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Re: [ancient_waterways_society] more on Scientists turn migration theory on its head

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  • Chris Patenaude
    Copy pasted from another forum, sorry, no links..If the Polynesians knew where the western hemisphere shorelines were all along, why is it so hard to believe
    Message 1 of 2 , May 5, 2010

      Copy pasted from another forum, sorry, no links..

      If the Polynesians knew where the western hemisphere shorelines were all along, why is it so hard to believe that it was that population base which created the archaic deposits in Chile? Why invent northern access (High Arctic theory) when the southern connection is so obvious?


      Polynesian and Chumash Contacts

      Evidence for Contacts between Polynesians and the Chumash

      By K. Kris Hirst, About.com Guide

      A long-debated discussion in coastal North American archaeology is the possible evidence for cultural contact between the Chumash and Gabrielino cultures of southern California's coast and islands, and Polynesian seafarers. In 2005, Terry Jones and Kathryn Klar presented a modern argument for contact occurring between about 400 and 900 AD, based on the co-occurrence of plank-sewn canoes and two-piece bone fishhooks at Chumash/Gabrielino sites beginning about 800-1000 AD. Both of these characteristics are part of Polynesian sea-faring.

      The ancestors of the Chumash first settled southern California perhaps as long ago as 12,000 years, at sites such as Eel Point on San Clemente island, and sites on San Miguel and Santa Rosa islands off the California coast. Hunter-gatherer-fishers, the Chumash undoubtedly used some form of sailing vessel to reach the islands off California even then. Most scholars believe the earliest vessels were likely simple balsa (reed) rafts. By the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the Chumash were using tomolos, sophisticated plank-sewn water craft. However, the technology to produce such canoes (wedges, perforating instruments, abraders and bitumen sealant) has been identified at the 8000-year-old Eel Point site, and the date of inception is unclear.

      Plank Canoes and Fishhooks

      The plank canoe, called tomolo by the historic Chumash and Gabrielino-speaking people, was built of hand-hewn planks, sewn together with cordage and caulked with asphaltum sealer. Canoes ranged to 25 feet long and could carry 10-12 people. They were used to fish, trade, and carry passengers between the California coast and the Channel Islands. Solid evidence for the use of the tomolo canoe appears no later than ca AD 700-800, and its presence on Chumash sites is marked by a dietary upswing in the use of swordfish, albacore and other tuna. Some archaeological evidence suggests that the tomolo canoe is much older, with dates ranging between 1500 years ago and 8500 years ago.

      Polynesian canoes were double and single-hulled, with sails. They commonly were quite a bit larger than Chumash canoes, between 15 and 30 meters in length. Plank construction is believed to have been used during the colonization of the Polynesian triangle, and the sewing technique is documented in Polynesia at least as early as AD 800-1200.

      The ancestors of the Chumash had long used shell and bone fishhooks (~7000 years), but about AD 900, they began using bi-pointed compound fishhooks, built of two pieces of bone cemented together with asphaltum. Polynesian compound hooks date between AD 300 and 900.

      The Theory

      What Jones and Klar propose is not that the Chumash learned sailing craft from the Polynesians, but rather that aspects of maritime subsistence were adopted by the Chumash after that contact. Additional evidence comparing linguistic terms for Chumash boats and Polynesian woodworking terms exists; see the literature for that discussion.

      Jones and Klar's arguments are not universally accepted by any means (for one thing, the dates for evidence of the first use of plank canoes seems to belong to the Chumash), but they do provide part of an increasingly strong argument supporting pre-Columbian trans-Pacific voyages to the Americas by Polynesia seafarers.

      --- On Tue, 4/27/10, Susan <beldingenglish@...> wrote:

      From: Susan <beldingenglish@...>
      Subject: [ancient_waterways_society] more on Scientists turn migration theory on its head
      To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 12:41 PM

      Not much new to you folks at this site within what is being called the "wild theory", but nice to see publications such as these articles increasing,  showing up in societal and academic publications worldwide.  From Andy's Megalithic Portal News Summary from the UK: http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146413838

      includes 2/26/10 article from the Vancouver Sun:

      "Scientists turn migration theory on its head--U.S. anthropologists hypothesize that ancestors of aboriginal people in South and North America followed High Arctic route", by Randy Boswell, Canwest News Service:


      To subscribe to the Megalithic Portal News Summary, please consider joining the Independent non-profit society for just 10 pounds ($15.36) for the year. http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146412614

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