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Old November 12th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #21

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It seems like the question that's relevant isn't who was here as much as who made knowledge of the continent public and triggered subsequent journeys and settlement. Vikings, fisherman, Chinese explorers, Africans, etc, MIGHT have had contact, but none of those contacts led to much.

On the other hand, Columbus might have not known exactly where he was or how he got there, the extent of his discovery, who the natives were, etc, but his voyage led to others and, for better or worse the secret was out. In that sense, it was Columbus who deserves credit, blame or whatever for the dubiously named "discovery" of the continents.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 10:51 PM   #22
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It seems like the question that's relevant isn't who was here as much as who made knowledge of the continent public and triggered subsequent journeys and settlement. Vikings, fisherman, Chinese explorers, Africans, etc, MIGHT have had contact, but none of those contacts led to much.

On the other hand, Columbus might have not known exactly where he was or how he got there, the extent of his discovery, who the natives were, etc, but his voyage led to others and, for better or worse the secret was out. In that sense, it was Columbus who deserves credit, blame or whatever for the dubiously named "discovery" of the continents.
Vikings (the Norse) did have contact, which ostensibly didn't led to much; any other potential pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact is currently still purely speculative at best.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 12:10 AM   #23
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One little tidbit I was recently fascinated to discover was that, not only did the Norse make it to North America centuries before Columbus, but it's possible a couple of Americans came back to Europe with them.

Genetic testing in Iceland discovered the prescence of the mitochondrial haplogroup, C1e in about 80 people. 95% of people with a C1 haplogroup are native Americans, with a few more being from East Asia. Those discovered to possess this genetic marker were all traced back to families that lived in southern Iceland in the early 18th century.

This raises the distinct possibility that one or two of the Vikings who went to North America brought back a wife or a female slave (it would need to be a woman, since mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from the mother), whose descendants still live in Iceland today.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 04:06 AM   #24

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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.
In Brazil there is a current of theories that the Phonicians come to Brazil in the year of 993 B.C and that the Tupi (a linguistic group) are the ancient Pelasgians of ancient greece.

i think we need to make a thread about those absurdities
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Old November 13th, 2012, 05:11 AM   #25

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I'm still interested in the possible Welsh connection to the Mandan tribe, now that I found out I (may) descend from them (Welsh) on my mother's side. Tribes along the Missouri River in Pre-Columbian times were probably wealthy compared with other tribes. They grew corn, beans, squash etc; had easy access to virgin fish stocks; and best of all, easy to the virgin bison herds (even if they didn't yet have horses). The Mandan tribe, being up north along the river, was maybe the closest tribe to Hudson Bay, where native guides would have known about them and led the (surviving Welsh expedition down to them. The prospect of future trade ties for European goods would have protected the Welshmen.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 05:56 AM   #26
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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."
You leave folk etymologies alone - I have an even better one about Marshall Timoschenko who, as everyone knows, was actually Timmy Jenkins from Aberdare! It was just decoration, man. I think the notion of fishing off Newfoundland is sense, however, like all the stories of Irish and 'Welsh' journeys. Once the way was found people would remember.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 06:12 AM   #27
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You leave folk etymologies alone - I have an even better one about Marshall Timoschenko who, as everyone knows, was actually Timmy Jenkins from Aberdare! It was just decoration, man. I think the notion of fishing off Newfoundland is sense, however, like all the stories of Irish and 'Welsh' journeys. Once the way was found people would remember.
Any story of absolutely any maritime people crossing a sea makes sense.

All what is required now is some relevant hard evidence.

Last edited by sylla1; November 13th, 2012 at 06:34 AM.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 07:10 AM   #28

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I'm still interested in the possible Welsh connection to the Mandan tribe, now that I found out I (may) descend from them (Welsh) on my mother's side. Tribes along the Missouri River in Pre-Columbian times were probably wealthy compared with other tribes. They grew corn, beans, squash etc; had easy access to virgin fish stocks; and best of all, easy to the virgin bison herds (even if they didn't yet have horses). The Mandan tribe, being up north along the river, was maybe the closest tribe to Hudson Bay, where native guides would have known about them and led the (surviving Welsh expedition down to them. The prospect of future trade ties for European goods would have protected the Welshmen.
As I stated previously, the Welsh/Mandan connection was originally a 19th Century theory based on the most superficial vague similarities and erroneous comparisons. People noted that that they had boats that were round like coracles, lived in houses somewhat different from what the most famous plains people used, and were often a bit lighter skinned than other natives. So people started bringing up old folktales about how there must've been Welsh migrants to this area in medieval times. It must also be noted that the 19th Century was big on race theory and apparently these people believed that Native-Americans were only allowed to have one skin tone. They were also ignoring the fact that the trope of Welshmen visiting the Americas was an old one that was started as wild travelers' tales just like the stories of mountains of gold and civilizations full of blonde people in Quebec or the the US Northeast.

The tribes along the Missouri river were indeed rich in ancient times, and they had created a civilization of their own. This however has nothing to do with alleged European travelers and in fact predates their supposed journeys by centuries. The most famous of these sites they created is Cahokia, but they spread further than along the banks of the Missouri and had heavily populated the American Southeast. In fact some of the erroneous stories about early European visitors such as the Welsh are inspired by the remains of these sites in places such as Georgia. However even back then the serious archaeologists weren't swayed by such colonial fantasies, and if the theorists had paid better attention to history, they'd have known that these were the ruins of the same peoples encountered by de Soto back in the 1500's. Ironic that 1500's historiography was better in many regards than that of the 19th. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that as religiously fanatical as they were, race theory wasn't exactly a thing back then and they had more recent memory of these people prior to them being devastated.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 07:24 AM   #29
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As I stated previously, the Welsh/Mandan connection was originally a 19th Century theory based on the most superficial vague similarities and erroneous comparisons. People noted that that they had boats that were round like coracles, lived in houses somewhat different from what the most famous plains people used, and were often a bit lighter skinned than other natives. So people started bringing up old folktales about how there must've been Welsh migrants to this area in medieval times. It must also be noted that the 19th Century was big on race theory and apparently these people believed that Native-Americans were only allowed to have one skin tone. They were also ignoring the fact that the trope of Welshmen visiting the Americas was an old one that was started as wild travelers' tales just like the stories of mountains of gold and civilizations full of blonde people in Quebec or the the US Northeast.

The tribes along the Missouri river were indeed rich in ancient times, and they had created a civilization of their own. This however has nothing to do with alleged European travelers and in fact predates their supposed journeys by centuries. The most famous of these sites they created is Cahokia, but they spread further than along the banks of the Missouri and had heavily populated the American Southeast. In fact some of the erroneous stories about early European visitors such as the Welsh are inspired by the remains of these sites in places such as Georgia. However even back then the serious archaeologists weren't swayed by such colonial fantasies, and if the theorists had paid better attention to history, they'd have known that these were the ruins of the same peoples encountered by de Soto back in the 1500's. Ironic that 1500's historiography was better in many regards than that of the 19th. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that as religiously fanatical as they were, race theory wasn't exactly a thing back then and they had more recent memory of these people prior to them being devastated.
It was all based on the notion that Prince Madoc sailed to American and came back for more settlers. After that people looked for these - which obviously couldn't have been done much before the Eighteenth/Nineteenth Century. The basic idea is probably true, but more important, it tells us a lot about our isolation under racist colonialism. Interesting if our representatives had met the Mandan in a flourishing condition - it would have made an interesting alliance. Perhaps we are related to the Palestinians - we tend to feel the same way about them!
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Old November 13th, 2012, 07:09 PM   #30

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It's not much in the way of real contact with natives and all, but there were supposedly Basque fishermen off the shores of Newfoundland in the 1400's or so.
Based on... what exactly?
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