The PATH to a new PARADIGM
High school teachers and administrators:
Members of the Ancient American Alliance prepared these materials to supplement your ancient American history coursework. These topics may offer challenging perspectives for your students to discuss. We invite you to examine the following materials.
Tom Dillahay's extensive work at Monte Verde in Chile proved that ancient peoples reached Chile at least by 11,000 BCE. But the dominant paradigm is the Clovis hunter/gatherers were the first to reach North America by crossing the Bering Strait around 9,000 BCE. They chased herds of game south through the Laurentide corridor to present Alberta and rapidly spread across North America. Yet people were already in Chile at least 2,000 years earlier. Which is correct?
New Guinea and Australia were populated 40,000-50,000 years ago. Even at the lowest Ice-Age sea levels, boats were required to cross the Wallace Strait. Based on this, many scientists now believe that early arrivers to North America probably crossed from northeast Asia by boat. They would have traveled south along the west coast of North America when sea levels were much lower and their ancient encampment remains are now under hundreds of feet of ocean water along the old shoreline.
Dillahay proved people were in North America earlier than was generally accepted. However, books still teach that the melting of the glaciers "flooded the land bridge" right after the earliest people crossed the Bering Strait and that the Americas were then isolated until the Vikings in 1,000 CE and Columbus in 1492. This 10,000 year period of isolation is illogical and unlikely. We want to open this period to fact-based discussion, discovery, and change. The new evidence shows that the Americas were just another place on the map.
Artifacts, linguistics and DNA analyses support later visits of Asians and Europeans after the "land bridge flooded" event.
We offer to provide 20-30 minute segments of instruction, lesson plans, and suggested follow-up activities. These materials may be inserted into normal coursework. Local specialists from the Ancient American Alliance may be available to assist with presentation.
Segments have been prepared covering these subjects:
* Seafaring: Ancient cultures clearly had the technology to navigate and cross oceans. Unique maps carved into boulders on the coast of France show the way. Olmec heads in Mexico show that the Africans made it. Extensive inventories of ancient artifacts indicate others came and went. New World plant species in the Old World, and vice versa, illustrate that trade and travel routes existed long before the present paradigm says they did.
* The Copper Trade: Upper Peninsula Michigan contains virtually pure copper, a phenomenon not seen anywhere else. Billions of pounds of this copper, which required no smelting, were mined and removed to Europe for use in bronze during the period 3,000 - 1,200 BCE. How? And by whom? Why did it stop?
* Chinese visits: Around 2,500 BCE, four separate Chinese expeditions explored and mapped North America using north-to-south routes extending from what is now Canada to Mexico. The Chinese sent a scientific expedition to western America in 2,200 BCE to make celestial observations from the Grand Canyon!
They were sent! That means the rulers knew America was here. The Chinese explorers documented the journey and results in the 39 volume Shan Hai Jing and illustrated the route on maps. These materials were used in Chinese schools for 2,000 years, and are still taught, as myths, today. A number of Chinese monks spent the final 25 years of the 5th century in the American Southwest and Mexico; their influence is seen in pottery, cultural practices, and (perhaps) Mayan calendars. And finally, DNA patterns support the theory the Chinese came by boat to Point Huenehme north of Los Angeles.
* Old Norse visits: The Algonquin Indian language is almost certainly Old Norse, brought by colonists and traders, over the past 1-5 millennia. For the Norse, seafaring was second nature. (As researcher and author Constance Irwin wrote, "A Viking with a good longship thumbed his nose at distance.") Reaching Labrador was easy. They penetrated North America via Hudson and James Bays and reached the Great Lakes via rivers and portages. Their presence is attested by artifacts, place names, DNA, and blue-eyed Indians.
* Other visitors: Countless other artifacts fit in the new paradigm. African influences in Central America (pottery, skeletons, sculptures, etc) can be correlated with events in Africa. Pottery and rocks displaying writing in many Mediterranean languages (Ibero-Cyprian, Greek, Egyptian, Hebrew, Phoenician, etc) appear throughout North America and can be dated to periods long preceding 1492!
We hope teachers will share with their students the excitement of bringing this new body of knowledge into their classrooms and that this will lead to a new understanding of the longstanding connectedness of this world we live in. This revised paradigm would illustrate that the oceans were not barriers, but rather served as highways, to travel and trade, and that people have interacted extensively for far longer than realized.
Help the students learn the better paradigm.
Many people came to ancient America
from many places.