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Did Historic Cultures Meet in the Pacific Islands?

calamity

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Goofy title, but what I am driving at is this. We all know that most of the original inhabitants of the American continents came here by crossing a land bridge between Asia and NA up by what is today Alaska. But, other theories exist as well.

One such theory which has strong supporting evidence suggests that Northern European people's came to the shores of NA as well. And, if sea levels were low enough, it would not be out of the question to say a few islands between what is today Guinea and Brazil would not have aided in migrations from Africa as well, there is only about 3,000 miles separating the eastern most point in SA from Africa's western most point.

That leads me to the OP. When you look closely at a map, the Pacific Islands could easily have served as hopping points from which Aurstronesiean people could also have migrated to South America. This would be especially true in times of low sea levels. What we do know is that many cultural similarities exist between ancient Polynesian tribes and the indigenous peoples who inhabited places like Chile and Peru. The sweet potato, for example, was a common staple in both places.

So, the questions are this.

Did Austronesiean people island hop throughout the Pacific and eventually land in the Americas? Did the people of Peru and Chile spread out into the Pacific to eventually become the Polynesians? Did both continental cultures spread across the Pacific--one heading East from Asia; the other, West from S America--and meet somewhere, like the Hawaiian chain of islands, perhaps?
 

EnigmaO01

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Goofy title, but what I am driving at is this. We all know that most of the original inhabitants of the American continents came here by crossing a land bridge between Asia and NA up by what is today Alaska. But, other theories exist as well.

One such theory which has strong supporting evidence suggests that Northern European people's came to the shores of NA as well. And, if sea levels were low enough, it would not be out of the question to say a few islands between what is today Guinea and Brazil would not have aided in migrations from Africa as well, there is only about 3,000 miles separating the eastern most point in SA from Africa's western most point.

That leads me to the OP. When you look closely at a map, the Pacific Islands could easily have served as hopping points from which Aurstronesiean people could also have migrated to South America. This would be especially true in times of low sea levels. What we do know is that many cultural similarities exist between ancient Polynesian tribes and the indigenous peoples who inhabited places like Chile and Peru. The sweet potato, for example, was a common staple in both places.

So, the questions are this.

Did Austronesiean people island hop throughout the Pacific and eventually land in the Americas? Did the people of Peru and Chile spread out into the Pacific to eventually become the Polynesians? Did both continental cultures spread across the Pacific--one heading East from Asia; the other, West from S America--and meet somewhere, like the Hawaiian chain of islands, perhaps?

I find it entirely plausible considering the state of the art of sea travel and the fact that even a lost moron could end up on another continent if he could survive the trip. This even without islands to hop.
 

Dittohead not!

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Goofy title, but what I am driving at is this. We all know that most of the original inhabitants of the American continents came here by crossing a land bridge between Asia and NA up by what is today Alaska. But, other theories exist as well.

One such theory which has strong supporting evidence suggests that Northern European people's came to the shores of NA as well. And, if sea levels were low enough, it would not be out of the question to say a few islands between what is today Guinea and Brazil would not have aided in migrations from Africa as well, there is only about 3,000 miles separating the eastern most point in SA from Africa's western most point.

That leads me to the OP. When you look closely at a map, the Pacific Islands could easily have served as hopping points from which Aurstronesiean people could also have migrated to South America. This would be especially true in times of low sea levels. What we do know is that many cultural similarities exist between ancient Polynesian tribes and the indigenous peoples who inhabited places like Chile and Peru. The sweet potato, for example, was a common staple in both places.

So, the questions are this.

Did Austronesiean people island hop throughout the Pacific and eventually land in the Americas? Did the people of Peru and Chile spread out into the Pacific to eventually become the Polynesians? Did both continental cultures spread across the Pacific--one heading East from Asia; the other, West from S America--and meet somewhere, like the Hawaiian chain of islands, perhaps?

One way to find out for sure: Modern DNA testing of the genetically pure native Americans.

if there are enough of them left, that is.
 

shrubnose

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The USA and Japan met on a lot of Pacific islands.

The meetings didn't turn out very well for Japan.

:lol:
 

Grand Mal

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I find it entirely plausible considering the state of the art of sea travel and the fact that even a lost moron could end up on another continent if he could survive the trip. This even without islands to hop.

That's pretty much how the Vikings discovered Iceland and Newfoundland- they got lost. And Columbus was about as lost as you can get.
 

calamity

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One way to find out for sure: Modern DNA testing of the genetically pure native Americans.

if there are enough of them left, that is.

I'm reading up on some of that now. I'm slowly getting through some genetic studies on the Austronesians and Polynesians, as well as looking into some agricultural and analysis of linguistics and other cultural artifacts like pottery and such. I haven't made it to digging deeper into indigenous South Americans yet. But, most of the stuff I have read on SA genetics indicate the primary survivors arrived from the land bridge.

So, even if we have had many visits or attempted migrations from the South Pacific, it appears none of the genes survived. There is evidence however that humans were in places like Peru long before the land bridge folks could have made it much further south than the Northwest Territories of what is today Canada. But, I am talking as a novice on that, someone with very little actual knowledge and only a surface-scratch level of reading.

One thing that sticks out though is that the indigenous inhabitants of Easter Island appear to have had a culture much more influenced by Peruvians than the Austronesians. But, they supposedly arrived late: ca 700 BC. From what I've read so far though, the Easter Island people seem more likely to have arrived form other Polynesian islands than Peru. So, that's what got me thinking that they maybe had some interaction with the Peruvians.
 

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That's pretty much how the Vikings discovered Iceland and Newfoundland- they got lost. And Columbus was about as lost as you can get.

My understanding is he went to his grave still believing that he landed on an island in the East Indies and not the Western Atlantic. Amerigo Vespucci, apparently, was the first of the bunch to become suspicious. After that, they began exploring, and, of course, by the second decade of the 1500's, they finally figured it all out.
 

Grand Mal

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My understanding is he went to his grave still believing that he landed on an island in the East Indies and not the Western Atlantic. Amerigo Vespucci, apparently, was the first of the bunch to become suspicious. After that, they began exploring, and, of course, by the second decade of the 1500's, they finally figured it all out.

Everyone with any book-learnin' at the time knew that his estimate of the size of the earth was so far off that he couldn't possible have gone to Asia and back. The wonder of it is that he actually sold his idea to someone with enough money to bankroll him.
 

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Everyone with any book-learnin' at the time knew that his estimate of the size of the earth was so far off that he couldn't possible have gone to Asia and back. The wonder of it is that he actually sold his idea to someone with enough money to bankroll him.

Greed is a hell of a motivator. From what I read, Queen Isabella calculated that the cost of three ships was little risk for the large reward potential. Obviously, it was a good bet.
 

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That's pretty much how the Vikings discovered Iceland and Newfoundland- they got lost. And Columbus was about as lost as you can get.

That's pretty much the history of exploration and migration. No one set off to find the new world, but they did stumble across it. The crossers of the land bridge were more intent on the next mammoth than in finding a new continent.
 

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This just makes sense.
The prevailing theory is that the first Americans arrived in a single wave, and all Native American populations today descend from this one group of adventurous founders. But now there’s a kink in that theory. The latest genetic analyses back up skeletal studies suggesting that some groups in the Amazon share a common ancestor with indigenous Australians and New Guineans. The find hints at the possibility that not one but two groups migrated across these continents to give rise to the first Americans.

15,000 years ago, it was probably easier to get to SA by boat than it was by land. My guess is it would have taken a very long time for people to migrate to places like Brazil and Peru from Alaska. What are the pressures? Why would tribes even bother leaving NA to journey that much further South? It's not like they ran out of food in Nebraska and needed to head to Mexico and beyond.

Island hopping makes much more sense because inhabited islands run out of resources rather quickly. So, a tribe would be highly motivated to look for more islands, and then, by chance, they stumble onto a continent.
 

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and that hasn't ended speculation as to the origin of the native Americans?

Nope. In fact, the article cited above in post 11 said as much. There are two schools of thought....well, three actually.

1. The people whose bones were found in South America and then studied followed the migration route through Alaska. The genetic markers found in these bones, which are shared by Australian aboriginals, leads them to believe that Eurasian people branched off from Australian peoples sometime in the past. With some of these people migrating to the Americas. The fly in that ointment is that none of the North American bones found to date have this marker.

2. The Australian markers found simply materialized by chance in a separate but small gene pool. Shrug. I don't know the numbers, but I'd bet the odds of that happening are in the 1 in a billion range.

3. Australian peoples flooded the Pacific islands and eventually made it to South America.
 

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Nope. In fact, the article cited above in post 11 said as much. There are two schools of thought....well, three actually.

1. The people whose bones were found in South America and then studied followed the migration route through Alaska. The genetic markers found in these bones, which are shared by Australian aboriginals, leads them to believe that Eurasian people branched off from Australian peoples sometime in the past. With some of these people migrating to the Americas. The fly in that ointment is that none of the North American bones found to date have this marker.

2. The Australian markers found simply materialized by chance in a separate but small gene pool. Shrug. I don't know the numbers, but I'd bet the odds of that happening are in the 1 in a billion range.

3. Australian peoples flooded the Pacific islands and eventually made it to South America.

I'd bet on 3. If they can make it to Australia, why not to South America? But, no one really knows for sure.
 

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I'd bet on 3. If they can make it to Australia, why not to South America? But, no one really knows for sure.

I started thinking about this about 10 years ago when I realized lower sea levels meant that there were probably many more islands between South America and the outer edges of Indonesia than there are today. But, there are still a lot of questions to resolve.

One issue that sticks in my craw is the fact that the Polynesian Islands didn't start to be inhabited until about 5,000 years ago. Australia has been inhabited by people since about 50,000 BC, if memory serves. And, Indonesian islands had people 45,000 years ago. So, we have a huge gap. Perhaps the islands are all gone now, and even the settlements in places like Polynesia were at low elevation and are all under water. I find it odd that people would have spread all to the islands of Indonesia and just stopped.

Evidence of settlement in Micronesia dates back to about the same time as Polynesia, Maybe we must have not found the archaeological ruins yet...who knows?
 

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I started thinking about this about 10 years ago when I realized lower sea levels meant that there were probably many more islands between South America and the outer edges of Indonesia than there are today. But, there are still a lot of questions to resolve.

One issue that sticks in my craw is the fact that the Polynesian Islands didn't start to be inhabited until about 5,000 years ago. Australia has been inhabited by people since about 50,000 BC, if memory serves. And, Indonesian islands had people 45,000 years ago. So, we have a huge gap. Perhaps the islands are all gone now, and even the settlements in places like Polynesia were at low elevation and are all under water. I find it odd that people would have spread all to the islands of Indonesia and just stopped.

Evidence of settlement in Micronesia dates back to about the same time as Polynesia, Maybe we must have not found the archaeological ruins yet...who knows?

Interesting question, and we may never know for sure. One thing appears to be likely: There was more than just one migration to the Americas before Columbus and before the Vikings.
 

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Did Austronesiean people island hop throughout the Pacific and eventually land in the Americas? Did the people of Peru and Chile spread out into the Pacific to eventually become the Polynesians? Did both continental cultures spread across the Pacific--one heading East from Asia; the other, West from S America--and meet somewhere, like the Hawaiian chain of islands, perhaps?

I think the archaeological evidence, chicken genetics evidence as well as cultural evidence (ocean going canoe vs reed raft capabilities) states that though it is theoretically possible for glory days Polynesian sailors, it probably did not happen.

Polynesian canoe and navigation skills were very perishable. When Cook got to Hawaii, the Hawaiians had been stranded there for generations and had forgotten how to make truly ocean going canoes and also forgotten navigational skills. Though they knew other people existed (very occasional contact every so often from the Marquesas / Tahiti, and likely low level contact with Spaniards a few years before Cook), they were pretty much stuck and not going to say, California.
 

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I think the archaeological evidence, chicken genetics evidence as well as cultural evidence (ocean going canoe vs reed raft capabilities) states that though it is theoretically possible for glory days Polynesian sailors, it probably did not happen.

Polynesian canoe and navigation skills were very perishable. When Cook got to Hawaii, the Hawaiians had been stranded there for quite some time and had forgotten how to make truly ocean going canoes and also forgotten navigational skills. Though they knew other people existed (very occasional contact from the Marquesas, very likely contact with Spaniards), they were pretty much stuck and not going to say, California.
If you have to be stuck somewhere, Hawaii would be a good place.
 

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We are just beginning to realize out that these ancient people understood navigation better than we first believed.
 

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Here's a great map showing how Australia and Indonesia was populated by land bridges and Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia and New Zealand were populated by sea routes.

Polynesian_Migration.svg


In theory, the sea routes did not start opening up until 1500 BC or so. Which is far later than the 15,000 years ago we are talking about with the American migrations.
 

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If you have to be stuck somewhere, Hawaii would be a good place.

I agree. Hawaii was far better than some of the other stranded islands like Easter Island and a few others (family trees no longer branching, population pressures, and a very boring diet of taro and more taro. Heck, the Easter Islanders could only get water at times from sugar cane juice. It was as one author put it, a dental nightmare... .
 

calamity

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Why would tribes even bother leaving NA to journey that much further South? It's not like they ran out of food in Nebraska and needed to head to Mexico and beyond.

Ice Age?
 
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