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Australian visitors and American visitors

20 May 2013

The first report is positive and the second much less so. At www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10884719 … we have a story on some old coins found on a beach in the Northern Territory. They have been identified as having an origin in Arabian colonies along the east coast of Africa. To be precise, the Kilwa sultanate, on an island off the coast of Tanzania. They may be 1000 years old. The author was not in the least negative. In contrast, at http://ohio-archaeology.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/did-japanese-fishermen-di… … the author of this piece is unable to unshackle himself from what he was taught at the Smithsonian (archaeological dept). The guiding line when he was young was that the Americas were isolated from foreign visits until fairly recently. Transpacific and transatlantic voyages were out of the question – and mostly, they still are. In spite of the limits to imagination employed he grudgingly admits that a paper by Better Meggers, now disceased, as long ago as 1980, did have something of merit to say. At the time Meggers was criticised for even thinking such a thing, derided and then ignored, in spite of the fact that she and one of the co-authors were also archaeologists with a Smithsonian pedigree. The flea in the ointment appears to be an Ecuadorian businessman who noticed similarities between the pottery of the Jomon and pottery found in Ecuador. Meggers and her pal were impressed enough to write up the paper. It fell on deaf ears. Apparently, those deaf ears have had the ear plugs removed as a recent DNA study found some Ecuadorian natives actually had genetics remarkable similar to the Jomon – so how did the pottery and the genes get there? Obviously, the most likely explanation is that a fishing boat, or boats, was blown off course and ended up on the wrong side of the Pacific. The idea that Jomon people were regular visitors to the Americas over thousands of years is not discussed. Likewise, Stanford's theory that Clovis points were introduced to the east coast of America by European people of the Ice Age Solutrean culture is given short shrift by the blog author. Will it take genetic evidence we might wonder?

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