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  • "Europeans" discovered N. America News

    "Europeans" discovered N. America News
    Posted by [tomclark]:

    Moderator Note: this thread was first posted in 2012 but failed to transfer across to the new forum when the software was updated, and so has been re-created manually.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...a-7447152.html


    Posted by [CMD]:
    From the article: "What's more, chemical analysis carried out last year on a European-style stone knife found in Virginia back in 1971 revealed that it was made of French-originating flint."

    I'm presently reading "Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture"(2012) by Stanford and Bradley. These newspaper articles are coming out now in conjunction with the books' recent publication in January. I have not come across reference to this particular finding, but by the authors' own admission they had a tough time knowing when to end the book as new findings were pouring in every day. So it's possible this finding happened after the book went to press. I would certainly like much more detail on this since it strikes me that this has the POTENTIAL to constitute the so-called smoking gun where early migrants from Europe is concerned.

    It's a tough read for me personally. The first several chapters deal in exhausting detail regarding various types of flaked stone technology around the world. Something that does not play to my strengths. But the book is out now for those interested and under $23 via Amazon.

    Tom, thanks for posting this. The sentence I quoted above bout near floored me! I'm sure there are alternate explanations, but if it's true, wow!!


    Posted by [cgode]:
    Don't forget the fluted Vermont find of Ramah chert from Labrador..... Makes ya wonder.
    My copy of Across Atlantic ice is in the mail.
    Cool thread, thanks for posting it.


    Posted by [CMD]:
    cgode wrote:
    Don't forget the fluted Vermont find of Ramah chert from Labrador..... Makes ya wonder.
    My copy of Across Atlantic ice is in the mail.
    Cool thread, thanks for posting it.

    The discovery of a Ramah chert fluted point in Vermont did strongly suggest a seafaring capability earlier then expected here. But Labrador is still North America, and the likely path to Vermont was when Lake Champlain was still connected to the Atlantic Ocean in the form of the Champlain Sea. Still, it demonstrates seafaring capability in early times in an artic enviornment and that's a clue not to be ignored.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

  • #2
    Posted by [CMD ]:
    Turns out Stanford added a late note to Across Atlantic Ice before the book went to press which can be summerized as follows.

    In the 1970 during excavation of a 17th century colonial homestead a Solutrean Laurel leaf blade was uncovered below a clay chimney base. Jeff Speakman of the Smithsonian's analytical lab conducted an X-ray fluorescence probe of the biface and compared results to French gun flints and Solutrean artifacts made of Grand Pressigny flint from France. The biface was made of Grand Pressigny. At the time of its' discovery in 1971 it was concluded the biface was a relic brought over by colonial era settlers. Standford feels because it was found below a clay chimney base, it's unlikely it belonged to a colonist. But because of the uncertainty he says it is not the smoking gun of the Solutrean theory. This info is noted as a late addition to the text on page 110 of Across Atlantic Ice


    Posted by [gregszybala]:
    I find this all very interesting and wonder if or when the true smoking gun may come up. But correct me if I'm clueless here, wouldn't DNA analysis reveal where the peoples of the Americas came from? Not attempting to be argumentative, just trying to understand.


    Posted by [CMD]:
    gregszybala wrote:
    I find this all very interesting and wonder if or when the true smoking gun may come up. But correct me if I'm clueless here, wouldn't DNA analysis reveal where the peoples of the Americas came from? Not attempting to be argumentative, just trying to understand.

    And believe me, Greg, I'm not promoting any theories here. Everything is in the argumentive stage IMHO. Tom's article mentions that an 8000 year old skeleton from Florida produced DNA with a high level of a PROBABLE European genetic marker and that DNA markers found in stone-age western Europeans exist in TINY amounts in some eastern native groups. I am completely unqualified to judge ANY of this. By and large, I believe, Native American DNA points to origins in east Asia. I believe, in addition to the time gap from Solutrean to even pre-Clovis points in eastern America, the DNA evidence is a big stumbling block for the Solutrean hypothesis, but if later arrivals from Asia "swamped" small earlier arrivals from Europe to the eastern US, this may explain the lack of all but TINY European genetic markers. And let me note again, I'm way over my head here :laugh:


    Posted by [Bone2stone]:
    Ahh what a story this would make if that "smoking gun" were to be found...
    If you were to take into consideration the likelyhood of reproduction vs survival rates of early Europeans, The Asians would win hands down!
    Origins of early man and their likelyhood of populating the N. American continent and sustaining the growth of that civilation is rapidly gaining in recognition.(Asian/European/Siberian)
    Throw it all in a box and shake it up..........you got early N. Americans.

    DNA results would be a good place to start and tracing the origin of species of man is better left to the experts.
    Finding good materials/remains that DNA can be extracted is highly unlikely.
    Loss of tissue that DNA can be extracted from is the biggest obstacle.
    Most tissue is lost durring decay the last remaining tissue that DNA can be extracted from is the teeth.
    I hope I live long enough to see the positive results of just where, when, how ...... B)
    Bone2stone


    Posted by [CMD]:
    Just wanted to note that regarding the quote I included from the article Tom posted, that it's just like the press to make such a statement, and get people like myself, who are looking for SOME smoking gun, all excited, WITHOUT including the qualifying info needed to better judge the statement. I should have known better I'm sure. It might be intriguing evidence, which is exactly how Stanford describes it, but it cannot ever be considered smoking gun evidence because of where it was found. All we can say is that a Solutrean laurel leaf blade made of French Grand Pressigny flint was found below a clay chimney base during the excavation of a 17th century colonial homestead on Eppes Island, Virginia in the 1970's.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

    Comment


    • #3
      Posted by [Paleolution]:
      Interesting read. I heard Stanford speak back in 09' about this topic. I hadn't heard of the possible Solutrean blade from the home site, but he did speak of the two bi-faces found in the Atlantic by a dredger a couple hundred feet from the modern shore line. They found two blades this way, and one of them had possible Mastadon remains associated with it. I think it's possible, since the archaeological record seems to all but disappear for a time after Clovis and pre-Folsom. Some propose a comet or volcanic eruption, as nano diamonds are found in the post Clovis layer of soil without an artifacts within that layer.
      That could have sealed the fate of Clovis man, and the DNA evidence would have died along with him. Here is a photo of Dr. Stanford and Jim Chase at the Loveland Stone Age Fair in 09' with the casts of the bi-faces in question.
      Click image for larger version

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      Posted by [painshill]:
      I did a little summary of the DNA evidence here a while ago as part of the big debate we were having (it may already be out of date!): http://forums.arrowheads.com/forum/general-discussion-gc5/archaeology-news-reports-discussion-gc43/203643-solutrean-clovis-connection-fact-or-fiction


      As regards: “All we can say is that a Solutrean laurel leaf blade made of French Grand Pressigny flint was found… ”, factually we can’t even really say that. It may have a characteristic Solutrean form but that doesn’t definitively make it Solutrean.

      As for the material, I would like to see exactly what that analysis did and didn’t say. X-ray fluorescence is a surface scanning technique. It’s unreliable for anything apart from a really flat surface and not good for anything with inclusions or patination. You have to use a really small aperture for the X-ray beam to avoid “spikes” from high concentrations of calcium and iron contained in flint inclusions. Even then, it can really only accurately quantify the 4 elements with an atomic number below 5 (hydrogen, helium, lithium & beryllium). Once you get beyond sodium, with an atomic number of 11, it’s only proximate. In fairness, because you can do a multi-element scan, proximate analyses may be good enough if you get enough matches.

      Hughes, Hogberg & Olausson published a research paper in “Archaeometry” last month, building on a pilot study from 2011, evaluating the technique against samples of flint from Sweden and Denmark. Apart from the general difficulties above, they concluded: “… it is important to remember that chemical groupings of flint do not necessarily imply geographical proximity. The terms ‘source’ and ‘chemical type’ are used herein to denote groups of specimens that share a distinct chemical signature, or profile, independent of geographical location (for a discussion, see Hughes 1998, 104). In fact, the results of this study provide several examples of the non-concordance between chemistry and geography… ”

      As regards cometary extinction of the Clovis, although the evidence for a comet impact is strong, compiled radiocarbon dates from 44 archaeological sites across the U.S. show no evidence of a post-comet gap. “Chronological gaps appear in the sequence only if one ignores standard deviations (a statistically inappropriate procedure), and doing so creates gaps not just around [12,900 years ago] but also at many later points in time” (Holliday & Meltzer, 2010). They argue that there is no reason to suppose a population collapse and that the lack of other Palaeoindian zones above Clovis occupations is an entirely normal single-occupation sign of hunting kill sites, whether Clovis or non-Clovis.
      :dry: :whistle:


      Posted by [CMD ]:
      If anyone wishes to dig deeper into the results of Speakman's X-ray fluorescence probe of the Eppes Island biface, here is Mr. Speakman's contact info:

      http://www.si.edu/mci/english/about_...peakmanRJ.html
      (Smithsonian link not working, but his contact details are on the Academia.edu site below)
      http://uga.academia.edu/JeffSpeakman

      Elsewhere, someone asked if Eppes Island was offshore Virginia. It's well inland and is the remnant of an upland terrace at the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers. Other prehistoric relics were found below the clay chimney as well as the biface, but I have not yet found a description of those artifacts.

      Tyson, thanks for the photo. The biface seen on the cover of Across Atlantic Ice was dredged by crew members of the vessel Cinmar in 1970 while harvesting deep-sea scallops 100 km off the coast of the Virginia Capes along with mastadon remains. They all came up at the same time. Some crew members retained some of the mastadon remains as their own, while the blade,upper molar, and tusk fragment of the mastadon ended up in the Gywnn's Island Museum in Mathews co., Va. Thurston Shawn, captain of the Cinmar, thought the assemblage was unusual enough to note the depth from which they were dredged, 75 meters, and he plotted the area on his navigation chart. The area is on the edge of the continental shelf. Stanford and Bradley conclude the location was the Last Glacial Maximum(LGM)shore of the James Peninsula. A calibrated radiocarbon assay of collagen extracted from the mastadon's tusk gave an age of 23,000 years ago. The site would have been 15 meters below the water by the time Clovis folks were in the Chesepeake region. Use wear analysis of the blade indicated use as a knife and the use-wear traces were consistant with those found on knives recovered from mammoth and mastadon butchering sites. X-ray studies indicated the material of the knife is a banded meta-rhyolite from South Mountain on the Pa-Md border.
      I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

      Comment


      • #4
        Posted by [greywolf22]:
        The hard evidence is not there yet to say for certain that this went on. I will continue to read about it but nothing is provable to me as of yet. Its conjecture to me so far.
        Jack


        Posted by [rmartin]:
        greywolf22 wrote:
        The hard evidence is not there yet to say for certain that this went on. I will continue to read about it but nothing is provable to me as of yet. Its conjecture to me so far.
        Jack

        I agree with Jack. I have a very open mind and really hope this answers some questions but in my opinion the jury is stiill out.


        Posted by [CMD]:
        >>rmartin wrote:
        greywolf22 wrote:
        The hard evidence is not there yet to say for certain that this went on. I will continue to read about it but nothing is provable to me as of yet. Its conjecture to me so far.
        Jack<
        I agree with Jack. I have a very open mind and really hope this answers some questions but in my opinion the jury is stiill out.<<

        I think for virtually everyone, and even only maybe not Stanford and Bradley, the jury is most definetly still out. Stanford and Bradley claim only 2 ancient groups practiced deliberate overshot flaking technology: Clovis and Solutrean. The key word here is "deliberate" since overshot flaking can happen accidently, and often result in manufacturing failure. But, they claim, Clovis and Solutrean people preferred to use outrepasse or overshot. As a skilled knapper, Bradley notes this is a very difficult flaking technique to master. I assume, which I realize is not a secure position, that if both are calling the Eppes Island biface Solutrean, then it must display overshot flaking and they must be basing their ID as much on flaking style as its' leaf-shape form. Someone is in touch with Mr. Speakman of the SI and hopefully I can learn a bit more and will post it here. They end their book suggesting that the continental shelf off the US is the new frontier in the search. No easy task for sure, but if there were early arrivals from the east, that's the place to look. We are hoping Speakman may be able to provide a photo or drawing of this Eppes Island biface. I cannot find any info on the 1971 excavation. Stanford mentions "other artifacts" were found benealth the 17th century clay chimney base, but provides no details otherwise. I will post whatever we learn from Mr.Speakman, the guy who ID'd the biface as French flint.

        I would add this. Perhaps the fairest thing to say is the Eppes Island biface could only be definetively Solutrean if it were found in Europe! But, if it's a laurel leaf form, and if it was produced by overshot flaking, and if it's made of French flint, then we have a mystery. But if, as I assume, it was found in too close association with a colonial era chimney or otherwise not found in an undisturbed context, then it cannot exceed Stanford's conclusion that it is only "intriguing evidence" and not a smoking gun. I do wish I could find some report on that 71 dig!


        Posted by [greywolf22]:
        What they found that they said might be French Flint it could be that, but because of context it was found in which is colonial I would be of the mind that it was bought there by a colonial collector and then lost by that collector.
        Peopel have been collectiong for thousands of years. Looks at all the artifacts that the Vickings brought back from their raids or the religious artifacts the crusaders brought back from the middle east. Thomas Jefferson was a collector, Ben Franklin was a collector.
        If you look in my man-room or rock garden you know that I am a collector.
        Jack


        Posted by [CMD]:
        greywolf22 wrote:
        What they found that they said might be French Flint it could be that, but because of context it was found in which is colonial I would be of the mind that it was bought there by a colonial collector and then lost by that collector.
        Peopel have been collectiong for thousands of years. Looks at all the artifacts that the Vickings brought back from their raids or the religious artifacts the crusaders brought back from the middle east. Thomas Jefferson was a collector, Ben Franklin was a collector.
        If you look in my man-room or rock garden you know that I am a collector.
        Jack

        Sure, that's why the blade cannot be a smoking gun for the Solutrean hypothesis. Someone else has come up with more info on the blade and the dig context. As soon as they are finished gathering that info, I will share what I can here.


        Posted by [greywolf22]:
        >>CMD wrote:
        greywolf22 wrote:
        What they found that they said might be French Flint it could be that, but because of context it was found in which is colonial I would be of the mind that it was bought there by a colonial collector and then lost by that collector.
        Peopel have been collectiong for thousands of years. Looks at all the artifacts that the Vickings brought back from their raids or the religious artifacts the crusaders brought back from the middle east. Thomas Jefferson was a collector, Ben Franklin was a collector.
        If you look in my man-room or rock garden you know that I am a collector.
        Jack<
        Sure, that's why the blade cannot be a smoking gun for the Solutrean hypothesis. Someone else has come up with more info on the blade and the dig context. As soon as they are finished gathering that info, I will share what I can here.<<

        Here are a few from the other side of the big water.

        Click image for larger version

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        Will look forward to what ever comes up. The only thing we can be sure of is change in all things.


        Posted by [CMD ]:
        Those are awesome, Jack. What skilled knapping!! BTW, the original excavators of the Eppes Island homestead, according to Stanford, recognized the blade as Solutrean, but, like yourself, concluded it was a relic.

        I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

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