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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:41 PM   #11

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I had been given to understand that if there had been significant pre-Columbian contact between the Old and New Worlds, the American natives would have been exposed to bubonic plague, chicken pox, cholera, common cold, diphtheria, influenza, leprosy, malaria, measles, scarlet fever, smallpox, typhoid, typhus, whooping cough, yellow fever, and yaws prior to Columbus' arrival, and so, the descendants of the survivors thereby would have had some resistance to these diseases by 1492.
Not necessarily. Whatever contact might have happened could have been limited. Given that there were many groups of Native Americans who were geographically and culturally isolated from other groups, it's quite plausible that even if contact occurred and if organisms were transferred, the resulting death or resistance could be isolated to one group. Additionally, contact could have been distant, not involving touch (the primary transmitter of disease) and possibly nobody got sick. Not every native who ever got near a European sickened and died. In this case, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence (of contact).
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Old November 11th, 2012, 07:50 PM   #12
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Leif Ericson of Iceland and Zheng He of Ming Dynasty China both landed on the Americas before Columbus.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #13
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The Norse colonization is still the only well-attested pre-Columbian trans-Oceanic historical contact , from the 10th to the 14th century in Greenland and probably just some years around L'Anse aux Meadows ("Vinland"?).
The Norse certainly had contact with Inuit & pre-Inuit local populations, but AFAIK there's no evidence of any contact with the Amerindians proper.

AFAIK any other purported contact(s) remain purely speculative and still lack any relevant hard evidence, including Menzies' hypothesis on the sixth (?) travel of Zheng He.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 10:30 PM   #14

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The Norse colonization is still the only well-attested pre-Columbian trans-Oceanic historical contact , from the 10th to the 14th century in Greenland and probably just some years around L'Anse aux Meadows ("Vinland"?).
The Norse certainly had contact with Inuit & pre-Inuit local populations, but AFAIK there's no evidence of any contact with the Amerindians proper.

AFAIK any other purported contact(s) remain purely speculative and still lack any relevant hard evidence, including Menzies' hypothesis on the sixth (?) travel of Zheng He.
Quite recently I saw in passing somewhere (online) that there is a new archaeological site on Baffin Island where the Norse were trading with the natives for furs, etc. With those goods going back to Europe, maybe others tried to get in on that lucrative trade; hence a Welsh expedition to Hudson Bay > Mandans et al.? There could've been a later second Welsh expedition that ended up in the SE US (with those rocks, etc.). This is all probably nonsense, but things were going on back in Medieval times, like the Crusades.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 01:59 AM   #15

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Leif Ericson of Iceland and Zheng He of Ming Dynasty China both landed on the Americas before Columbus.
Any contact Zheng He may have made with the new world is HIGHLY speculative, and primarily the product of Gavin Menzies' flawed methodology.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:16 AM   #16

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the Vikings contact is the only verified and well-attested pre-columbian contact
the polynesian south america contact, is plausible, the sweet potato being a maybe a prove of that contact.


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Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
I had been given to understand that if there had been significant pre-Columbian contact between the Old and New Worlds, the American natives would have been exposed to bubonic plague, chicken pox, cholera, common cold, diphtheria, influenza, leprosy, malaria, measles, scarlet fever, smallpox, typhoid, typhus, whooping cough, yellow fever, and yaws prior to Columbus' arrival, and so, the descendants of the survivors thereby would have had some resistance to these diseases by 1492.
If a contact had happaned the desease would be confined only to the tribe that had been infected, most of the american tribes was well insulated from each other, In colonial times the desease had an so great impact because the europeans dont stayed only in the Littoral they moved to the interior,thus breaking isolation of many tribes thereby spreading the diseases, as a example today there is in Brazil 75 aprox non contacted tribes all living in amazon jungle (the jungle is alone making a great barrier), and the Brazilian government had trouble making contact with them their immune systems is as weak as those of the tribes that made ​​contact in colonial times, the Matis(population 152) a example they had contact in 2004 one year later the number of the tribe was reduced to 18 members today exist a kind of Prime Directive to let the non-contacted tribes alone.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 05:04 AM   #17
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It seems to me highly likely that European fishermen were working off Newfoundland way before Columbus. Their contact with the locals would have been minimal, like their urge to tell competitors about a very good thing. May I again bore everyone with a reference to the Bristol merchant Ap Meurig, which those ziderdrinkers pronounced 'Americ'!
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Old November 12th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #18

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It seems to me highly likely that European fishermen were working off Newfoundland way before Columbus. Their contact with the locals would have been minimal, like their urge to tell competitors about a very good thing. May I again bore everyone with a reference to the Bristol merchant Ap Meurig, which those ziderdrinkers pronounced 'Americ'!
I think it could be plausible. But I think it was more likely fisherman who were fishing for Codfish around the Grand Banks near NewFoundland. Codfish is found in great numbers in this region. Now the codfish population has been reduced.

Map showing the Grand Bank. Yellow shows Gulf Stream heading toward Europe.
Click the image to open in full size.

Read this on possible Portuguese fishing off NewFoundland v
Bacalao Bacalao

This on the Grand Banks
Grand_Banks_of_Newfoundland Grand_Banks_of_Newfoundland
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Old November 12th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #19
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IMHO any hypothesis including any bogus folk etymology for the name America could be safely discarded

The term America was first attested in 1507, within the groundbreaking treatise "Cosmographiae Introductio" by the famous cartographer Martin Waldseemüller.

The term came from the Modern Latin Americanus, after Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) who made three or four trips to the recently discovered lands as a navigator.

His published works first put forward the idea that it was a new continent, and he was the first attested author to call it Novus Mundus "New World."

Amerigo is arguably more easily Latinized than Vespucci.

The name Amerigo itself is Germanic, probably derived from the Gothic Amalrich, literally "work-ruler."
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #20

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Today I heard someone claiming that the ancient Tartessians made it to America. We barely even know a thing about Tartessos in the first place! At this point I'm at a loss as to who hasn't been claimed to have been to America before Columbus. Hell, a lot of the claims seem to be being adjusted to compete with one another. A 500 AD date has been proposed for a Chinese visit because a mythical journey in 1421 wasn't impressive enough.
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