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Language evolution and American migrants

17 March 2014

Here, the idea of language evolution is said to perhaps be a means to plotting prehistoric migrations of people. In this instance, the theory is applied to migrations between Siberia and Alaska – and finds the traffic has been two ways (or on a number of occasions). Go to http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/language-evolution-…

The online journal PLoS ONE of March 12th (2014) has the story and it revolves around the Beringia hypothesis, the submerged continental shelf system between Siberia and America. It seems similarities exist between the Yenisei languages of Siberia and the Na Dene languages of N America. See also www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ancient-migration-patterns-to-nort… … which begins by telling us the story from a few days ago, concerning the role of Beringia. They say the earliest evidence of humans in N America (conveniently ignoring S America)  is at 15,000 years ago, shortly after the end of the Ice Age (proper). Yet, all the indications are is that people broke away from their Siberian cousins some 25,000 years ago, leaving a 10,000 year hiatus. They then add the consensus caveats, such as that Alaska was covered by ice and so humans could not have lived there. Sediment cores from Beringia have revealed plant fossils from a woodland ecosystem – so was Alaska really as icy as it is claimed. It must have been, it is argued, how else could Beringia have been flooded if not by the melting Ice Age ice sheets. Quite easily, it would seem, if the Poles had moved -or there had been a adjustment of the axis of rotation. The oceans of the world would have realigned themselves with the new geoid. 

This idea of humans trapped in Beringia is rapidly disseminating into a new consensus – replacing Clovis First. They could not move into America proper because of an ice barrier – but woodland thrived in the now submerged regions between Siberia and Alaska. What happened to the previous theory that humans in boats followed the kelp trail along the coast of N America. It seems the language people have only looked at one group of Native Americans, the Na Dene – and eventually complications will arise. Is it true there are no signs of humans in Alaska in the Ice Age? This idea was seriously discouraged during the long years of Clovis First – and careers were spoilt of those with heretical views (even those based on actual field evidence). Of course, Velikovsky claimed that human tools had been found in the Alaska muck deposits – laid down at the end of the Ice Age (not at the end of the Pleistocene). This idea is regularly panned as muck is confused with the loess deposits which were formed much earlier (and a further post on this subject is overdue) when in fact the muck was laid down in lower river valleys (and not on Alaska as such, or even upper river valleys) and therefore if this was due to water (a tsunami wave rushing up estuaries) and then it could well have washed evidence of human settlement (in those river valleys) along with the debris (lots of trees and vegetation). We might ask ourselves if Alaska really was a cold and icy environment during the Late Glacial Maximum (as mainstream insists) and if so how come so many trees and plants found themselves jumbled and broken and left in heaps with the bones of animals. Indeed, we might even ask if scientists have ever really explored the nature of the muck deposits, or have they left well alone, fearing being branded heretical to the consensus status quo.

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