Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Did Australian Aborigines reach America first?

Image: "Luzia" skullHOW did a skull with features similar to those of an Aboriginal Australian wind up at the bottom of a limestone cave in Brazil, covered with 11,000 years' worth of mud, rocks and gravel?

The solution may rewrite early human history.

The owner of the skull, a female whom Professor Walter Neves, an anthropologist, named Luzia, had eyes and a nose that sat low in the skull.

Her brain case was long and narrow, and a facial reconstruction reveals a projected profile, the chin sitting out further than the forehead.

These are not the features of a South American. Instead they are consistent with the anatomy of sub-Saharan Africans, Aboriginal Australians and some early Pacific Islanders.

via Riddle of Aboriginal-type skull found in Brazil.

This story above by Aaron Cook is about a recent article by Cosmos Magazine.  Interesting, but there was a similar story by Bjorn Carey back in 2005:
... For decades it has been believed that the first peoples to populate North and South America crossed over from Siberia by way of the Bering Strait on a land-ice bridge.

However, a new study examining the largest collection of South American skulls ever assembled suggests that a different population may have crossed the bridge to the New World 3,000 years before those Siberians. ...

Now scientists have compared 81 skulls from the Lagoa Santa region of Brazil to worldwide data on human variation.

While the skulls of Native Americans and Northern Asians — the descendents of the early Siberian settlers — generally feature short, wide craniums, a broader face and high, narrow eye sockets and noses, this collection was remarkably different.

The skulls belonging to the earliest known South Americans — or Paleo-Indians — had long, narrow craniums, projecting jaws and low, broad eye sockets and noses. Drastically different from American Indians, these skulls appear more similar to modern Australians, Melanesians and sub-Saharan Africans.
via - 12/12/2005 posted on MSN:

1 comment:

Wilson da Silva said...

It's worth checking out the full story in COSMOS. The SMH piece focussed on what they thought was new; the COSMOS article is 4,300 words and 9 pages long, and has a lot of new and previously unpublished material, and is based on interviews with primary sources conducted over the past few months. The writer went to Walter Neves's lab in Brazil and got all the latest stuff.

You can reader a longer news summary here - http://is.gd/fDdlx


Wilson da Silva
Editor, COSMOS