Friday, April 26, 2013

Bill Fox talks about the Peopling of the Americas, May 9th 2013

Bill Fox, Parks Canada Ontario
Old Controversies and New Theories: The Peopling of the Americas - Insights and New Developments

Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario at 7 pm, Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bill Fox gave an interesting, detailed talk on theories about how the Americas were peopled.
It’s a shame more people did not make it out to this entertaining and informative talk.
As you may recall from school, for a long time educators taught the theory that the Americas were populated by peoples moving from Asia across the Bering land bridge (now the Bering Sea between Siberia and Alaska) and gradually moved south eventually to the foot of South America. Associated with this are the archaeological sites with what are known as Clovis Points. 
Bill Fox showed maps and illustrations of artifacts of Americas and spokein some detail about theories old and new.  He described the Clovis Point sites and the theory that followed from that analysis with people entering the Americas via a Bering Land Bridge. He went on to show many other sites that have been carefully worked that show artifacts that pre-date the Clovis sites and its related theory. He showed a great deal of detail about the specific artifacts and their dating from a range of sites throughout North, Central and South America.  For example, at Monte Verde in Chile dating some artifacts back from 14,000 to 15,000 down to a layer of material dating back to 33,000 years ago. Very heated discussions and controversy resulted to this new work that challenged the people who believed strongly in the Clovis Point view of the peopling of America. 

Bill spoke also about genetic analysis, in particular how the Ojibway have a large concentration of genetic commonality with Eastern European groups.  Another topic he outlined was that of skull shape and how this adds a Australo-Melanesian component to the answer to the question of where did the people come from who inhabited the Americas.  The new theory points to a combination of Bering Land Bridge and peoples traveling along the ice pack edge from northern Europe to the  eastern coast of North America.

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