Outstanding Conference Talk

OntarioArch

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While I enjoyed Mr. Crook's lecture on Clovis vs Pre-Clovis (thanks to Uniface for the link and recommendation) I struggled to keep dates and ages straight. It reminded me of one of the first frustrations I experienced in learning something about artifacts & archeology: can't we all please use the same date/age conventions when speaking or writing about antiquity?

One archeological site highlighted by Crook is the famous Meadowcroft Rock Shelter near Pittsburgh. Crook adds confusion with a statement at about 31:00 of the video lecture: in discussing the age of Meadowcroft, he states, "19,600 years ago, that's what BP means is (sic) 'before present', so 7,000 BC." I think he meant to say "17,000 BC". Okay, we all misspeak at times. But someone in the audience is allowed to politely speak up and correct him!

But even more confusing is Crook's use of the terms "BP" and "years ago" as if they are interchangeable and equivalent. He speaks "19,600 years ago" while his PowerPoint slide reads "19,600 BP." They are simply not the same.

"BP" means more than 'before present', with 'present' established at 1950! By convention, it means radiocarbon years before present. Radiocarbon years and actual calendar years are not the same. Radiocarbon years must be converted - calibrated - to determine their equivalent in true calendar years. This has to do with the changing ratio of carbon isotopes in Earth's atmosphere during ancient times compared to modern times. (Alterations in Earth's magnetic field and the burning of fossil fuels are two factors thought responsible for this change.)

The chart below shows that radiocarbon years underreport actual calendar years, especially as dates get older. So, for example, 20,000 radiocarbon years ago is roughly equal to 24,000 actual calendar years ago, etc.

To avoid confusing radiocarbon years and actual calendar years, actual calendar years (that is, calibrated radiocarbon years) are to be reported – by convention – in one of several forms: cal BC, cal AD, cal BP, or cal C14. (And to be precise, ‘cal’ used in this manner means ‘calibrated’ not ‘calendar.’) And when spoken, like in Crook’s lecture, care must be taken to distinguish ‘radiocarbon years’ or ‘years BP’ from actual calendar years.

I believe Crook improperly conflates the two different types of years. For Meadowcroft, Dr. Adovasio’s published age of 16,000 BP (those are, by using the BP convention, radiocarbon years) calibrates to about Crook’s spoken “19,600 years ago.” However, his PowerPoint written phrase of “19,600 BP” is incorrect: that would calibrate to about 23,000 calendar years ago!

Conflating terminology and ignoring academic reporting conventions, particularly in a lecture about Clovis first controversy, confuses those who want to learn more about the topic.
 

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Tdog

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From a Mainframe Systems Programmer perspective, implementing naming conventions for permanent and temporary files was a tough task to accomplish when implementing "System Managed Storage" back in the day. Once it was done, it's value was obvious. Same applies here.
 

joshuaream

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Dub is a great character and public speaker, and absolutely a pure advocational archaeologist at heart. (He worked for an oil company like Tony Baker.)

One observation- at 8:07 there is an interesting absolute for a guy who spent the first few minutes saying be flexible. "Clovis was the only culture in North America to utilize outre-passé flaking." And repeated unequivocally a couple of minutes later. It's that absolute certainty that begets many of the issues that held back pre-Clovis archaeology in the first place. (He even points out overshot flakes on a couple of pre-Clovis items, not to mention overshots found occasionally on many later tools.)
 
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uniface

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1) It was a neat deja vu moment to realize that it was his dad who'd done the Lewisville, Texas Clovis excavation (the one the clown archaeologist in California accused him of salting) that returned the 37,000 BP 14-C date. (I've posted Bill Topping's vindication of it/demolition of the "lignite contamination" allegation a couple of times over the years). Small world, and archaelogy's a smaller one than most.

2) I think the outrepasse business is being misconstrued. All knapping cultures produced overshots -- BY ACCIDENT (and usually ruining what they were knapping). CONTROLLED
outrepasse, as a deliberate choice in reduction strategy, is what, IMO, he meant (and assumed his audience understood).

FWIW
 

Quartzite Keith

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Overall I enjoyed it and thought it was a good "big picture" overview of the current science.

I did have one issue worth mentioning: His mention of a sterile layer between Clovis and pre-Clovis at a number of sites got my attention as a recurring theme. I was glad someone asked a question about that, but then his answer seemed off to me. He said that sterile layer represented about 300 years of time. The site I am most familiar with is Cactus Hill, here in Virginia, and the sterile zone there represents at least 2,000 years. From the dates he was throwing out (which I also had a hard time following), it would appear the sterile zones at the other sites were also on the order of millennia, not centuries.

Regardless, if there is a consistent and recurring gap between Clovis and pre-Clovis levels, it would make for an interesting area of study for some up and coming archaeologist.
 

Aurora1959

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Dub's lecture is interesting, but the info is outdated. And, I was not impressed that he said that "European haplogroups" have been found in NA's on the east coast of North America, implying a Solutrean connection, without clarifying that this DNA probably showed up after 1492. IF the Solutrean's were here, current research suggests they did not leave any DNA behind.
Question...are ALL Clovis points over-shot?
 
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uniface

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FWIW:
1) Trying to impose the post-European admixture supposition on the Cherokee people who have been studied in detail crashed and burned. Years ago. The European component in some Cherokees cannot be ascribed to post-contact mixing. But the credentialed, peer-reviewed Influencers consign such findings to the memory hole, leaving people with the impression you've articulated.

The remains of such people as the Athcabasans are a huge reservoir of data potentially disproving this. Testing their buried remains 14-C dating from before contact would be a one shot, slam dunk proof that this genetic component antedates known (officially acknowledged) European arrival(s). Which is probably one major reason why this is not done routinely, without having to secure permission from people disinclined to grant it, and becoming a pariah unless you wrote around what would likely be found.

The real game-changer is the male line DNA stuff beginning to come to light now, with all people (not just NAs)*. For Example, going ONLY by female DNA, the Spanish Conquest never happened. Yet this is the line of (pseudo-)reasoning used to "prove" 100% Beringian descent of Native Americans.

2) All such information is, of course, time stamped.
______
* One outstanding example being Elizabeth C. Hirschman: DNA Evidence Suggexts Many Lowland Scots And Northern Irish have Jewish Ancestry. ISOR Journal of Humanities and Social Science Vol. 26 Issue 6 Series 10 (June 2021), pp. 22-42.
 
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Charl

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FWIW:
1) Trying to impose the post-European admixture supposition on the Cherokee people who have been studied in detail crashed and burned. Years ago. The European component in some Cherokees cannot be ascribed to post-contact mixing. But the credentialed, peer-reviewed Influencers consign such findings to the memory hole, leaving people with the impression you've articulated.

The remains of such people as the Athcabasans are a huge reservoir of data potentially disproving this. Testing their buried remains 14-C dating from before contact would be a one shot, slam dunk proof that this genetic component antedates known (officially acknowledged) European arrival(s). Which is probably one major reason why this is not done routinely, without having to secure permission from people disinclined to grant it, and becoming a pariah unless you wrote around what would likely be found.

The real game-changer is the male line DNA stuff beginning to come to light now, with all people (not just NAs)*. For Example, going ONLY by female DNA, the Spanish Conquest never happened. Yet this is the line of (pseudo-)reasoning used to "prove" 100% Beringian descent of Native Americans.

2) All such information is, of course, time stamped.
______
* One outstanding example being Elizabeth C. Hirschman: DNA Evidence Suggexts Many Lowland Scots And Northern Irish have Jewish Ancestry. ISOR Journal of Humanities and Social Science Vol. 26 Issue 6 Series 10 (June 2021), pp. 22-42.
Unfortunately, I don’t know where I screen grabbed this from. But, have we not known, for some time, I think from DNA study of the Lake Baikal child, that North Eurasian genetics entered what would be Native Americans >20,000 years ago?

C32B17BF-9BB3-4586-9D69-6BF53BDF2395.png
 
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uniface

uniface

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Not disputed on this end, Charl. MATERNAL DNA is not at issue. Where things get interesting is when paternal DNA rears its ugly head (e.g., the Spanish component of Mexican ancestry).

PS: Hirschman has published a second paper as well, concerning North Carolina in the mid- to late 1500s -- Sephardic Jews and Croatians. My micky mouse tablet doesn't show the full urls of these, or I'd post them for the convenience of anybody interested in watching the official narrative implode like the World Trade Centers. Best entertainment on the internet, IMO.
 

joshuaream

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Question...are ALL Clovis points over-shot?

Lots of Clovis points show no overshot flakes, but I can't think of any Clovis sites where at least some of the artifacts don't show controlled, consistent use of overshot flaking. I know some old, deflated sites out West where no classic Clovis points have been recovered, yet the site was identified as Clovis based on the other tools that collectors and random people are less likely to collect. (The thought is that collectors, ranchers, early archaeologists, farmers, military members, etc. casually picked up the points over the years.)

Overshot flaking was used early in the biface stage to thin a point. Many times there are flake scars left on a point that show the flake originated on the opposite edge and crossed over, but there are some points where those original flakes were removed by subsequent work.
 

Charl

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It was the Lake Baikal child I was thinking of. Also interesting is the number of “Venus” statues found in Siberia, although they differ in essentials from the Western European Venus statuettes…


“They suggest about a third of Native American ancestry came from an ancient population related to Europeans”.


 

redbeardrelics

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"IF the Solutrean's were here, current research suggests they did not leave any DNA behind".
I would have to question what "current research" means? I suspect that it means that maybe up to a couple dozen samples of DNA from bones found in the Americas belonging to folks who lived there from roughly 5000 to 12,000 years ago have been tested, and that no significant DNA has been found, that is currently suggested to be similar to what we suspect "Solutrean" DNA would have been like more than 15,000 years ago.?
It seems to me that "current researchers" are testing DNA samples from folks that lived thousands of years after the historically "accepted" mass migration through Beringia 14 to 15 thousand years ago. We are told that these folks arrived from the west and within just a few hundred years they had spread virtually all over what is now North America, leaving behind highly refined fluted points used upon atlatl's. Why are we not to assume that under this scenario, the Beringia immigrants possessing superior tools for hunting and war would not have nearly wiped out any earlier immigrants with the weapons and diseases they brought with them, as seen in later mass migrations from the east?
These researchers have concluded that no one was in North America prior to the mass migration 14,000 years ago, simply because they tested a small number of DNA samples of people living there thousands of years after the migration, and only finding DNA from people involved in this mass migration. To me this is the mental and statistical equivalent of randomly testing a few dozen DNA samples of people living here roughly 2000+ years from now, and determining that no one was in North America prior to 1492, because all we found in our sample was DNA from folks involved in the migration from the east over the last 500 years.
 
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uniface

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Since the imposition of the Brave New World, the role of the social sciences has been to paint the picture (of both the past and of human nature in general) mandated by the social engineers for mass cansumption, creating an echo chamber of opinion which impersonates scholarly consensus.

Since it seems that something so obvious needs spelled out : the reason that maternal DNA is useless as "proof" of the Beringian-only hypothesis (marketed as "fact") is that invading, conquering groups are not comprised of women who mate with the men they conquer. Only if that had been the case would maternal DNA be sufficient standing alone, independent of paternal DNA.

As Tertulian put it, Credo quia absurdum.
 

Charl

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"IF the Solutrean's were here, current research suggests they did not leave any DNA behind".
I would have to question what "current research" means? I suspect that it means that maybe up to a couple dozen samples of DNA from bones found in the Americas belonging to folks who lived there from roughly 5000 to 12,000 years ago have been tested, and that no significant DNA has been found, that is currently suggested to be similar to what we suspect "Solutrean" DNA would have been like more than 15,000 years ago.?
It seems to me that "current researchers" are testing DNA samples from folks that lived thousands of years after the historically "accepted" mass migration through Beringia 14 to 15 thousand years ago. We are told that these folks arrived from the west and within just a few hundred years they had spread virtually all over what is now North America, leaving behind highly refined fluted points used upon atlatl's. Why are we not to assume that under this scenario, the Beringia immigrants possessing superior tools for hunting and war would not have nearly wiped out any earlier immigrants with the weapons and diseases they brought with them, as seen in later mass migrations from the east?
These researchers have concluded that no one was in North America prior to the mass migration 14,000 years ago, simply because they tested a small number of DNA samples of people living there thousands of years after the migration, and only finding DNA from people involved in this mass migration. To me this is the mental and statistical equivalent of randomly testing a few dozen DNA samples of people living here roughly 2000+ years from now, and determining that no one was in North America prior to 1492, because all we found in our sample was DNA from folks involved in the migration from the east over the last 500 years.
No, nobody can any longer assume nobody was here more than 14,000 years ago. The White Sands fossil human footprints discovery demonstrates that humans were in New Mexico 21,000-23,000 years ago. These footprints demonstrate humans were in the Americas during the Last Glacial Maximum(LGM), and therefore could not have arrived via ice free corridor. This discovery reinforces the hypothesis that arrival was by boat. And, if they were in NM 23,000 years ago, and they were, then how much earlier must they have arrived?

The White Sands fossil footprint discovery is an absolute game changer.

We do not yet know if these early arrivals left any trace of themselves in later populations. But we can now be certain humans were here during the LGM.

(The synopsis below says “before the last ice age”. They really are suggesting before the LGM.)

 

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