I believe it’s been demonstrated that Iceland-based Vikings may have set foot on the Americas long before Europeans, and there was that theory a while ago (which has been steadfastly derided by historians ever since) that a Chinese fleet visited the New World in 1421, but this discovery – if it turns out to be valid – pretty much knocks those into a cocked hat. Human remains discovered in Florida, Chile and Brazil in the mid-seventies, estimated to be over 11,000 years old, have finally been fully reconstructed… and they turn out to have “cranial features distinctive of Australian Aborigines”.
The oldest of the skeletal remains, dubbed Luzia, are of a young woman who died in her twenties and was ceremonially buried in a cave complex in Central Brazil. She was among a large collection of material first uncovered in 1975 by a Brazilian-French archaeological team, who disbanded in acrimony after the sudden death of its leader.
The remains were not examined until he late 1990s by a group led by Walter Neves of the University of Sao Paulo, who was surprised to discover that Luzia’s skull looked sharply different from the Mongoloid cranial morphology distinctive of people of East and North Asian origin and of Native Americans.
A reconstruction of her face by British forensic experts, based on her skull and its distinctive characteristics, shows Luzia had a cranial morphology almost identical to Australian Aborigines.
There’s a jonbar point just waiting for an alt-history trilogy to be pegged to it… though you’ll want to get in there quick, before the New Agers jump the bandwagon and start explaining how cherrypicked pieces of Mayan and Aztec mythology matched up with the Dreamtime narratives point ineluctably to a horde of angels imminently ushering in the long-awaited Age of Aquarius, while Antarctica melts to reveal the long-lost continent of Atlantis and the aliens arrive to save us from ourselves*.
[ * Yeah, I’ve read a lot of those sorts of books; does it show? ]
3 thoughts on “Did Australian aborigines reach the Americas first?”
I don’t believe it.
“Some of the bones look kind of like they might be from Aborigines…”, is not what I would call extraordinary evidence for an extraordinary claim like that.
I’ll scream bullshit until they have the DNA evidence to back that up. After all m-DNA methods are a little more reliable than facial reconstruction, performed after you decided that the skull looks like it’s from an Aborigine (bias anyone?).
Props for the “Legion of Time” reference.
Never read it, as it happens, Tom; the term is a standard part of the sf critical lexicon. 🙂
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