September 05, 2008

Oldest skeleton in Americas in underwater cave of Mexico

Oldest Skeleton in Americas Found in Underwater Cave?
Deep inside an underwater cave in Mexico, archaeologists may have discovered the oldest human skeleton ever found in the Americas.

Dubbed Eva de Naharon, or Eve of Naharon, the female skeleton has been dated at 13,600 years old. If that age is accurate, the skeleton—along with three others found in underwater caves along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula—could provide new clues to how the Americas were first populated.


Clues from the skeletons' skulls hint that the people may not be of northern Asian descent, which would contradict the dominant theory of New World settlement. That theory holds that ancient humans first came to North America from northern Asia via a now submerged land bridge across the Bering Sea (see an interactive map of ancient human migration).

"The shape of the skulls has led us to believe that Eva and the others have more of an affinity with people from South Asia than North Asia," González explained.
Early Native Americans seem to have had higher diversity in appearance than later ones, but this does not really indicate waves of migration from different sources. See Craniofacial shape variation and Native American origins
This model takes into account a founder population occupying Beringia during the last glaciation characterized by high craniofacial diversity, founder mtDNA and Y-chromosome lineages and some private autosomal alleles. After a Beringian population expansion, which could have occurred concomitant with their entry into America, more recent circumarctic gene flow would have enabled the dispersion of northeast Asian-derived characters and some particular genetic lineages from East Asia to America and vice versa.
This is not specific to the Americas: the familiar traits of the three major human races (Caucasoids, Mongoloids, and Negroids) were in existence for a long time before their first attestation. It is a process of diversity-reducing selection, and integration of traits of different origins that has led to the crystallization of the present-day types during the Holocene. 


Crimson Guard said...

So were the Olmecs Polynesians?

Eshenberg said...

"The Olmec writing system is unique. The Signs are similar to the writing used by the Vai people of West Africa. The Olmecs spoke and aspect of the Manding (Malinke-Bambara) language spoken in West Africa."
They arrive with boats from west Africa,ruling class!
Best wishes....

Maju said...

So were the Olmecs Polynesians?

Hardly so. Polynesians did not even exist at the time of Paleoindian colonization of America.

likely Australoid. there statues looked a lot like blacks...

They look like fat Mesoamerican natives in fact. If anything they may have a Black African or Polyesian look (sometimes they look somewhat alike, if we can ignore fundamental differences like cranial index) but not Australoid (who have a much more angulose skull and facial structure).


My big queston anyhow is wether by "South Asian affinities" they mean South Asia as in "India" or just a vague "South Asia" in contrast to North Asia (NE Asia) what would then spell SE Asia. The latter would speak of Austronesian affinities maybe while the former would instead look more like pseudo-Australoid (Veddoid) or even Caucasoid peoples.

Maju said...

"The Olmec writing system is unique. The Signs are similar to the writing used by the Vai people of West Africa. The Olmecs spoke and aspect of the Manding (Malinke-Bambara) language spoken in West Africa."

The Vai syllabary is a 19th century developement. Also notice the Wikipedia description of them as not quite so archetypically black: "Their hair texture ranges from short and curly, to long and wavy, and their noses are not flat and broad like the noses of many other Africans".

This description, specially the noses, does not fit well with the Olmec heads.


Van Sertima??

Hey, I do not fully exclude an African origin of Olmecs as you suggest but it's far from proven. The lack of African agricultural inputs in America doesn't help either to prove it.

And in any case it has nothing to do with 14th milenium Paleoindians.

toroxxx said...

not black, africa have no navigational history polynesians do and the sculpture have pacific islanders features and are the closest to america