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Forum LockedAmerindians and Inuits in Europe, before Columbus

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Amerindians and Inuits in Europe, before Columbus
    Posted: 29-Apr-2008 at 02:56
Originally posted by Chilbudios

....It is generally held that most of Greenland was uninhabited (not that today is crowded LOL) during the 12th century when your evidences reported that landing in Germany. And even when the first cultures stepped into Greenland, they did through its north-western parts, closer to the American mainland. It would take decades, if not centuries until they settled properly the eastern shores so they could take advantage of good starting points for a hypothetical navigation towards Iceland. That's why I was saying the time-window for a pre-Columbian journey starting from Greenland to Europe is rather narrow.
As for the archaic period, boats have been used for long, yet we do not discuss any possible crossing. Yourseld did the distinction between "wild claims" and "serious evidence".
 
Are you an expert in Greenland archaeology? I bet not. I am not either. Even more, that field is just in its beginning.
 
In any case, the pre-Norse refference is mainly the one of Caecilius Metellus, copied by Pompinious Mella and Pliny the Elder.
 
If you don't want to believe them, that's your choice. Call them liers; not me.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

....
When I mentioned Brendan's journey you argued that I should get informed about the Gulf-Stream. Neither the Viking route nor Columbus' route did not face the Gulf-Stream coming from American shores to Europe's.
 
Please read:
 
"Typically, the Gulf Stream is 80–150 km wide and 800–1200 m deep. The current velocity is fastest near the surface, with the maximum speed typically about 2.5 m/s (approx. 4.9 knots).
"
If a canoe falls in the Gulf Stream and its people is lucky enough to survive, they can do at least 10 knots from the Americas to Europe. 10 knots is 18 kilometer per hour or 432 kilometers per day. At that speed you can cross the Atlantic in 12 days.
 
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

....
If anyone is trolling here is you. What you emphasized is actually about "possible sources from where Columbus got his inspiration", yet we were talking about the claim of contact, as you said it then, "the evidence of the presence of Amerindians in Europe exist and it is registered in historical records".
 
That's precisely what I say. There is evidence that Americans have been in Europe, which is supported in the historical records. I don't believe that is enough proof to settle the issue, but at least exist a founded suspiction.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

....
Later on the thread we noticed this evidence does not really mention Amerindians or Inuits but various aliens (Indians), we noticed the historical records are not really reliable, etc. So we moved from certainty to possibility. Now you moved your claim on probability but without really adding conclusive evidence.
 
That's your imagination. You are trying to put words in my mounth.
If you want to downplay historical records written by authors like Pliny and Columbus, it is your choice. I bet you are a more reliable source than them Wink
 
 
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

.... 
But Columbus notes, letters and biography shows what he believed.
If he really believed (and was not selling stories to gather support for his voyage), he believed the those travellers were Indians, not the inhabitants of a new continent.
 
For Columbus, they were the same. That's the reason why he named Indians to the Indigenous Americans.  I am amazed how much difficulty you have to understand that.
 
For the educated Europeans, of the Ancient and Middle Ages, India and China were to the West, because they knew the earth was round, and India and China were the farthest places to the East in the known world. So, anyone comming from the West would be considered either an Indian or a Chinese! Europeans believed Chinese and Indians were just at the from of them crossing the Atlantic!
 
That's so simple to understand, I amazed you can't get it.
 
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

.... 
The Gulf-Stream does not take an American boat to Europe by Greenland and Iceland (the Greenland currents flow in opposite direction), but through open ocean on a distance longer than 3000 km (which is roughly the distance in straight line).
This is the map you posted earlier in the thread:
 
Agreed. But we have discussed two possibilities in this thread: Inuits or/and Amerindians. In the case of Amerindians they had sailing canoes (Canoes with a sail on them, as reliable as a Drakkar) that had a lot of capacity and that perfectly could have survived the trip from North America to Europe. They were used in the peopling of the Caribbean, and also in the commerce of Mayans. Mayans had in Tulum a sea port for that kind of canoes, and they even got lighthouses for them. Those Canoes went from Venezuela to Cuba and Florida all the way to Mexico. They may also have influenced sea canoing in the east coast of North America.
 
I don't believe they attempted purposely the trip, but once in a while some accident may have brought some sailor fatally into the Gulf Stream. Most of the time the adventure would have ended in disaster but perhaps two or three times in history they survived. Why not?
 
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

....
Originally posted by Pinguin

Brazil Africa 3068
Newfoundland Ireland 3174 kms
------- (which could seem gaves you the reason, but)-----
 
Greenland Ireland 2295 kms (too far away, it sees)
Greenland Iceland 294 kms
Iceland Britain 861 kms
Iceland Norway 1062 kms
-------------------------------------- But.
Iceland Faroe 490 KMS
Faroe Britain 459 Kms
 
So, you can do the trip in small jumps Wink
 
Funny, all the shortest distances I imagined and measured between Brazil and West Africa were between 2800 and 2900.
 
I used your same tool and I measure from the closest tip of Brazil to Africa all the way to Liberia. And I got that number. But still I can't get what is the point to include in this thread that distance with Africa.
 
Originally posted by Pinguin

However, please take in account a travel starting from American mainland. You'll see that in navigation along the shores it includes a long part of Greenland's coast.
 
I take into account that. What you haven't considered, though, is the navigation skills of Ancient Amerindians, that I am afraid you ignore. Just remember Incas imported theirs sea shells from Central America, and the cargo was carried by balsa raft that carried 30 tons of cargo. You also have downplay the skills of Inuits in kayaking.
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 29-Apr-2008 at 03:33
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2008 at 10:13
Originally posted by Chilbudios

I have not said that. All I said is that distances are measured in kilometers (miles) not in eye-estimations. For instance, the globe projection made you believe the narrowest width of Atlantic is in north, whereas it is between Africa and South-America (more precisely between modern Liberia and modern Brazil).
 
Yeah, but as I said, they didn't have to cross the Atlantic - As Pinguin pointed out, they could've reached Iceland easily. And archaeological evidence point to the Dorset culture being Inuit, btw, or at least proto-Inuit. Not exactly the same as the people today, but they continued living alongside other Inuit (or Eskimo, they weren't truly Inuit by the real definition) in parallel for some time.
 
I do think real ("Thule") Inuit's would have a better chance of survival, as their culture was more based on sea hunting than the Dorsets, however.
 
They could have crossed in 1450 anyway, and it would still be pre-Columbian.
 
There's also the possibility of Inuit's traveling with some Norse, after all, I believe they met. According to legend, they did just that.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

 Any probability is quantifiable and estimable, otherwise it is not a probability. You can't say about an X that is more probable than a Y if you have no scale, no criterion to determine what exactly makes X more probable. An unprovable probability is a mere possibility.
 
I'm basing it mostly on DISTANCE and CURRENTS and CHANCE OF SURVIVAL (including the ability to get fresh water from rain or ice).  I'm not saying it's highly probable that they did travel to Europe (or at least Iceland) but that they would be more fitted to survive such a trip - than people from the Caribbean. If the Caribbean people would depend on the currents, then the trip would be far longer than the shortest distance between Africa and South America.
They would of course have much more time to do it, as you pointed out somewhere, the window of opportinity being much longer. But remember one thing - the Inuits were in the process of expanding/moving to new grounds. Therefore, the trip on behalf of the Inuits could be intentional - and they could be prepared for such a trip, while the Carribeans would be accidently taken by the currents (such as during a storm, or a broken mast etc.) and had to endure a very long trip, thousand of miles long, that they didn't expect. That last part is of course pure speculation by meCool.
 
Note: in all this, I'm ONLY talking about surviving people, not dead people carried by the currents and thrown upon some beach.
 
There's also the occurrence of haplogroup "Q" in Norway and some Atlantic islands. AFAIK it is not identical with the present Greenlandic "Q", suggesting it must be somewhat old - not DNA of recent admixture - therefore maybe sugesting an ancient link there. (It's speculation, though - it could have another origin)
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

The distance is not the shortest one - according to your hypothesis, the highest probability of crossing the ocean should be in equatorial zone. Is it?
 
No, again look at a map.
Notice the currents in that exact spot. If they start north of Iceland there's a chance they could make it with some ease - the currents are not as strong as the initial Gulf ones. In fact, strong winds may cancel out the effect, or even reverse the effect during gales and such. That is especially true for shorter distances, less true for very long distances.
 
Ocean currents:
 
Notice how the North Equatorial Current are going strongly in the western direction.
 
P.s. in all fairness, they may have changed a bit since then, I'm not sure about that. The maps show the current currents.


Edited by Jams - 30-Apr-2008 at 12:27
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2008 at 12:06
I see from that that Amerindians in what is now Argentina could have drifted all the way around and discovered Chile. Big%20smile
 
So much for Thomas Wolfe and You Can't Go Home Again.
Notice how the North Equatorial Current are going strongly in the western direction.
 
P.s. in all fairness, they may have changed a bit since then, I'm not sure about that. The maps show the current currents.
Nice one.


Edited by gcle2003 - 30-Apr-2008 at 12:07
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2008 at 14:14
Originally posted by gcle2003

...I see from that that Amerindians in what is now Argentina could have drifted all the way around and discovered Chile. Big%20smile
 
They crossed, actually. Not by the Cape of Horn that, you know, it is uncrossable by small ships, but throught the networks of channels that connect both countries at the southern tip.
 
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2008 at 14:24
Originally posted by pinguin

Originally posted by gcle2003

...I see from that that Amerindians in what is now Argentina could have drifted all the way around and discovered Chile. Big%20smile
They crossed, actually. Not by the Cape of Horn that, you know, it is uncrossable by small ships, but throught the networks of channels that connect both countries at the southern tip.
I didn't mean by the Horn or the straits. I meant travelling eastwards, south of South Africa and Australia.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2008 at 17:05
Originally posted by gcle2003

...I didn't mean by the Horn or the straits. I meant travelling eastwards, south of South Africa and Australia.
 
I understood your irony. However, the natives of the patagonia lacked the right boats to made high seas navigation. They made it of light materials, and used to cross channels, not seas.
 
Unlike them Caribbeans, Easter Amerindians and Inuits were sailors of high seas. That made the difference.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2008 at 18:19
Regarding pre- contact sail.
 
There is evidence (and some agreement) that some societies at the Pacific coast of South America had the sail. But, that aint the case for Meso- America.   In fact, the available data clearly shows the opposite : no pre- contact sail for meso-america.
 
Firstly, the many pre- contact murals are  good  evidence of how the pre contact vessels looked like and show no sails.
 
The Diaz 'phrase 'a  remo y vela ' ( literally : with oars and sail ) is misinterpreted. It 's a wellknown expression  and means 'quickly ', 'in a hurry', expeditiously'. (e.g. below ). That it was meant  like this is  also shown by the fact that when Diaz 's decribed the vessels more detailed he does not mention sail , only paddles.
 
There was one clear report about a canoe with a sail around the time of contact, but this was the canoe of Jeronimo de Aquilar, who was taken captive some years back. He lived among Indians and went to see Cortez some years later. Of course, he would not have forgotton what a sail was and to put one on his own canoe.
..
7. The relationship between naturally
or commonly associated things or actions
also provides the basis for adverbial concepts:
a pan y cuchillo 'familiarly, assiduously,'
a mds y mejor 'greatly, highly,'
a trompa y talega 'helter skelter,' a sangre
y fuego 'mercilessly,' a duerme y vela
'between sleeping and waking,' a remo y
vela 'very expeditiously'.

 Harold L. Dowdle."Observations on the Uses of "A" and "De" in Spanish". Hispania, Vol. 50, No. 2 (May, 1967), pp. 329-334



Edited by Sander - 30-Apr-2008 at 18:39
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2008 at 19:46
Originally posted by Sander

Regarding pre- contact sail.
 
There is evidence (and some agreement) that some societies at the Pacific coast of South America had the sail. But, that aint the case for Meso- America.   In fact, the available data clearly shows the opposite : no pre- contact sail for meso-america.
 
It is well established sail was known in South America since at least 8.000 years ago. It was also know by the Manteno people of Ecuador, that is not very far from Panama and the Atlantic coast of Colombia. Besides, Manteño rafts make the trip all the way to central America, so people there should have know about the sail, even by watching.
 
 
Originally posted by Sander

Firstly, the many pre- contact murals are  good  evidence of how the pre contact vessels looked like and show no sails.
 
It means many, or even most, lacked sails. It doesn't mean sails didn't exist in the Caribbean.
 
Originally posted by Sander

The Diaz 'phrase 'a  remo y vela ' ( literally : with oars and sail ) is misinterpreted. It 's a wellknown expression  and means 'quickly ', 'in a hurry', expeditiously'. (e.g. below ). That it was meant  like this is  also shown by the fact that when Diaz 's decribed the vessels more detailed he does not mention sail , only paddles.
 
Curious interpretation of Spanish. If the guy said "oars and sail" and was a sailor, I would beat he meant it.
 
Originally posted by Sander

There was one clear report about a canoe with a sail around the time of contact, but this was the canoe of Jeronimo de Aquilar, who was taken captive some years back. He lived among Indians and went to see Cortez some years later. Of course, he would not have forgotton what a sail was and to put one on his own canoe.
 
There are several accounts more of sails used in the Caribbean and Mexico, not only those cited.
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 30-Apr-2008 at 19:48
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Post Options Post Options   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2008 at 19:54
There are quite a few acounts of sail being used on lake titicaca.  Which is one of the reasons Heyerdahl went there to have the "Ra" built.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2008 at 01:57

For anyone that put in doubt the navigation skills of Ancient Amerindians. I would just notice that the fact natives sailed from Peru to Mexico in commercial trips is a proven fact, and they did so by using raft and sails. Now, it would be amazing if the technology of the sail wouldn't have crossed to the Pacific, given that the idea just had to cross the Panama itsmus.

 
Floating a big idea

MIT demonstrates pre-Columbian use of rafts to transport goods

David Chandler, MIT News Office
March 19, 2008

Oceangoing sailing rafts plied the waters of the equatorial Pacific long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, and carried tradegoods for thousands of miles all the way from modern-day Chile to western Mexico, according to new findings by MIT researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Details of how the ancient trading system worked more than 1,000 years ago were reconstructed largely through the efforts of former MIT undergraduate student Leslie Dewan, working with Professor of Archeology and Ancient Technology Dorothy Hosler, of the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology (CMRAE). The findings are being reported in the Spring 2008 issue of the Journal of Anthropological Research.

The new work supports earlier evidence documented by Hosler that the two great centers of pre-European civilization in the Americas--the Andes region and Mesoamerica--had been in contact with each other and had longstanding trading relationships. That conclusion was based on an analysis of very similar metalworking technology used in the two regions for items such as silver and copper tiaras, bands, bells and tweezers, as well as evidence of trade in highly prized spondylus-shell beads.

Early Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch accounts of the Andean civilization include descriptions and even drawings of the large oceangoing rafts, but provided little information about their routes or the nature of the goods they carried.

In order to gain a better understanding of the rafts and their possible uses, Dewan and other students in Hosler's class built a small-scale replica of one of the rafts to study its seaworthiness and handling, and they tested it in the Charles River in 2004. Later, Dewan did a detailed computer analysis of the size, weight and cargo capacity of the rafts to arrive at a better understanding of their use for trade along the Pacific coast.

"It's a nontrivial engineering problem to get one of these to work properly," explained Dewan, who graduated last year with a double major in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. Although the early sketches give a general sense of the construction, it took careful study with a computerized engineering design program to work out details of dimensions, materials, sail size and configuration, and the arrangement of centerboards. These boards were used in place of a keel to prevent the craft from being blown to the side, and also provided a steering mechanism by selectively raising and lowering different boards from among two rows of them arranged on each side of the craft.

Although much of the raft design may have seemed familiar to the Europeans, some details were unique, such as masts made from flexible wood so that they could be curved downward to adjust the sails to the strength of the wind, the centerboards used as a steering mechanism, and the use of balsa wood, which is indigenous to Ecuador.

Dewan also analyzed the materials used for the construction, including the lightweight balsa wood used for the hull. Besides having to study the aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of the craft and the properties of the wood, cloth and rope used for the rafts and their rigging, she also ended up delving into some biology. It turns out that one crucial question in determining the longevity of such rafts had to do with shipworms--how quickly and under what conditions would they devour the rafts? And were shipworms always present along that Pacific coast, or were they introduced by the European explorers?

Shipworms are molluscs that can be the width of a quarter and a yard long. "Because balsa wood is so soft, and doesn't have silicates in it like most wood, they are able to just devour it very quickly," Dewan said. "It turns into something like cottage cheese in a short time."

That may be why earlier attempts to replicate the ancient rafts had failed, Dewan said. After construction, those replicas were allowed to sit near shore for weeks before the test voyages. "That's where the shipworms live," Dewan said. "One way to avoid that is to minimize the amount of time spent in harbor."

Dewan and Hosler did a simulation of the amount of time it would take for shipworms to eat one of the rafts and concluded that with proper precautions, it would be possible to make two round-trip voyages from Peru to western Mexico before the raft would need replacing.

The voyages likely took six to eight weeks, and the trade winds only permit the voyages during certain seasons of the year, so the travelers probably stayed at their destination for six months to a year each trip, Dewan and Hosler concluded. That would have been enough time to transfer the detailed knowledge of specific metalworking techniques that Hosler had found in her earlier research.

While Hosler's earlier work had shown a strong likelihood that there had been contact between the Andean and Mexican civilizations, it took the details of this new engineering analysis to establish that maritime trade between the two regions could indeed have taken place using the balsa rafts. "We showed from an engineering standpoint that this trip was feasible," Dewan said. Her analysis showed that the ancient rafts likely had a cargo capacity of 10 to 30 tons--about the same capacity as the barges on the Erie canal that were once a mainstay of trade in the northeastern United States.

Hosler said the analysis is "the first paper of its kind" to use modern engineering analysis to determine design parameters and constraints of an ancient watercraft and thus prove the feasibility of a particular kind of ancient trade in the New World. And for Dewan, it was an exciting departure from her primary academic work. "I just loved working on this project," she said, "being able to apply the mechanical engineering principles I've learned to a project like this, that seems pretty far outside the scope" of her work in nuclear engineering.

drawing%20of%20raft
 
raft%20on%20Charles%20River
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2008 at 03:19

Jangada. A brazilian pirogue which may be very similar to the ancient sailing canoes of the Caribbean. Notice that the curved and flexible masts that are the same kind of the Ecuatorian balsa rafts. Of course, today historians say these designs were introduced from abroad.

Curiosly enough, the Jangada looks like the closets reproduction of an ancient Caribbean sailing canoe,

 
Compare it with a traditional Cuban canoe
 
 
Its design is probably pre-colombian.
 
According to my sources, these are the kind of sailing canoes we are talking about. The covered canoe of the last model was described by the spaniards.
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 01-May-2008 at 03:51
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2008 at 03:34
Originally posted by red clay

There are quite a few acounts of sail being used on lake titicaca.  Which is one of the reasons Heyerdahl went there to have the "Ra" built.
 
 
Well, the Ra is nothing more than an oversized titicaca lake ship.
 
 
Although the ship sailed, it had the tendency to sunk. I doubt peruvians used it really at other place but the titicaca lake. They had the "caballito de totora", though, that is a small boat for fishing that also serves as a surf table.
 
 
However, sailing is old in Peru, and they build good ships. Gene Savoy, that died recently, made a reproduction of an ancient peruvian cathamaran as despicted in pottery, and named it Feathered Serpent III. This was the result.
 

 

 
I have also seen in  museums here, reproductions of interesting ships in bronze.
 


Edited by pinguin - 01-May-2008 at 03:35
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Post Options Post Options   Quote omshanti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2008 at 12:49
I found this (below) in Wikipedia

The first people thought to have inhabited Iceland were Irish monks or hermits who came in the eighth century, but left with the arrival of Norsemen, who systematically settled Iceland in the period circa AD 870-930


I was wondering. Wasn't Ireland the centre for a vigorous culture during the 5th and 6th century AD preserving Christian civilization in Europe after the decline and collapse of the Roman empire? Weren't the monks quite meticulous in recording events?
So If the Irish monks were truly in Iceland before the Norse, and Iceland was truly so easy to reach for the Inuits, wouldn't there have been some regular contacts between the two groups? And wouldn't there have been at least some records left of the contacts, recorded by the monks?
On the other hand if we think about this, the Irish story of Brendan the navigator doesn't seem far-fetched at all.

Also If island-hopping between north-America and northern Europe was truly as easy as it is being claimed in this topic, doesn't that make it more probable that there were regular pre-Columbus contacts between north-America and northern Europe? But then if there were regular contacts, native Americans or at least the Inuits should have been well known to the Europeans and therefore should not have been confused with the people of the Indian continent.
Wouldn't then the idea of ''easy island-hopping'' and the name ''Indian'' be contradictory?

Or, If we are only discussing random accidental landings that also include dead bodies washed on the shore happening once in a few centuries, then there is as much possibility for that to happen between west-Africa and south-America too with regards to the distance between them and the ocean currents. In fact there was a national geographic program that I saw about people who clean the rubbish that arrive from Africa in the beaches in the Americas.
So wouldn't it be contradictory again to deny any possibility for accidental contacts between western (sub-saharan) Africa and south-America while pushing the idea of north-America~northern Europe route so much?

These are the questions that come to my mind when reading this topic.



Edited by omshanti - 01-May-2008 at 13:11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2008 at 13:18
Originally posted by omshanti

I found this (below) in Wikipedia

The first people thought to have inhabited Iceland were Irish monks or hermits who came in the eighth century, but left with the arrival of Norsemen, who systematically settled Iceland in the period circa AD 870-930
 
That's not reliable. There is evidence of pre-European settlement in Iceland. At least that's what I saw once on a TV documental.
Originally posted by omshanti


I was wondering. Wasn't Ireland the centre for a vigorous culture during the 5th and 6th century AD preserving Christian civilization in Europe after the decline and collapse of the Roman empire? Weren't the monks quite meticulous in recording events?
 
If they happen to have one encounter.
 
Originally posted by omshanti


So If the Irish monks were truly in Iceland before the Norse, and Iceland was truly so easy to reach for the Inuits, wouldn't there have been some regular contacts between the two groups? And wouldn't there have been at least some records left of the contacts, recorded by the monks?
 
Too many "ifs". Nobody is sure that the monks were week-end sailors Wink
 
Originally posted by omshanti


On the other hand if we think about this, the Irish story of Brendan the navigator doesn't seem far-fetched at all.
 
Why is that? Brendan was going in the opposite direction of the currents. That's far fetched.
Originally posted by omshanti


Also If island-hopping between north-America and northern Europe was truly as easy as it is being claimed in this topic,
 
That's not what has been claimmed in this topic. Nobody said it was easy. What was argued is about the possibility that some Americans by accident reached Europe one or two time in history. Not that they have already developed globalization as you suggest.
 
Originally posted by omshanti

doesn't that make it more probable that there were regular pre-Columbus contacts between north-America and northern Europe?
 
Nobody is claimming about regular contacts at all.
 
Originally posted by omshanti

But then if there were regular contacts, native Americans or at least the Inuits should have been well known to the Europeans and therefore should not have been confused with the people of the Indian continent.
 
Not necesarily. Norse were in contact with Inuits and Amerindians for some time and nobody seem to notice in Europe.
 
Originally posted by omshanti


Wouldn't then the idea of ''easy island-hopping'' and the name ''Indian'' be contradictory?
 
Nope. It would be contradictory only if you realize that was a different continent and not Asia. It took a long time after 1492 for Europeans to understand that.
 
Originally posted by omshanti


Or, If we are only discussing random accidental landings that also include dead bodies washed on the shore happening once in a few centuries, then there is as much possibility for that to happen between west-Africa and south-America too with regards to the distance between them and the ocean currents.
 
Not really. In the same way between North America and Europe the direction is from the Americas into Europe, the currents go from Africa to the Americas. However, the people of Subsaharan Africa weren't sailors. They didn't had the sail. They only had some very primitive river canoes, and you can't compare them with ancient caribbeans or inuits. They don't even conquered Cape Verde. You don't have a sailor culture in pre-Colonial Western Africa like it existed in Labrador, Easter North America and particularly in the Caribbean.
 
Originally posted by omshanti

In fact there was a national geographic program that I saw about people who clean the rubbish that arrive from Africa in the beaches in the Americas.
So wouldn't it be contradictory again to deny any possibility for accidental contacts between western (sub-saharan) Africa and south-America while pushing the idea of the north-America~northern Europe route so much?
 
How they arrived? swimming?
 
The game is not denying but proving.
 
There is no evidence of Africans landing in the Americas. There is evidence, though of Indonesians landing in East Africa, after conquering Madagascar, who teach locals to make good boats that didn't exist in Western Africa. Actually, those that claim about Africa exporting culture to the Americas should be aware that there is a lot of evidence that many african inventions and styles came from South East Asia and spread through Madagascar in historical times, including things like the marimba, future telling games, fruts like bananas and ballancing boats. What a contradiction, isn't?

Originally posted by omshanti


These are the questions that come to my mind when reading this topic.
 
What comes to my mind is why so many westerners want to assign sailing skills to Africans, Irish, East Indians and many other people, INVENTING A PAST, while at the same time denying the skills of Caribbeans and Native Americans in general. Skills that are recorded by history and backup by archaeological evidence.
 
In short, why people believe that is Politically Correct to invent a sailing past to West Africans because they are Black people, but at the same time still believe Americans Indians were savages.
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 01-May-2008 at 13:28
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Quote omshanti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2008 at 13:36
Originally posted by pinguin

What comes to my mind is why so many westerners want to assign sailing skills to Africans, Irish, East Indians and many other people, INVENTING A PAST, while at the same time denying the skills of Caribbeans and Native Americans in general. Skills that are recorded by history and backup by archaeological evidence.
In short, why people believe that is Politically Correct to invent a sailing past to West Africans because they are Black people, but at the same time still believe Americans Indians were savages.
Pinguin, would you like to quote a sentence or a word from my post that suggests a denial (about anything), a stereotypical generalization (of any people) or a consideration for political correctness?

I simply saw contradictions from my point of view in some of the arguments presented here and questioned them (which you answered. I would also like to hear the opinions of others). Why all this paranoia?





Edited by omshanti - 01-May-2008 at 14:06
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2008 at 14:13
Originally posted by omshanti

...Pinguin, would you like to quote a sentence or a word from my post that suggest a denial (about anything), a stereotypical generalization (of any people) or a consideration about political correctness?

I simply saw contradictions from my point of view in some of the arguments presented here and questioned them (which you answered. I would also like to hear the opinions of others). Why all this baseless paranoia?
 
You should count in this section how many baseless claims are put day by day about people of the old world comming to the Americas, and you will understand my "paranoia".
I just commented in a thread about Greeks comming to the Americas and the proof was the fact both Mayans and Greeks had Greek patterns in theirs arts Dead
 
People made inferences that aren't valid. For instance, some anthropologist measures ancient skulls found in Brazil and say it is "Australoid" and at once a theory say that ancient Australian Aborigenes crossed the Pacific to land in Patagonia and that were the ancestors of the Amerindians in there. You know, I know the Amerindians there are they look East Asian and not Aboriguines. Other person hear that the crossed of the Bering strait was done in canoes or in skin boats along the coast and assumes those people crossed freely along all the oceans! What a wild inference.
 
There is another thread here that has a colection of claims about people contacting the Americas, including:
 
(1) The phoenicians
(2) The egyptians
(3) The greeks
(4) The chinese (1421)
(5) the east indians
(6) the arabs
(7) the andalucians
(8) the Irish
(9) the lost tribe of Israel
(10) the west africans
(11) the australians
(12) you name it.
 
So, it seems so easy to cross the oceans, isn't?
But all those claims fall to realize that SOME peoples were sailors and othere weren't. Even more, from those sailors, some followed the coastal lines and other were straight through the ocean.
 
The people that came to the Americas before Columbus, according to all the evidence of archaeology, history, DNA, linguistic and historical sources are:
 
(1) the ancestors of ancient amerindians, that entered the continent from the Bering strait circa 15.000 years ago.
 
(2) the ancestors of the Inuits that entered the New World from Siberia to Alaska and from there across the Artic to Greenland. That happened a couple of thousand years ago. The proof: the Inuits existed at contact time and its past has been devealed by archeology.
 
(3) the Norse, that landed in the Americas from Greenland in the year 1.000 AD. The proof in is the greeland sagas, European history, the knowledge of Norse shipbuilding and skills, but mainly in the archeological site found in Newfouldland, Canada.
 
(4) Probably the Polynesians, although it is still argued in favor and against the Proof: Polynesians were the most skillfull sailors in the planet in pre-Columbian times. Theirs skills in navigation and techniques are well documented. They colonized the Pacific ocean which covers half the planet. There are certain cultural patterns in Souther Chile that may have a polynesian origin, like the way to cook fish in holes covered by stones. There is certain genetical evidence that sweet potato came from the Americas to Polynesia but also genetical and archaeological studies that, perhaps, prove chickens were introduced to Chile in pre-contact times by Polynesians.
 
That's what science knows about pre-colombian contacts.
 
Now, with respect to this thread, I know it is speculative. Perhaps Americans never reached Europe. What it was shown in here, though, is that Americans (Caribbeans, Algonquin, Inuits) had the sailing technology and skills to reach Europe in case of accident. And also that there existed in here a culture of sailors that existed since thousand of years ago.
 
In short, this is supposed to be a thread to study probabilities, not fantasies. And in the way, understand the sailing skills of Amerindians.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Originally posted by Pinguin

Are you an expert in Greenland archaeology? I bet not. I am not either. Even more, that field is just in its beginning.

It depends on what do you mean by expert. I do not consider myself as one but since I've participated in this thread I've read a lot about this subject. Maharbbal suggested it first but I started to use this argument only once I found scholarly evidence indeed is it so. Yes, the Greenland archaeology is not as well-developed as the archaeology of other territories, but what evidence exists so far, it suggests it is highly unlikely that during the European Middle Ages the arctic cultures to proceed for a sea voyage from its eastern/south-eastern coasts  to Iceland and from there further away, for the simple reason most of the Greenland was uninhabited, especially in these areas. This is my conclusion after reading in The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas (published in 2000), the chapter 14 "The Arctic from Norse contact to modern times" (see also the map with archaeological sites at page 336), several papers on Arctic archaeology published on the site of Arctic Institute of North America ( http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/ ) - examples:
http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic33-3-487.pdf or http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic33-4-833.pdf , the site of Arctic Studies Center within Smithonian Museum of Natural History (this map should summarize the story of Greenland's material cultures in this period: http://www.mnh.si.edu/VIKINGS/voyage/subset/markland/map2.gif - according to it, the Greenland's coast facing Iceland was populated between ~1300 and ~1500). If you suggest the alleged sightings from the Middle Ages (but this should be valid also for archaic cultures like Dorset or before them) are connected in anyway to a hypothesized travel starting from a point on Greenland's coast situated at ~300km of Iceland, you'd better find some archaeological support.

In any case, the pre-Norse refference is mainly the one of Caecilius Metellus, copied by Pompinious Mella and Pliny the Elder.
 
If you don't want to believe them, that's your choice. Call them liers; not me.

As for the alleged "evidence" authored by Mela and Pliny I also have read on Google Books the chapter 5 of Jack Forbes' The American Discovery of Europe (2007) where this "evidence" was presented. I must say your presentation was flawed and biased to support this case. Both Mela and Pliny speak of circumnavigation, i.e. of how Europe, Asia and Africa can be circumnavigated on water. This is what they say, this is how Forbes presents their sayings i.e. about Mela's account: "discussing a then-current theory [...] that the Indian Ocean possessed a direct connection with the North and Baltic seas" (p. 113) or "apparently both Mela and Pliny were not conversant with ideas of voyages to and from the West" (p. 115). It is unfortunate how the Latin "circuitus" from Pliny's account was translated by "passage" when it has a significantly different meaning (I'm not sure if here's only Forbes' fault, or also Rackham's - the edition used by Forbes). Therefore not only that Mela and Pliny do not speak of Native Americans but of Asian Indians, they also speak of voyages around the Old World, as I suspected earlier when I signaled the ancient perspective on geography.
Anyway, what I've read in this book (mainly this chapter plus some glances in other chapters) disappointed me greatly. It can hardly be called scholarship. Let me show how Forbes concludes on these ancient accounts:
"What the Roman geographers did not realize was that the ocean connection between the Indian Ocean and northern Europe did not exist by way of the north Pacific and the Arctic Sea. Thus the "Indians" of cca 62 BCE could not have come from the east as they imagined. Instead they came from the India of Columbus, which was of course, America." (p. 114)
This conclusion is invalid from several points of view. First is a biased if not hopelessly ignorant geographical perspective. From Indian Ocean to northen Europe there are four large groups of possible routes - around Asia, around Africa, around North America or around South America. For this author there's only one - around North America. Of course, this is his thesis, isn't it? He is apparently not even aware of Pliny's stories of navigation between Spain and Ethiopia or the Arabic Gulf (true or false - they were to prove that the known world - i.e. landmass - was entirely circumnavigable). Also there's his failure to deal with ancient primary sources. There's no critical reading of them, there's no attempt of contextualization, no questions, not even footnotes/bibliography for relevant scholarly works for decyphering Roman authors, Roman geography, Roman ethnography, etc.. One could even suggest his argument is entirely anachronic, because the only visible link between his conclusion and his premises is "India" but these accounts date from ~1500 years before Columbus.
You might reply this is me and my agenda against this author. Well, surprise, surprise, I'm not the only one noticing that. Besides the usual bunch of positive reviews from the press, here's how this book was reviewed in The American Historical Review (Nr. 112.5/2007) by Felipe Fernández-Armesto: "Jack D. Forbes chose a promising subject. There is plenty of underexploited material on the indigenous side of the story of the New World's encounters with Europe, and Forbes has the audacity required to make the attempt to use it. But his book is narrow in focus, short of evidence, weak in argument, inattentive to much of the scholarship, and heedless of the most interesting problems." Digging even more, I found out that this thesis exists in the work of this author for several years. In 1988 he published a book entitled Black Africans and Native Americans: Color, Race and Caste in the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples where he built the thesis that a substantial group of the non-White population of the north-America is in fact a mixture between Africans and Native Americans and tangentially he threw various other revisionist claims, like the American discovery of Europe. But this book has also received some reviews disagreeing with the way the author built his theses, in Journal of Interdisciplinary History (Nr. 20.3/1990) Carl N. Degler remarked that "Unfortunately, the proof of this sweeping reinterpretation of the demography of the New World leaves much to be demonstrated", "one always has the feeling that the evidence is shaped by the thesis", "Although the book contains an extensive bibliography, pertinent works are conspicuously absent", "At times, when the numerical evidence does not fit his thesis of African-American mixture, he qualifies the evidence", "he is willing to entertain dubious statements from contemporaries", while even a more friendly review in The Journal of African History (30.1/1989) by Wyatt MacGaffey still pointed out that "It is a provocative thesis, pushed a little too hard at times, as a revisionist is entitled to do."
Why I created this large paranthesis about this author? So, you (or anyone else) wouldn't jump on me that I had the impertinence/ arrogance to criticize a scholar. He's an anthropologist having also Native American origins (as expected, no?), launching several biased and controversial theories who were already attacked by other scholars. Not because they disagreed with the theory, but because they found flaws in his methodology. So back to my initial claim, Pliny and Mela (or Nepos, their common source) do not present any evidence for Native Americans reaching Europe, and Forbes' interpretation is simply wrong. I'm not calling them liers, I'm saying you (or Forbes) do not read them properly.

If a canoe falls in the Gulf Stream and its people is lucky enough to survive, they can do at least 10 knots from the Americas to Europe. 10 knots is 18 kilometer per hour or 432 kilometers per day. At that speed you can cross the Atlantic in 12 days.
True enough, but this doesn't follow our earlier discussion. Brendan could reach Americas using sea-currents to West, while the Americans could reach Europe using sea-currents to East (the Gulf-Stream). You still haven't provided an argument why should we hastily dismiss Brendan's story but consider these ones.


If you want to downplay historical records written by authors like Pliny and Columbus, it is your choice. I bet you are a more reliable source than them
I'm just arguing how to read historical records. We do not have any contemporary first-hand accounts, we do not have evidence supporting each other (e.g. Pliny and Mela quote Nepos but Nepos' story is not confirmed by anything else) and the authors are unreliable because generally the geographical and ethnographical works from that period are unreliable when taken at face value. Mela wrote of gryphons and Pliny wrote that some Indians have ears so big they can wrap their entire body in them. Maybe you really believe in these things, but it's your belief, not an actual evidence there were gryphons or Indians with such big ears.

For Columbus, they were the same. That's the reason why he named Indians to the Indigenous Americans.  I am amazed how much difficulty you have to understand that.
I'm afraid it's your misunderstanding. For Columbus this land was part of Asia, not a new continent.

For the educated Europeans, of the Ancient and Middle Ages, India and China were to the West, because they knew the earth was round, and India and China were the farthest places to the East in the known world. So, anyone comming from the West would be considered either an Indian or a Chinese! Europeans believed Chinese and Indians were just at the from of them crossing the Atlantic!
Untrue, as I already argued, from land you can see a ship coming from the west only for a short distance before reaching the shore. Europeans couldn't know where that ship really came from unless they communicated with its crew. And not anyone coming from the West was considered an Indian or Chinese, get your facts straight.

Most of the time the adventure would have ended in disaster but perhaps two or three times in history they survived. Why not?
Perhaps they never adventured that far or perhaps even if they did, they never survived. Why not? Wink

What you haven't considered, though, is the navigation skills of Ancient Amerindians, that I am afraid you ignore. Just remember Incas imported theirs sea shells from Central America, and the cargo was carried by balsa raft that carried 30 tons of cargo. You also have downplay the skills of Inuits in kayaking.
I can't consider the navigation skills of the Incas because your scenarios pictured so far North-Americans. This thread is spammed with sails from all regions of America, though I fail to see how a boat from Titicaca would get to Baltic Sea. As for their skills in general, you keep forgetting that I don't deny the possibility they did so, but the actual evidence to suggest they did. Whatever skill they had, they failed to leave a solid archaeological or historical trace of a succesful journey.
Like you said to Omshanti, the game is about proving. There's no evidence of Africans landing in the Americas, but also there's no evidence of Americans landing in Europe before Columbus.

Originally posted by Jams


Yeah, but as I said, they didn't have to cross the Atlantic - As Pinguin pointed out, they could've reached Iceland easily. And archaeological evidence point to the Dorset culture being Inuit, btw, or at least proto-Inuit. Not exactly the same as the people today, but they continued living alongside other Inuit (or Eskimo, they weren't truly Inuit by the real definition) in parallel for some time.
The Dorset people are not really considered Inuits, but we can consider them North-Americans for the purpose of this thread, and that leaves you to build a plausible theory they crossed to Iceland many centuries before the Vikings reached Greenland. There are some pre-Dorset/early Dorset sites in this region like Ammassalik/Angmagssalik or Scoresby Sund (see more in The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of America, Denmark's National Museum' site: http://www.natmus.dk/sw18630.asp , some articles like Ralph Rowlett's "1000 Years of New World Archaeology" in American Antiquity (1982) and perhaps several more - I'm giving you bibliography so you can build up a hypothesis in case you have access to more information than I do Wink)

They could have crossed in 1450 anyway, and it would still be pre-Columbian.
They could have or they could have not. What I don't see on this thread is how can we move from a mere chance to a plausible/probable scenario.

There's also the possibility of Inuit's traveling with some Norse, after all, I believe they met. According to legend, they did just that.
That wouldn't be a discovery in the sense we discussed here.

I'm basing it mostly on DISTANCE and CURRENTS and CHANCE OF SURVIVAL (including the ability to get fresh water from rain or ice). I'm not saying it's highly probable that they did travel to Europe (or at least Iceland) but that they would be more fitted to survive such a trip - than people from the Caribbean.
I am reading again your last replies to me and you said nothing about currents or chance of survival and you actually did say it's highly probable they did travel to Europe, let me quote you: "The probability that Inuits could have traveled to Europe is very high compared to some of the others mentioned". Anyway, I take that your current position is that they had the chance to travel, which I repeat, it was not contested in general for Americans.

But remember one thing - the Inuits were in the process of expanding/moving to new grounds.
Their expansion process was mainly along the land and across short and/or frozen bodies of water, from northern Canadian islands to northern Greenland. That is actually a counter-argument to a Inuit long-distance travel across the sea. Why did they change so suddenly their "travelling habits"?

No, again look at a map.
In your last reply you said nothing of currents, but of distances and the ability of travel along them. So I take it that my observation was correct when it was made, but now you want to present me a new perspective based on sea currents.

Notice the currents in that exact spot. If they start north of Iceland there's a chance they could make it with some ease - the currents are not as strong as the initial Gulf ones. In fact, strong winds may cancel out the effect, or even reverse the effect during gales and such. That is especially true for shorter distances, less true for very long distances.
Yes, but that part of Greenland was rather uninhabited by Inuits as I already said and detailed in my reply to Pinguin, above in this post. We still have a short time window in which the Inuits could have crossed to Iceland before Columbus. Anyway, do you know any archaeological sites close to that point which you can consider candidates?

Notice how the North Equatorial Current are going strongly in the western direction.
I honestly do not understand this remark. This current helps ships to get from North African coast to Carraibes. Is this is somehow related to this hypothesized Inuit travel?

 



Edited by Chilbudios - 01-May-2008 at 23:42
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2008 at 03:21
Originally posted by Chilbudios

Yes, the Greenland archaeology is not as well-developed as the archaeology of other territories, but what evidence exists so far, it suggests it is highly unlikely that during the European Middle Ages the arctic cultures to proceed for a sea voyage from its eastern/south-eastern coasts  to Iceland and from there further away, for the simple reason most of the Greenland was uninhabited, especially in these areas. ..If you suggest the alleged sightings from the Middle Ages (but this should be valid also for archaic cultures like Dorset or before them) are connected in anyway to a hypothesized travel starting from a point on Greenland's coast situated at ~300km of Iceland, you'd better find some archaeological support.
 
Well, I just sugest that the study of prehistorical Greenland is still incomplete. I agree that there is not such support so far,
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

As for the alleged "evidence" authored by Mela and Pliny I also have read on Google Books the chapter 5 of Jack Forbes' The American Discovery of Europe (2007) where this "evidence" was presented. I must say your presentation was flawed and biased to support this case. Both Mela and Pliny speak of circumnavigation, i.e. of how Europe, Asia and Africa can be circumnavigated on water. This is what they say, this is how Forbes presents their sayings i.e. about Mela's account: "discussing a then-current theory [...] that the Indian Ocean possessed a direct connection with the North and Baltic seas" (p. 113) or "apparently both Mela and Pliny were not conversant with ideas of voyages to and from the West" (p. 115). It is unfortunate how the Latin "circuitus" from Pliny's account was translated by "passage" when it has a significantly different meaning (I'm not sure if here's only Forbes' fault, or also Rackham's - the edition used by Forbes). Therefore not only that Mela and Pliny do not speak of Native Americans but of Asian Indians, they also speak of voyages around the Old World, as I suspected earlier when I signaled the ancient perspective on geography.
 
Of course they don't speak of Native Americans. Nobody got the notion of a diffent world in classical times. They speak about "Indians" as a synonim of "alliens comming from the West". That makes sense, isnt?
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

Anyway, what I've read in this book (mainly this chapter plus some glances in other chapters) disappointed me greatly. It can hardly be called scholarship. Let me show how Forbes concludes on these ancient accounts:
"What the Roman geographers did not realize was that the ocean connection between the Indian Ocean and northern Europe did not exist by way of the north Pacific and the Arctic Sea. Thus the "Indians" of cca 62 BCE could not have come from the east as they imagined. Instead they came from the India of Columbus, which was of course, America." (p. 114)
 
I found Forbes conclusion perfectly logical. In fact, even Columbus would agree on that Wink
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios


This conclusion is invalid from several points of view. First is a biased if not hopelessly ignorant geographical perspective. From Indian Ocean to northen Europe there are four large groups of possible routes - around Asia, around Africa, around North America or around South America.
 
Four routes from the perspective of a modern man, of course. None of them is a short path at all. The closet people to the west from Europe are Americans, I am afraid.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

For this author there's only one - around North America. Of course, this is his thesis, isn't it? He is apparently not even aware of Pliny's stories of navigation between Spain and Ethiopia or the Arabic Gulf (true or false - they were to prove that the known world - i.e. landmass - was entirely circumnavigable).
 
I doubt he is not aware. Perhaps he thinks, and I would agree, that that part is irrelevant to the argument.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

Also there's his failure to deal with ancient primary sources. There's no critical reading of them, there's no attempt of contextualization, no questions, not even footnotes/bibliography for relevant scholarly works for decyphering Roman authors, Roman geography, Roman ethnography, etc.. One could even suggest his argument is entirely anachronic, because the only visible link between his conclusion and his premises is "India" but these accounts date from ~1500 years before Columbus.
 
That may be the case. Anyways, his book is a rich source of references, and I appreciate that.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios


You might reply this is me and my agenda against this author. Well, surprise, surprise, I'm not the only one noticing that. Besides the usual bunch of positive reviews from the press, here's how this book was reviewed in The American Historical Review (Nr. 112.5/2007) by Felipe Fernández-Armesto: "Jack D. Forbes chose a promising subject. There is plenty of underexploited material on the indigenous side of the story of the New World's encounters with Europe, and Forbes has the audacity required to make the attempt to use it. But his book is narrow in focus, short of evidence, weak in argument, inattentive to much of the scholarship, and heedless of the most interesting problems." Digging even more, I found out that this thesis exists in the work of this author for several years. In 1988 he published a book entitled Black Africans and Native Americans: Color, Race and Caste in the Evolution of Red-Black Peoples where he built the thesis that a substantial group of the non-White population of the north-America is in fact a mixture between Africans and Native Americans and tangentially he threw various other revisionist claims, like the American discovery of Europe. But this book has also received some reviews disagreeing with the way the author built his theses, in Journal of Interdisciplinary History (Nr. 20.3/1990) Carl N. Degler remarked that "Unfortunately, the proof of this sweeping reinterpretation of the demography of the New World leaves much to be demonstrated", "one always has the feeling that the evidence is shaped by the thesis", "Although the book contains an extensive bibliography, pertinent works are conspicuously absent", "At times, when the numerical evidence does not fit his thesis of African-American mixture, he qualifies the evidence", "he is willing to entertain dubious statements from contemporaries", while even a more friendly review in The Journal of African History (30.1/1989) by Wyatt MacGaffey still pointed out that "It is a provocative thesis, pushed a little too hard at times, as a revisionist is entitled to do."
 
Indeed. I found that book of the author to be very weird. After all, I have studied my whole life the history of Amerindians and I know that there wasn't any contact from Africans comming to the Americas in pre-Columbian times whatsoever. If it ever happened such a contact, passed unnoticed and it didn't leave a proof. Besides, I know that many Native American tribes didn't accept Africans in the Americas with easy. I know gruesome cases of killings and torture of Africans by Amerindians, and also of Blacks collaborating in genocide with Europeans, to believe in those absurd fantasies of racial harmony between "people of color".
 
I also agree in your oppinion on the schollarship of the author. Thats why I have focused in the sources, rather than in the opinions of the author.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios


Why I created this large paranthesis about this author? So, you (or anyone else) wouldn't jump on me that I had the impertinence/ arrogance to criticize a scholar. He's an anthropologist having also Native American origins (as expected, no?), launching several biased and controversial theories who were already attacked by other scholars. Not because they disagreed with the theory, but because they found flaws in his methodology.
 
Indeed. But if he mention a source that can be corroborated by other sources, then there is something important. Unfortunately, very few is published on the topic that we just could throw away a book that have such a number of real refferences.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

So back to my initial claim, Pliny and Mela (or Nepos, their common source) do not present any evidence for Native Americans reaching Europe, and Forbes' interpretation is simply wrong. I'm not calling them liers, I'm saying you (or Forbes) do not read them properly.
 
They present evidence of alliens visiting northern Europe comming by sea that, by common sense, hardly could have come from the real India.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

I'm just arguing how to read historical records. We do not have any contemporary first-hand accounts, we do not have evidence supporting each other (e.g. Pliny and Mela quote Nepos but Nepos' story is not confirmed by anything else) and the authors are unreliable because generally the geographical and ethnographical works from that period are unreliable when taken at face value. Mela wrote of gryphons and Pliny wrote that some Indians have ears so big they can wrap their entire body in them. Maybe you really believe in these things, but it's your belief, not an actual evidence there were gryphons or Indians with such big ears.
 
Of course all the evidence shown in this thread is not enough to prove a contact. You should remember that was precisely what I said in the first place. There is "suspiction" that it "may" have happened. There is no certainty at all. If there were certainty, I would have started by showing the proofs.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

 Untrue, as I already argued, from land you can see a ship coming from the west only for a short distance before reaching the shore. Europeans couldn't know where that ship really came from unless they communicated with its crew. And not anyone coming from the West was considered an Indian or Chinese, get your facts straight.
 
Think about it. Would you really believe that anyone would have recorded in such a dramatic way the arrival of people that they knew? If that even ever happened, there was people from far away, that they didn't see daily. They couldnt be from northern europe, not even finns. They had to come from far away. Not mediterraneans, european of middle eastern people would be so allien to be called Indian. If they were from Africa they would have been called ethiopians! so I discard that possibility.
 
Now, if they came from India or Indonesia they would have to cross the cape of Good Hope, something as amazing as Americans going to Europe in the first place. If they came from China the trip is even longer.
 
So, the only people close enough and unknown in Europe are precisely Americans.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

Perhaps they never adventured that far or perhaps even if they did, they never survived. Why not? Wink
 
Yes. I don't discard that possibility at all. 
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

I can't consider the navigation skills of the Incas because your scenarios pictured so far North-Americans. This thread is spammed with sails from all regions of America, though I fail to see how a boat from Titicaca would get to Baltic Sea.
 
What is being discovered in the history of the America is that Mesoamerica, Peru, the Caribbean and North America weren't so disconnected between each other like once was though. Thats a very exciting area of reseach, but still there is too much to be clarified. The history of the Americas is a research field that is still advancing, and will do during decades.
 
So, the fact the sail was known in Titicaca, Norther Chile and Manteno culture in Ecuador is means that knowledge was spreading, like agriculture of maize or smoking tobacco. It shows that is very unlikely Caribbeans didn't know about the sail, particularly when columbus and others wrote about sailing canoes!
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

As for their skills in general, you keep forgetting that I don't deny the possibility they did so, but the actual evidence to suggest they did. Whatever skill they had, they failed to leave a solid archaeological or historical trace of a succesful journey.
 
Yes. They didn't leave archaelogical records, but the famous note on Galway is not such bad.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios


Like you said to Omshanti, the game is about proving. There's no evidence of Africans landing in the Americas, but also there's no evidence of Americans landing in Europe before Columbus.
 
The second case has evidence. What doesn't exist is a proof.
Let me show you the difference. The Greenland Sagas were evidence that Norses landed in the Americas; the proof was the archaelogical site in Newfoundland. The Mapuche custom of cooking sea food in stoned holes is perhaps an evidence of contact with Polynesians; the proof is (perhaps) the famous precolombian chicken bones recently found.
 
We have evidence of Indians in Europe. What we dont have is a proof.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

They could have or they could have not. What I don't see on this thread is how can we move from a mere chance to a plausible/probable scenario.
 
I also would like to know how to do that step.
 
Originally posted by Chilbudios

There's also the possibility of Inuit's traveling with some Norse, after all, I believe they met. According to legend, they did just that.
That wouldn't be a discovery in the sense we discussed here.
 
Disagree. We are not talking about discoverers or conquistadors here, but about contact. Casual contact, mainly by accident. If the Inuits or Amerindians Europeans saw came in a Norse ship or paddling, it is irrelevant. In all those cases the knowledge that "other kind of people" existed to the West would have spread, anyways.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2008 at 16:13
Originally posted by Chilbudios

Notice how the North Equatorial Current are going strongly in the western direction.
I honestly do not understand this remark. This current helps ships to get from North African coast to Carraibes. Is this is somehow related to this hypothesized Inuit travel?

That remark is related to the shortest distance across the Atlantic, that you mentioned several times. Just to show that you can't really travel across at that point, from west to east, by the currents alone.
Originally posted by Chilbudios

I am reading again your last replies to me and you said nothing about currents or chance of survival and you actually did say it's highly probable they did travel to Europe, let me quote you: "The probability that Inuits could have traveled to Europe is very high compared to some of the others mentioned". Anyway, I take that your current position is that they had the chance to travel, which I repeat, it was not contested in general for Americans.
 
I'm sorry if what I wrote there wasn't clear. I meant compared to traveling from the Caribean or other locations. That the survivability of the travelers would have a better chance.
I don't think they actually did it, but I won't rule it out. And I don't know of any remains in that area. I also don't mean that the travel would be intentional other than they may have been on a journey they had prepared for, and the accidently thrown off course, to Iceland or even further. I just mean reaching Iceland would make the distance short, so they wouldn't die on the way.
 
If we accept long journeys, then Greenlanders could be pushed downwards by wind (from southern Greenland), and then caught up in the gulfstream and winds, and thereby carried all the way to Ireland. Their chance of survival would be drastically diminished, though, by the much longer distance.


Edited by Jams - 02-May-2008 at 16:28
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-May-2008 at 00:08
 
Some societies in South America ( pacific side)  probably had the pre contact sail, but for meso- America the data shows else. We are lucky we dont need to speculate or argue how the vessels looked like, since we check  the availabe pre contact material from the natives.
  
Some 1502 -1580 spanish reports suggesting a sail should be interpreted with caution.  It was 10-90 years after some meso americans had seen the sail on Spanish ships. Lets not even speak of much later reports. 
 
Promo websites claiming pre-contact sail for certain groups in meso -america dont have to be taken seriously.  And most  'replicas ' shown  in this thread are just modern creations that dont look much like the genuine  pre-contact vessels at all.
 


Edited by Sander - 03-May-2008 at 02:07
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