The American Indian: Part 4: Origins Continued
The Asiatic-European hypothesis is another hypothesis that considers the American Indians to be comprised of more than one species. According to this hypothesis, most Indians are of Turanian origin. However, the ancestry racial types of at least some American Indians seems to come from Europe. This hypothesis is not nearly as popular as the previous two and has few supporters.
Fray Gregorio Garcia (1607) is perhaps the first to conclude that the America Indians had several different ancestors who came from diverse places and arrived at different times in America. He hypothesizes that some were descended from Carthaginians, while others descended from the Ten Lost Tribes, and other Israelites. Others were the progeny of Greeks and Phoenicians while some tribes could claim the Chinese or Tatars as their ancestors. Even the Atlanteans were ancestors of some tribes. Thus, American Indians have a complex origin. Rather than being a uniform people, they are racially diverse.
Andrews Retzius (1880) claims that the American Indian can be divided into two great groups: western or highlands and eastern or lowlands. The western group occupies the main ranges of the Rocky Mountains and Andes and the lands westward to the Pacific Ocean. This group is brachycephalic and descended from the Mongolians and Malays of Asia and Australasia. The eastern group occupies the lands from the Atlantic to the western uplands. This group is dolichocephalic and descended from North Africans.
Daniel G. Brinton (1901) eliminates Siberia as a possible route for the peopling of America until late Neolithic times because glaciers covered Siberia before then. The ancestors of the people who were living in North and South America at the close of the glacial age must have come by some other route. He believes that the ancestors of the Indians came before or during the ice age. As no land bridge existed across the North Pacific, they must have come by a land bridge across the North Atlantic. To support a North Atlantic land bridge, he cites (1) evidence of the northern part of North American and the North Atlantic were 2000 to 3000 feet higher than now, (2) glacial striae on the rocks of islands of the North Atlantic, and (3) similarity of, and in some instances identical, flora and fauna on both sides of the Atlantic. He holds that American Indians comprise a singular homogeneous race from the Arctic to the Antarctic with only slight variation. Brinton concludes that the progenitors of these early people came from Europe. By maintaining that all the progenitors of the Indians came from Europe and none from Asia, he carries the European origin to its extreme.
A.H. Keane (1908) identifies two general migrations from the Eastern Hemisphere to North America. Two general elements have combined to form the American Indians. One, a dolichocephalic people, came from the east. The other, a brachycephalic people, came from the west. From Europe came the paleolithic dolichocephals. They crossed via a land bridge that connected Britain, the Orkneys, Shetlands, Faeroes, Iceland, and Greenland. From Asia came the neolithic brachycephals. They crossed at the Bering Straight. Although the Asiatics came later, they came in larger numbers, which explains the predominance of low stature and round heads along the Pacific coast from Alaska to Chile. Thus, the American Indian is a composite race in which the Mongolian (Asiatic) traits slightly exceed the Caucasian (European).
Ronald Dixon (1923) identifies numerous races arriving in America where they interbred to form the American Indian. All came by way of the Bering Straight.
A branch of proto-Australoid, who originated in the tropical southeast Asia, migrated northward through the east Asian coastal region, crossed into America, and migrated southward along the Pacific Coast to southern California. These Proto-Australoids are among the ancestors of the Iroquois and southern Algonkian tribes of the East. Proto-Negroids were also ancestors of these same tribes.
He also identifies two other races, the Caspian and Mediterranean. The Caspians may have arrived at the same time as the Proto-Australoids, if not earlier. Elements of this race are found among the Eskimos and various place in British Columbia. Descendants of the Caspians are scattered across South America. Evidence of the Mediterranean race is found among the Eskimo and among Siouan and Shoshonean tribes.
The brachycephalic characteristic of the American Indian was acquired from Paleo-Alpines and Alpines. Mongoloids contributed little to the makeup of the American Indian.
Ancestors of the South American Indians arrived by two routes: the Isthmus of Panama and the Antilles. Those who came by way of Panama traveled along the Carribean coast or the Pacific coast or up the valleys of the Cauca or Magdalena. The inhabitants of the places south of the Amazon basin most likely descended from these people. Those who came by way of the Antillean Islands landed at the delta of the Orinoco. They spread across the Amazon basin.
As with the North Americans, the dolichocephals came first (the Mediterranean and Caspian types followed by the Proto-Australoid and Proto-Negroid). Then came the brachycephals, who pushed the dolichocephals to less desirable areas.
Earnest Hooton (1930) opines that probably soon after the last glacial retreat, a hybrid people entered North America via the Bering Strait. These people were a mix of Mediterranean, Australian, and Negroid (but not Negro) elements. The dolichocephalic skulls are the remains of these people. They must have left East Asia before the arrival of the Mongoloid people as they lack any Mongoloid characteristics. Later various groups of Mongoloids came to America. Some of these Mongoloid people were essentially pure. However, most were a hybrid people — a mix of Armenoid, Proto-Nordic, or perhaps some other group; from them came the high-bridged and often convex nose. Last came the Eskimo, who were already mixed with some non-Mongoloid strain.
Remy Cottevieille-Giraudet (1931) believes that Cro-Magnards migrated to North America and became the progenitors of the American Indians of the northeast. He arrives at this conclusion by somatic similarities between the European Cro-Magnards and the “Redskins” (Sioux, Huron, Iroquois, Cherokee, Lenape, Delaware, etc. — basically those Indians identified as the Appalachian and Plains racial types, which Deniker calls North American and Haddon, North Amerind.).
M. R. Harrington (1933) states that Magdalenian man of glacial and postglacial Europe may have crossed the North Atlantic and became the progenitors of the Eskimo. These people could have crossed the Atlantic by way of Iceland and Greenland and various ice bridges and land bridges.
Joseph Birdsell (1951) hypothesizes that American Indians are a mix of Caucasoids and Mongoloids. What separates him from most Caucasoid theorists is that he has the Caucasoids entering from Asia instead of Europe. He claims that the Amurians, whom he identifies as proto-Caucasoid and progenitors of the Ainu, are one of the ancestors of American Indians. The second ancestry contributor are Turanians of Siberia.
E. F. Greenman (1963) argues that man came to America from Europe by canoes. He supports his theory by the many similarities between the artifacts of the Paleo-Indians and the artifacts of Upper Paleolithic period (35,000 to 12,000 years ago) of Europe. Paleolithic Indian artifacts have little in common with artifacts of Siberia or Asia. He identifies numerous similarities between artifacts found along the North Atlantic in North America and Europe, and concludes men from France and Spain crossed the Atlantic in deep-water skin canoes and settled on the Atlantic coast of North America; probably, they first landed in Newfoundland and from here spread across the United States into Mexico. Furthermore, similarities in skull shape are found between the Indians of North America and Cro-Magnards of Europe.
Europe has been separated from North America for hundreds of thousands of years by the Atlantic . Means of traversing the Atlantic by boat did not exist at the time man was known to be living in the New World. The lack of evidence of ocean-going boats at the time the Atlantic crossing were supposed to have occurred is a major flaw in Greeman’s theory.
Furthermore, if man was able to cross the North Atlantic to Iceland, then to Greenland, and to Canada, his route would have been blocked by glaciers. An ice bridge could have provided a way to travel from Greenland to Canada if the traveler carried enough provisions to survive the journey. Getting to Greenland still remained a problem. Large stretches of ocean had to be crossed to reach Iceland and to go from Iceland to Greenland.
A fact that argues against Retzius’ hypothesis is that both dolichocephals and brachycephals are intermingled in every part of the continent.
Brinton may have erred in claiming that no land bridge existed in the northern Pacific during the time of the ice age. Many authorities claim that such a land bridge did exist. It may have laid farther south than the Bering Strait and stretched from Kamchatka to British Columbia. This land bridge provided a route for the Asians. If Briton is correct, then Turanians must have migrated through Europe and across the North Atlantic. Most believe that the vast majority of the American Indians are Turanians.
A major flaw of Birdsell’s hypothesis is that Ainus are Caucasoids. Genetic studies show that they are more closely related to Turanians, primarily Japanese, than Europeans. (Few now consider the Ainus to be Caucasians. Most likely, the Ainus are a racial type of the Australian species. That they have so many genetic makers in common with Turanians is probably the result of genocide via miscegenation that the Ainus have endured for centuries.)
The autochthonous hypothesis holds that the American Indian originated in the Western Hemisphere. His ancestors did not come from Europe or Asia. To the contrary, modern Asians and Europeans probably descended from people coming from America who crossed into Siberia. The autochthonous hypothesis has few adherents.
Jeffery Goodman (1981) believes that early man may have appeared in America about 500,000 years ago and that fully modern man first appeared in American around 70,000 years ago, or about 35,000 years before he appeared in Europe. Contrary to the popular belief that man crossed Bering Straight from Asia into America, he maintains the reverse: Modern man crossed from America into Asia. From these men descended the Cro-Magnards.
He emphatically rejects the theory of Indians descending from Mongoloids crossing Bering Straight. He offers several reasons for rejection of that theory. First are Indian myths. According to the myths of some Indians, they originated in the Americas. Others came from islands in the Pacific or Atlantic. None seem to arrive via the Bering route.
Further evidence is the physical difference between American Indians and other races, especially East Asians. Their blood type, finger prints, and prominent convex nose suggest that they are not descendants of East Asians.
He also points to the large number and great variations of American Indians as evidence to support his autochthonous theory.
To these he adds a lack of evidence, such as stone, bone, or wood tools, that the first men would have carried. No direct evidence support the Bering route theory.
Furthermore, radiocarbon dating shows that the corridor between Alaska and the Great Plains was not opened until 6000 B.C. instead of 10,000 B.C. Even after it opened, its climate would have been too severe to provide much food for traversing bands. The corridor would have been almost void of food and fuel, its climate being more severe than that on top of the ice sheet. Bands probably could not have carried enough provisions to support themselves as they passed through the corridor.
Evidence exist suggesting man lived in southern California 70,000 years ago. If he entered via the Bering route, he would have arrived in Alaska more than 70,000 years ago. The next opportunity for the trip from Siberia to Alaska would have been between 35,000 to 27,000 years ago and 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. These opportunities occurred too late. Furthermore, the earliest sites are not found in the north, but in the south. By 30,000 ago, modern man seemed well established in North and South America.
He holds that Paleo-Indians migrated to Siberia and then spread across Asia and Europe. From these Paleo-Indians came the Cro-Magnards of Europe and the Mongoloids of Asia.
The autochthonous hypothesis suffers problems similar to the Asian hypothesis. Why would traffic have been only one way — this time from America to Asia. Why did no interchange of useful commodities between the Old World and the New World occur? The evidence seems to show man in the Old World at least as early if not earlier than in the Americas.
According to the mythical hypothesis, the American Indians are the progeny of the inhabitants of Atlantis or Mu or both. Atlantis was a mythical continent in the North Atlantic between North American and Europe and North Africa. Mu, or Lemuria as this continent is sometimes called, was a mythical content in what is now the central part of the Pacific Ocean. (Ernst Heinrich and Helena Blavatsky placed Lemuria in the Indian Ocean. Most advocates of Lemuria now place it in the Pacific where it essentially coincides with Churchward’s Mu.) Both of these continents developed a high state of civilization. (Some believe that these civilization were more technologically advanced than today’s.) Both continents suddenly vanished beneath the ocean as the result of a catastrophe. Some of the survivors managed to escape, either just before or just after, the catastrophe. From these survivors came most, if not all, of the American Indian. A variant is that the American Indians descended from colonists of either or both of these continents.
A major flaw with this hypothesis is that the evidence to support the existence of either of these continents is extremely weak. As of yet, little geological or archeological evidence has been found to support the existence of either Atlantis or Mu. Geology of the central Pacific argues against any submerged continent in that region.
Another problem of this hypothesis is that the American Indians lived in a primitive state while the inhabitants of Atlantis and Mu were highly advanced culturally and technologically. Both had a high state of civilization with large cities, aircrafts, and technologies of which today’s man is still ignorant. Atlantis is often described as having reached the nuclear age and perhaps even having advanced beyond it. Yet with the sinking of Atlantis, the survivors reverted to a primitive neolithic, and in some instances paleolithic, culture. To avoid this problem, some supports of the mythical hypothesis, especially those of Mu, claim that the survives quickly reverted to savagery.
Timing is also a problem, especially for Atlantis. Atlantis supposedly sank about 10,000 years ago. The sinking of Atlantis occurred long after much of North and South America were inhabited.
[Editor's note: The appendix defining anthropological indices and list of references in the original are omitted.]
Endnotes ‒ Continued
95. MacGowan, p. 12.
96. A.H. Keane and E.C. Huntington, “Indians, American,” Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago, 1890), XII, p. 823.
97. Briton, American Race, pp. 31-32. Briton, Races and People, pp. 247-248. Haddon, Wandering People, pp. 74-75.
98. Briton, American Race, p. 30.
99. Keane, Worlds People, p. 226-227.
100. Dixon, pp. 395ff, 446ff. MacGowan, pp. 164-165.
101. MacGowan, p. 163-164.
102. Comas, pp. 633-635.
103. MacGowan, p. 21.
104. Crawford, p. 3.
105. Goodman, pp. 66-67.
106. Ibid., pp. 17-18, 38. 42-43. 59. 65. 80. 114-115.
107. Baldwin, pp. 174-184; Brinton American Race, pp. 18-19. Reader’s Digest. Mysteries of the Ancient Americas: The New World Before Columbus (The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., 1986), p. 47-49.
Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Coley Allen.
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