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Originally posted by AlienCarnage
I don’t think anyone disputes that Columbus did not in fact discover America.
The following is personal opinion only;
I personally wonder if Columbus did not in fact know there was a continent here and knowing this sailed not for the West Indies, but instead for a land that he hoped he could pillage and take from it what he wanted, hoping to make more of a profit than if he had to barter with the peoples of the West Indies.
What he was not expecting was there to be a civilization here already, and thus to avoid being embarrassed called them “Indians”. Even though there was a civilization here already he was able to take advantage of their naivety (there beliefs differed from that of the Europeans about property and such) and still make a profit.
Due to this there was an influx of “explorers” who came to strip this land and its people of everything they could. Thus he was not the one to discover America, but to discover that America could easily be stripped of everything that the Europeans wanted. And that is what he is still being celebrated for today.
This ends my opinion for now.
THIS STORY APPEARED IN THE BOSTONS GLOBE
Did the Solutreans settle America first?
March 18, 2012|By Gareth Cook
Science agrees on this much: For most of their history, the Americas were a vast land with no people. Our ancestors left Africa and populated the rest of the world — Europe, Asia, even Australia — but never set foot here.
The story of how humans eventually arrived has become a familiar one. During the last ice age, the planet’s sea level dropped, uncovering a vast land bridge between Asia and America and allowing the first bands of people to migrate from the Russian far east into what is now Alaska. Once the glaciers receded, the new arrivals drove south to the Great Plains and went on to people the Americas. Their descendants founded pueblo cities and built empires in the Andes. By the time Christopher Columbus made landfall in 1492, he had missed discovering the New World by a span of time so vast it would have escaped his comprehension.
Now a pair of archeologists are upending that widely accepted narrative with a new one. Citing a series of puzzling finds along the East Coast — finely wrought stone tools made thousands of years before the land-bridge migration — they suggest that the New World’s discoverers may have come not from Asia, but from Europe. Some 20,000 years ago, a Stone Age people known as the Solutreans lived in the lands of today’s Spain and France, and their tools bear striking similarities to the ones being found on the East Coast.
In a new book, “Across Atlantic Ice,” archaeologists Dennis Stanford and Bruce Bradley suggest that during the ice age, as the polar ice expanded far to the south, the Solutreans could have put to sea in sealskin boats and hunted along the biologically rich ice edge, eventually following it west to North America.
If their idea, called the Solutrean hypothesis, becomes widely accepted, it would mean dramatic revisions to the story of the ancient world. It would mean that the sea played a central part in the drama of human expansion out of Africa, with oceans serving more as roads than as barriers. And in the matter of “who came first” — a question with heavy moral and political overtones — it would mean that all the Americas would have a new origin story to contend with.
“This may be one of the most important discoveries in the history of North American archeology,” says Boston University’s Curtis Runnels, who is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Field Archaeology and was not involved in the work. “A completely new world is coming into distant view.”
Displaying some of the tools in his office at the National Museum of Natural History, Stanford handles a milky chert blade and says, "This stuff is beginning to give us a real nice picture of occupation of the Eastern Shore (of Maryland) around 20,000 years ago."
Further, the blades resemble those found at dozens of stone-age Solutrean sites in Spain and France, he says. "We can match each one of 18 styles up to the sites in Europe."
In 2007, Lowery, who also teaches at the University of Delaware, was hired by a landowner to survey property on Tilghman Island, Md. Lowery saw a chunk of quartzite jutting out. It was an anvil, heavily marked -- a clear sign it was used to make stone tools. He dated the soil layer holding it with radiocarbon dating and a newer technique, optical stimulated luminescence. Both returned an age of at least 21,000 years.
A site 10 miles south, Oyster Cove, yielded more stone-age artifacts. Those too, came out of soil more than 21,000 years old. Lowery published the finds in 2010 in Quaternary Science Reviews, but it hardly made a ripple. One problem: The ancient dates are for the soil, not for the artifacts themselves. "But it's still suggestive," Dillehay said.
Also in 2008, Lowery toured a museum on Gwynn's Island, Va., where the curator showed him their stone tools: An 8-inch blade, displayed next to a bit of mastodon tusk and a molar, recovered by the Cinmar. The tusk and blade were so unusual, the Cinmar's captain, Thurston Shawn, had made a point of marking the spot on his charts. It was 60 miles east of the Virginia Cape, in 240 feet of water. At the end of the last ice age, when the oceans were low, that spot was dry land.
Stanford carbon-dated the mastodon to 22,000 years old. He and Bradley -- two of the world's foremost stone tool experts -- also scrutinized the blade. It had not been smoothed by wave action. They concluded the blade had not been pushed out to sea, but had originated where the Cinmar found it.