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Old 18th January 2013, 01:08 PM   #41
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Thanks for the BBC link, it was very good watching. Coasting...Coasting...
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Old 20th January 2013, 11:33 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
When North & South America first separated from Eurasia and Africa, they didn't even have placental mammals at all yet, just marsupials (and maybe monotremes and/or something else that's now extinct).
Primates made it at some point before the split became too far. That's why we have Old World and New World monkeys. Probably rodents too?
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Old 23rd January 2013, 11:03 AM   #43
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As an aside: early humans have been blamed for destroying the Neanderthals but now some think this species was bred out. So what about the claims than Early Americans killed off the Matadons and Mammoths ? I hope nonone will say the EA's bred them out Can you imagine that thought applied to Sabre toothed Tigers? Seems for every extinction there has to be a convenient Asteroid or Early human to blame.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 04:07 PM   #44
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That situation is improving, but yeah, there's this view that extinctions need some major forcing mechanism to account for them. In reality, they don't--MASS extinctions do, but species have a finite lifespan--about 4 to 5 million years, as I recall.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 09:35 AM   #45
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Has anyone watched the History Channel show called America Unearthed starring Scott Wolter? He seems to be intent on proving that Pre Columbian Europeans traveled to/from America and has some pretty convincing points for an amateur like me. The idea that the Minoan (Pre Greeks) would sail to Michigan and extract copper and fuel the Bronze age is one I can't quite judge because I don't know how available copper was in Europe. But it seems perfectly plausible that many such as the Phonecians and Minoans could have made the voyage.

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Old 2nd February 2013, 10:11 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Primates made it at some point before the split became too far. That's why we have Old World and New World monkeys. Probably rodents too?
How did the monkeys make it across? If I remember correctly Dawkins resorts to a vague "rafting" hypothesis. But transoceanic rafting of primates? Sounds improbable.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 10:15 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler
The idea that the Minoan (Pre Greeks) would sail to Michigan and extract copper and fuel the Bronze age is one I can't quite judge because I don't know how available copper was in Europe. But it seems perfectly plausible that many such as the Phonecians and Minoans could have made the voyage.
I haven't watched the show, but this idea seems insane to me. Copper and fuel were amply available in Europe (the Mediterranian Sea is part of a subduction zone, where the plate Africa rides on is colliding with the one Europe is riding on, a condition that almost always produces quantities of metals). And without modern transportation methods, the journy is far too long. It'd have been cheaper and easier to trade for such goods with the peoples Greece was known to have contact with.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 11:22 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
I haven't watched the show, but this idea seems insane to me. Copper and fuel were amply available in Europe (the Mediterranian Sea is part of a subduction zone, where the plate Africa rides on is colliding with the one Europe is riding on, a condition that almost always produces quantities of metals). And without modern transportation methods, the journy is far too long. It'd have been cheaper and easier to trade for such goods with the peoples Greece was known to have contact with.
The word "copper" itself derives from the name of the island of Cyprus. If I was King Minos I'd tell my ship captains to go there, not Michigan.

ETA See the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.
Quote:
Cyprus was famous in antiquity for its copper resources. In fact the very word copper is derived from the Greek name for the island, Kupros. Cypriots first worked copper in the fourth millennium B.C., fashioning tools from native deposits of pure copper, which at that time could still be found in places on the surface of the earth. The discovery of rich copper-bearing ores on the north slope of the Troodos Mountains led to the mining of Cyprus' rich mineral resources in the Bronze Age ...

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Old 2nd February 2013, 11:54 AM   #49
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Thansk! I knew that a lot of geology is named after European features (the Jura mountains, calk cliffs, things like that), but didn't know that was how copper got its name.
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Old 20th February 2013, 07:04 PM   #50
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It seems intuitive to me that Europeans could have sailed to America Pre-Columbus and perhaps the only problem is a lack of evidence. Even Caligula had a ship built longer than a football field so the tech was there early on.
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Old 20th February 2013, 08:12 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
It seems intuitive to me that Europeans could have sailed to America Pre-Columbus[...]

Have you ever heard of Leif Ericsson?
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Old 20th February 2013, 08:41 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler
It seems intuitive to me
Probably the most dangerous words in historical sciences.

Also, I'd like to point out that it's hardly intuitive that we could be sending people to the Moon--we did it, we KNOW we have the technology. Yet we aren't. Most people, and most cultures for that matter, simply aren't interested in exploration.
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Old 25th February 2013, 04:57 PM   #53
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Have you ever heard of Leif Ericsson? >>>>>>>>>>
Sure have and is one of the European discoverers of America Pre-Columbian. Have you heard of Maddoc the Welchman?
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Old 25th February 2013, 05:14 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
Have you ever heard of Leif Ericsson? >>>>>>>>>>
Sure have and is one of the European discoverers of America Pre-Columbian. Have you heard of Maddoc the Welchman?

I haven't seen credible evidence for Welsh voyages. Did I miss something? If so, please provide links or references.
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Old 25th February 2013, 06:33 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
It seems intuitive to me that Europeans could have sailed to America Pre-Columbus and perhaps the only problem is a lack of evidence.
Way before Al Gore invented the Internet, I read some research that just looked at the accounts for some Irish monasteries and the surrounding supporting towns ... and discovered that they were trading and selling more leather and dried fish than the area could have produced from the number of sheep and local catches inventoried.

The author speculated that they were fishing on the Grand Banks and trading for or hunting New World deerskins for trade goods and using the local stuff for subsistence.
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Old 25th February 2013, 06:43 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by TsuDhoNimh View Post
Way before Al Gore invented the Internet, I read some research that just looked at the accounts for some Irish monasteries and the surrounding supporting towns ... and discovered that they were trading and selling more leather and dried fish than the area could have produced from the number of sheep and local catches inventoried.

The author speculated that they were fishing on the Grand Banks and trading for or hunting New World deerskins for trade goods and using the local stuff for subsistence.

Can you remember where you found the research? I'd be interested in looking at it.

BTW, where in AZ are you? I'm in Casa Grande.
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Old 27th February 2013, 11:26 AM   #57
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Nope

Originally Posted by xterra View Post
I haven't seen credible evidence for Welsh voyages. Did I miss something? If so, please provide links or references.
You likely know that there are oral traditions of Blond haired natives perhaps in the Mandan tribe which has since gone extinct. Some old authors claimed Mandans could understand spoken Welch. I even read about something similar re the region around Mobile AL. Also there is on display in the Smithsonian a red haired Indian mummy that dates long before Columbus. But that could be a genetic anomaly. Nothing solid unfortunately.
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Old 27th February 2013, 02:40 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
You likely know that there are oral traditions of Blond haired natives perhaps in the Mandan tribe which has since gone extinct. Some old authors claimed Mandans could understand spoken Welch. I even read about something similar re the region around Mobile AL. Also there is on display in the Smithsonian a red haired Indian mummy that dates long before Columbus. But that could be a genetic anomaly. Nothing solid unfortunately.

I am aware of all these traditions. Unfortunately, as far as I can see, they are nothing more than that.

Just like the stones engraved with supposed Norse runes, which have been thoroughly discredited (and I would have to look up the references to this), these are things (Euro-descended) people would like to believe.

By the way, the Mandans aren't extinct. I am personally* acquainted with a woman from that tribe, who grew up in North Dakota and now lives in New Mexico.


*redundant
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Old 28th February 2013, 07:48 AM   #59
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I was wrong re the extinction of the Mandans, its their forgiveness I implore. Reading some on the subject of Madoc there are some interesting factoids on Wikipedia. (incidently I'm part Cherokee so Tribal matters are very important)
First: the Mandan tribe was severely reduced in number in the 1800's perhaps down to less than 200. Now they are over 5000.
Second: Elizabethan officials wanted to claim a priori right of discovery for North America thus the Madoc story started as a fiction, apparently. Other writers took up the cause such as Samuel T Coleridge. I'm convinced the story is just fiction but I still like to speculate.
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Old 28th February 2013, 08:30 AM   #60
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That is really interesting! I thought the Mandan died out during a smallpox epidemic, and I've read that many times. That some survived is great! Has any knowledge of their language survived, to test it for P-Celtic intrusions?
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Old 28th February 2013, 12:16 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post
Has anyone watched the History Channel show called America Unearthed starring Scott Wolter? He seems to be intent on proving that Pre Columbian Europeans traveled to/from America and has some pretty convincing points for an amateur like me. The idea that the Minoan (Pre Greeks) would sail to Michigan and extract copper and fuel the Bronze age is one I can't quite judge because I don't know how available copper was in Europe. But it seems perfectly plausible that many such as the Phonecians and Minoans could have made the voyage.
Of course, the Norse, having settled both Iceland and Greenland, made it to the North American continent. Certainly, the Gaulish tribes along the Atlantic coast, such as the Venati (sp.?) had the capability of crossing the Atlantic. Had one of their ships been blown off course and ended up finding North America, they certainly could have colonized it. So, crossing the Atlantic isn't that great a problem.

However, had there been systematic trade sustained over a long period of time, extensive mining operations or even colonization on the part of the Minoans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans or any other pre-Columbian explorers, we would expect the following:

1) Re-introduction of the horse into the Americas before the Spaniards did it in the 1500s.

2) Introduction of domestic cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, likewise before the 1500s.

3) Immunity or at least resistance to diseases such as Smallpox, chickenpox, measles, etc. comparable to that of Europeans among the Native Americans.

4) Extensive use of the wheel in at leas parts of North America.

5) Widespread bronze and iron metallurgy in the Americas.

What we find instead is the following:

1) No horses in the Americas before the 1500s.

2) Likewise, no cattle, sheep, goats or pigs.

3) Native Americans were far more susceptible to smallpox, chickenpox, measles and other diseases to which Europeans had developed some resistance.

4) No use of the wheel in the Americas before the 1500s.

5) Metallurgy in the Americas was limited to Bronze metallurgy practiced by the Inca and other Andean tribes, due to extensive deposits of native copper and capper arsenide ores in the region. No use of metals elsewhere in the Americas.

Ergo, there is little likelihood of systematic trade sustained over a long period of time, extensive mining operations or colonization from either Asia or Europe in any historical period later than the upper Paleolithic: Q.E.D.
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Old 4th March 2013, 07:50 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Can you remember where you found the research? I'd be interested in looking at it.

BTW, where in AZ are you? I'm in Casa Grande.
Unfortunately, I can't. I read a lot of really obscure stuff, and it was decades ago.
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Old 4th March 2013, 08:01 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by TimCallahan View Post
However, had there been systematic trade sustained over a long period of time, extensive mining operations or even colonization on the part of the Minoans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans or any other pre-Columbian explorers, we would expect the following:
The prevailing winds and currents are not favorable so until you get ships that can tack into the wind and carry enough food and water for the journey you aren't going to make it.

Lack of knowledge of the winds and currents in the Atlantic, and the practice of "coasting" instead of sailing point to point kept the Minoans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans in the Med.


Quote:
4) Extensive use of the wheel in at least parts of North America.
Without flat ground or roads and a proper draft animal, wheels are useless. The Inca knew about wheels - they have found wheeled toys. But when you look at their terrain it's understandable why they used pack llamas instead of carts.
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Old 4th March 2013, 08:47 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by TsuDhoNimh View Post
The prevailing winds and currents are not favorable so until you get ships that can tack into the wind and carry enough food and water for the journey you aren't going to make it.

Lack of knowledge of the winds and currents in the Atlantic, and the practice of "coasting" instead of sailing point to point kept the Minoans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans in the Med.
All of these are good points. However, the Norse did make it to Newfoundland. One wonders, had the Greenlanders moved south when things began to get harsh, might they have established thriving colonies along the eastern seaboard, say from New England to Chesapeake Bay?

Originally Posted by TsuDhoNimh View Post
Without flat ground or roads and a proper draft animal, wheels are useless. The Inca knew about wheels - they have found wheeled toys. But when you look at their terrain it's understandable why they used pack llamas instead of carts.
Excellent point. Roads definitely preceded wheels in the archaeological strata preceding the Sumerian Civilization. My point, however, is that, had there been extensive pre-Columbian exploration, colonization, mining etc. by eastern hemisphere civilizations in the Americas, as is asserted by such programs as "America Unearthed," we would expect these colonists to have eventually brought over domestic draft animals and to have built some roads.
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Old 5th March 2013, 01:20 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by TsuDhoNimh View Post
The prevailing winds and currents are not favorable so until you get ships that can tack into the wind and carry enough food and water for the journey you aren't going to make it.

Lack of knowledge of the winds and currents in the Atlantic, and the practice of "coasting" instead of sailing point to point kept the Minoans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans in the Med.

ot totally -- see this book.

Beyond the blue horizon : how the earliest mariners unlocked the secrets of the oceans by Fagan, Brian M. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press, c2012.

My local library catalogs it as: 910.45 FAG
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Old 5th March 2013, 04:45 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by TimCallahan
One wonders, had the Greenlanders moved south when things began to get harsh, might they have established thriving colonies along the eastern seaboard, say from New England to Chesapeake Bay?
Probably not. At best, they'd have integrated into the local population. Remember, we're not talking about a relatively open and empty continent here--at that time, it was well-populated with thriving civilizations. They may have tried to move south, and encountered armed resistance. This sort of thing isn't unusual--look at Europe's history. When you're trying to move into an area that's already occupied, the occupants tend to get a tad angry.

Originally Posted by TsuDhoNimh
Without flat ground or roads and a proper draft animal, wheels are useless.
True. But the Inca weren't the only civilization in the Americas. The Irequois Nation included some areas that are incredibly flat, and the Plains tribes have some of the flattest ground you can get.

What really proves the lack of Europeans to me is the lack of extensive utilization of metals (they were more common than people think, but were not extensive). In Europe the results of metalurgy are perfectly clear--bronze defeated stone, and iron and steel defeated bronze (they just didn't know it WAS steel). If there had been extensive trade between Europe and the Americas any time after the Greeks one would expect to see metalurgy taking off like rocket in the Americas. It's not like the natives were adverse to adopting foreign tech--they did so quickly enough during the USA's fights with them.
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Old 6th March 2013, 02:17 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by TsuDhoNimh View Post
The prevailing winds and currents are not favorable so until you get ships that can tack into the wind and carry enough food and water for the journey you aren't going to make it.

Lack of knowledge of the winds and currents in the Atlantic, and the practice of "coasting" instead of sailing point to point kept the Minoans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans in the Med.



Without flat ground or roads and a proper draft animal, wheels are useless. The Inca knew about wheels - they have found wheeled toys. But when you look at their terrain it's understandable why they used pack llamas instead of carts.
A bit off-topic, but I find it curious that the Polynesians got all over the Pacific with seemingly less capable craft than the Greeks or Phoenicians.
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Old 6th March 2013, 02:41 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Probably not. At best, they'd have integrated into the local population. Remember, we're not talking about a relatively open and empty continent here--at that time, it was well-populated with thriving civilizations. They may have tried to move south, and encountered armed resistance. This sort of thing isn't unusual--look at Europe's history. When you're trying to move into an area that's already occupied, the occupants tend to get a tad angry. . . . (snip) . . .
The Greenlanders and others could well have brought European diseases with them, which could have been an equalizer. For all that, they might well have been absorbed by intermarriage with the locals. IIRC the Greenland colony consisted of only a few thousand people.
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Old 6th March 2013, 03:20 PM   #69
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By the same token, the Nors could have been wiped out by North American diseases. I've always been curious as to why that didn't happen.

Originally Posted by CORed
I find it curious that the Polynesians got all over the Pacific with seemingly less capable craft than the Greeks or Phoenicians.
My understanding is that there were more islands. The Polynesians didn't have as far to go to get from one island to the next as, say, Columbus did getting from Europe to North America. That, and the Atlantic isn't exactly calm. It could be that the Polynesians weren't subject to the storms that Atlantic crafts had to endure.
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Old 6th March 2013, 08:19 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by TimCallahan View Post
All of these are good points. However, the Norse did make it to Newfoundland. One wonders, had the Greenlanders moved south when things began to get harsh, might they have established thriving colonies along the eastern seaboard, say from New England to Chesapeake Bay?
If they did, their genetic and cultural contribution would have been dissolved into the general Amerind population within a couple of generations.
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Old 7th March 2013, 09:57 AM   #71
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The Greenlanders and others could well have brought European diseases with them, which could have been an equalizer. For all that, they might well have been absorbed by intermarriage with the locals. IIRC the Greenland colony consisted of only a few thousand people.

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
By the same token, the Norse could have been wiped out by North American diseases. I've always been curious as to why that didn't happen. . . . (snip) . . .
According to Jared Diamond, in Guns, Germs and Steel, the diseases Europeans brought to the Americas were originally communicated to them by domestic animals. Influenza, for example, was transferred to humans by pigs. Remember also that smallpox vaccine consists of live, but attenuated cowpox virus. Jenner noticed that dairy maids almost always caught cowpox and almost never caught smallpox. Smallpox might well have been a mutant variant of cowpox.

Since about the only domesticated animal most Native Americans had was the dog, they had few diseases to communicate to the Europeans.
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Old 15th March 2013, 03:52 PM   #72
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Whatever the truth happens to be Scott Wolter will uncover it in his series. His shows are entertaining just to see a mystery that has defied all attempts and here comes brave Scott with his pocket magnifying glass and "yes there's weathering in that inscription must be Euro pre Columbian"
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Old 16th March 2013, 12:50 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by TimCallahan View Post
The Greenlanders and others could well have brought European diseases with them, which could have been an equalizer. For all that, they might well have been absorbed by intermarriage with the locals. IIRC the Greenland colony consisted of only a few thousand people.



According to Jared Diamond, in Guns, Germs and Steel, the diseases Europeans brought to the Americas were originally communicated to them by domestic animals. Influenza, for example, was transferred to humans by pigs. Remember also that smallpox vaccine consists of live, but attenuated cowpox virus. Jenner noticed that dairy maids almost always caught cowpox and almost never caught smallpox. Smallpox might well have been a mutant variant of cowpox.

Since about the only domesticated animal most Native Americans had was the dog, they had few diseases to communicate to the Europeans.
One hypothesis for the origin of the syphilis spirocheat, Treponema pallidum, is that resulted from a mutation from the causative agent of yaws, and that this mutation occurred in the Americas. According to this theory, Columbus' men, among others spread it to Europe. Here is an article supporting that that view.
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