Guests in the Americas
Let’s face it, we are all newcomers to our country and to all of the American Continents. Our view of history is typically limited to the European “discovery” and “flag planting”. How would we feel if the Chinese came over and planted their flag on our shores and claimed our land because they had done so? The following is from Craig Childs in an article for National Geographic:
- “The first arrivals keep getting older and older because we’re finding more evidence as time goes on. Right now we can solidly say that people were across the Americas by 15,000 years ago. But that means people were probably already well in place by then; and there’s enough evidence to suggest humans were widespread 20,000 years ago. There’s some evidence of people as far back as 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, but the evidence gets thinner and thinner the further back you go. It appears there’s not a single arrival date. No doubt there was a first person walking in, but when that happened is well before 20,000 years ago.
- The solid dates of 15,000 are based on sites where you can find fire pits, burned bones and work stones that have been turned into scrapers and hammers and spear points. When you go back further, you’re finding mammoths that have been shattered open in a way that’s characteristic of humans. Then you start getting into these questions of what really counts as a sign of human presence, and what is just a trampled mammoth bone that happens to look like it was struck by a human with a rock.”
There has been quite a bit of discussion concerning the origins of the original Americans. The long-accepted theory was that they came from Asia over the land bridge during the ice age. More recently there is evidence that people also migrated from Europe far earlier than the Vikings. Craig continues……
- “What I took away was that people came from everywhere. We think of the arrival of the first people as one group braving their way across a land bridge, when in fact it was many groups, many different languages, and technologies arriving at different times from different directions. This makes sense because that’s how we do things as humans. It’s not just one group. It is this complex story of many people, with many different stories.”
The original Americans that the Europeans encountered were likely the decedents of ancestors that came from came from……… you guessed it, Europe. In the very early days of the inhabited Americas all were welcome. In the very early days of the USA all were welcome. What happened to Miss Liberty’s cry? “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”