Bones: Discovering the First Americans
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beings were in South America very early. When I went to see her in Washington, she produced a map for me on which she was keeping track of South American sites with pre-Clovis radiocarbon dates. It isn’t just Monte Verde that has old dates, she said, there are numerous dates from many sites ranging from 11,000 to 13,000 BP. Most are in the interior of the continent, and most are unknown to her North American colleagues, who, she said bitterly, don’t read the Portuguese or Spanish literature and
words, from the point of view of shape alone it was like none of the nineteen modern populations it was compared to: [T]he Kennewick specimen, featuring a morphology close to the Polynesians when size and shape is considered and being an outlier when shape alone is studied, becomes, among other Paleoindian findings one more clear evidence that a more complex model for the peopling of the Americas is needed. On the other hand, our analysis dismisses the possibility commented by Lahr (1997) of
Museum anytime soon. The Nevada State Museum was locked in battle between educated people and what Wewa called “our Native spirituality.” From the Paiute perspective, it didn’t matter whether the remains in the museum were actually direct ancestors of the Paiute or some other Native people. “To our Indian people, all Indian people, a body is a body regardless of what age it comes from. Respect that needs to be paid to a dead person is the same as today… . Just because it’s a few thousand years
them. I get lots of things. Put it away for when I sing. In here,” he said, striking his chest, “I’m a wealthy man… . In the old time I’d be taken care of by people. But the belief has gone. I think that’s why I was hired here.” Wilson Wewa was obviously someone who would know about the fears the Paiute and other Native communities in Washington and Oregon seemed to have about unearthed bones. “I believe in ghosts,” he said. “I’ve had the visitations and prayed for people bothered by ghosts.
Fermi was at Chicago too, building the first nuclear reactor under the football stadium, which would lead both to the Manhattan Project and, in 1949, to the development of radiocarbon dating by W.F. Libby.) The big thing at Chicago was its summer field school. Students learned archaeology by digging a real site under supervision. The University of Chicago had bought land which harbored Native American burial mounds and had set up housing nearby for students. By 1941, MacNeish had gotten so much