“An estimated 1 to 10 percent of all species that ever lived have left fossils, and an estimated 1 to 10 percent of those will ever be found. . . Horses are the only “complete-Link” we have that has a complete fossil record to their history.”
Many of us today promote the educational values of reading. Many folks read, but what is the quality of their reading. I bring this up, because we discover the quality of those that read, today, is very low and things are missed, quite often, that become significant later.
The quality of research remains similar, and the small innuendos between contrivance, confusion, and controversy become issues of concern. Just as often the mental-filtration of information or our perceptions, become self-contrived, and we accept some things, but more often than not those other things we do not accept, or unconsciously pass-by as inconsequential – The problem starts here, as those “things” we neglected to understand, were indeed significant within explanation.
Saying this, we now move to the history of the “horse” which coincides with several other mammals (especially the Pygmy Mammoth), which, we now conclude, the Pleistocene Era was not as damaging to wildlife or humans, as first thought or even conjectured; which, often becomes what we reference as a “tainted-history” situation. The fact is DNA and telemetry within science shows this quite evident, and developed through several theories — locating grazers, for example the Pygmy Mammoth and “Horse” bones at archeological digs, showing they survived through the Pleistocene and onward into several “Eras” of human-habitation in areas the dig-sites located when, indeed, both assumed extinct – on the west coast, and the Pacific Northwest, and in Alaska as well),
This is not quite malicious-science (driven by personal agendas, special interests, or political concerns) or of a malicious nature, but “snobbery” (ie. A significant explanation and something no historian want to reference at times) as well as the issues of “process” or what we can accept as a paradigm or idea, especially within financial realms of budgets for digs, between the financing and logistics of such an expedition, it’s simply not easy undertaking. It is when so many questions develop, from the overlooked, or often precisely ignored issues come into the light, that suddenly the old-paradigms of fact become “castles made of sand that wash out into the sea” so to speak. Suddenly, budgets obtained and dig-sites once again “unearth” information previously overlooked. What we must not overlook either, is the fact of those bones which appear insignificant, are tossed aside.
Are all archeological discoveries found through sound science and financing of a dig site? We can go to the Pygmy Mammoth site of Channel Islands National Park, California, where the Archeology crew were having lunch on the island, where one of the crew sitting on the head of a Pygmy Mammoth (unknowingly since such a small portion uncovered), and was not discovered until days later, and upon second thoughts during another lunch at the same site – financing through the National Park Service easily accomplished when they realized the reality. Not so with many other types of digs.
Keep in mind that the key-piece to non-survivability of the “horse” is predicated upon “. . . not such good evidence. . .” as much as upon conjecture, opinions, or a convoluted-theory or non-availability of bones – but this is not a truism either, currently (it is simply acceptable to accept this theory, and to remain out of controversy, then actually approach it, as the actual snobbish and conservative aspects of this community is quite extraordinary, indeed).
This is where the questions start, and with the unique things we find through Oceanic-telemetry, as well as videos, of small areas of a vast oceanic-bottom in the Bering Sea (the area of the Bering’s Land Bridge) and “Beringia” (which can also be an entire series of articles, quite an interesting place, and developments dramatic to the extreme) –
The fact is when we can ultimately get down to those meadows, perhaps villages and other items of interest to our history, Paleontologist’s surmise that changes, and some surmise even extreme changes perhaps, in the matters of our factual life-history may take place. This is not something new, but old news, indeed, and that “. . . horses instead went westward from the Americas, where their respective species had developed.”
Now the questions start to multiply, but wait, there is much more. Yes, a minute detail often overlooked by many, but a reality just the same (and the many dig-sites where horse bones are showing up, surprisingly many, in the Pacific Northwest, for example, of many more – and I will cover them in Part II and Part III of this series).
Dig-Sites and More Questions
“The University of Colorado study was the first to identify protein residue from extinct camels on North American stone tools and only the second to identify horse protein residue on a Clovis-age tool. A third tool tested positive for sheep and a fourth for bear.
All 83 artifacts were shipped to anthropology professor Robert Yohe, of the Laboratory of Archaeological Science at California State, Bakersfield, for the protein residue tests.
“I was somewhat surprised to find mammal protein residues on these tools, in part because we initially suspected that the cache might be ritualistic rather than utilitarian,” Yohe said.
“There are so few Clovis-age tool caches that have been discovered that we really don’t know very much about them.”
Anthropology professor Douglas Bamforth, who led the study, said the discovery of horse and camel protein on the tools was the clincher for him that the tools were of Clovis origin.
“We haven’t had camels or horses around here since the late Pleistocene.”
Significant here, to keep in mind, is the fact or assumption, that Clovis would be the first to use tools – oddly, we automatically assume, as well, it was for ritualistic situations, rather than the situation of just cutting up the food-supply, as we all know we are now much more civilized than human’s during the stone-age (sarcasm here), which would be the subject matter of an entirely different article.
But it is not just the Clovis situation we find troubling here, rather in-addition to, and the fact that, and often overlooked, the situation of horse-meat being available, would mean horses existed, beyond a doubt. As well, the last statement, “We haven’t had camels or horses around here since the Pleistocene.”
Now we can start to confirm things, or the difference between a passive statement of compliance – or the fact they would even “date” another bone-find with something so contrived or opinionated as horses being non-existence (theory/conjecture only – and troubling to many others as well, not just myself) within current dig-sites, and the puzzle, whether or not this community wants to admit it or not, is starting to fit together – we are looking at a situation, as pointed out here, that the Clovis people and their tools have not been dug-up very often at all, and the fact admitted, “. . . we don’t really know very much about them.”
“At the time, the prevailing theory was that the Clovis were the earliest human inhabitants of the Americas, with sites across North and Central America containing their iconic spearheads. As early as the 16th century, Europeans proposed that a land bridge between Asia and North America might have provided the route for early human migration; by the 1940s scientists were actively looking for and finding evidence for the bridge’s existence. And in the 1930s, spear points discovered near Clovis, New Mexico, were also discovered to match the artifacts found in Beringia . . .” (A bathyscaphe is a free-diving self-propelled deep-sea submersible, et al, robotic submarines) “. . . convincing people that the Clovis came first, approximately 13,000 years ago.”
But when Cinq-Mars brought the fragments found at the Bluefish Caves back to the laboratory, he came to an incredible conclusion: humans had actually occupied North America as early as 24,000 years ago.
Naturally, the scientific community was skeptical. Other archaeologists raised a number of doubts about the bone samples. Anything in the environment can leave marks on artifacts: freeze-thaw cycle can snap bones, wolves (author’s note: wolves considered extinct over many centuries, as bone finds very uncommon, but used often when debating the authenticity of bones – yes, hypocrisy and contrivance alive and well at times) and other carnivores chew on them, rocks fall on them from the ceiling of the cave. And it just didn’t fit into the Clovis hypothesis.”
“For at least 70 years, everybody was stuck on ‘Clovis first,’” said anthropologist Dennis Stanford with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. “Anybody that came up with another kind of site was shouted down or disproved.”
The discord surrounding Cinq-Mars’ discovery resulted in a portion of the collection never being thoroughly analyzed, and researchers eventually lost interest. But now, 40 years after Cinq-Mars’ initial discovery, it seems the archaeologist has been vindicated.”
“. . . The earliest bone to show distinct human-made marks—a horse jaw, sawed by a stone tool that indicates the hunter was attempting to remove the tongue—dates to 24,800 years ago.
The horse mandible was the most exciting find for Bourgeon. It bears multiple straight cuts, very similar to those made by stone tools and distinct in shape from marks made by carnivore teeth and natural abrasion. Additionally, the cuts match the patterns that would be created from butchering the horse. Altogether, Bourgeon says, the marks on the bone fulfill multiple criteria that would classify them as having a cultural origin, whereas it would be hard to explain their existence by natural processes.
“It was fairly exhausting,” said Bourgeon of their investigation in an interview conducted in French. “But I was really passionate about the project. When you see those traces of cuts on the bones, and know that horse is believed to have disappeared 14,000 years ago (note: Current finds at dig-sites in the Pacific Northwest, find horse bones dating to 2,000 to 12,000 years ago as well, which means horses actually proven to be alive and well within a time of their assumed extinction. . .), that means we can guess humans were here before. It was a huge discovery.
Bourgeon and Burke’s research provides new evidence for a more recent hypothesis that aims at overturning the old ‘Clovis first’ assumption (note: which today it has overturned the Clovis-First theories, as their digs continue in the Yukon). Known as the Beringia standstill hypothesis, it states that there was a pause in human migration from Asia to North America between 30,000 and 15,000 years ago due to the frigid climate. The standstill coincides with the last glacial maximum (about 26,000 years ago to 19,000 years ago), the most recent period in Earth’s history when the ice sheets were at their furthest southward extension (think glaciers down to New York City).
If the evidence bears out, it would also mean that humans came to North America a whole lot earlier than previously believed: 10,000 years earlier. Humans (and horses – i.e. project here they come from the America’s and not from Siberia to . . .) were living in the Siberian Arctic prior to the last glacial maximum, when the climate was milder and hunting options were abundant. Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation in western Beringia (the landmass now beneath the Bering Strait) from 32,000 years ago, near the Yana River. But as the climate grew colder, humans would have been forced to migrate in search of food and shelter.”
When we overlook the minute details, the statements made by people passively, which suddenly become relevant – is one of life’s wonders, for sure. That lunch on the Channel Islands that developed into a question days later (I was there watching as it played out, as a matter of fact), that become a very significant find on the West Coast – and spurred financing toward many other Pygmy Mammoth and horse bone finds as well. What has been found, is the fact horse-bones have a high-potential of discovery, and indeed more Mammoth bones at the same sites, as well as other ancient bones — or other grazers that also survived the Pleistocene ERA and throughout history — oddly, many thought to be extinct, and similar time-scales as the Horse, or Pygmy Mammoth . . .
Achievement, many times, marked by questions. How do these questions derive? Where do they come from? In many cases they come from the person, standing watching a situation, or experiencing a situation, and then wondering why? What? Where? When? And the ultimate How Come this was never discussed, or why was that circumstance not financed, or all this time I thought, or was told . . .
My key-point here is exact – and that is the circumstance that there is a lot more to horse history than what we know now, or should I say acknowledge? We are a society of acceptable-opinion only, and fail to do research on how or why opinions become so narrow, judgmental, process-like or even hypocritical.
The actual history of the horse falls directly into dark, vast abyss that often does not reflect the light of day, and just as often, many afraid to venture forth and find out that truth – that circumstance that contradicts the very history of what we learned about, and also learned to never question it. Now we are questioning it, because things are not fitting well within the perspective, properly.
August 5, 2018 at 7:06 pm
Amazing and very valuable research.