Who (when and how) was the first to “discover” America?
It all started by tracing the appearance of Swastika in ancient cultures.
Tracing it’s early origins in both Americas I started a research on some of the native tribes. My first take was on Ancestral Puebloans, better known as “Anasazi”, and what I have discovered was far beyond imaginable – their ceramics and their petroglyphs seem to be perfectly mirrored by those of ancient European cultures of Vinca and Cucuteni!
Let me illustrate what I mean by that:
All of a sudden it was not only about the swastika symbol. This is just a very small sample of all the similarities I have managed to find during this initial research, leaving no doubt in my mind that there had to be a direct contact between these two cultures, at some unknown point in time.
And then, I got the idea to type in google search “Cucuteni Anasazi” and see if anyone else knows something about it. To my amazement I got only one, but a very valuable result. It was a scientific paper written by Anatole A. Klyosov and Elena A. Mironova titled:
“A DNA Genealogy Solution to the Puzzle of Ancient Look-Alike Ceramics across the World“
I definitely recommend you to analyze this short text, which has many more interesting illustrations. I will publish the link to the pdf at the end of this post but please read this first. It is just becoming interesting.
What the authors of this paper had discovered is that these similarities that I just showed you are not exclusive only to Europe and America, but are valid also for ancient cultures of Thailand and China. They state the following:
“The features by which we assessed the ceramics were assigned according to 38 features referred to technology, shape, function and ornament, the latter was based on classification by Golan (1991). We have found 17 similarities (45%) among the ceramics of the said four cultures. Remarkably, all four cultures with look-alike ceramics also use the swastika as a common symbol.“
Now, they have also proposed a theory that the bearers of this culture belonged to the haplogroup R1a, which has appeared 20 ooo years ago in Central Asia, made a long migration westward, (via Tibet, Hindustan, the Iranian plateau, Anatolia) and arrived in the Balkans around 10 – 9 000 years ago – to become a first known culture in Europe – Lepenski vir. They conclude this part with following:
“Except for R1a, no other haplogroup could have connected Eastern Europe and China/Thailand. Haplogroup I is absent in South East Asia as is haplogroup R1b; haplogroups O and C are absent in Europe, as are Southeast Asian haplogroups N and D.”
And while I agree with most of what is written in this text, now I would like to offer a slightly different perspective, as I believe that situation with haplogroups on Balkans is somewhat more complicated.
There is actually no proof that Lepenski vir culture were bearers of R1a. More likely they have belonged to I2 haplogroup, which is a mesolithic haplogroup of Europe’s hunter-gatherers, native to Europe. According to the research available on Eupedia, this is still the most dominant haplogroup in Balkan countries, testifying to the genetic continuity ever since the Lepenski vir culture.
Current spread of I2a1 in Europe
Eupedia states the following:
“This branch is found overwhelmingly in Slavic countries. Its maximum frequencies are observed among the Dinaric Slavs (Slovenes, Croats, Bosniaks, Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians) as well as in Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia, western Ukraine and Belarus. It is also common to a lower extent in Albania, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and south-western Russia. I2-L621 (L147.2+) is also known as I2a-Din (for Dinaric).
The high concentration of I2a1b-L621 in north-east Romania, Moldova and central Ukraine reminds of the maximum spread of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture (4800-3000 BCE) before it was swallowed by the Indo-European Corded Ware culture. This could mean that the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture was a native European group of hunter-gatherers who adopted farming after coming in contact (with perhaps some intermarriages) with the Middle Eastern farmers who settled in the Balkans (haplogroups E1b1b, G2a, J2b and T). After being Indo-Europeanized, I2a-L621 would have become the dominant paternal lineage among southern Slavs, while R1a remained dominant among northern Slavs.“
In a nutshell, it is a wide accepted opinion by many authors that there was a continuity between mesolithic Lepenski vir which had started around 9600 BC and neolithic Vinca culture which had ended around 4200 BC. (with few intermediate cultures in between). The demise of Vinca culture was, according to Maria Gimbutas brought by horsemen from the east. These were the bearers of R1a haplogroup according to the latest research.
But it seems that the first contact between I2 and R1 has been established some time before the demise of Vinca at 4200 BC, at the eastern culture of Cucuteni, where as we saw, the presence of I2 is also attested. Unlike Vinca, which starts at 6th millennium BC, Cucuteni starts at 4800 BC, only 600 years before the total demise of Vinca. But Vinca is its cradle.
According to Wikipedia:
“The roots of Cucuteni-Trypillian culture can be found in the Starčevo-Körös-Criș and Vinča cultures of the 6th to 5th millennia, with additional influence from the Bug-Dniester culture (6500-5000 BC).During the early period of its existence (in the 5th millennium BC), the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture was also influenced by the Linear Pottery culture from the north, and by the Boian-Giulesti culture from the south.”
It seems that Vinca was simply another advanced culture that has been destroyed by “barbaric” raiders, with whom it has first established a trade route and a cultural exchange. We know that Vinca was a peaceful culture in which no weapon has ever been discovered and they also had a highly developed trade. According to Herodotus, it is in this region that Scythians (bearers of R1 haplogroup) had learned agriculture.
So this is my only remark in this research. I do not believe that in Lepenski vir and Vinca R1a was dominant, but I2. The Cucuteni culture was the first point of contact. As for the expansion eastern than Cucuteni, there could indeed be no other haplogroup than R1a, which is considered to be proto-Slavic.
But there is one very important thing that this paper does not explain. If these people had really reached America, how and when did this happen?
I will try to give an answer to that.
Most of the theories of possible early contacts with America focus on the Berring strait crossing. And while this may be true of some very early contacts I do not believe that this was the case here. There are two main reasons why I say this:
- Berring strait crossing was already impossible when Cucuteni culture developed.
- If migration came from the North, distribution of swastika symbols and pottery would be characteristic for the northern tribes, which is not the case.
The fact is that the map of swastika distribution fits very nicely in the frames of the map of ocean currents that connect Europe and Americas.
You see what I mean?
So if one was to sail for America on a primitive vessel, his best chances would be to glide on ocean currents, no doubt in that. This is the same common sense that has been applied by Colombo and his followers.
So did they really have vessels that were that sea-worthy in such a distant past? I think they did. For example, this is how a Phoenician trade route looked like. It is presumed that Phoenicians were just following the coastline to be on the safe side, but what if some dare-devil was well supplied and decided to take a shot into the unknown, somewhere on the west coast of Africa? Equatorial currents would take him directly to Americas!
So if this is the “how” what about the “who” and “when”?
I believe that another ancient civilization from the same region could give us the answer to that. They are the Olmec, the first major civilization of Mexico. This civilization appears somewhere between 1600 and 1400 BC. Many researchers have already noticed that their art is filled with figurines that show possible links with Afrika and Asia.
For example, these figurines seem to wear headdresses of the Egyptians.
Some others, look more Caucasian:
The same thing happens in ancient cultures of Honduras.
So who were these people?
One thing seems to be matching – The earliest mention of an ethnic group later considered to belong to mystical “sea peoples” is believed to be attested in Egyptian hieroglyphics on the “Byblos obelisk” (2000- 1700 BC). That was their first appearance on the stage of history and the dates are very close to the appearance of above-mentioned civilizations of America.
Sea peoples indeed had to be masters of sea navigation, as one author has noticed, to destroy other ancient civilizations of Mediterranean, that were also quite familiar with seafaring. Origins of sea peoples are lately often connected to the Black sea, which would make Cucuteni culture a perfect candidate for their homeland.
Moreover, I have also noticed a striking similarity between one of the figurines with “Iron man” from Tibet. It is almost as if they show the same person!
Left: Olmec head from Mexico Right: “Iron man” from Tibet
But actually, if you want to see the remains of a real person that fits this description, you do not need to look further than “The woman from Skrydstrup” dated to 1300 BC Denmark.
The woman from Skrydstrup, Denmark
Well, if these connections are valid, then Mr. Klyosov definitely had it right that the bearers of this culture could only be related to R1a haplogroup. (with some possible I1 and I2 mixture).
Cucuteni culture is also a perfect candidate for the motherland of sea peoples because on Ptolemy map from 2nd century AD we see a tribe of “Suardeni” in the near vicinity. They just might be the notorious Sharadan mentioned in Egyptian texts.
Tabula Asiae II, Ptolemy, 2nd century AD.
I highly suspect that any future genetic research will manage to find confirmation of R1a presence in Americas. If there was indeed a contact, those groups of newcomers were very small as the trip itself was perilous and probably many that would try wouldn’t even make it. A fact is that many ancient myths of Americas do speak of small groups of white people that came from the ocean, bringing along new culture and technologies only to disappear again with a promise of return.
But there are many other things besides pottery, swastikas and strange figurines that could testify that there was a contact with Cucuteni culture. Native American culture in its essence did not differ that much from what we know about Scythians and Sarmatians. They lived a very similar nomadic lifestyle. After its arrival with the Europeans, a horse became very important. Indian archers would paint horses with magical symbols before going to war, along with their own faces, just like the ancient Picts of Europe would. They were the mound builders, just like kurgan people from the steppes. They lived in tipis, tents whose shape was very similar to the ancient tents of Asia. And they had the same fashion of wearing feathers on their heads, just like Bronze age Europeans, and yes, just like sea peoples.
Left: Egyptian depiction of sea peoples Right: Indian headdress
Secondly, it is highly important to point out that Mesoamericans started building their pyramids and other megalithic structures around 1000 BC – roughly the same time when those Egyptian look-alike figurines of the Olmec appear. Many of them, like Olmecs, practiced artificial cranial deformation, just like Egyptians, but also like people of the steppes. It is also well known that traces of cocaine and nicotine had been found on Egyptian mummies.
On the side note, if sea peoples really were related to R1a haplogroup, (probably also some E1b1b from North Africa) then it would not be a surprise that a famous ancient city of Honduras is called Ciudad Blanca, a Spanish translation of a native name that translated in Slavic would literately be “Belgrade” – a capital of Serbia, but also an ancient name of both Kiev and Moscow, amongst many other Slavic cities…
So this is my take on the story. Due to a limited space I will publish some more information in the future posts. In the meantime you can find the above-mentioned paper: “A DNA Genealogy Solution to the Puzzle of Ancient Look-Alike Ceramics across the World” here.