We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Evidence excavated from a fertile archaeological site in Brazil known as Vale da Pedra Furada may force researchers to re-evaluate existing theories about when modern humans first arrived in South America. The evidence in question is a single stone tool , with rare features that make it clear the object was man-made. This unusual tool was removed from a stratigraphic layer at Vale da Pedra Furada that has been reliably dated to at least 24,000 years in the past. It is unlike any other artifact found in this region, or anywhere else in South America for that matter.
“Until now, the official North American archeology considered that the first settlers arrived in America 15,000 years ago,” said Ignacio Clemente-Conte, an archaeologist affiliated with the Mila y Fontanals Institute on Humanities Research in Barcelona. “However, the artifact discovered here was found in one of the archaeological levels that are between 27,600 and 24,000 years old.”
Clemente-Conte is part of a large international team of researchers, known as the Franco-Brazilian Mission, who’ve been exploring dozens of archaeological sites in Serra da Capivara National Park in northeastern Brazil since 2011. The researchers only announced their discovery of the unusual tool in the journal PLOS One in March, but it was actually recovered in 2016, from cliff-side, multilayered archaeological site known as Vale da Pedra Furada.
Fig 13. Traceological analysis of the artifact #255660. The octagonal shape of the Vale da Pedra Furada prehistoric stone tool strongly suggests is was manmade and the soil it was found in dated back to between 27,600 and 24,000 years ago, which challenges the current theories of when people first arrived in South or North America. ( PLOS One )
The Vale da Pedra Furada Tool Could Change Everything
The Vale da Pedra Furada tool is flat, disc-shaped, and large, measuring 8 inches by 7 inches by 1 inch thick (21 cm x 18.5 cm x 2.9 cm). It was made from a type of rock known as silty sandstone, which is unusual since most ancient tools found in the region were made from quartz or quartzite.
- Evidence Mounts in Favor of Early Inhabitants of the Americas Over 20,000 Years Ago
- Ancient Origins Of North Americans Settled - And Hard Evidence Of “Russian” Collusion Unearthed
It was modified into the shape of a hexagon, and sections around the perimeter had been chipped away to create sharp grooves and pointed ends. Both sides of the stone have been worked on, both on the flat faces and on the sharper edges. Most likely, this tool would have been used to cut, slice, or poke through animal hides or flesh, wood, and plant fibers, as they were being processed for various uses.
Based on their in-depth study of this objects, the researchers believe the Vale da Pedra Furada tool was modified on eight occasions. Five of the modifications changed the shape and characteristics of the flat faces, while the other three modifications changed the geometry of the outer edges.
This suggests the tool was put to multiple uses and may have been passed around to different individuals who had different jobs or responsibilities. The tool was badly cracked in two directions, which meant it must have been heavily used before it finally broke and could no longer function.
In the layer with the sandstone tool, the archaeologists found approximately 2,200 stone objects in total, all of which they say are tools. Most were made from quartz or quartzite, and several had sharp points on the end.
There has been ongoing controversy over whether objects like this are really man-made. While their shape suggests they were, there are many skeptics who remain unconvinced. They know that natural processes can sometimes cause rocks to break into shapes that resemble man-made objects. They therefore demand that a high standard of proof be met before stone objects found in unexpectedly ancient layers are definitively identified as human-crafted tools.
Just some of the exceptional rock art found at Vale da Pedra Furada site in Brazil, where the unusual stone tool was discovered. (Diego Rego Monteiro / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Vale da Pedra Furada Tool: Creates Scientific Controversy
The Franco-Brazilian Mission has been working at Vale da Pedra Furada since 2011. Over the years, they have found many examples of what they believe are ancient stone tools dating back to before 14,000 BC. But the skeptics have remained steadfast in their refusal to accept such a conclusion.
Archaeological digs in Peru, Venezuela, Chile, and Argentina have produced abundant artifacts that show humans were present in those locations between 11,000 BC and 14,000 BC. The greater archaeological and anthropological communities have accepted this evidence as legitimate. But they’ve remained rigid in their rejection of anything that pushes the timeline back further.
“Acceptance of sites dating to earlier than 14,000 BC … seems to be much more difficult,” the Franco-Brazilian Mission archaeologists wrote, in a 2014 article published in the journal Antiquity. “All discoveries made have been systematically and legitimately discussed, which is justified, but also systematically and surprisingly rejected, without exception. This has occurred, in particular, for sites in north-eastern Brazil, in the Serra da Capivara region.”
In some instances, skeptics have said that so-called tools were actually natural artifacts. In other cases, they’ve questioned the results of the dating methodologies , claiming they were inaccurate and that the sites where tools have been found are really much younger.
Some of the evidence the skeptics rely on comes from genetic analysis. Researchers with expertise in ancient DNA and evolution say that Native North Americans and Native South Americans didn’t exist as distinct peoples until about 23,000 years ago. Genetic study suggests they branched off from their Asian ancestors at about that time, when all were living in the region that is now Canada. They’d gotten that far by crossing a land bridge that connected Asia to what is now Alaska, during the last Ice Age when sea levels were much lower. Several thousand years later, the theory asserts, these people migrated to North and South America, arriving at their southernmost destinations around 14,000 BC.
Until now, this theory has held firm against all possible contradictory evidence. And that explains why the Franco-Brazilian archaeologists are so excited by their discovery of the unique, disc-shaped tool, which was found in an underground layer of Vale da Pedra Furada soil that has been dated to 24,000 to 27,600 years in the past. This precedes the alleged time of arrival of the first Native South Americans, and even comes from before the time when the first Native North and South Americans supposedly diverged from their Asian ancestors.
A land bridge of a different kind at the Vale da Pedra Furada site, which is part of the Serra da Capivara National Park in Brazil, where the stone tool was discovered. How and when did the first people migrate to the Americas is now questionable because of this remarkable stone artifact. (Cleude / )
If Humans Came to South America Earlier, Who Were They?
It is notable that the members of the Franco-Brazilian Mission waited nearly five years before announcing their discovery of the anomalous stone tool found at the Vale da Pedra Furada site. They clearly wanted to do as much research on this item as possible, to make sure they could present a strong case for its antiquity and man-made origins. If their conclusions stand up to scrutiny, many archaeologists and prehistoric scholars will have to revise their theories about when modern man first settled in South America .
- First Americans Arrived by Sea Over 15,000 Years Ago, Surprise Finding Suggests
- Rare Bones and DNA of tiny children surprise scientists, support ideas about migration into the Americas 11,000 years ago
One interesting aspect of this discovery is how it departs from the genetic evidence. If there were people living in what is now Brazil before Native North and South Americans even existed, it means someone else must have arrived in South America before they did.
At least for now, that question of who these people were and where they came from will have to remain a mystery. The soil where the anomalous stone tool was found is far too acidic to preserve bones, meaning no human fossils from 24,000 years in the past will ever be found at Vale da Pedra Furada.
Evidence grows that peopling of the Americas began more than 20,000 years ago
Ruth Gruhn is professor emerita in the Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4, Canada.
You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar
Writing in Nature, Ardelean et al. 1 and Becerra-Valdivia and Higham 2 report evidence that the initial human settlement of the American continent happened earlier than is widely accepted, and some of this evidence suggests that expansion into the continent began at least 10,000 years earlier than was generally suspected. A study of radiocarbon dating of early archaeological sites by Becerra-Valdivia and Higham reveals that interior regions of Alaska, Yukon in Canada and the continental United States were already widely populated before 13,000 years ago. For decades, that time frame was widely considered to mark the earliest possible date of initial entry, until data from sites more than 13,000 years old in North and South America, first reported in the 1970s, raised the possibility of earlier arrivals 3 – 5 . Archaeological excavations in Chiquihuite Cave in northern Mexico by Ardelean and colleagues provide evidence of human occupation about 26,500 years ago. This Mexican site now joins half a dozen other documented archaeological sites in northeast and central Brazil that have yielded evidence suggesting dates for human occupation between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago 6 – 12 .
Following discoveries in the 1930s on the American Great Plains of distinctive, well-crafted stone spear points — of a type connected with the Clovis culture — alongside bones of mammoths, mastodons and a now-extinct bison species, archaeologists maintained, for many of the following decades, that the earliest people in the Americas were specialized big-game hunters who very rapidly expanded into North and South America, within 1,000 years of initial entry 13 . This model became known as the Clovis-first theory. It was later established that Clovis technology did not reach the southern continent. The time of their entry from Alaska into what is now the continental United States was thought to coincide with the opening of an ice-free corridor (Fig. 1) by around 13,000 years ago between the great northern continental ice sheet (called the Laurentide Ice Sheet) and the ice-covered northern Rocky Mountains (the Cordilleran Ice Sheet) in western Canada.
Figure 1 | The early peopling of the Americas. During the last ice age, glaciers blocked entry by land into the Americas until an ice-free corridor opened up. Whether people first entered the Americas through this corridor, by a coastal route or before glaciers blocked the way is unknown, and the timing of this initial entry remains to be resolved. Becerra-Valdivia and Higham 2 report analysis of 42 archaeological sites in North America and Beringia (the land mass in the Bering Strait area that previously joined Alaska and Siberia) that provide evidence for earlier widespread human occupation of this region than was previously reported. Some examples of sites associated with early human occupation are shown. Ardelean et al. 1 report the discovery of a site associated with human occupation at Chiquihuite Cave in Mexico from 27,000 years ago. This adds to previous, debated evidence of early occupation of South America in sites at Monte Verde II 3 , 14 , Santa Elina 12 and in the state of Piauí 6 – 11 at Toca do Boqueirão da Pedra Furada 7 , Vale da Pedra Furada 8 , Toca do Sitio do Meio 9 , Toca da Tira Peia 10 and Toca da Janela da Barra do Antonião-North 11 . kyr, thousand years ago.
However, beginning in the mid-1970s, researchers identified archaeological sites in the Americas dated to earlier than 13,000 years ago, especially in South America. For example, the site of Monte Verde II in south-central Chile, initially dated to 14,500 years ago 3 , is a well-preserved open settlement with wooden structures and artefacts indicating a lifestyle based mainly around a diet of plants (subsequent discoveries revealed earlier occupations of this site 14 ). Other early archaeological sites in South America on the Pacific coast, in the northern and central Andes, on the Caribbean coast, in the Brazilian uplands, in the Amazon basin, and on the Patagonian steppe in Argentina indicate that all major environmental zones of the region were occupied by people with diverse ecological adaptations and technologies before around 13,000 years ago 4 .
Read the paper: The timing and effect of the earliest human arrivals in North America
Becerra-Valdivia and Higham carried out a statistical analysis of radiocarbon dates from early archaeological sites widely distributed over the continent of North America and Beringia (the land that once joined Alaska and Siberia in the Bering Strait area). Their results now establish that, by 15,000 years ago, North America was also widely settled, with some data suggesting sparse occupation earlier than that and several distinctive regional traditions in stone-tool technology had developed by 13,000 years ago. On the evidence of these early archaeological sites from more than 13,000 years ago, identified on both continents, the Clovis-first model must be discarded. Clearly, people were in the Americas long before the development of Clovis technology in North America.
Instead, the key issue becomes how much earlier the Americas were initially peopled than was previously thought. One aspect to consider is the route or routes that people took in expanding south of Alaska. This is the assumed entry point from northeast Asia through the Bering Strait area. However, for a long interval during the last major glacial advance (dated to between about 26,500 and 19,000 years ago 15 ), the obvious route by land down through the lowlands east of the Rocky Mountains was blocked by the merger of the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets. An alternative route down the Pacific coast by populations adapted to life at the shoreline has gained strength as a possibility, as a result of increasing archaeological research in coastal zones 16 . Another option to consider is an initial entry before the closure of the ice-free corridor during the last major glacial advance.
This is where the evidence from Chiquihuite Cave comes in. After an initial test excavation suggested that the site was of great antiquity, Ardelean and colleagues continued their research using a range of scientific techniques. They recovered stone artefacts of a distinctive technology located in layers with dates corresponding to around 27,000 years ago in the lowest parts of the cave’s sedimentary deposits, and the authors uncovered more artefacts in higher layers that dated to up to 13,000 years ago. The dating for the layer with the earliest artefacts indicates that there were people in northern Mexico at a time corresponding to the beginning of, or early during, the last major stage of glacial advance in North America.
Read the paper: Evidence of human occupation in Mexico around the Last Glacial Maximum
Ardelean and colleagues’ suggestion that the initial entry date was as far back as 33,000 years ago, which is more than double the currently popular date of around 16,000 years ago, will be very hard for most archaeologists specializing in early America to accept. There will undoubtedly be challenges to this interpretation and close examination of the site data. The six Brazilian archaeological sites dated as older than 20,000 years ago, five in the centre of the state of Piauí 6 – 11 and one in central Mato Grosso (the Santa Elina rock shelter) 12 , although expertly excavated and analysed, are commonly disputed or simply ignored by most archaeologists as being much too old to be real. The findings at Chiquihuite Cave will bring about fresh consideration of this issue.
One unanswered question is why no archaeological site of equivalent age to Chiquihuite Cave has been recognized in the continental United States, assuming that, with a Bering Straits entry point, the earliest people expanding south must have passed through that area. With the coastal-entry model, it might be presumed that the earliest archaeological sites are now submerged offshore by the rise in sea level at the end of the last ice age. For the continental interior, it might be a matter of identifying and carefully investigating geological or palaeontological localities of appropriate age, searching for traces of human presence, and re-examining previously discounted archaeological sites and collections for now-recognizable evidence of human behaviour. In the light of these new discoveries, archaeological research into this period should intensify.
Inaccuracies in history films
Surely you have to have seen an historical film which just wasn't quite right….perhaps they're seen using a gun in a setting when it wasn't actually invented for another ten years in the future, or perhaps a heroic figure espouses a philosophical belief or way of life that would have likely gotten him killed during that time period. Whatever the case – what are some of the inaccuracies that you've seen in history films?
As much as I love the movie, Tombstone, there are a few inaccuracies. Doc Holliday didn't die in a sanitarium, he died in a hotel. Also Wyatt didn't visit Doc when he was dying, He didn't even no Doc had died until 8 years after the fact.? A lot more bullets flew in the movie version of the shootout then in real life. In the movie I think it was about 51 in about 2 minutes, in real life it was about 30 in 30 seconds. There are others, but nothing too major, Hollywood always takes liberties. And one thing a person needs to understand is when he goes to see these movies don't walk away thinking thats exactly the way it happend.
Here's an interesting thread at imdb.com which points out some of the histoical inaccuracies of The Illusionist. It's at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443543/board/nest/53423377?d=53423377#53423377
Heres one, I watched a special on the Kennedy Assassanation on the history channel last night and they had a segment on all the fabrications in Oliver Stones JFK. One was Oswald was a horrible shot and there was no way he could have made that shot from where he was in only three seconds. Actually the 3 shots came in 8.5 seconds and he was a sniper in the Marine corp with almost a 100% accuracy in his tests.
I think I was watching the same program on the Kennedy assassination that you were. I didn't catch the part you are talking about, though. I saw the JFK movie a while back and from what I recall, Stone has his theory and he was trying to connect the dots in the film.
Scholars from multiple disciplines generally agree about new models for the origin and dating of migration to the Western Hemisphere, replacing the rigid Clovis-first model that had dominated texts for the past fifty years. This new research has not resolved all of the questions relating to this migration serious controversies still exist. But the development of the new field of genetic studies and the recent opening of major South American archaeological sites has resolved many older debates and has provided a far more nuanced and complex early history of mankind in the Western Hemisphere than existed before.
Clovis: On the Edge of a New Understanding. Edited by Ashley M. Smallwood and Thomas A. Jennings (College Station, Texas AM University Press, 2015) 364 pp. $50.00
This publication of the latest archaeological research about the Clovis big-game hunters clearly indicates a major change in current conceptions about the history of early man in the Americas. However reluctantly, even these Clovis specialists are beginning to accept an alternative model to what had been the dominant paradigm in American pre-history until recently. In his introduction to the volume under review, Smallwood gives voice to the change, accepting pre-Clovis cultures as a given. The Clovis culture, now dated to have begun c. 12800 b.p.e. (before the present era), lasted 200 to 400 years. Smallwood also accepts new findings that suggest the existence of other human populations in the Americas at least 1,000 to 2,000 years earlier (2–3). 1
The Clovis model, based on then-available archaeological evidence, mostly from North America, postulated that humans arrived from Asia via the Bering Straits around 13500 b.p.e. This first wave of migrating humans was supposedly blocked in the far north by the Laurentide glacial ice shield until c. 12000 b.p.e. when a possible ice-free corridor opened in the glacial barrier. 2 The assumption was that the first to arrive through this land opening of the glaciers were big-game hunters, who mostly occupied the southeastern part of the North American continent between 11000 b.p.e. and 10000 b.p.e. 3 These so-called Clovis hunters (named after one of their archaeological sites) were thought to be the founding population and their big-game culture to have slowly spread by land to the rest of the Americas. It was thus believed that humans did not arrive in South America until 10000 b.p.e. to 9000 b.p.e. at the earliest and that they too were big-game hunters. 4
The past quarter-century has witnessed a fundamental change in our understanding of the origin, culture, date of arrival, and subsequent settlement of early man in the Americas, largely due to the introduction of historical genetic analysis, more sophisticated studies in historical linguistics, and major new archaeological work in South America. All of this new research has resolved certain basic issues long in dispute. Despite conflicting claims of European and Pacific island origins, all genetic studies confirm that the Western Hemisphere was settled by Pleistocene humans and that their origin was from northeastern Asia via the Bering straits through the Beringia land bridge, as the connection between the two continents was called. 5 Scholars have also rejected the three-migration model, at least insofar as it was based on the supposed existence of only three language families, as posited by linguists in the 1980s. 6 Finally Latin American, European, and North American archaeologists in a major expansion of research regarding early man in the Americas have proven the existence of older pre-Clovis sites throughout South America.
The earliest innovative work was the introduction of genetic studies of human dna , which began in the 1980s. Concurrently came an expansion of modern archaeological research throughout South America by local and international dirt archaeologists who began to discover pre-Clovis human sites not associated with big-game hunters along the South American coastline, dating at least several thousand years before Clovis settlements. 7 Finally, linguists have challenged the basic assumptions about language groups and language change on which even some of the earlier genetic work was based. 8 All of these developments have led scholars in numerous disciplines to a major revision of the timing and nature of this migration.
Geneticists and physical anthropologists have used the unique female inherited mitochondrial dna (known as mt dna ) as the single-most important marker to define origins of population. This genetic marker is abundant in humans, easily found in skeletal remains, and it mutates quickly. Unlike nuclear dna , these mt dna markers do not recombine hence, all of the changes in their make-up are the result of accumulated mutations that can be estimated and roughly timed. 9 The genetic studies of Amerindians throughout the Americas show that the mt dna haplotypes of Native Americans belong to one of four ancestral lineages that were subsequently labeled A, B, C, and D, with a smaller X found later. Approximately 97 percent of Native American peoples everywhere had them. 10 They are also found in ancient skeletal remains. 11 These four mt dna haplogroups common to all Native American populations are matched only in central Asian populations and nowhere else in the world. Moreover, their mutations from the founding Asian populations show that they had become independent of their origin source. 12 Recent studies of the male-derived Y chromosome indicate both Asian origin and a migration date of 17000 b.p.e. 13 Studies also reveal the X mt dna , which was not so well distributed, to have derived from a founding lineage in Asia, not European in origin. 14
Initial morphological studies of surviving skeletal remains seemed to reject these initial findings, supporting the case for direct trans-Atlantic and/or trans-Pacific migrations instead. But even once-skeptical physical anthropologists now accept the Beringia model of a single source, though they tend to hold out for a four-migration model to explain what they see as two alternative types of human remains. 15 Thus, nearly every reputable scholar, regardless of field, now agrees that the founding populations of the Americas came from Asia, given systematic study of an ever-larger number of Native Americans definitely confirming earlier models that postulated this Asian origin. As Goebel, Waters, and O’Rourke concluded in their major survey, “All major Native American mt dna and Y chromosome haplogroups emerged in the same region of central Asia, and all share similar coalescent dates, indicating that a single ancient gene pool is ancestral to all Native American populations…. This history is further supported by ancient dna studies showing that Paleoamericans carried the same haplogroups (and even sub haplogroups) as modern Native groups.” 16
These genetic data, as well as archaeological evidence, challenge older estimates about the time of migration, suggesting new, even earlier arrival dates of this human migration—from 18000 b.p.e. to 23000 b.p.e. —which many scholars now deem acceptable. But the number and the means of these migrations through the Americas have raised other debates. The original assumption of three different migrations was based primarily on an outdated linguistic analysis. Given that the Americas contained an estimated 108 of the world’s 420 languages, such linguistic diversity appears to be explicable only by either a single migration with a later dispersal or innumerable migrations. 17 Moreover, neither the old method of historical linguistics nor the repudiated premise of three language families in the Americas can offer any help in the definition or the creation and distribution of language families. 18 Recent linguistic approaches have proposed that much of the surprising number and complexity of American languages is due to an original migration rhythm of “pulse and pause”—that is, periods of separation and rapid change followed by stability. 19
Nonetheless, the debate about the number and size of the migrations has not yet been resolved in the other sciences. Certain genetic evidence suggests a more elaborate three-migration model than originally proposed—an original separation of the population from its founding group in the northeast, a prolonged period of isolation, and then a rapid expansion into the Americas. But, more recently, a large-scale survey by Ragavan et al. argues that only one migration group crossed Beringia as early as 23000 b.p.e. , remaining isolated for around 8,000 years in the Americas side of the Bering Straits and then expanding southward throughout the Americas during the next two centuries. 20 This latest survey may not have resolved all of the issues. The supposed timing and direction of these migrations is still much in dispute, with no firm consensus regarding whether a single migration or multiple streams occurred, although the origin and dating of the first migrants has become less controversial. 21
The size of the original migrations is also under debate. Some estimates assume that it involved 1,000 to 2,000 people, whereas others propose a much smaller band. 22 How rapidly this founding group could expand across the two hemispheres has been estimated from demographic and anthropological data about known hunters and gatherers. Various mathematical models suggest that such a founding population, now estimated at well under 100 persons, could have reached the major regions of North and South America even before the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age, though current genetic studies cannot ascertain the number of migrating populations. 23 Studies of the male-defined Y-chromosomal markers show no significant differences in origin or rates of change from the female-derived mitochondrial data, thus suggesting that both sexes experienced the same migration patterns. 24
The model featuring the northern ice-free corridor between the glaciers also faces a challenge from new archaeological research. There is little question that humans had become seaworthy by the time of their arrival in America. The latest evidence suggests that they did not wait for a break in the northern glaciers but bypassed the glaciers altogether in boats along the northwestern coast of North America. Furthermore, there may have been a common “kelp highway” along the coast from the Bering Straits that extended well below the glaciers with a common resource base of seals, sea otters, shellfish, seaweeds, and other easily available food, especially at key river estuaries. Thus, early migrators experienced no abrupt transition in their environment as they moved south and no drastic change in diet or foraging. 25 All of the archaeological sites associated with these coastal settlements show that these early humans were small-game hunters as well as shellfish and seed gatherers who fully exploited their access to the sea, not the Clovis-type big-game hunters who now are thought to have inhabited a smaller area at a much later date. Accordingly, despite a few holdouts, most scholars now agree that the most recent genetic, linguistic, and geological information indicates that the Clovis culture was not foundational, as once proposed. 26 New archaeological evidence also shows the existence of settlements along the entire Pacific coastline of America long before the Laurentide barrier had melted enough to open an ice-free land passage. 27 Pre-Clovis sites have now been validated even in North America. 28 Evidently, humans had begun to migrate by water from the Bering Straits region by c. 17000 b.p.e. , reaching Patagonia by 14000 b.p.e. , if not before. 29
This coastal migration, however, was just one part of the history of human migration in the Americas. Several subsequent river and interior migration routes also emerged, with blockages along the way, and new continental to island movements would later occur in the Atlantic coastal region. 30 All of these developments show up in the genetic data. These studies suggest that the people who remained farther north retained more genetic markers similar to those of Asian populations than did the southern native Americans, and that the Pacific coastal populations differed from the eastern interior ones. The Andean and Mesoamerican populations bear a marked genetic similarity, and their genetic differences from eastern South American groups betoken easier coastal migrations and more difficult interior travels. 31 In the Andean area, dense populations based on the emergence of complex peasant societies tended toward homogenization of the gene pool. Indians from the Amazonian area, the central Brazilian plateau, and the Chaco plains show “higher rates of genetic drift and lower levels of gene flow, with a resulting trend toward genetic differentiation.” 32 These genetic differences are evident in the linguistic data as well, though dating the evolution and correlation of distinct languages with the genetic and archaeological data has proven to be difficult. 33
Although scattered early sites of human occupation in South America date to the Pleistocene era (c. 14000 b.p.e. ), extensive settlement by humans over most of the continent is not evident until the post-ice Holocene period. By 11000 b.p.e. , groups of hunters and gatherers had arrived in the Colombian highlands, along most of the Pacific coast, and along the Atlantic region in the eastern Brazilian highlands and southern Patagonia plains. 34 The population in the Amazonian basin was still sparse. 35 More permanent settlements collected near such rich food sources as coasts, rivers, estuaries, and highland basins. Some moderate big-game hunting is in evidence, but the South American continent had far fewer large mammals than did North America.
The megafauna (animals weighing more than 1 metric ton) and most of the other large animals (those weighing more than 44 kg) did not long survive the era of human settlement in South America. The megafauna became totally extinct by 6000 b.p.e. , and 80 percent of the large animals, including horses and camels, had also disappeared. The mega-mammals (seventy-three species found in South America) appear to have been open-range animals that suffered from the loss of habitable areas due to changing climate conditions and possibly from hunting, which finally pushed them into extinction. The only survivors after 6000 b.p.e. were fourteen mammal species of moderate weight that made their homes in water, jungle, or isolated mountain areas. 36 Whatever big-game hunting existed—the only record of which is in Patagonia—was undoubtedly far less important in South America than in North America. Small animals, fish, crustaceans, tubers, and nuts were the basic food stock of early humans, but by 10000 b.p.e. , agriculture and plant domestication was already underway in the central Andes and possibly the Brazilian eastern lowlands. 37
The most systematic food gathering and herding cultures occurred along the Pacific coast and the Andean highlands. The many recently excavated Pacific coastal middens (or waste mounds) reveal that early humans fished along the coast and gathered edible mollusks. 38 These coastal peoples eventually moved into the Andean highlands around 10000 b.p.e. , just after the disappearance of ice from the northern and southern altiplano or high plateau, apparently domesticating llamas and alpacas by 6000 b.p.e. 39 At the same time, stratified societies began to emerge in these Andean highlands and coastal valleys, exemplified by major irrigation works and permanent settlements. 40 By 5000 to 4500 b.p.e. , the first sedentary, complex societies developed along the Peruvian coast, marked by the construction of large monuments. One thousand years later, similar sites could be found in the Andean highlands. By 2900 b.p.e. , the Andean area shows the first multi-region art designs with Chavín cultural forms appearing throughout the highlands and coastal valleys. All of these artifacts hint at the emergence of either pan-Andean religious centers or political empires.
Whatever these early multi-state formations may have been, imperial states that systematically engaged in warfare were emerging in western South America. The Moche civilization, which began on the northern Peruvian coast c. 1700 b.p.e. , is considered one of the earliest such empires. The earliest highland states were Tiawanaku and Wari, arising during the second half of the first century a.d. , both located near Lake Titicaca. 41 From that time until the Spanish conquest, the coast and highlands of Peru were dominated by densely populated, ever-expanding states with complex class structures and professional armies. Most of these larger states would eventually be incorporated into the Incan Empire, which dominated most of the western South American highlands and coast by the fifteenth century a.d. Archaeologists have studied the socio-economic and political evolution of the major states in the western part of the continent for more than a century. More recent studies have shown that the pattern of social and political evolution of eastern South America—the Atlantic Coast and in the Amazonian forests and interior floodplains—was considerably different. These new studies provide an entirely new vision of human evolution in the Americas.
At virtually the same time as the Pacific coast was being first occupied by humans, early foragers were settling various parts of the enormous Amazonian basin, the largest river basin in the world. Recent systematic studies of this region feature some of the most revolutionary aspects of the new South American archaeology. Foragers appear to have begun occupying the Mojos llanos (flood plains of eastern Bolivia) to the Amazonian estuary and the Amazonian parts of modern Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela to the Atlantic coastline (from the Guianas to the southeastern pampas and the Patagonian plains) between 11000 b.p.e. and 8500 b.p.e. The forests, rivers, and flood plains of the Amazon have shown themselves to be as important for early human settlement as were the areas on the Pacific coast. 42 The first settlers were drawn to the rivers and coast because of the abundant supply of food, but they also used rock shelters whenever they were available on the coast or in the interior. 43 The caves in the Monte Alégre in present day Pará, near the city of Santarem, reveal ceramics dated from 6000 b.p.e. , among the earliest known ceramics in the Americas. 44
All along the coast were established communities of fishermen and shellfish gatherers who left major coastal, riverine, and underwater mounds or middens (sambaqui in Portuguese) that show long-term settlement. Not only were these local refuse mounds composed of shells, broken pottery, animal and fish bones, human bones, charcoal, and other refuse they also contained human burials, hearths, and even habitation structures. They were always strategically located near rich sources of fish and mollusks. Nearly 1,000 such mounds have been registered along the 8,000 km of Brazilian coastline. 45 The fifty smaller ones that lie along the interior rivers share a similar culture and time period. The remains of ocean fish bones in some of these interior riverine sambaqui appear to indicate settlement by coastal populations. 46 The large coastal mounds from the central-southern coast of Brazil, as well as several in the northeastern coast of Pará and Maranhão, have been well studied. The community of fishermen, gatherers, and hunters at São Luis Maranhão, for example, established c. 6000 b.p.e. , remained in existence until 900 b.p.e. 47 Studies of hundreds of sambaquis reveal that most of them originated c. 5000 b.p.e. and persisted until 2000 b.p.e. 48 Extensive excavations of skeletal remains in a lakeside sambaqui in southern Brazil found evidence of a relatively healthy population with excellent food resources and low levels of political violence. 49
None of these mound communities had walls, and several different excavations of shellfish mound dwellers in this period show a lack of warfare wounds in surviving bones. 50 Given their common features, the sabaqui communities probably shared a common culture and had considerable interaction, having little contact with inland hunters and gatherers or ceramic-producing peoples until 2000 b.p.e. 51 Though generally small, some of the Brazilian sambaquis, especially those in the far south near Santa Catarina, are especially impressive often measuring as much as 30 m high and 500 m long, they look more like well-constructed monuments than mere refuse dumps. 52
The entire western lowland of the eastern South American region was initially settled by small groups of semi-nomadic groups at the same time as the sambaquis appeared, in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene eras. Many of these groups set up camps along the rivers and in rock shelters. Given the resource base and the quality of soils, semi-nomadism appears to have remained the norm of these groups of foragers for a considerable time. Nevertheless, the art of these people was stunning. They left rock and cave paintings throughout the region, most of which dated from 3000 b.p.e. onward. 53 Pottery became plentiful throughout the Amazonian lowlands between 4500 and 3500 b.p.e. By 4700 b.p.e. , maize and manioc were being grown in this region slash and burn agriculture was already widespread and the basic language organization was in place. 54 Between 4000 b.p.e. and 3000 b.p.e. , the Tupi-Guarani, Carib, Arawak, and Jê had become the four separate major languages families spoken in the region. These languages, which quickly spread throughout the area, were to be the main languages encountered by the Europeans thousands of years later. 55
Early nomadic humans also settled along the rivers in the Amazonian basin. These small communities hunted, fished the rivers, gathered seed, and even harvested domesticated and nondomesticated plants, slowly creating the “black earth” soils that were scattered throughout the Amazonian forests. 56 These soils were unusually rich in nutrients because of the refuse heaps generated by these semi-sedentary groups. Other early groups of small mobile bands occupied the Pantanal region during this early period, living in both caves and the open plains. 57 Two thousand years after the small mobile bands of forgers entered this huge western floodplain region, a new sedentary civilization emerged in most of this region. Communities of permanent agriculturalists who were also sophisticated builders became the norm beginning c. 2500 b.p.e. many of these communities lasted for a century or more. In these open savanna flood lands of the eastern Amazonian basin (which extended to the Andean foothills), farming groups constructed circular villages, small platforms, and long raised causeways and canals that extended for many kilometers. They used these raised fields and causeways to keep themselves and their crops dry during the wet season, in the process creating a far richer soil than was normally available in these regions. These settled village agriculturalists also established islands of small forests in the savannas. Western Amazonia and the Bolivian Madeira river-basin region known as the llanos of Mojos probably have more than 1,000 of them. Acre alone has 281 of them dating from 2000 b.p.e.
This complex agricultural and aquatic culture slowly declined after a century, although some of its communities survived into the early Portuguese colonial period. Their constructions differed from region to region, but their ceramics were largely uniform. The existence of walled villages testifies that warfare was a major aspect of Amazonian life. 58 Moreover, the same raised field systems run throughout the western periphery of the Amazon along the borders of modern Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, as well as northward into the Guianas and Venezuela. 59 The area’s increasingly elaborate construction, population density, and multi-village organization fostered full-time specialists in various crafts and political entities, often called chiefdoms. 60 But in sharp contrast to developments in the Pacific coastal valleys and Andean highlands during the first century a.d. , these chiefdoms did not further develop into highly stratified states and empires, probably due to a combination of limited resources, a lower population density, and changing climatic conditions.
The most interesting aspect of these sedentary communities was their ability to manipulate their environments, challenging the idea that the tropical rain forest prior to 1500 was a pristine ecosystem, untouched by man. Archaeologists, geographers, and ecologists now see a large share of the Amazonian forest, especially the southern and western fringe, as having been significantly changed by a relatively dense pre-Colombian population. 61 Aside from their earthen structures throughout the flood plains of the western Amazonian, they created “black earth” zones within the tropical forests, using fire to burn vegetation and create settled villages. These rich agricultural areas, in regions otherwise poor in soil, represented accumulations of agricultural waste that served as fertilizer and formed unique “islands” throughout the rainforest. The complex ecological interaction between humans and their environment created new ecosystems. 62
For several centuries, these interior forest and plains dwellers created ever-more developed societies. By 1500 b.p.e. , the Upper Xingu Valley (in Mato Grosso), at the southern end of the Amazonian tropical forest area, had permanently settled villages with earthen walls and thousands of inhabitants whose households radiated from a central plaza. Often located in open plains (várzea) on the edge of the tropical forest with good access to rivers, these villages based their economy primarily on fishing and manioc farming, the extensive plots for which were outside the town walls. The fact that 85 percent of the diet in these villages was comprised of cultivated plants demonstrates the importance of agriculture to the local economy. These plaza towns were from 20 to 50 hectares in size their accompanying external gardens and roads could encompass an area as large as 250 km 2 . Many of the larger plaza towns were connected to each other by road networks. 63
These advanced civilizations in the central and western regions of Brazil seemed to peak at 1000 a.d. , slowly decline during the next few centuries, and largely disappear by 1500 a.d. Thus, neither the sambaqui communities, which had vanished earlier, nor the later mound-building cultures, created powerful states like those that emerged in the Andean region. Nevertheless, village agriculturalists and semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers could be found throughout Brazil when the Europeans arrived in the early sixteenth century the coast, the floodplains, and the rivers were the most densely populated areas. The latest estimate of the population of Amerindians for the greater Amazonian area, which includes most of present-day Brazil, in 1500 is 5 to 6 million persons. 64 The total estimated South American population in 1500 was 54 million persons. 65 By comparison, the estimated number of Native Americans residing in the far less densely populated region of North America was 2 million. 66 Central Mexico, with 14 million, and Andean Peru, with 12 million were far more densely populated than either open plains or forested lowland regions. 67
As this review essay shows, scholars from multiple disciplines generally agree about new models for the origin and dating of migration to the Western Hemisphere, replacing the rigid Clovis-first model that had dominated texts for fifty years. Even Clovis specialists, as the Smallwood and Jennings collection shows, have finally accepted the need to change traditional models. Although they have not fully incorporated the literature discussed herein, they have accepted the need to redefine the role of these big-game hunters even in the context of North American developments. This new research has not resolved all of the questions relating to this migration serious controversies still exist. But the development of the new field of genetic studies and the recent opening of major South American archaeological sites has resolved many older debates and has provided a far more nuanced and complex early history of mankind in the Western Hemisphere than existed before.
9 thoughts on &ldquo Oak Island Archaeology Update: Is there a stone road? &rdquo
Before, and during the construction of the causeway, all equipment, boilers, machinery etc. arrived by boat on the south shore. It would be no surprise that a road to the Money Pit exists to transport all this stuff.
Certainly not surprising, I agree. Showing that there is though, is a different matter. I will edit the post to point to your comment.
That is possible too. It would have taken a fairly robust landing spot and wide/structurally sound haul road for this purpose. But then you would think that there would be pictures, records, and witnesses to this if this was the case – it was built in 1965 after all.
You are not Marty L. by any chance are you?
I would say that what you refer to as a stone wharf was either:
A) Just that – a stone wharf built off the extension of lot 14 after the subdivision of the island in the 1760’s, before the two drumlin islands became one when a beach barrier formed between the two islands and the swamp (a salt water marsh) formed – this would have been access to South Shore Cove for this lot, or
B) A stone haul road built at the bottom of lot 14 after the subdivision of the island in the 1760’s, after the two drumlin islands had already become one and the swamp was already in place – this would have been so lot 14 could access South Shore Cove across the corner of the swamp to what was likely their own stone-crib wharf built in the cove.
It just depends on when the swamp formed. It could have formed several hundred years ago and built up that much material given how the area is prone to storm surge and has seen many hurricanes in that time period. A conformation would be to pour over historic mapping for the area going back to early exploration to see if the island shows up on any maps as 2 instead of 1.
But for the “stone road” as you call it, I agree with you – this “road” skirts the treeline and follows the contours of the island at the upland interface, and is highly likely to be the original shoreline of that part of the island before the swamp formed and made the 2 drumlin islands one. This “road” looks nothing like the “stone wharf” and closely resembles pretty much all cobble coastline in the South Shore of Nova Scotia and most of its islands (I am from this area, a short drive up the coast, and am intimately familiar with this part of the province).
You would think those from the area, like the archaeologists, the geologist, Dr. Spooner, Billy the excavator operator and his crew would recognize the difference between a constructed rock road and the buried common natural shoreline of Nova Scotia.
Also, this “stone road” they postulate was used for the money pit runs north-west away from the money pit to the east. They are saying it may branch to the money pit, but why build the road away from the money pit then branch it off to travel upland then back over the hill to the money pit when you could have just built the road from the swamp to the east, along the shore, right to the money pit with little elevation change? But then logic is another thing they have never found on this island…
It also could have been a searcher road, possibly constructed by Nolan when he brought heavy equipment to the swamp (and on this side of the swamp) to excavate and drill, but it likely was built, for convenience, on the original shoreline. There should be enough photography, handwritten maps, and personal knowledge if this was the case.
But Oak Island has a long history of European activity, with early French colonists (1600’s), American ownership (early to mid 1700’s two men from New York were on the island doing “something” – may have been an illegal salt operation to avoid taxes given that they were in the fishing industry), then British and German military/settlers in the mid to late 1700’s – these works were highly likely related to homestead life on the island and have been simply lost in time, with little to no records of these works (just the shadows of those who lived there). To ascribe everything on the island to a mysterious, conspiracy-laden theory of a vast treasure and an attempt to cover up a hidden history is simply silly.
The World is Changing, But Do the Americans Recognise ItJune 8th, 2021 Wake Up Fools
Last week in Saint Petersburg, Russia, one of the most important economic forums of recent times was held. It was the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Although attended, in person or electronically, by representatives of more than 170 countries across the world, it barely attracted a mention in the western mainstream media. The forum [&hellip]
“1 million Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps!” … “Ethnic Cleansing and Cultural Genocide!” … the western media is very effective at using emotional phrases.
But what’s the real story? Let’s go beyond exaggeration, distortion and sensationalism.
First of all, the media will never show the peaceful, prosperous parts of Xinjiang:
Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang.
And Western media won’t talk about the billions of dollars that China has invested in Xinjiang, modernizing the cities, building 21 airports, linking the region with bullet trains etc. Here’s a video of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. See how prosperous it is:
The Chinese government’s efforts are reflected in the exponential GDP growth of the Xinjiang region:
Regarding the Muslim minority, there are thousands of mosques in Xinjiang, a region whose recorded history goes back more than 2000 years when the ancient Silk Road linked China to Italy and Greece. In China, there are mosques that were built in the 10th century, which demonstrates the tolerance and respect for religious rights in Chinese society.
There are about 20,000 mosques in Xinjiang. There are thousands of Imams who lead the mosques in Xinjiang.
Like a few other provinces, Xinjiang is an “autonomous” region, which means it is run by Uyghurs for the most part. For example, the current “governor” is Shohrat Zakir, an Uyghur man who’s been in charge since 2014.
Also to remember are two nuggets of information: Xinjiang is a really vast region — it’s four times as large as California(!) and Uyghurs make up only about 40% of Xinjiang’s population. Overall, Uyghurs account for only 0.7% of China’s population. That’s about the same percentage as the Native American population in the U.S. now.
Here’s another fascinating fact: Uyghurs were exempted from the one-child policy that China initiated in 1978. This is why the Uyghur population in Xinjiang has doubled in the last forty years. How’s that for a “genocide”? Uyghurs (and other minorities in China) also get many preferential treatments — Chinese affirmative action — in colleges and other areas.
Now, let’s break down the facts. There are four types of Uyghur Muslims:
- Well-educated Uyghurs who are moderate/secular Muslims
- Poor and lower middle-class Uyghurs
- Separatists and terrorists
These are middle or upper middle-class Muslims who enjoy normal lives, have good jobs, and integrate easily with the mainstream Chinese culture. There are even popular Uyghur musicians, rappers (here’s an example), TV hosts, politicians etc. in China. Here are two famous Uyghur actresses — Guli Nazha and Dilraba Dilmurat. There are also male Uyghur actors like Merxat Yalkun.
Uyghur kids from educated families go to schools, live normal lives and have a lot of fun on social media like Tik Tok (“Douyin” in China):
Politically, there are also powerful Uyghur people. One such example is Arken Imirbaki, who has been the Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress since 2013. More importantly he’s a member of the powerful Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
Then there is An Waer, the Uyghur man who is the Chinese ambassador to Bahrain, the Islamic country in the Middle East!
Working Class Uyghurs
There are also many working class Uyghurs who may own restaurants and gift shops or work as artists and craftsmen in touristy places. Their lives aren’t bad and most of them don’t get into trouble with the government.
Really Poor Uyghurs
Then there are really poor Uyghurs who live in slums. These are prime targets for recruitment by jihadists. Many of these Uyghur kids work on the streets and shine shoes or help their families with menial jobs like taking care of donkeys, camels etc.
When the Chinese government mandates that these children go to school, the Western media scream bloody murder. What hypocrisy! If these Uyghurs come to the US, the children will be forced to attend schools as well. Here is a school that the “evil CCP” forces the Uyghur kids to attend:
Most of these kids don’t even speak Chinese, which greatly limits their abilities to find jobs later on as adults. So when they learn Chinese in school, the western propaganda screams, “cultural genocide.” Sheer idiocy!
The BBC admits that the “communist” (gasp!) government has spent $1.2 billion in the last five years on upgrading and building new schools for children in Xinjiang. This should be applauded, not demonized!
The Chinese government has done a phenomenal job by lifting 1.85 million Uyghur Muslims out of poverty between 2014 and 2017. Of course, the western media will never talk about it.
Watch this quick video about how the Chinese government helped a rural Uyghur family in Xinjiang move into modern housing and helped everyone in the family get jobs. This is a true humanitarian approach that focuses on poverty alleviation/reduction.
Then there are Uyghurs who are herders and nomads in the vast Xinjiang region.
Although it seems romantic, their lives are not compatible with modern days. Most of them are stuck in extreme poverty and their kids also grow up completely illiterate. Sometimes the Chinese government relocates tens of thousands of these people into the cities and gives them jobs, free housing, health care etc. Of course, US media will spin this as “ethnic cleansing.” (The government has helped millions of Chinese people in other areas get out of extreme poverty by similar relocation projects as well).
Many of these nomads appreciate the new life: “With central heating, gas, running water, Internet and cable TV, we no longer need to worry about things that troubled us in the past.”
Sometimes, if the parents don’t want to give up their nomadic lives, the government may move the children to boarding schools, where they get free lodging, meals and education.
Separatists and Terrorists
China didn’t try to explain the terrorist problem to the world. So, of course, western media took control of the narrative. Now CGTN has released a few documentaries, which is a good start:
History of Western Subversion
What is not mentioned in the mainstream media is that the West has been stroking separatism in Xinjiang since the 1950s! When the Chinese communists won in 1949 (by defeating the US-supported faction, which went on to establish Taiwan as the new fake China), the US started arming/funding separatists in Tibet and Xinjiang.
Intelligence documents declassified in the 1990s show how the US gave millions of dollars every year to Tibetan dissidents, including Dalai Lama. Then the US also trained Tibetan guerillas in Nepal as well as in Colorado.
As for Xinjiang separatists, the US brought in a lot of these extremists into Germany in the 1970s and helped them foment a movement for “East Turkestan.” Currently, the so-called “World Uyghur Congress” (WUC) is funded and glorified by the US government through NGOs such as National Endowment of Democracy (NED) — which also played a major role in the Tiananmen Square clashes in 1989 (see my article). Much of the atrocity propaganda stories come merely from hearsay testimonies of WUC members. There are also horror stories about organ harvesting spread by Falun Gong members in the so-called China Tribunal.
WUC is led by a woman named Rebiya Kadeer, who used to be … the richest woman in all of China! That’s how much discrimination she faced as an Uyghur. While she’s spreading all kinds of lies now, her granddaughters back in Xinjiang made her a video that shows a modern subway/metro system and upscale malls that feature stores like Gucci and Versace.
Fake News and Atrocity Propaganda
As for the allegations, it’s worthwhile to point to a 2014 NY Times article that called the refugee/asylum process an “Industry of Lies.” It talks about how refugees from China and elsewhere were taught to make up horror stories which were, of course, impossible to verify. Later, US federal officials secretly recorded conversations of lawyers coaching their clients to lie. The article concluded that, “most asylum applications were at least partly false, from fabricated narratives of persecution to counterfeit supporting documents and invented witness testimony.” However, now that China is officially a geopolitical enemy, every allegation from anti-China separatists must be totally believed!
Another source for crazy propaganda is the social media, where people post sensational fake photos and videos that quickly go viral (revealing the average IQ of people on social media).
- For example, a video of Indonesian police beating up a thief was posted as “Chinese beating up a Muslim for reading the Quran.” And that stupid video got millions of views.
- A viral video in 2020 claimed to show handcuffed and blindfolded Uyghurs being led by the police. It was actually an old video from another province (Guizhou) where some non-Uyghur (Han) people got caught in a massive financial fraud (pyramid scheme).
Some more examples mentioned in the video below.
Mainstream US media is no better. For example, Forbes wanted to write an article about “forced labor” in Xinjiang. When they couldn’t find any real photo, they just went to Getty image and bought an old picture — from ten years ago — of a shoe factory in Chile and used it instead! No journalistic ethics.
And how about the iconic photo that has been constantly used by western media for the last two years? This allegedly secret photo is often the first proof that people bring up for the existence of concentration camps:
Photo from 2014 misleadingly used for sensational western propaganda
First of all, the above photo is not a secret asset that brave western journalists or spies obtained heroically. It’s from a Chinese government’s website — here’s the link! This was a big event that the Xinjiang government proudly shared to show how it’s fighting extremism. Second, this was just a 3-day de-radicalization program. Western propaganda shamelessly turned this into a Nazi-like concentration camp.
There’s an echo chamber of fake news, where the US/western governments, think tanks, and media repeat evidence-free claims, conspiracy theories, and lies. This incestuous relationship is revealed in this quick interview with Omer Kanat, Chairman of World Uyghur Congress (WUC). He tells Max Blumenthal, “We think there are 1 million people in education camps. We don’t know for sure. It’s an estimate from the media.”
Muslim Countries Support China
However, to the dismay of propagandists, no Muslim country is buying the “concentration camps” narrative. Turkey is the closest to Uyghurs, who are of Turkic origin. Turkish leader Erdogan was in China in 2019 and said that the Uyghur re-education centers won’t affect China-Turkey relations.
Indonesia — the largest Muslim country in the world —has also said that it understands China’s predicament of dealing with separatists. Similarly Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and even Saudi Arabia have dismissed the sensational stories. Many diplomats and reporters have visited these Xinjiang camps and have come out reassured. Even the World Bank went to Xinjiang in 2019 and looked at the vocational programs and came back fully satisfied! Oh, on the other hand, the US and the EU even refused to visit these camps. It’s a lot easier to sit back and spread fake news.
In 2019, 57 Muslim countries from the Organization of Islamic Council expressed support for China’s Xinjiang strategy. In 2020, 46 countries told the Human Rights Council at the UN that they support China’s handling of Muslims and other minorities.
One surprising but little mentioned fact is that other countries have similar programs! Malaysia, for example, has its own de-radicalization programs for ISIS fighters returning from Syria! And the ever-tolerant France tried its own de-radicalization programs for Islamic extremists and has now said it won’t allow “political Islam”, will crack down on separatists, and ban foreign funding of French mosques & Imams (preachers). Germany also has de-radicalization programs and even a judge in the US has sentenced some jihadists to a program affiliated with the German one!
By the way, China said in late 2019 that it has shut down all these rehab/vocational training centers.
One last important note …
One more historical perspective: After the Mujahideen war in Afghanistan ended in 1989, many of those fighters went to Central Asia. And the disease of Wahhabism spread to Xinjiang as well. In 2002 (and a few times since then), the UN officially labeled ETIM (East Turkistan Islamic Movement) as a terrorist organization linked to Al Qaeda. Later, this group changed its name to Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), but it’s the same terrorist organization.
Ironically or hypocritically, the US periodically bombs Uyghur terrorists in Afghanistan and even keeps some Uyghur terrorists in Guantanamo!
From 2008 to 2015, there were a lot of terrorist attacks by the Uyghur jihadists (here’s an example) within China. Even during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Uyghur terrorists launched suicide bombings in Xinjiang. That’s when China decided to really crack down. By the way, this is also the reason why China banned Twitter, Facebook and Google, which were all operating in China until 2009. When China requested data on the rioters and jihadists, the American social media companies refused. Yes, US media and social media are all tools of color revolutions and the military-spy complex.
Furthermore, during the peak of the Syrian war, about 18,000 radicalized Uyghur Muslims went to Syria and joined ISIS to fight Assad.
Xinjiang also has a lot of economic implications. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has 1000s of freight trains and trucks carrying goods between China and Europe every year and most of these trains and trucks go through Xinjiang. There are also many oil/gas pipelines from Central Asia that go through Xinjiang to power China’s industrial economy. An unstable Xinjiang will wreak havoc on the Chinese economy.
The Chinese government is trying to help the poor people and fight the jihadists at the same time. While the West cries crocodile tears, Uyghurs are dancing and singing on “Uyghur Got Talent”.
On a similar note, if you go to YouTube, you can find numerous Uyghur channels, where they have songs — traditional and modern, soap operas, talk shows, games, and more. Here are some I found through casual browsing: Yurtum TV, Uyghur Beauty, Diyarim Media, Uyghur Telewiziyesi, Uyghur Songs, and Uyghur Song.
In conclusion, the US really needs to fix its foreign policy, which is now based on chaos, confrontation, wars, Machiavellian divide-and-conquer strategies, and endless propaganda. The US needs a positive approach that’s based on cooperation, friendly competition and ethical policies.
Upward Sun River Mouth Site (Alaska, USA)
The Upward Sun River site has four archaeological occupations, the oldest of which is a Preclovis site with a hearth and animal bones were reported to have been dated to 13,200-8,000 cal BP.
Most of subsequent research at USRS has been focused on the later burial of two infants, both dated to
11,500 cal BP, interred in a burial pit with organic and lithic grave goods.