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Chicken bones and ancient waterways

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  • minnesotastan
    from livescience.com. Although the article suggests polynesians as the voyagers, I personally would tend to favor the Chinese transporting the chickens from
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 6, 2007
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      from livescience.com. Although the article suggests "polynesians" as
      the voyagers, I personally would tend to favor the Chinese
      transporting the chickens from Polynesia to the Americas.........


      Chicken Bones Suggest Polynesians Found Americas Before Columbus
      By Heather Whipps, Special to LiveScience
      posted: 04 June 2007 06:02 pm ET


      Which came first–the chicken or the European?

      Popular history, and a familiar rhyme about Christopher Columbus,
      holds that Europeans made contact with the Americas in 1492, with some
      arguing that the explorer and his crew were the first outsiders to
      reach the New World.

      But chicken bones recently unearthed on the coast of Chile—dating
      prior to Columbus' "discovery" of America and resembling the DNA of a
      fowl species native to Polynesia—may challenge that notion,
      researchers say.

      "Chickens could not have gotten to South America on their own—they had
      to be taken by humans," said anthropologist Lisa Matisoo-Smith from
      the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

      Polynesians made contact with the west coast of South America as much
      as a century before any Spanish conquistadors, her findings imply.

      DNA in bone

      The chicken bones were discovered at an archaeological site called El
      Arenal, on the south coast of Chile, alongside other materials
      belonging to the indigenous population. While chickens aren't native
      to the region, it was believed the local Araucana species found there
      now was brought to the Americas by Spanish settlers around 1500.

      Tests on the bones, however, now indicate the birds arrived well
      before any European made landfall in South America, Matisoo-Smith and
      her colleague Alice Storey found.

      "We had the chicken bone directly dated by radio carbon. The
      calibrated date was clearly prior to 1492," Matisoo-Smith told
      LiveScience, noting that it could have ranged anywhere from 1304 to
      1424. "This also fits with the other dates obtained from the site (on
      other materials), and it fits with the cultural period of the site."

      Did Polynesians continue eastwards?

      DNA extracted from the bones also matched closely with a Polynesian
      breed of chicken, rather than any chickens found in Europe.

      Polynesia was settled by sailors who migrated from mainland Southeast
      Asia, beginning about 3,000 years ago. They continued gradually
      eastwards, but were never thought to have journeyed further than
      Easter Island, about 2,000 miles off the coast of continental Chile.

      The chicken DNA suggests at least one group did make the harrowing
      journey across the remaining stretch of Pacific, Matisoo-Smith said.

      "We cannot say exactly which island the voyage came from. The DNA
      sequence is found in chickens from Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Easter Island
      and Hawaii," Matisoo-Smith said. "If we had to guess, we would say it
      was unlikely to have come from West Polynesia and most likely to have
      come from Easter Island or some other East Polynesian source that we
      have not yet sampled."

      The results are detailed in the latest issue of the journal
      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

      Kon-Tiki trip in reverse

      It might be the most tangible, but this isn't the first evidence that
      pre-Columbian voyages from the Pacific to South America were possible.

      In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl, the famous Norwegian anthropologist, made the
      voyage from Peru to Polynesia aboard his Kon-Tiki raft to prove the
      trip was doable with a rudimentary vessel.

      There are more scientific arguments, too, said Matisoo-Smith.

      "There is increasing evidence of multiple contacts with the Americas,"
      she said, "based on linguistic evidence and similarities in fish hook
      styles." Physical evidence of human DNA from Polynesia has yet to be
      found in South America, she added.
    • Rick Osmon
      Okay, so the chicken DNA was Polynesian, but they found no evidence of human DNA from Polynesia. But they still can t bring themselves to admit the possibility
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 7, 2007
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        Okay, so the chicken DNA was Polynesian, but they found no evidence of
        human DNA from Polynesia. But they still can't bring themselves to
        admit the possibility of regular seagoing trade...

        --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "minnesotastan"
        <minnesotastan@...> wrote:
        >
        > from livescience.com. Although the article suggests "polynesians" as
        > the voyagers, I personally would tend to favor the Chinese
        > transporting the chickens from Polynesia to the Americas.........
        >
        >
        > Chicken Bones Suggest Polynesians Found Americas Before Columbus
        > By Heather Whipps, Special to LiveScience
        > posted: 04 June 2007 06:02 pm ET
        >
        >
        > Which came first–the chicken or the European?
        >
        > Popular history, and a familiar rhyme about Christopher Columbus,
        > holds that Europeans made contact with the Americas in 1492, with some
        > arguing that the explorer and his crew were the first outsiders to
        > reach the New World.
        >
        > But chicken bones recently unearthed on the coast of Chile—dating
        > prior to Columbus' "discovery" of America and resembling the DNA of a
        > fowl species native to Polynesia—may challenge that notion,
        > researchers say.
        >
        > "Chickens could not have gotten to South America on their own—they had
        > to be taken by humans," said anthropologist Lisa Matisoo-Smith from
        > the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
        >
        > Polynesians made contact with the west coast of South America as much
        > as a century before any Spanish conquistadors, her findings imply.
        >
        > DNA in bone
        >
        > The chicken bones were discovered at an archaeological site called El
        > Arenal, on the south coast of Chile, alongside other materials
        > belonging to the indigenous population. While chickens aren't native
        > to the region, it was believed the local Araucana species found there
        > now was brought to the Americas by Spanish settlers around 1500.
        >
        > Tests on the bones, however, now indicate the birds arrived well
        > before any European made landfall in South America, Matisoo-Smith and
        > her colleague Alice Storey found.
        >
        > "We had the chicken bone directly dated by radio carbon. The
        > calibrated date was clearly prior to 1492," Matisoo-Smith told
        > LiveScience, noting that it could have ranged anywhere from 1304 to
        > 1424. "This also fits with the other dates obtained from the site (on
        > other materials), and it fits with the cultural period of the site."
        >
        > Did Polynesians continue eastwards?
        >
        > DNA extracted from the bones also matched closely with a Polynesian
        > breed of chicken, rather than any chickens found in Europe.
        >
        > Polynesia was settled by sailors who migrated from mainland Southeast
        > Asia, beginning about 3,000 years ago. They continued gradually
        > eastwards, but were never thought to have journeyed further than
        > Easter Island, about 2,000 miles off the coast of continental Chile.
        >
        > The chicken DNA suggests at least one group did make the harrowing
        > journey across the remaining stretch of Pacific, Matisoo-Smith said.
        >
        > "We cannot say exactly which island the voyage came from. The DNA
        > sequence is found in chickens from Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Easter Island
        > and Hawaii," Matisoo-Smith said. "If we had to guess, we would say it
        > was unlikely to have come from West Polynesia and most likely to have
        > come from Easter Island or some other East Polynesian source that we
        > have not yet sampled."
        >
        > The results are detailed in the latest issue of the journal
        > Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
        >
        > Kon-Tiki trip in reverse
        >
        > It might be the most tangible, but this isn't the first evidence that
        > pre-Columbian voyages from the Pacific to South America were possible.
        >
        > In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl, the famous Norwegian anthropologist, made the
        > voyage from Peru to Polynesia aboard his Kon-Tiki raft to prove the
        > trip was doable with a rudimentary vessel.
        >
        > There are more scientific arguments, too, said Matisoo-Smith.
        >
        > "There is increasing evidence of multiple contacts with the Americas,"
        > she said, "based on linguistic evidence and similarities in fish hook
        > styles." Physical evidence of human DNA from Polynesia has yet to be
        > found in South America, she added.
        >
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