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← New evidence suggests Stone Age hunters from Europe discovered America

Alan4discussion's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Alan4discussion

Comment 14 by Jonathan Dore

.Comment 6, Alan4Discussion:

... the concept of crossing the Atlantic along the edge of the ice while living an Inuit type life-style is quite plausible.

This has always been my main problem with the hypothesis, since when you think about it carefully it's very hard to see that it is plausible.

The ice-caps were miles thick and lasted thousands of years. The exact position of the edge would not matter to those living there. They could move to the seaward edge wherever it was. They would not need to go out into open sea.

The distance to be covered (say a minimum of 1,500 miles) would have required several generations to accomplish assuming a normal pattern of hunter migration following food resources.

Successful hunting communities would simply expand into new territory where prey had not been previously hunted. The Inuit travelled many miles across sea-ice using sledges and small locally constructed boats, before modern equipment was available to them. Reindeer herders in Lapland travel hundreds of miles with their herds. There were thousands of years when the Arctic Ice joined Europe and America, so taking several generations is not really an issue.

What's much harder to imagine is any society that is psychologically willing to live for years at a time, possibly whole lifetimes, out of sight of land.

Where there was land, it was a couple of miles below the ice. Over the sea, the huge ice sheets and shelves would be as stable as land and supply marine foods from holes, warm currents and edges. Even today, people drive vehicles over much thinner sea ice.

They might have done it in just a few years if they were deliberately setting out to go to America, and thus spending most of their time travelling

They had thousands of years. No plan would be needed. Prey animals would be more plentiful and easier to catch where they had not been previously hunted. This would encourage hunters to move to new hunting grounds where there were no other people competing with them.

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 16:02:35 UTC | #922823