Peopling of the Americas

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Archaeology

Document 1

As biochemical research is further used in geology and archeology, more questions are answered, but major theories still remain a mystery. Many theories about the migration into the Americas have been brought forward, however, under scrutiny some of these theories do not hold. The first is Clovis' first theory, which features a Paleo-Indian culture associated with the discovery of distinct stone tools discovered at Black water Locality No. in Clovis, New Mexico. The Clovis culture dates back 11,500 to 11,000 un calibrated radiocarbon years before present incorporating the use of flaked bone and ivory tools at the end of the last glacial period. The dating of the Pedra Furada site in Brazil also contests the viability of Clovis first theory as the first human migration path as the site is older than any Clovis sites.

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Another theory that has emerged as the alternative to the Clovis first theory is the Pacific coastal route model, which proposes water travel as the medium used to reach the Americas by use of coastlines from Northeast Asia. The Pacific coastal migration route gives an explanation to how cultures reached the Monte Verde region in southern Chile and the Taima-Taima regions of western Venezuela" (Sanchez, Guadalupe, pg. These regions upon radiocarbon dating have shown the existence of seaweed from coastal habitats. The use of boats has also been incorporated in theory giving rise to the marine migration hypothesis, which proposes that the migrants used boats eliminating the need for a continuous ice-free coast. The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology in 2007 proposed the "kelp-highway theory" which attempts to streamline the problems arising from the coastal route model.

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The hypothesis suggests that kelp forests are supporting similar species of plants and wildlife as marine forests existed near the end of the Pleistocene period from Japan to Beringia, the Pacific Northwest to the Andean Coast of South America. These kelp forests alongside estuarine and mangrove habitats provided a suitable migration corridor, at sea level and much unobstructed. Following DNA analysis of coastal plants and animals suggested the possibility for a coastal route" (Jones, Peter, pg. Another theory that touches on the peopling of the Americas focuses its scope on Greenland and the surrounding archipelago. The theory thus suggests that the first migrants were of the Solutrean culture dating back 21,000 to 17,000 years ago who traveled by water vessels along the pack ice of the Atlantic Ocean.

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The theory suggests the Solutrean culture as the origin of stone tools artisanship and this art was passed down and spread as the Clovis technologies. This is proven by the similarities in the European Solutrean and the Clovis lithic technologies. The Solutraen hypothesis also has major shortcomings. DNA analysis of North American people suggests a mixture of haplogroup X in combination with four main mtDNA haplogroups as part of the gene pool of native American founding populations" (Jones, Peter, pg. College station: Texas A & M University, 2005. Print. Goebel, Ted, Michael R. Waters, and Margarita Dikova; 2003 The Archaeology of Ushki Lake, Kamchatka, and the Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas. Science 301: 501-505. Los Primeros Mexicanos: Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene People of Sonora.

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