|Solutrean Stone Tools|
Despite the many things we do know about the native groups of
One of the most widely expressed alternatives to the Asian migration theory, at least as far as east coast native groups are concerned, is that many are descended from ancient European populations that made the roughly 1,500 mile journey from France and Iberia to the east coast of our continent. These stone-age Europeans, called the Solutreans, could have traveled along the edges of the frozen glaciers, catching and eating animals like seals and sea birds.
This theory is based on the discovery of stone tools and technology created by the Solutrean culture in areas like Solutré in eastern
|Native American ston tools similar to Solutrean discoveries|
If the Solutrean Hypothesis is correct, this would mean European cultures inhabited
Professor Dennis Stanford, of the Smithsonian Institution, and Professor Bruce Bradley, of the University of Exeter, the archeologists primarily responsible for analyzing the newly discovered stone tools in the US, are re-presenting the Solutrean theory in their book Across Atlantic Ice.
However, Stanford and Bradley are not theorizing that all native groups in
North America are primarily European in origin. Rather, they suggest that Native Americans of the Solutrean origin would have eventually been assimilated by the greater population of the native groups with Asian origins. This would account for the fact that there are very few European genetic markers in modern or ancient Native American groups.
When I teach this subject in my history class, students sometimes ask about the origin of Native Americans. Generally, our text books only give information regarding the Asiatic origin theory. However, I try to let my students know that this is only one of several probable theories. Like many things in history and especially pre-history, we just do not know for certain. Discoveries like those made by Stanford and Bradley prove that every day.