Prehistoric peoples in North America 12 Replies A fascinating article from the Washington Post (8/29/14, A4) about the search for prehistoric peoples in North America: “Genes show mysterious Paleo-Eskimos survived 4,000 years until sudden demise”
As a biology major, I find this article particularly interesting. I can’t believe I am still surprised at the abilities of modern science/ technology. It is extremely fascinating to think that these people were so isolated and seemingly chose to stay that way. Apparently the overabundance of desired resources was enough to keep them there. I for one would not settle down in such a freezing cold place! These folks stayed for thousands of years, creating their own culture in a sense, free from outside influence. They made dolls, and had rituals with them, and later passed them on to young children as toys. It is funny to think that these “non-social” people, still had the desire to take time to create art forms.
It’s crazy to see what scientists can discover with technology, such as evidence of inbreeding, etc. I wonder what their art meant. Was it just to pass time? Or was their art symbolic?
It is amazing how much the human body can tell us. Some bones, hair, and teeth can provide scientists with so much evidence, that they could discover that inbreeding occurred amongst the Dorsets. In addition, the different manipulation of facial expressions on the wooden dolls, tells art historians that different artists created different dolls. Also, it’s amazing to see the culture that these people developed within isolation. There was still innovation amongst the society, even though they had no other contacts or exchanges of ideas with people outside their culture. Also, they created art within their culture, which shows just how important art is to human survival and how it is the foundations of human civilization.
Incredible! It amazes the ability of modern technology to know so much about the Dorset population, from so little as very old bones! I think it is interesting that a population would remain so isolated and still be able to innovate and move forward, this says a lot about the human mind. I also find it fascinating that the population was completely wiped out, for reasons not detected and because these people were so isolated there is no traceable genes, their genetic line just stopped!
I am truly amazed at the amount of valuable information that technology can provide us with. It is especially amazing how these old body parts can give such an abundance of interesting information. The fact that they were able to use art as an ability to survive just goes to show the power of the human mind and it is equally amazing that such an isolated group of people could have come so far.
This is why I love reading things like the national geographic… The ability of modern technology never ceases to impress me! Furthermore, any art that can be excavated from archeological sites should definitely be analyzed. I think that art, (and I’m sure most people in this class agree), plays an integral part in understanding the ancient societies of the world. Thus, I’m glad that we were able to learn about this portion of history!
It seems so bizarre how a people can literally appear and disappear with so little evidence. The Dorset seem very interesting, but for the people to just vanish is somewhat saddening. The article seems to imply that they were killed off by their technological superiors, but then says that no direct evidence of such can be found. Would one not think that if a genocide didn’t occur, than their genes should have lived in somewhere, in some form?
I would personally like to learn more about them, the wooden dolls are very visually interesting, and I’d like to know how one doll might be religious where as one might just be a toy, or if a single doll could be both a toy and a religious symbol. The dolls also look vaguelly familiar, like they share a common artistic ancestor with some other doll/wood sculpture that I can not quite put my finger on.
This was such an interesting article. It’s cool that a scientific break through like discovering an extinct race of people can be coupled with finding art pieces from their culture as well. The art pieces really add to the story that the genetics tell us. These dolls could of been a type of self portait for how these people saw themselves or how they saw one another. They were probably hand made with rocks, which tells us these people were smart. It’s very cool to see stuff like this where art can help us examine science.
It’s amazing to me that the Dorset people could be so completely isolated. They must have had opportunities to migrate to new locations, and yet they stayed were they were and even had signs of inbreeding. It makes me wonder just how discriminatory they may have been towards other cultures.
Holy cow! It’s amazing how much we’re able to figure out with modern technology. I felt the same way when I read the article for the paper–how do people even create this kind of technology? It boggles my mind.
I think that this article also makes a sad statement about humanity. I mean, these people disappear and the two main suspects are disease and GENOCIDE?! I recognize that that’s a viable possibility, but it makes me sad that it is.
I wonder what their architecture looked like, and if they had any places of worship? It certainly would be fascinating to find out.
This article was an interesting read. What was interesting was that this group from Siberia were able to survive in complete isolation from the rest of the world. Its a mystery that we do not know why they went extinct. It will be fascinating to hear from scientists why they became extinct once it is discovered.
This article was very intriguing do to the fact that these people just vanished in to thin air, scientist are unsure to where they went. As the article states, these people were sitting ducks they didn’t move and they didn’t have much technology to survive if they moved to a different region. Because of that it is believed that it was either genocide or disease that caused these people to disappear, which is crazy to think about. I had no idea this tribe even existed before reading this article.