Friday, June 08, 2007

Chicken Bones Suggest Polynesians Found Americas Before Columbus

Were Polynesians in South America before Columbus happened upon the Americas in 1492? Some evidence suggests this is the case. An article by Heather Whipps titled Chicken Bones Suggest Polynesians Found Americas Before Columbus has the details.

Whipps wrote, "Popular history, and a familiar rhyme about Christopher Columbus, holds that Europeans made contact with the Americas in 1492, with some arguing that the explorer and his crew were the first outsiders to reach the New World. But chicken bones recently unearthed on the coast of Chile—dating prior to Columbus’ discovery of America and resembling the DNA of a fowl species native to Polynesia—may challenge that notion, researchers say."

“Chickens could not have gotten to South America on their own—they had to be taken by humans,” said anthropologist Lisa Matisoo-Smith from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Whipps also wrote, "Polynesians made contact with the west coast of South America as much as a century before any Spanish conquistadors, her findings imply."

Of course, this still makes the Vikings the first outsiders to be in the Americas. They would predate both the Polynesians and Columbus under the scenario presented. This is still impressive though but hardly surprising. If the Polynesians could find Easter Island, they certainly could have got to South America. (Hat tip)

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