Thursday, October 21, 2004

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tribe challenges American origins

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tribe challenges American origins: "Tribe challenges American origins

By Paul Rincon
BBC News Online science staff, at the BA festival

The skulls (r) are long and narrow, not in keeping with Native Indians' broader, rounder features.
Some of the earliest settlers of America may have come from Australia, southern Asia, or the Pacific, new research suggests.
Traditional theories have held that the first Americans originated from northern Asia.
Dr Silvia Gonzalez conducted a study of ancient bones found in Mexico and found that they have very different characteristics to Native Americans.
The results are being presented at the BA Festival of Science this week.
Some of the ancient skulls she has looked at are more than 12,000 years old.
These skulls have long and narrow heads that are very different from the short, broad skulls of today's Native Americans.
'Controversial bomb'
One particularly well-preserved skull of a long-headed female, who has been dubbed Penon Woman, has been carbon dated to 12,700 years ago.
'They appear more similar to southern Asians, Australians and populations of the South Pacific Rim than they do to northern Asians,' Dr Gonzalez, of Liverpool John Moores University, told the British Association's annual meeting in Exeter.
[Native Americans] cannot claim to have been the first people there

Dr Silvia Gonzalez
'We think there were several migration waves into the Americas at different times by different human groups.'
She said there was very strong evidence that the first migration came from Australia via Japan and Polynesia and down the Pacific coast of America.
Dr Gonzalez said the research would be controversial. '[Native Americans] cannot claim to have b"


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