Haynes are bigger names than I woud have expected to come out and dump on that story. And I do agree with them - that story proposing it to be an archaeological site was pretty crappy. One or two real fringe types trying to grab a moment of fame.


They did do that by getting this study into Nature - but Nature always was more about shock value than diligent work...
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby vivian maxine on April 26th, 2017, 3:43 pm 

Forest_Dump » April 26th, 2017, 1:15 pm wrote:First, yes the seperation of the continents happened tens of millions of years ago - long enough ago for the monkeys to have evolved in somewhat different directions and before there were apes.

As it happens I read about that "site". Far, far from convincing in any way. What little was included in the report I read left me far from convinced there is any evidence of human behavior at the site at all. In fact the evidence of anything there, other than mammoth bones, is so thin that I don't expect anyone big will even bother to comment, let alone closely scrutinize or critique this one.


All right. If the continents separated before humans appeared, that answers that. Thanks. We do know there is evidence of animals that may have migrated from one side to the other before the continents separated. No doubt, early and now extinct but with an evolutionary trail?

Didn't David Attenborough go into that on his television program and then in his book which I do have? I'll take a look. Thanks.

By the way, I agree that there isn't enough evidence. I think they brought out that point.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby Forest_Dump on April 26th, 2017, 4:44 pm 

Yes some animals were "shared" before the continents broke up and then diverged. Later when North America became connected to South America, other animals crossed between the two. Much more recently, during heights of the Ice Age beginning about 1.8 million years ago and off and on since up until about 10,000 years ago, there was a land bridge between Alaska and Russia and some animals crossed that land each way including, for example, horses that evolved in North America, crossed to Asia and beyond during the Ice Age and then became extinct in North America around 10,000 years ago.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby vivian maxine on April 26th, 2017, 5:00 pm 

Forest_Dump » April 26th, 2017, 3:44 pm wrote:Yes some animals were "shared" before the continents broke up and then diverged. Later when North America became connected to South America, other animals crossed between the two. Much more recently, during heights of the Ice Age beginning about 1.8 million years ago and off and on since up until about 10,000 years ago, there was a land bridge between Alaska and Russia and some animals crossed that land each way including, for example, horses that evolved in North America, crossed to Asia and beyond during the Ice Age and then became extinct in North America around 10,000 years ago.


Thank you, Forest. You may have saved me from staying up until midnight. :-)

Just a bit of fancy fun for a moment? Assume (only an imaginative assumption) for a minute that the splitting up of the continents happened fast enough for humans (assuming their presence) to be aware of it. Can't you imagine the wild state they'd have been in? "The gods under the sea are playing games with us."

Or, given that Caledonia has never yet closed, blame it on the Loch Ness monster. He's still out there!

All right. Back to the serious. It just struck me.
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Re: How early were humans in America?

Postby Forest_Dump on April 26th, 2017, 6:11 pm 

Well humans weren't around when most of the splits between continents happened with a couple of semi exceptions. The Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa is slowly pulling away and the San Andreas fault in California is also pretty much the same thing. But it happens very slowly relative to our sense of time. More dramatic might have been the draining of glacial Lake Aggazis in northern Canada followed by the upper Great Lakes then flowing south through the lower Great Lakes. That would have created quite the sidden flood in the lower Lakes where Lake Erie was created almost over night. Similar kinds of floods also happened as Niagara Falls cut back draining some big lakes in Ontario and New York and raising the level of Lake Ontario quickly. A similar kind of flood, possibly also caused by post-glacial land changes, was certainly talked about for a long time before being written down in slightly different versions one of which became known as Noah's flood.
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