Origins and Entry into the New World

  • A. J. Jaffe


Human beings had to have come from the Eastern Hemisphere to the Western, since Homo sapiens sapiens originated in the Eastern Hemisphere. We ask: from where in the Eastern Hemisphere did the Amerindians come? How did they reach the New World? When did this happen? We summarize the available literature insofar as possible.


Arctic Ocean Western Hemisphere Stone Tool Skeletal Remains Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 
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  1. 1.
    There are many routes for traveling from one place to another. The old Santa Fe Trail is a good example. Wagon trains took many different routes, but they all ended in Santa Fe, New Mexico, supposedly at the La Fonda Hotel. Ancient people probably were no different. We cannot visualize the Ancestors lining up in Asia, one behind the other, and all following an identical route to the Western Hemisphere.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Because Homo sapiens has been in Australia for many millennia and because there does not appear to have been a land connection to the Asian mainland, it is thought that he/she must have come by water sometime in the remote past.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Morison (1971). By about 800 A.D. the Scandinavians were roaming the North Atlantic Ocean. There are stories about Irish religious earlier sailing over the North Atlantic to North America, but these earlier voyages, if there were such, have not been verified (see also Sauer 1968).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Language and blood tests have been studied in an effort to determine relationships between the Siberians and the Amerindians. But the results are too inconclusive to be more than suggestive. For additional information about Indian languages, see Austerlitz (1980). See also Ruhlen (1987) on languages and Zegura (1987) on blood.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    The problem of dating these ancient findings is discussed in some detail in conjunction with each early man finding. Apparently dating to within 100,000 years or so, during the Pleistocene may be the best that can be done with present technologies.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stringer (1988). His article is based on a more technical article by Valladas et al. (1988).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Many of these sites are described by Shutler (1983), and in many journal articles by Childers and Marshall (e.g., Bordon 1979 and others).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Following are some of the many reports that describe these measures of time past. A general review is that of Berger (1983). Some technical articles on carbon-14 or radiocarbon dating are Hogg (1982), Stuiver and Polach (1977), and Olson (1963). Marshall (1990) reviews some recent developments.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See Moore, A. M. T.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Jaffe
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.National Museum of the American IndianNew YorkUSA

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