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Frauds and Myths
Chapter 5
Undergraduate 1

Additional Anthropology Flashcards




America's First People.
Columbus did not "discover" America. The new world was already home to full blown civilizations. The question is, how did they get there.
At first there was a bit of controversy. Biblical scholars believed that people descended from the three sons of Noah, each one representing the three main races of the time. However, the Indians were a fourth race, and there was not a fourth son. Therefore it was concluded that the natives were descendants of the Asians.
However, there are a variety of other theories of how the Indians arrived in America. Theories ranged from the Atlanteans to the lost tribes of Israel.
However, a Jesuit Missionary from Peru, Friar Jose de Acosta argued animals such as predators would not have been purposefully brought to the new world from the old world and deduced that there the two worlds were connected at sometime. At the time of this theory, other scholars traced native american sources through trait list comparisons- comparing cultures for similar practices and beliefs and linguistic elements. However, many of the similarities they saw were very vague and biased.
Finally by 1794, it was accepted that native Americans got to America through the Bering strait. This would be especially possible during the ice age. However, many Indians don't accept this and argue that their religions say that they were created in America, and did not migrate here.
Through modern biology however, we find that native Americans and Asian people have many biological similarities.
The Kennewick Man- human remains dated to 9000 years ago. We don't know what tribe or race he belongs to. His skeletal remains are much different than modern Indians. However, skeletal morphology can change from generation to generation because of diet and behavior, so it doesn't mean that they are not related. His remains are tied up in legal battles because many different tribes argue that he is their ancestor.
People were in the new world before 12,000 years ago, due to archeological evidence.
Who's Next? After the Indians, Before Columbus
Many artifacts from Columbus' journey and Spanish attempts to colonize the new world has been discovered. Archeologists are able to detect this by noting the presence of sudden intrusive presence of stuff in the territories of other people.
Europeans in America: The Norse Discovery of America
The Norse have a series of "Viking Sagas"- the Greenlander's Saga and Eirik the Red's Saga about the discovery of North America. Eirik established a colony in greenland that didn't last too long. Newfoundland is Canada.
Many artifacts have been found showing that the Norse did indeed arrive in America way before Columbus. There is also evidence that the Norse were in close contact with that native Indians.
Other Voyagers, Other Visitors
There is debate about whether or not the Chinese also visited America. Orally traditions say so, however there is no physical evidence.

There is also debate about Africans journeying to America. Some of the evidence for this include:
1. Columbus' writings of "black indians"
2. Metal of African origin reported by Columbus
3. Pre-Columbian skeletons with "Negroid" characteristics
4.Artistic representations of Africans at sites
However, evidence is very weak, and no substantial evidence.
America B.C.?
Crazy guy named Barry Fell believe that America was colonized by the old world B.C. Linguistically, Inscriptionally, and Architecturally, he was disproved.
Current Perspectives: The Peopling of the Americas
Molecular Archeology- going through genetic codes to determine which groups share similar codes. Through mitochondrial DNA, Native Americans have been linked to the Atlatians, a group native Asians living in central Siberia.
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