A mysterious set of monuments in Peru make up the oldest solar observatory in the Americas, according to a new study. The 2,300-year-old Thirteen Towers of Chankillo were used for marking the sun's position throughout the year—an activity that was part of the sun-worshipping culture of the Inca, the study authors said.
Towers of Chankillo photo Enlarge Photo _ Printer Friendly Email to a Friend What's This? SHARE Digg StumbleUpon Reddit RELATED * Tombs of Pre-Inca Elite Discovered Under Peru Pyramid (November 27, 2006) * Photos: Inca Sites and Artifacts * Corn, Arrowroot Fossils in Peru Change Views on Pre-Inca Culture (March 2, 2006) The large stone towers are arranged in a line along a ridge near Chankillo, a walled hilltop ruin north of Lima.
Originally posted by Kandinsky
The growing evidence is supporting the idea of population groups moving in the Americas pre-Clovis. With the growing and shrinking glaciers and the loss of Beringia, I have the image of 'Mother Nature' sweeping away the footprints. We currently have small areas indicating habitation and seemingly no way of determining how they got there. The world was a much bigger place thousands of years ago, and the Earth is shy about its history
DNA from dried human excrement recovered from Oregon's Paisley Caves is the oldest found yet in the New World -- dating to 14,300 years ago, some 1,200 years before Clovis culture -- and provides apparent genetic ties to Siberia or Asia, according to an international team of 13 scientists.
Among the researchers is Dennis L. Jenkins, a senior archaeologist with the University of Oregons Museum of Natural and Cultural History, whose summer field expeditions over two summers uncovered a variety of artifacts in caves that had caught the scientific attention of the UOs Luther Cressman in the 1930s.
There is now convincing evidence of human habitation sites that date earlier than the Clovis culture including sites located in South America. Monte Verde, a well-studied site located along a river near southern central Chile, dates 12,500 years ago. This site contains the buried remnants of dwellings, stone tools including large bifacial projectile points, and preserved medicinal and edible plants. How did people manage to settle this far south at such an early date? A coastal migration route is now gaining more acceptance, rather than the older view of small bands moving on foot across the middle of the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska and into the continents. Emerging evidence suggests that people with boats moved along the Pacific coast into Alaska and northwestern Canada and eventually south to Peru and Chile by 12,500 years ago—and perhaps much earlier. Archaeological evidence in Australia, Melanesia, and Japan indicate boats were in use as far back as 25,000 to 40,000 years ago. Sea routes would have provided abundant food resources and easier and faster movement than land routes. Many coastal areas were unglaciated at this time, providing opportunities for landfall along the way. Several early sites along the coast of Canada, California, Peru, Ecuador, and Chile date between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago. Many potential coastal sites are now submerged, making investigation difficult.
Kennewick man: a 9300-year-old caucasian skeleton in north america? The town of Kennewick, Washington, has lent its name to this ferociously controversial skeleton. It all began when the local sheriff asked anthropologist J. Chatters to take a look at a partially buried skeleton found on the shore of the Columbia River. (Ref. 1) "From head to toe, the bones were largely intact. The skeleton was that of a man, middle-aged at death, with Caucasian features, judging by skull measurements. Imbedded in the pelvis was a spearhead made of rock." Chatters initially thought he had merely a "pioneer" who had met an untimely death in the Wild West! "The real stunner came last month [June 1996], after bone samples were sent to the University of California at Riverside for radiocarbon dating. The conclusion: the skeleton of the 'pioneer' is 9,300 years old." (Ref. 2)
DNA analysis would surely verify he was actually Caucasian, everyone knew, except none of the laboratories could extract a testable sample. Meanwhile, during this examination period, five American Indian tribes were insisting on possessing these remains for burial purposes. The tribes were citing their legal right (as claimants) under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The Indians were stalled however until the various examinations were completed. Due to the fact DNA analysis was not technically possible, it was therefore necessary to rely on other means to determine the ancestry of these remains but it ended up being more-so the legal criteria, and less-so the scientific assurance, which ultimately determined these remains were of Mongoloid (Asian) origins… effectively meaning that he was, from a legal standpoint more than from a scientific standpoint, an ‘America Indian’.
In the coming weeks, three ancient skeletons, whose cultural affiliation is not established with any living people, will be given to a coalition of Minnesota Sioux tribes, along with a collection of historically and culturally affiliated human remains. These three skeletons, known as the Minnesota Woman (or Pelican Rapids Woman, 7840 BP), Browns Valley Man (8,900 BP), and Saulk Valley Man (about 4,000 BP) are under the care of Hamline University, Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have been included in a repatriation agreement with Minnesota's Indian Claims Commission and will be repatriated under NAGPRA, a federal law.