Bering Strait Theory, Pt. 5: The Theory Comes Crashing Down
As if that evidence was not indisputable enough, in 1841, while digging through an ancient Inca temple in Cuzco, Peru, the director of the National Museum of Lima, Mariano Eduardo de Rivero, and the Swiss explorer, Johann Jakob von Tschudi, discovered a distinctive “green amphibole stone ax,” that was soon identified as a Maori patu-pounamu, or jade war club, from New Zealand. But as the Bering Strait Theory became predominant in the late 19th-century, the idea of Polynesian-American contact began to lose favor.
By the early 20th-century, only a few anthropologists, such as Roland Dixon, were willing to accept, and even then only half-heartedly, that trans-Pacific voyages by Polynesians might have occurred. Thor Heyerdahl’s highly celebrated voyage from South America to Polynesia in the light raft Kon-Tiki in 1947, along with his equally celebrated but extremely doubtful ideas of Polynesian origins, created a huge scientific backlash that basically killed any lingering discussion of trans-oceanic contact.
But the Polynesians did sail to the Americas. Recent DNA studies of sweet potatoes and chickens now confirm that they were traded before contact with Europeans. A flurry of recent articles, including “The Polynesian Gene Pool: an Early Contribution by Amerindians to Easter Island,” published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 2012; a 2013 article from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, entitled “Identification of Polynesian mtDNA Haplogroups in Remains of Botocudo Amerindians from Brazil;” and a 2010 article in Current Geonomics, “The Origin of Amerindians and the Peopling of the Americas According to HLA Genes: Admixture with Asian and Pacific Peoples” have pretty much settled the debate for everyone except the most dogmatic Bering Strait advocates.
The new version of the Bering Strait Theory, what is now known as the “Coastal Migration,” has the first Americans using boats, presumably small primitive craft that then skirted the massive ice-sheets along the coast on their way to Aubrey, Texas. But that assumption completely dismisses the reality of the region of the Bering Strait.
You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page