Wow, this thread made the leaderboard? Thanks y'all! It's exciting to see how many other people here are so interested in history. Thank you all
very much for the compliments and discussion of the subject. It's very encouraging to write more articles like this when they don't die a quiet,
Here's some replies:
Harte: Regarding the Basque Fishermen
I double-checked with my history professor, to see if perhaps I'd misunderstood about the Basque fishermen theory, and to get references. He assured
me that, yes, in today's scholarly circles, the Pre-Columbian visits from the Basque (as well as other nation's) fishermen are widely accepted. He
referred me to author David B. Quinn as the foremost authority on the subject, and in searching for some of his works to reference, I found more
professors also referring to Kurlanksy's works as well, so apparently he's also pretty highly regarded. It's also important to keep in mind, the
fishermen did not keep records and logs of their journeys because it was a huge trade secret, so the likelihood of finding an absolute smoking gun is
is a paper by Prof Alice B. Kehoe (Dept of Anthropology,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.
Basque fishermen and whalers were probably in the Grand Banks/Davis Strait region in the late fourteenth and fifteenth century, necessarily landing on
the Canadian coast for water, processing catches, and trading—there are Basque words in Canadian Algonkian and Iroquoian languages (Bakker, 1989).1
At that time, they were, as Kurlansky (1999: 58) points out, ‘‘the best sailors, with the best ships, the best navigators, and a tradition of
sailing the longest distances.’’
Aside from Kurlansky, the authoritative work on the subject appears, over and again, to be
England and the Discovery of America, 1481-1620
David Beers Quinn. I cannot find an online version of this, sorry. But apparently the work has been pretty widely accepted by enough university
history professors to be regularly quoted and referred to.
So I suppose the end result is, yes, there's no absolute smoking gun that the Basques were absolutely sailing America's coasts in Pre-Columbian
times, but there's enough evidence, logic, reason, and study of the subject for it to be a fairly commonly accepted "given".
SnoopyUK: Regarding your map collecting
My Professor is apparently a huge cartography buff. I've invited him to this thread. Hopefully he visits, but I told him about you last night, and
how you were a cartography buff from Portugal. He seemed very intrigued and I bet you two could have some pretty great conversations. If you want to
U2U me your email address, I could send it to him and see if y'all can get a dialogue started. He has an immense amount of respect for Portugal, you
can tell from his lectures. The Portolan Maps are amongst some of his favorites.
Rockpuck: Regarding the Celt Migration
Very interesting read, I'll have to look into it some more. I wouldn't be surprised, to be honest. I've always found it hard to believe that no one
could have possibly made it to America's shores before Columbus, and it seems any civilization technically could have found a way to get there with a
little patience and ingenuity.
Freight Tomsen: Regarding Marrs, Icke, and Columbus Logs
Though Marrs and Icke seem to have a pretty wide following on ATS, I can't really vouch for their credibility as far as a scientific approach to
history and anthropology goes, so I'll avoid comment on those quotes. I don't have anything against them, I'm just more along the lines of a
"scientific" mindset than a "believer" one.
Regarding your Columbus Logs, believe me. I've more than enough reason to hate Columbus for what he did to the natives, as well as all the
conquistadores that followed (except perhaps Cabesa De Vaca and Esteban, they were pretty cool, but by circumstance, not choice). I'm a CDIB
card-carrying Native American myself, and I do not excuse their actions in the least.
However, some of their actions, while not excusable, may be understandable in the face of where they came from. The Reconquista in Spain was composed
of lots of knights forcibly driving Moors out of Spain and/or killing them. When the Reconquista ended in 1492, Spain suddenly found itself with a
country full of powerful, armed and armored men, with their own private armies, itching for another fight. You don't leave people like that roaming
your countryside, they're too much of a threat to your power. So what do you do?
Well, you've got this brand new land, inhabited with people who don't look like you, that needs to be mapped out, you have a need for gold, they
have a need to be given a good fight, and you need to get these armored thugs off your home turf. Send 'em overseas, with a mission to obtain Gold,
Glory, and God, in that order of priority, and let them carve out their own private kingdoms, far away from yours
. The Spanish Conquistadores
had zero trouble switching from the mindset of killing and subjugating the Moors, to killing and subjugating the Native Americans. They happily
crossed the sea to "conquer" America, and Spain was rid of a serious internal threat to its power base.
Again, it doesn't excuse their actions, but it might explain them.
Mojo4Sale, and TheWalkingFox: Regarding Pre-Columbian Migrations:
TWF: The assessment of the Kennewick man wasn't based on hair color. It was based off of skull features.
Both: Another thing to consider is the possibility of far-Northern polar travel. Though I haven't seen any theory like this yet, personally, during
class last night, the Professor was talking about how the Muskovy Company got founded when it was suddenly realized you could sail northward and find
a route all the way to Russia's northern shores. That got me thinking about the recent claims on the North Pole as global warming makes it more and
more accessible to sea travel.
Perhaps during one of the "rapid unstable warming periods", enough north-pole ice melted that the short distance through the polar region would have
been possible. It would have been cold, trecherous, and probably fatal the vast majority of the time, but it would not have been impossible during
certain time frames.
Here's a timeline to consider:
150,000 y.a. - cold, dry full glacial world
around 130,000 y.a. - rapid warming initiates the Eemian interglacial (Stage 5e)
130,000-110,000 y.a. - global climates generally warmer and moister than present, but with progressive cooling to temperatures more similar to
(except for possible global cold, dry event at 121,000 y.a.)
?110,000 y.a. - a strong cooling marks the end of the Eemian interglacial (Stage 5e).
105,000-95,000 y.a. - climate warms slightly but still cooler and drier than present; strong fluctuations.
95,000 - 93,000 y.a. - another cooler phase similar to that at 110,000 y.a.
93,000 - 75,000 y.a. - a milder phase, resembling that at 105,000-95,000 y.a.
75,000 - 60,000 y.a. - full glacial world, cold and dry (the 'Lower Pleniglacial' or Stage 4)
60,000 - 25,000 y.a. - 'middling phase' of highly unstable but generally cooler and drier-than-present conditions (Stage 3)
25,000 - 15,000 y.a. - full glacial world, cold and dry; Stage 2 (includes the 'Last Glacial Maximum')
(This period includes two 'coldest phases' - Heinrich Events - at around 23,000-21,000 y.a. and at 17,000-14,500 y.a.)
14,500 y.a. - rapid warming and moistening of climates in some areas. Rapid deglaciation begins.
13,500 y.a. - nearly all areas with climates at least as warm and moist as today's
12,800 y.a. (+/- 200 years)- rapid onset of cool, dry Younger Dryas in many areas
11,500 y.a. (+/- 200 years) - Younger Dryas ends suddenly, back to warmth and moist climates (Holocene, or Stage 1)
9,000 y.a. - 8,200 y.a. - climates warmer and often moister than today's
about 8,200 y.a. - sudden cool and dry phase in many areas
8,000-4,500 y.a. - climates somewhat warmer and moister than today's
Since 4,500 y.a. - climates fairly similar to the present
My personal pet supposition is that the Kennewick Man probably sailed to America from an area similar to Finland, or North Russia, across the North
pole (not exactly along the pole, but enough so to vastly shorten the journey from Asia to Canada), which would have been rich with food, since the
area was not fished, recently opened for spawning, but not have enough time for predators to have spread in the area, and the krill would have been
much more exposed, providing the fish and seals a more readily available food source.
I have zero doubt the Polynesians and Asians "discovered" America long before Columbus, since genetics places many tribes ancestries amongst
Malcr, Merka, and Mortalengine: Regarding Archeology/Anthropology
In any field, you have good science, bad science, rock stars, unknowns, open minds, and closed-mindedness. Until a time machine is discovered that
lets us observe the past first-hand, we must piece together the past from the parts and information we have available. As advanced as we are, our
knowledge is mostly stuck in a forward thinking
mindset. This is part of what enabled humans to evolve to the point of being the dominant
species on the planet, and is also our greatest weakness in that history repeats itself. In other words, as a species, we're a lot better suited to
something like figuring out how to build a space ship and get to Mars than we are, say, figuring out exactly how events transpired 500 years ago. One
is critical to the survival of the species, the other is an intellectual exercise for the understanding of how
So that's why we can't definitively claim anything. But we can have a pretty good guess, scientific process, and determinations based off of logic
and reason. And it's an ever-changing science. Always changing. Keep in mind it wasn't very long ago at all that ethno-centrism was simply a
survival trait, and not considered gauche. Which means, in short, that all accepted history was first filtered through the eyes of the people that
wrote it, ie, the victors. History will always be spun in the direction of the viewpoint of the victors, who invariably see themselves as "better"
than everyone else.
As we have only recently become a more global mindset, and become gradually more infused, intermixed, and understanding of one another's cultures,
the face of history slowly gets debunked, changed, adjusted, as mutual information is shared, new information is uncovered, and the filters of race
and nationality begin to be shed in favor of a greater truth. This is not an instantaneous process, nor is it something people even considered as
recently as two generations ago and earlier. It is something wildly unique to this age of near-instant communication between any two spots on the
globe in the same language, and a generation of children raised in this environment.
I think, honestly, in the next 50 years, we will see all of mankind's history radically "corrected" to a more realistic account of what happened,
but until then, we can only go with what we know, and suggest what we surmise.
Punkinworks: Regarding the salted fish
Thanks for answering this, you got it perfect. In fact, if I recall correctly, Basque are largely credited with figuring out that you could not only
salt cod, but also for influencing the Fish on Fridays rule. That I could be wrong about though.
Bluess: Regarding Pangea
While I believe Pangea and Continental drift happened far too long ago to have allowed Homo Sapiens to migrate or simply have been "split apart"
from the others, it is ENTIRELY possible that land masses have continually come and go as continental drift continues to happen to this day. The Earth
is ever-changing. Sea levels lower in ice ages, exposing land under shallower waters to compliment ice bridges formed by freezing, and sea waters rise
in warm ages, and free up waterways for boat traffic. To top it off, land itself physically rises in times of volcanic activity, sinks in times of of
instability, and sometimes just blows up inexplicably such as with Krakatoa.
Citizen Smith RE: 1421
Sounds like a fantastic book, thanks for the reference. I'll check it out.
Clearskies RE: The Vatican
The Vatican played a huge role once the new world was "officially" discovered, and was a key behind-the-scenes manipulator of world events
surrounding it. Who do you think negotiated the Line of Demarcation? However, it's fair to say that their primary interests were based off of ruling
passively, behind the scenes, rather than making direct claims to ownership and rulership. The Vatican may have been able to, for instance, make Spain
do anything it desired previous to the Potosi discovery, but they didn't actually claim rulership of Spain.
Hope I answered everyone's questions and comments. Thanks again for making this thread so active. It's great to see so many fellow history buffs