Summary: From Whence Came Those Aboriginals Of America

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MONTE VERDE: MIGRATION TO THE NEW WORLD “From Whence Came Those Aboriginals Of America?” Thomas Jefferson, arguably the first scientific investigator of the past, wrote that question in his field notes as he was excavating a mound at Monticello in 1787(Jefferson 1998). When and how humans arrived in the far flung parts of the world--that is, far flung from our Homo sapiens sapiens origins in Africa--is part of the essential problem that interests most archaeologists and paleontologists, and all people for that matter. After all, creation myths are in part attempts to answer the question "Where did we come from?" Origin myths are ancient oral history, and are by nature wrapped in uncertainty and vagueness; they often contradict one another…show more content…
Food, in the form of extinct llama, shellfish, a variety of vegetables and nuts, and most astoundingly, a chunk of mastodon meat, was recovered at the site (Preston 1999). A series of radiocarbon samples from bone and charcoal taken near the fireplace returned a date of close to 13,000 years ago, and thus one of the very oldest sites in the Americas. The site also yielded botanical remains and artifacts made of stone, wood and animal bone, all suggesting a technology characterized by the site's excavators as 'focused primarily on the procurement and manipulation of wood and plants' (Dillehay 1989: 17). Monte Verde's great importance is that, granted the site is valid; it breaks the Clovis barrier which claims that the people from Clovis, New Mexico, were the earliest population to enter the Americas (Rose 1999). It is important to note that the Clovis theory has been accepted for nearly 50 years in the study of archeology. This belief in the Clovis colonization of the New World has become so deep-rooted, that when Monte Verde was discovered, it created a great deal of debate among scholars, whose proponents became almost self-appointed defenders of the Clovis faith (Rose…show more content…
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