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Peopling of the Americas


Pericues, ancient American caucasoids

"DNA results indicate that the group had just the normal haplogroups found in the modern Native American Indians suggesting the possibility of processes of in situ differentiation for this extinct group"...
  — Sylvia Gonzalez and David Huddart (date unspecified in the publication, entitled "The Late Pleistocene Human Occupation of Mexico")

It's now pretty certain that there were people in the Americas before the American Indians.

American Indians were the overwhelming* majority populating the American continents when Europeans arrived. But it's now quite evident that there was at least a small contingent people here when they arrived.

In the south of the Baja peninsula, there was a peculiar tribe that went extinct after the arrival of the Spanish missionaries. Of course, everybody was peculiar to the Spanish at that time — but the Pericue tribe was different.

The connection of the Pericues to pre-Bering-Strait-immigration artifacts is conjectural, based upon circumstances. But it seems a strong connection.

It's possible that the Pericues, few in number when they encountered Europeans, were the descendants of people related to Peñon Woman and her kind, who were indeed in central America early enough to provide some challenge the "Clovis first" theory.

"Peñon Woman" died by the lake that is now Mexico City when she was 26 years old. The carbon-dating of her remains, found in 1959, has recently shown it to be about 12,755 years old.

"They appear more similar to southern Asians, Australians and populations of the South Pacific Rim than they do to northern Asians."

— Dr Silvia Gonzalez. (BBC, 7 September, 2004)

Her skull, says Silvia Gonzalez of John Moores University in Liverpool, is most similar to peoples in Australia and the South-Pacific.

The dating alone of the skeleton is significant. The evidence of people before the end of the last ice age has been evident for several years. Evident, but disputed. At Monte Verde, in the southernmost reaches of South America, is a site where researchers have dated human habitation to about the same time Penon Woman lived.

But — while the antiquity of Penon woman and her kind supports a theory of pre-Beringean American habitation, and that is significant — the fact that they were an entirely different people from the asiatic Amerindian is nothing but astounding.*
*In the early 2000's, Dr. Sylvia Gonzalez promized that the DNA study of the Pericu people would be a "scientific bomb." That didn't happen. See sidebar top right.

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*People dispute the numbers of pre-Columbian American population, but certainly there were tens of millions, anyway. Of that, the Pericues were a couple of hundred.

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