Since ancient times, the origin of man has been a hot topic of discussion and it is even more so when it comes to determining the origin of man in the American continent.
It was already seen that Spain, in the seventeenth century, proposed an interpretation according to which the American man was a descendant of ancient Iberian explorers, descendants of Japheth, one of Noah’s sons, who after the flood carried out explorations in the European continent, passing from Cádiz to the not yet submerged Atlantis, an exploration that took them, according to legend, to the territory of present-day Cartagena de Indias on the American continent. This hypothesis was supported by the biblical account to support the geopolitical claims of imperial Spain.
Other investigations, carried out in more recent times and supported by the scientific nature of the works; that is, in supporting evidence of their conclusions, they have come to affirm that man is originally from the African continent, where he was generated from the evolution of a single branch of hominids, called homo sapiens sapiens. In any case provisional conclusion as there is no evidence of the occurrence of other possibilities.
If this scientific statement is still debatable, the question of the origin of man in America is even more so, given that there is room for the possibility that it has evolved on this continent and is an autochthonous product. Likewise, it is also possible that groups derived from homo sapiens sapiens, originated in Africa, have multiplied and traveled the earth or sailed until they reached the American continent on still unknown dates and, once settled here, America has been populated. These two positions are held by the paleontological schools called autoctonista and immigrationista.
The autochthonous position was proposed and defended by the Argentine scientist Florentino Ameghino who formulated it at the end of the 19th century. However, it had little reception and a lot of discussion in the academic circles of the time.
The immigration theory holds that groups of men came from the Asian to the American subcontinent through the Bering Sea, frozen during the last ice age, which occurred about ten thousand years ago, consolidating a strip of ice of about 90 kilometers that united the continents and through which itinerant populations passed that in their wandering were occupying the American territory from north to south. So far, perfect. That means that any vestige of man in the American continent from the north to the extreme south should be less than ten thousand years old.
The problem lies in the fact that it is increasingly common for archaeological excavations carried out in various parts of the continent to find dates that far exceed ten thousand years of the last ice age. Indeed, several of the excavations carried out on the Peruvian Pacific coast, near the Lima capital, have managed to establish data on the existence of societies, men and housing complexes with more than 22,000 years of existence. So, was man in the American continent before the ice age of ten thousand years? Apparently yes. According to Reichel-Dolmatoff:
“On at least two occasions, once 40,000 or 50,000 years ago and again about 28,000 or 10,000 years ago, the sea level dropped in such a way that the Beringia area formed a wide bridge between Asia and America and was perhaps during these periods when most of the first settlers passed from one continent to another. A conservative date would be 30,000 years, but some archaeologists consider the possibility of an initial settlement with a magnitude of about 100,000 years. “
To this day, in the XXI century, there is no clear date on this issue. Suffice it to say that archaeological evidence is providing ever older dates making the aforementioned theories obsolete. Only the Chiribiquete National Natural Park, located in the Amazon area between Caquetá and Guaviare, Colombia, has contributed to this dating of rock art dates close to 20,000 years old.
To complete the picture, archaeological testimonies based on dating made through state-of-the-art technology are continually emerging, showing new dates – by the way, increasingly older – for archaeological remains and material, which demonstrates the ancient presence of human populations. throughout the American continent and especially on its coasts.
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